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High Sierra Divers   diveflag1.gif

(530) 823-6757

Class Information

High Sierra Divers Scuba Classes "I looked into the sea with the same sense of trespass that I have felt on every dive. A modest canyon opened below, full of dark green weeds, black sea urchins and small flower like white algae. Fingerlings browsed the scene. The sand sloped down into a clear, blue infinity. The sun struck so brightly I had to squint. My arms hanging at my sides, I kicked the fins languidly and traveled down, gaining speed, watching the beach reeling past. I stopped kicking and the momentum carried me on a fabulous glide."

- Jacques Cousteau on his first scuba dive in 1943

Beginning Classes

Begin Scuba

Basic Open Water - Our Traditional Time Proven Class

Join thousands of Scuba Divers who enjoy the thrill and adventure of Diving. Diving offers a lifetime of exciting adventure and the ideal way to begin that adventure is with SSI's Open Water Diver course. Our time-tested approach makes it easy. Diving offers a lifetime of exciting adventure.

Under the guidance of our professional instructors, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enjoy a lifetime of underwater exploration.

Knowledge: SSI's modular, six-session teaching system includes a video, manual, study guide, DiveLog and dive tables. And with SSI's home study approach, you will be able to minimize your time in the classroom allowing for more time in the water developing ability and comfort.

Skills: In multiple pool and open water session, you will practice scuba skills with SSI's exclusive 'Comfort Through Repetition' teaching method. Some of the skills you will learn include:
  • Moving in the water with ease
  • Breathing normally under water
  • Controlling buoyancy so you neither descend nor ascend
  • The easiest ways to enter and exit the water
  • Getting water out of your mask, or mask clearing
Equipment: Since you can't dive without equipment, there is extensive information on scuba equipment including:
  • Selecting the best diving equipment for your needs and budget
  • Adjusting your equipment for comfort, convenience, and performance
  • Maintaining your equipment to extend its life and improve performance

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Online Scuba Class

Online Home Study Alternative - FREE!

Another path you might choose is to enjoy experiencing the academic portion of the class online for free. This portion of the class is absolutely free and without obligation. By pressing the button below, you will go the the SSI site to register (Click on any of the Register Now Links) and begin the course at your leisure.

After completing the free academic section, you will have the option to continue with us for the rest of your training under the guidance of our professional instructors. You'll be able to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enjoy a lifetime of underwater exploration.

With SSI's home study approach, you will be able to minimize your time in the classroom allowing for more time in the water developing ability and comfort.

Enroll in Home Study Course
Try Scuba img

Not Ready for a Class Yet?

Our Try Scuba is an orientation to diving that allows you to experience the thrill of diving with a minimum of fuss. After a short academic session, you'll proceed to the pool, receive an orientation to basic scuba equipment from a qualified professional and actually Scuba Dive! Try Scuba is by appointment and typically available Thursday evenings during our regular class pool session.

Try Scuba allows non-divers to experience diving in a pool or open water, under the direct supervision of a dive leader, with a minimal amount of instruction and classroom time. Although this is a minimal diving introduction, the following four areas will be focused on:

Knowledge: The academic session focuses on the immediate needs of divers such as equipment adjustment, equalizing pressure, breathing, moving through the water and orientation.

Skills: So you can start diving as soon as possible, you'll practice a reduced skill set with SSI's 'Comfort Through Repetition' teaching method in a pool/confined water session.

Equipment: With the goal being to develop a working knowledge of scuba equipment, divers will receive an introduction to basic scuba equipment with an emphasis on equipment handling.

Experience: Upon completing the Try Scuba program, divers can apply their experience and receive credit for their Try Scuba course.

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Refresher Classes

Scuba Tuneup

Scuba Skills Tune-Up

Prerequisite: Scuba Certification from any official agency

Recapture that feeling of total confidence by updating the diving skills you learned in your Open Water Diver course. This is typically a one evening course with one or two students. Includes classroom and skill performance in a pool with an instructor.

Knowledge: Your Scuba Skills Update Dive Leader will review the knowledge you learned in your Open Water Diver class as well as cover any new material and standards. You will review dive planning, dive tables and dive execution.

Skills: In the Scuba Skills Update you will have the opportunity to practice and review the scuba skills you learned in your open water diver class and learn techniques that that may have changed since you took your class. You will have the opportunity to refresh your memory and motor coordination and practice your self-aid skills, all with the guidance of a dive leader.

Equipment: The scuba skills update is a great opportunity to re-learn your current equipment, or the perfect time to learn about, and adjust your new equipment with the guidance of a dive leader.

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Scuba Refresher

Scuba Skills Refresher

Prerequisite: Scuba Certification from any official agency

The Refresher Course is designed to update and review your knowledge and skill level if you have not been diving for a year or more. The Diver can take the complete course or any portion of our regular Open Water Course. This is a non-certification course and is discounted from the price of the Open Water Scuba Diver Course.

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Continuing Education & Specialty Classes

Advanced Adventurer

Advanced Adventurer

SSI’s Advanced Adventurer program was created so that you can try out a variety of specialties before you commit to completing a full program. It’s a great way to experience what advanced training is all about and how valuable it can be to your diving adventures.

During the Advanced Adventurer Program, you will have the chance to try out 5 different specialties. You will complete one open water training dive per specialty, and if you decide to take a full program in any of the specialties you tried, the dive you took can be applied to your advanced certification.

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Advanced Open Water Class

Prerequisite: Basic Open Water Certification or better, from any known agency

This is a very popular class that many students take after their Basic Open Water class. Typically, this class includes a night of lectures, and four specialty classes - Boat, Navigation, Deep, and Night(Limited Visibility).

SSI's Advanced Diver rating stands alone in the industry with the highest combination of diving knowledge and experience. No other agency's advanced diver level compares. An SSI Advanced Diver rating requires 4 specialties with two dives performed in each of those specialties.

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Navigation Specialty

To become a safe and confident diver, it is critical to develop an understanding of navigation. You will learn how to navigate with a compass, and how to apply natural navigation skills, estimate distances, navigate different search patterns, find your way to marking points, and be able to get back to the exit point.

Course Content:
  • Natural Navigation
  • Compass Navigation
  • Combining Natural and Compass Navigation
  • Special Navigation Situations
  • The Sport of Navigation
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Night / Limited Visibility Specialty

Whether it's day or night, limited visibility can be an adventure. Just because the visibility is limited doesn't mean the opportunities have to be. This program is filled with information about planning and conducting night and limited visibility dives for fun, adventure, and exploration.

While diving at night you can discover a different side of this world and you can experience it from a completely different view. It is an unbelievable feeling to discover the mysteries held underwater when the sun goes down. With the right equipment and a powerful torch there is a lot to discover. Night diving is a whole new way to experience the underwater world.

Course Content:
  • Night vs. Limited Visibility Diving
  • Special Equipment
  • Preparing For The Dive
  • The Dive
  • Advanced Techniques
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Boat Diving Specialty

Boats allow you the opportunity to explore spectacular dive sites far from shore. This program covers the additional knowledge you need to make your first boat diving vacation a true success, and the techniques necessary to dive properly from all sizes and types of boats. Enhance your dive trips!

Course Content:
  • Selecting Your Dive Boat
  • Preparing For Your Trip
  • Traveling On Your Boat
  • Proper Boat Etiquette
  • Diving From Your Boat
  • Finishing Your Boat Trip
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Deep Diving Specialty

Many of the more exciting and intriguing dive sites are located in deeper water. Without proper training, this kind of diving can put you at risk. To plan your dives properly, you must first know about all of the potential risks involved in DEEP DIVING. The Deep Diving program will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and experience required to make these types of dives safely and comfortably. Explore the big blue!

Course Content:
  • Your Total Diving System & Deep Diving
  • Planning Your Deep Dive
  • Your Deep Dive
  • Potential Hazards
  • Repetitive Deep Diving
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CPR, O2 Provider, First Aid Course

The CPR OXYGEN PROVIDER & FIRST AID course is designed to teach you adult First Aid, CPR and Oxygen administration in two evenings. We feel every diver should know First Aid, CPR and O2 Administration, the three most useful skills in case of a diving accident. The usual deterrent to the acquisition of this knowledge was the time and money required to take these three classes.

High Sierra Divers course cuts to the chase, giving the student the information they need to know in an easy to remember format. The course is a performance-based program allowing you to master these skills and become a better dive buddy in the process.

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Rescue Class

Stress & Rescue Class

Prerequisite: A valid CPR & First Aid certificate

Diver Stress & Rescue is the next course recommended after Advanced Open Water Diver, because it helps you gain confidence, teaches rescue methods and makes you a better dive buddy.

Knowledge: You will learn the signs of stress, and how to deal with stress in yourself and other divers before the dive, during the dive and after the dive. Also, you will learn about different personality types and the common actions of each type in stressful situations.

Skills: You will learn skills and techniques to help you and other divers prevent and overcome common stressors associated with diving. You will also learn self-aid and buddy-aid skills for potentially stressful and/or rescue situations.

Equipment: You will learn about how your equipment can help you to stay relaxed and enjoy every dive, what equipment is required in various rescue situations and how to use your equipment properly in the event of a rescue.

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Nitrox Class

Enriched Air Nitrox

Changing the mixture of gases in the air we breath has a significant effect in our bodies. Using Enriched Air Nitrox, (EAN), has multiple benefits, but also important physical limitations that the diver needs to be aware of.

Why dive with Nitrox? Here are four good reasons:
  • Longer Bottom Times
  • Shortened Surface Intervals
  • Great for Repetitive Diving trips
  • Reduced Exhaustion
Due to the reduced fraction of nitrogen in your breathing gas, your body will have less work and the desaturation times will be reduced.

In your ENRICHED AIR NITROX program you will learn all the necessary rules for planning dives with Nitrox and using Nitrox in a safe way. An important key point in the entire program is analyzing your own tank prior to any Nitrox dive.

"Free Nitrox" is a slogan in a lot of resorts. This means that you do not have to pay a surcharge for Nitrox, but all diving operators will want to see a valid Nitrox certificate before you can dive with it.

ENRICHED AIR NITROX contains optional dives and therefore it is a perfect "Winter Specialty" before your diving holiday starts. This will allow you to go diving immediately and enjoy the advantages of diving with Nitrox.

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High Altitude Class

High Altitude Diving

Prerequisite: Basic Open Water Certification

Dive tables are designed to be used at sea level. Most of us understand that flying after diving is dangerous. Altitude diving has similar danger due to the same reason - lower atmospheric pressure holding the nitrogen that is dissolved in our bloodstream. Learn from the experts who designed the only simple one-step altitude conversion tables.

In this class you will learn:

  • Why you need to do conversions to dive at altitude
  • Why our gauges lie to us at altitude
  • How to do conversions to equivalent ocean depth
  • How to use an easy one-step conversion table
  • Why you need to know conversions even if you have an altitude dive computer
  • Why and how long you need to wait before going home after a dive at altitude
This information is covered as part of our basic open water class and taught as a stand-alone class.

Course Contents (stand-alone class):
  • One evening lecture
  • Two dives at Altitude

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Free Diving Level 1

Free Diver (Level 1)

Learn to freedive down to a maximum depth of 20m/66 feet! This program teaches fundamental Freediving techniques for comfortable enjoyment in the aquatic world to depths of 20m / 66ft. You will also practice Static Apnea to help develop your breath-holding abilities and in-water comfort.

Your PFI Freediver course will cover fundamental topics such as:

  • Essential Safety procedures for Breath-Holding at Freediver Level
  • Proper Breathing Techniques for Freediving and Snorkeling
  • Confined-Water skill development i.e. Static Apnea
  • Open-Water skill development i.e. technique for Deep Diving!
  • Equalization for Deep Diving
  • Equipment for Freediving and Snorkeling
  • The fundamental Physics & Physiology of Freediving—what happens to your body at depths!


  • Swimming or snorkeling experience
  • Good health and fitness – see PFI Medical Form
  • At least 12 years of age with guardian permission

Typical Course runs for two weekends, and consists of lecture, pool, and open water sessions

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SOD Class

Science of Diving

The SCIENCE OF DIVING class covers all areas of dive theory in a comprehensive and detailed manner:
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Decompression Theory
  • Marine Life
  • Diving Equipment
Diving is just more fun and safer if you know more about it. Whether you simply want more knowledge or plan to become a Dive Professional, Science of Diving is the class for you!

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Wreck Diver Class

Wreck Diving

It is an unbelievable experience to see a big ship from a bird's perspective and to glide towards the captain's bridge. But there are also tragedies related to wrecks.

Diving on wrecks is exciting and there are some potential risks too, but with the right training, Wreck Diving will become a safer and more rewarding adventure.

During the Wreck Diving course, you will learn where and how to get background information on wrecks, how to locate wrecks and how to prepare for a wreck dive. During the 2 mandatory dives you will apply the correct wreck diving techniques, as well as evaluate and avoid the potential risks while diving on wrecks.

Course Content:

  • Selecting a Wreck
  • Wreck Diving Equipment
  • Locating the Wreck
  • Diving the Wreck
  • Advanced Wreck Diving

If you want to learn more about Wreck Diving, you can buy the manual or the DVD even if you don't want to sign up for the course.

Equip Techniques Class

Equipment Techniques

Diving is more fun and more comfortable in your own equipment.

The Equipment Techniques program teaches you how to choose the right equipment for your needs.

You will learn how to fit, adjust , maintain and make small repairs right on the spot.

Course Content:

  • Your Total Diving System: The Basics
  • Your Total Diving System: Scuba Equipment
  • Your Total Diving System: Specialty Training and Accessory System
  • Traveling With Your Total Diving System

If you want to know more about Equipment Techniques, you can buy the manual or the DVD even without signing up for the course.

Combine other specialties while taking the Equipment Techniques course! Drysuit Diving or Perfect Buoyancy are great add ons. The possibilities are limitless!

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Dive Professional Levels


Dive Guide (DG)

This program is using practical application and background information. The goal is to create well-prepared, versatile and marketable Dive Professionals. SSI Dive Guides can lead and guide certified divers. Additionally, after passing the Snorkeling Instructor program, a Dive Guide can teach and issue Snorkeling certifications.

Divemaster (DM)

Dive Guide plus the Science of Diving program equals Divemaster. Divemasters can assist SSI Instructors with pool/confined water and open water training under the direct supervision of an SSI Instructor. This brings valued experience for all future diving carriers!

Assistant Instructor (AI)

Enroll in an Assistant Instructor program or enter the program as a Divemaster from any approved agency. After you are certified you can teach Scuba Skills Update, Snorkeling and Try Scuba (pool only) and you can even upgrade Training Specialist - a further step up your career ladder.

Training Specialist (TS)

An Assistant Instructor can become a Training Specialist and teach certain SSI specialties by simply purchasing the training materials and co-teaching that Specialty with an SSI Instructor. These SSI Specialty programs include: Boat Diving, Digital Underwater Photography, Navigation, Perfect Buoyancy, and many more.

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Rescue Class

Instructor Program

Prerequisite: Dive Control Specialist rating

After achieving the Dive Control Specialist rating, you enroll in the Instructor Training Course. On successful completion you can attend an Instructor Evaluation. Passing earns you the Open Water Instructor. You can teach and issue certifications for Open Water Diver, Advanced Adventurer and other programs.

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