Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It’s Easy – It’s Fun!

The skills necessary for scuba diving are easy and fun to learn. The instructors and staff at St. Croix Scuba want to share their love and enthusiasm for diving with you.

You don’t have to be a great swimmer to be a good scuba diver. All that is required is basic swimming skills and good physical health. Scuba diving is not a competitive sport. It’s fun and relaxing, with no pressure to be the best. The skills and knowledge necessary for scuba diving are easy to learn and St. Croix Scuba instructors are very considerate of each students abilities. Our goal at St. Croix Scuba is to make you a safe and competent diver.

Scuba diving is fun. It opens up a new world for you to explore and a new group of people to share the experience with. Scuba diving is the perfect activity to enjoy with friends and family. You can easily become certified as early as age 10 and there are many divers well into their 60s, 70s, & 80s.

Opportunities For Relaxation And Adventure

One of the most appealing aspects of scuba diving is that it provides opportunities to participate in many alternative forms of diving, from underwater photography to shipwreck diving.

Scuba diving provides you the chance to experience the tranquility of the underwater world. You can leave behind the stress of your everyday life and truly relax. Diving can also be an opportunity for high adventure. It makes a world available to you that relatively few people ever get a chance to experience.

Certification in Three Easy Steps

Open Water Certification course at St. Croix Scuba has three principal components – classroom instruction(or eLearning), pool training, and open water training.

1. Classroom Instruction – Each classroom session is a combination of a short discussion by of our experienced PADI scuba instructors followed by a brief knowledge review. Before your classroom session you will prepare at home by watching a short video and reading a portion of your course manual. Remember, you can also begin your class training online through the PADI eLearning system and just show up for the pool.

2. Pool Training – The pool training consists of learning the proper use and operation of scuba equipment and the skills that you will use to comfortably and safely participate in scuba diving. At St. Croix Scuba, you will experience the fun and excitement of breathing underwater your very first session.

3. Open Water Training – Upon completion of your classroom and pool training, you will need to perform four open water dives under the supervision of one of St. Croix Scuba’ instructors. During the summer we conduct our open water dives at Perch Lake just north of Hudson. During your open water dives you will perform the same skills that you learned in the pool as a final step in earning your PADI Open Water Diver Certification

As an alternative, we can issue a PADI Referral Form at no additional charge which you can take to any PADI facility in the world to complete your open water dives. This option is very popular during our winter months.

During your pool and classroom training St. Croix Scuba will provide all your specialized scuba equipment. It will be necessary for you to provide only your own mask, snorkel, and scuba fins. St. Croix Scuba offers a large, high quality, selection of these items in the downtown Hudson store. Special student discounts are always available. Our experienced staff will be very happy to assist you in selecting the proper equipment for your diving and snorkeling needs.

PADI Certification & What It Means To You

At St. Croix Scuba you will be able to achieve certification as a PADI Open Water Diver. PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the worlds largest and most recognized and respected scuba diving certification agency in the world. Don’t settle for any of those lesser known brands. Your PADI certification will be recognized anywhere in the world with no exception. With your PADI certification you will be able to participate in diving activities, rent scuba equipment, and obtain scuba air tank refills. PADI is as common as water in the scuba industry.

The PADI continuing education system addresses each diver’s individual interests. Once you obtain your Open Water Certification, you have the opportunity to participate in PADI’s continuing education programs and a wide variety of specialized classes. Areas of interest may include wreck diving, night diving, search and recovery diving, underwater photography, research diving, naturalist diving, ice diving, and equipment specialist. PADI’s continuing education programs are designed to develop a divers skills and knowledge in a particular area of interest. Whether you want to develop a hobby or pursue a career in diving, PADI programs are know to make it possible for you.

Click here to see some of the class offerings at St. Croix Scuba.

Discover Scuba Diving with St. Croix Scuba!!

Are you interested in Scuba diving? Well, now you can.

All of our “Discover Scuba” programs are conducted by our certified trainers in the comfort and safety of an indoor pool year around. Every third Friday of each month we offer the program. If you enjoy the experience, you can join the fantastic world of Scuba diving by taking the additional training offered at St. Croix Scuba. Please call ahead to register.


The dive store and Hudson’s St Croix Valley YMCA or New Richmond’s Aquatic Centre pool.

Please contact the store for additional details.

The beautiful thing about Scuba diving is that you can spend practically as little or as much as you want. Obtaining your certification to Scuba dive usually costs less than $435 total for the classroom sessions, pool training, and open water training. For the training, you are required to supply your own mask, fins, and snorkel. We offer a great selection of this gear for sale at student prices as well as rental is available.

After you receive your certification, you are certified for life. At that point, you have many options: 

  • You can choose not to dive and not spend another penny (but you will have your certification which will allow you to dive if you get the opportunity in the future – such as a warm water vacation).
  • You can rent equipment to dive locally or on vacations; St. Croix Scuba rental rates are listed on our Gear Rental page.
  • You can purchase your own equipment (recommended if you dive frequently).
  • You can take additional courses to improve your diving skills and introduce you to new diving experiences. Several of the courses available at St. Croix Scuba are listed on our Scuba Training page.
  • You can go on fantastic dive trips to exotic locations. Some of the dive trips being offered by St. Croix Scuba are listed on our Dive Trips page.
  • If you choose to purchase your own equipment, costs vary significantly depending on quality and features of the equipment.

Stop by St. Croix Scuba for an introduction to our scuba equipment and related costs. St. Croix Scuba offers an excellent selection of equipment at reasonable prices. After purchasing your own dive equipment, additional costs may include air tank fills (approximately $4 to $5 per tank depending on your location), annual air tank inspections, and annual regulator maintenance (usually less than $50 per year). As you can see, the cost of Scuba diving is quite similar to (if not cheaper than) other recreational activities.

You can Scuba dive anywhere that there is water. Fortunately, for those residing in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area, an abundance of freshwater lakes provides us with many dive sites. Many of the local lakes provide interesting Scuba opportunities with a vast array of bottom structures, fish life, and artifacts from previous days. In addition to naturally formed lakes, there are several open-pit ore mines in the area that have filled with water and make excellent dive sites. The ore mines typically have underwater forests, roads, and old mining equipment that make them especially interesting. Imagine hovering weightlessly through 60 foot trees with fish swimming around you. With a certification in Scuba, you don’t have to imagine it… you can experience it!! Ore mines in the area include the Crosby Mines, Lake Ore-B-Gone, and Lake Wazee. Descriptions of these sites can be found on our Dive Sites page.

The nearby Great Lakes are another source of excellent Scuba diving sites. The Great Lakes provide some of the best shipwreck diving in the world! Because the water is cold and fresh-water, those ships that have gone down in them are very well preserved. And there are a lot of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes! With a certification in Scuba diving, you have the opportunity to visit wooden schooners, iron-ore carriers, and many other types of ships that have sank in our Great Lakes. Our Dive Sites page lists only a couple of the many wrecks that are accessible to Scuba divers.

Of course, there is also a whole world of diving outside of our local area. During our cold winter months, many divers search for diving in warm water destinations. Destinations such as Cozumel provide an affordable vacation with fantastic diving. Such warm water dives typically includes fish life, coral, and plant life that is beautiful beyond belief. St. Croix Scuba plans several trips each year to such destinations. These trips are always a great opportunity to meet new friends, share fantastic dives, and experience different cultures. Our trips are designed for divers and non divers alike. Our Travel Page lists some of the trips that St. Croix Scuba currently has planned.

For more suggestions on dive locations, call our store and ask any of our experienced staff members.