So, I’m doing scuba diving training this summer, and I was looking at different places where I can go to get certified, and there are two locations that I like….one is PADI and one is SSI. The SSI one is a lot cheaper, seeing that you do the classroom portion online and it’s free to do it online (they still cover everything in the actual classroom when you go for you classes, but they just skim over it since you already know the info from the online course…so it’ll be more like a refresher), and the PADI one is $199, and even still the company will make you do the classroom portion. With the PADI center, training is $420 or $250, depending on if you buy your scuba gear from them or not, and I think they charge a minimum of $330 for the equipment….the other one is like $200 …and I can buy my scuba gear from wherever I want…but the true question…is it better to get PADI certified and pay more money, or is SSI and PADI certification the same? Like will other divers look down at me if I’m SSI or anything? thanks!
I’m 16 btw….if that helps at all.

PADI also offers it’s course online. I’m not a fan of any online course, however.
Neither is really better than the other regards PADI or SSI. Both are recognized world wide. There are some differences in what each offers for courses though but it still doesn’t matter. If you took a SSI open water, you could do a PADI advanced later for example or vice versa. You don’t have to stick to a particular agency.
You should be able to find a PADI shop that offers the entire training, including use of gear on course for 200-250 bucks. That also includes your class, pool time, exams and your OW check out.
SSI is about the same.
You have to remember that dive shops are in competition with each other for your dollar so even within an agency, prices will differ from shop to shop. Shop around, find a place you feel comfortable with and train there. PADI , SSI , NAUI…whatever.