1. schlabotnik

    schlabotnik Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern USA
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    I just signed up for classes for ANDI certification and have researched their offerings on the internet. What I found on their site isn't exactly compelling, it seems to only answer instructors questions, nothing for the end user.

    I have wanted to dive for quite some time but want to be sure that my certification will allow me to dive 'anywhere' I travel. I'm going to Hawaii in a couple of months, but want to be able to rent gear and dive 'round the world.

    TIA
     
  2. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vancouver Island
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    ANDI was started as a technical diving agency. t has branched into recreational training and they are small compared to some others but are recognised worldwide. They have some very good instructors and hold them to very high standards. You training should be top notch
     
  3. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Pocono Mountains
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    Don't fall into the "C-card" trap. Agencies like to claim how "recognized" their C-cards are as a marketing ploy. Such recognition is like recognizing McDonald's golden arches. There are many training agencies throughout the world and dive pros working at centers and resorts have heard of most of them. I never had trouble with any C-card I ever showed at any dive center or resort anywhere. A C-card cannot save your life when conditions deteriorate or when emergencies occur. Good training with a dedicated, caring, experienced and talented instructor can. If you showed me an ANDI C-card, I'd assume your instructor was a tech diver and better prepared you for diving than if you produced more popular C-cards.

    Your initial certification is also not the end of the road. You will want to be certified in OW, AOW, Rescue and Nitrox at a minimum. You can find excellent instructors from different agencies for these courses. You are not locked into one agency.

    It's really the instructor who makes most of the difference in your education and safety. Choose your mentors wisely no matter what the alphabet says on the C-card.
     
  4. schlabotnik

    schlabotnik Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern USA
    9
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    Believe me, I know what marketing does to certifications - not to name names, but as someone in the computer industry, I know which cert's are useful and which are not ;)

    My concern is about my ability to dive when I travel :)

    I really enjoyed conversing with my soon to be instructor, he has other cert's besides ANDI but considered ANDI to be a 'step up' (not his words, what I gleaned from him in our conversation), something alluded to by the previous comment also.

    And, I don't expect this to end with one certification. Since I expressed interest in someday diving below the ice, he also recommended that I add-on dry-suit to my repertoire, so I've signed up for that too.

    BTW, don't everybody else shy away after a couple of answers, I want to know what a cross-section thinks :)
     
  5. AndyNZ

    AndyNZ Scuba Instructor

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    When I started looking into teaching technical diving, I spent a lot of time looking at ANDI as a possible option. I think their courses are good, and the standards high. There was just no option to really become an ANDI instructor given the geographic constraints I have to deal with.

    You don't have to limit yourself to just one agency - if you are really worried about travel, then sign up for a cheap PADI AOW course somewhere. This was a popular option for BSAC divers, who don't get a card just a logbook. The logbooks aren't always accepted as proof of certification in some destinations, so many BSAC divers I know (who are trained well beyond the PADI AOW standard) have done the PADI AOW for that reason.

    As long as an ANDI card says "certified diver" on it, it shouldn't cause you any problems at all, though.
     
  6. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Pocono Mountains
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    Dude, I hope you meant that the OP should get a cheap PADI AOW card after taking a high-quality AOW course with a mighty fine education-oriented instructor regardless of training agency.
     
  7. AndyNZ

    AndyNZ Scuba Instructor

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    I meant get the card for the sake of getting a card that is recognised, irrespective of what other training has been taken prior or is planned for after - which, like you say, is about finding a good instructor.
     
  8. knotical

    knotical perpetual student Staff Member

    # of Dives:
    Location: Ka'u
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    BSAC now issues qualification cards. Perhaps in response to the issue you mentioned.
    Qualification Cards - British Sub Aqua Club

    I agree the OP should have no problem with an ANDI card. They've been around for over 20 years, and are well respected.

    Worst case, refer whoever questions the certification to ANDI's website, or even this thread.
     
  9. AndyNZ

    AndyNZ Scuba Instructor

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    I'm not surprised, it was a major issue when BSAC divers travelled to small destinations.

    A few years ago, an SB member who had done courses through ANDI came to visit NZ for work and we went diving, his ANDI card was accepted here no question.
     
  10. TechBlue

    TechBlue Tech Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Panglao, Bohol, Philippines
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    ANDI runs a very tight ship, their course material is great as are their standards and you will not have a problem using their C-cards so put your mind at rest.
     
  11. schlabotnik

    schlabotnik Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern USA
    9
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    thanks to all. the instructor seemed quite good, but I needed to be sure :)

    as a slightly off topic to this, what should I expect to have to do to get 'enough' certifications to dive under the ice? (Medium sized inland lake)
     
  12. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Pocono Mountains
    1,493
    878
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    At a minimum you'll want to take a very thorough advanced open water course, gain experience, do a drysuit specialty course, gain experience and then an ice diving course.

    If you dive frequently, about 20-25 dives in between courses is often a good gauge for gaining experience. With good training and varied experience, ice diving with about 75 to 100 dives will be more safe and enjoyable.

    You may or may not be interested in using a full face mask under ice. While less safe than some other gear configurations such as DIR or Hogarthian, FFM diving can be more comfortable.
     
  13. schlabotnik

    schlabotnik Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern USA
    9
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  14. desparoz

    desparoz Scuba Instructor

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    I used to be an ANDI instructor when they had an office in Australia. They had good materials, good standards and no problems in recognising the qualifications - and that was the late 90's so recognition should only be greater.
     
  15. WarmWaterDiver

    WarmWaterDiver Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NW Ohio
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    My wife and I are ANDI certified and have had zero difficulties with recognition of our certification levels anywhere we've traveled for diving.

    My wife started with NAUI OW & AOW, I started with PADI OW & AOW. We switched to ANDI iwhen we lived in South Texas to get our Nitrox instruction in early 2000 (CSU-2) and continued our ANDI traning with a different instructer when we moved to northern Ohio and completed our TSD-3 certs.

    I don't know about the ANDI OW & AOW equivalent cards, but the two ANDI cards we have specifically spell out the certification limits in writing on the back of the card where our pictures appear.

    Enjoy your journey into the world of Scuba Diving!
     
  16. schlabotnik

    schlabotnik Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern USA
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    Just to keep this alive (and ask a couple of questions):

    ANDI has the RBS which the instructor pushes HARD (for purchase or rent). I understand that is the ANDI preferred method, but their book says that while this is best, it's not the only way to do it. I'm not keen on another expense (whether $500/buy $100/rent) at this time and so wonder what other ANDI instructors and divers go with here.

    Also, I wasn't even thinking about this, but it would seem that at the least I'll have to get some variety of wetsuit as finding a 3X is going to be an issue when I rent, I presume. Any suggestions here about a good (yes, cheap) entry level suit?
     
  17. schlabotnik

    schlabotnik Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern USA
    9
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    Hey, one more.....

    No teaching of charts, just a hard recommendation to get a computer -- while they don't seem like blatant money grabs, they're close.
     
  18. padiscubapro

    padiscubapro Tech Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New York
    2,084
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    The reason ANDI pushes the RBS hard is that it IS the best method for dealing with out of/low on Gas.. A recommendation/report by the HSE in the UK stated that a spare second stage is not adequate.

    An RBS does not have to be an expensive proposition.. It just needs to be able to deliever gas when needed.. a 19 to 30 cuft cylinder (I really don't recommend smaller cylinders) plus an inexpensive regulator can be had for under $400.. Your life is worth $400 isn't it... If you plan on going further then you get a better regulator as this regulator could be repurposed..

    If you decide that a full blow system is out of your reach, avoid gimmicky things like a spare air, the gas capacity is really too small to be really useful expcept the most dire circumstances..

    for a purely recreational diver with dives allowing direct ascent to the surface I would recommend

    H2Odyssey Extra Air System


    you can get 6,13 or 19 cuft bottles... The 6 will get most people to the surface from 100 fsw (direct ascent) WITHOUT a safety stop and is easy to travel with... (the 6 cuft ones usually come with a handly mounting pouch taht can attach to most BCs)

    BTW most boats off the NE USA will not even let you dive without a redundant gas source..
     
  19. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver Tech Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    13,817
    6,269
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    I'm a PADI, BSAC and SSI instructor already. Just in the process of finalizing my transition to ANDI instructor status at the moment. The reason why I bothered to cross-over to ANDI is because I feel they offer a very high quality syllabus and standards. At the 'tech diving' level, I feel that having instructor certifications with ANDI adds a lot of credibility, that the PADI qualifications don't necessarily provide.

    Read into that what you will.... but I don't think you'll ever regret getting an ANDI qualification.

    When it comes to training, what really matters is the quality of instructor - not the agency. With PADI and SSI, that can be hit-and-miss. They are big agencies who run a 'sausage factory' for instructors. Of course, some of those instructors are sterling... but others are not. With the smaller agencies, there tends to be less variation in teaching capability - a smaller 'pool' of high-level staff and less concern paid towards the 'profitability' of qualifying as many dive pros as they can. Small has to represent quality, to differentiate itself from the 'mega' agencies.

    ANDI...and all of the smaller, or more specialized, agencies should be accepted just as readily as PADI etc. If a dive center doesn't recognize.... or hasn't heard of... the agency or qualification, then it's probably an operation you need to run away from anyway!...
     
  20. Lead_carrier

    Lead_carrier Scuba Instructor

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    Schabotnik, I only know one ANDI instructor. It's his standards, not ANDI's that I question, but since you're doing the OW course I'm 99% sure it isn't him, so you should be fine with it.
     

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