Dive tables take a back seat in SSI training

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by riddler, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. riddler

    riddler Scuba Instructor

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    SSI has moved dive tables to the Appendix of the Open Water Diving manual, and given Instructors the option to not train with dive tables. As far as I know, the use of computers has not been mandated, however.

     
  2. Brian Sharpe

    Brian Sharpe ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    While this is probably just recognizing the reality that most divers use a computer and forget how to use tables 5 minutes after finishing their OW training does SSI advocate the use of a backup computer?

    With my dive watch on and tables in my log book my diving isn't over for the day if my computer croaks.
     
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  3. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

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    Makes sense to me!
     
  4. ScubaRich

    ScubaRich Scuba Instructor

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  5. StreetDoctor

    StreetDoctor Surface Interval Member

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    doesn't suprise me :rolleyes: I'm sure PADI will follow
     
  6. sdiver68

    sdiver68 Nassau Grouper

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    According to 1 PADI instructor I spoke with, tables are already optional.
     
  7. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist Scuba Instructor

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    Tables may not be MANDATORY, but if it were me teaching they would be thouroghly covered. If nothing else i've never seen rental gear in the tropics come with a computer......Students need to know the theory behind the tables and have a basic understanding of how to use them.

    I teach tables, and even when a student has his/her own gear with a computer they log their cert dives using a table.
     
  8. riddler

    riddler Scuba Instructor

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    I can't say I know for sure if the latest manuals recommend a backup computer. My manuals are pretty old. I checked the online training, and no mention. However, SSI does have a Computer Diving specialty, which we include as part of the Open Water Diver course at my shop. I'm sure most of the instructors now talk about the fact that they have a backup (I'm the only one that doesn't dive with two computers).

    From my own experience in SSI, training there, and eventually becoming a dive leader, I did not hear about backup computers until an instructor meeting, after I became a dive leader. Then I went out and bought a backup computer. Then I lost it.

    Is it necessary to advocate backup computers? I don't think so - unless you are doing some serious diving, my answer would be, after you lose your computer, stay out of the water for 24 hours, and return with a new (or rental) computer. The only place I've dived and not had the opportunity to rent a computer was Fiji and lakes in the U.S. - everyplace I've been in the Caribbean had computers for sale or rent.
     
  9. StreetDoctor

    StreetDoctor Surface Interval Member

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    And if you're a vacation diver on a 5 day trip you just ruined 1 out of 4 dive days.
     
  10. Brian Sharpe

    Brian Sharpe ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Sounds like something I'd do!:D
     
  11. Lead_carrier

    Lead_carrier Scuba Instructor

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    The unfortunate reality of the whole mess is, I would dare to say that most recreational divers that do the once or twice a year vacation dives don't have computers or know the tables. They just follow the divemaster and come up when he says come up. then they log the dive for however long and whatever depth they are told.
     
  12. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist Scuba Instructor

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    sad but true......wheres the scuba police when you need em'?
     
  13. jscott099

    jscott099 Scuba Instructor

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    I like to stay in touch with former students when I can and this is precisely what happens for some. Over time I have modified my teachings to let them know this happens. I ask them if they really want to place the lives of themselves and their loved ones in someone else's (understanding we do it all the time on planes, taxicabs, etc).

    I teach SSI Computer Specialty and strongly encourage students who begin to by their own gear to go computer.

    I never suggest back up computers for OW divers and students. I have not seen failure rate statistics that would mandate such a thing. Tech and cave is another matter of course.
     
  14. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Tech Diver

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    Our shop is currently in the transition mode of changing from tables to computers, which makes things a bit confusing right now, but will soon smooth out, once the transition is complete. At this point I still plan to teach the tables from a historical point. to show the student where the computers are getting the the information they are displaying. That way the students get the best of both worlds, they get to learn to use computers & they also have at least a very basic introduction to using the tables.
     
  15. Adi

    Adi Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai, UAE
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    as a newcomer to the forum I know I might be blasted by all the "people that know" out there...

    Personally I believe that "moving Divetables to the back" / "making it optional" / "placing it in the appendix" is the most ludicrious thing that I can imagine. The saying "Out of sight - out of mind" comes to mind.

    Divetables form the very essence and foundation of dive planning. Irrespective if you have a dive computer (which also calculates your dive planning based on divetable algorythms), as a diver you NEED to understand the fundamentals of dive planning and the theory behind the calculations - period.

    equipment fail - most possibly at the most unexpected times possible. Thats why we use analog SPGs in conjunction with our dive computers... right?

    moving dive tables into the "optional" pot... does that mean that soon we are going to be doing away with the EANx Nitrox courses, and call it a "how to change the EANx value on your dive computer Course"??

    In my opinion there should be no "option" about learning about dive tables - it should be mandatory.
     
  16. Doppler

    Doppler Tech Diver

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    I think you are confusing dive tables with dive algorithms and decompression theory.

    I teach for an agency that does not require its instructors to teach nitrogen tracking with dive tables, and never has, but that does not mean in any way shape or form that we can ignore teaching students about decompression theory...

    A dive table (the flexible printed sheet that was the standard 15 years ago) is simply a method to track one's status and in itself contains ZERO information about the algorithm it serves. Teaching students to use tables does NOTHING to educate them on the finer points of decompression theory... and in survey after survey tables and their use are mentioned as a roadblock for a huge percentage of occasional sport divers; who after all, make up the meat of this pastime.
     
  17. carrielsal

    carrielsal Divemaster

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    I'm not sure yet how I feel about this. I think learning the tables gives students a better understanding where NDL dive times come from, but I do think that some form of computer training should be included with an OW class.
     
  18. Skooter

    Skooter Scuba Instructor

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    I am in the middle of ADI and Doppler. I agree with Doppler that tables are just another tool in teaching deco theory. And I agree with ADI that students need to understand at least the basic use of dive tables. I have been expecting this change for awhile now so I did a poll of my own. After teachig tables to students I asked THEM how they would feel about us not being required to teach tables, and eliminating that from the classroom. I have recieved a unanimous don't stop teaching tables. The students told me that they gain the best understanding of deco limits and the way a computer works by understanding the way dive tables and decompression theory work. Most of these students have already purchased computers and had no intention of using tables. So I will continue to teach the dreaded (by the sudents until they understand them) tables until I begin to get a different response. FWIW I have been teaching the computer specialty with my open water classes for the last two years, so students have a very good understanding of the choice they have.
     
  19. Mike Boswell

    Mike Boswell Giant Squid

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    IMO the teaching of tables is not really needed anymore.

    1. Dive computers do everything needed and they do it better.
    2. Dive computers are reliable - DAN has statistics to prove it.
    3. A few years after their cert. classes, most people can't remember how to use the dive tables.
    4. Tables are not a good backup strategy because people don't have the needed information or knowledge to make the switch from a computer to tables.
    5. Dive tables don't teach you any more about decompression theory than a computer does, they merely present the information in a different - and less flexible - format.
     
  20. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    with out some background in tables. how does one know when they are getting bum info from the computer. knowing the basics of time and depth as it affects the gasses is as important as basic math and use of a calculator. i know each time i reduce depth i expect to see remaining dive time to increase on my computer. and if it doesnt it must be driven by other factors like air time remaining. i dont think that doing the table problems are perhaps necessary however questions like what is the effect on time remaining as depth increases ect. ..... it would probably take me some time to be profiecent with a table again. and the nitrox issue with the equivilant air table is yuk .... but understanding it is something that is needed. the computer is somewhat a standard as it spits out data. a far cry from trying to figure out how all the agencies table format works. and in the event of an accident the puter it the dive record. no table can do that so i think ow's should be using computers. lastly do ow's/vacation divers have a higher or lower probability of a dsc problems. that stat i do not know.. i can only guess.
    training on computers is an issue i dont now how to overcome. the only way i can see it working is to have all students use the same puter model while in the course. instructors mastering the use of models availiable is tougher than mastering the various tables.
     

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