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SSI vs. PADI wich one.

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by JD.Gattis, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. JD.Gattis

    JD.Gattis Guest

    Im sure someone in the past has asked this but im new to the forums. I can either take SSI or PADI OW cert. in my area. Ive met Instructors for both places and I like them both. My goals are to eventualy be an instructor or an assistant. Wich should I chose and why? Ive been doing alot of reserch on these two and find mostly "they are the same find an instructor you like and go with it". Any input would be apreciated. Try to be non-biased. I would like to have people give the disavantages of thier own memberships Cert. Thanks in advance.
  2. junglejim

    junglejim Guest

    Both systems are excellent. Define your long term goals and align your courses with them. Both systems have strengths and weaknesses depending on what you want to do.

    Explore all the possibilities.

    Be true to yourself.
  3. garyfotodiver

    garyfotodiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago, but dive in FL. Not true anymore, as I di
    I have an SSI card (originally NASDS), my daughter has a PADI card. I took my advanced class with an SSI instructor because 1) SSI offers Stress & Rescue before AOW, 2) after 34 years of diving in many different sets of conditions I saw no advantage in repeating dives I have successfully done under the eyes of an instructor simply to get AOW and the SSI instructor agreed, and 3) I really like the instructor (who also has PADI instructor status).

    My daughter took OW at a PADI shop because it was close to our home and she could take a bus to there. She passed and did well, but she thought the materials were not professional. She didn't like the humor in the video.

    She did her checkout dives through the shop I use in Florida. This shop has just switched to SSI.

    I have never had anyone refuse either card. Often, just for kicks, I show my old NASDS card when I go into a shop for the first time. Strange looks, but no refusal.

    Good Luck, whatever you choose!
  4. Myblueii

    Myblueii Instructor, Scuba

    Both agencies offer great training. In the long run if you're seriously intertaining the thought of becoming an instructor PADI has 1 major advantage over SSI. That being PADI will allow you to teach independent of a dive shop where SSI requires you to teach through an SSI associated dive shop. That criteria can be a major drawback, I'm experiencing it right now. The dive shop I earned my instructor (SSI) certs through closed its doors just over a year ago, if I want to teach the only other SSI shop is over 40 miles away. Good luck with your training .. Russ
  5. Kriterian

    Kriterian Solo Diver

    My instructor for my open water checkout dives was both PADI and SSI. He said that while PADI was more widely known around the world, he never had any troubles showing an SSI card.

    As far as teaching, he liked SSI because they allowed him to bring in outside skills/exercises and were very flexible. PADI is strictly regimented allowing you to teach only "their" way.

    Another benefit would be to take both, then if you find yourself at an SSI only shop you can still do OW dive referrals for PADI people. This would make you more of an asset since most instructors aren't diversified, they did one or the other certification.
  6. tgaiennie

    tgaiennie Instructor, Scuba


    Both agencies follow the Training Criteria if the Recreational Scuba Training Council. You will receive quality training from either organization. I am a PADI Master Instructor and have had many SSI open water divers take additional training through me. I have never run into a SSI diver who was not properly trained.

    That being said, I firmly believe the instructor makes the training. You have some instructors who will do the bare minimum, and you have others who are firmly commited to making sure new divers are properly trained.

    I highly recommend you look around meet the instructors, and make your decision based on who would you let train your loved ones. This is a very high standard.

    As for possibly becoming an instructor, PADI is the largest and best known certification agency. They allow you to train independently of a shop. They also have more shops all over the world, so if you are planning on relocating The PADI certification can be more advantageous.

    Best of luck in your endeavour, and welcome to the underwater world.
  7. Web Monkey

    Web Monkey Omniheurist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    I'd go with whichever has the best instructors in your area.

    Talk to people who have taken classes from the shops you're considering, and ask them what they thought they got out of the various classes they took.

    It will be pretty easy to figure out which shops/instructors are actually doing a good job of teaching, and which are simply running through the course so you can pass the test.


  8. sharkbaitDAN

    sharkbaitDAN PADI Pro

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle
    I didn't notice if anyone metioned this...

    It doesn't matter what your OW cert is when you want to get more advanced. You can go back and forth between agencies if you wanted. I would agree with everyone that you should go with the instructor you are more comfortable with. Agency will not matter.
  9. frenchy07

    frenchy07 Solo Diver

    For me it was easy, PADI. 2 shops in my area and both are PADI. Liked the attitude of one and not the other so went with the one that made me feel the most comfortable. I like SSI but not the 3 hour drive to get to one but in the future if there is a SSI shop that makes me feel comfortable I won't hesitate to work through their program.

    As a professional instructor in public education (I like that phrase better than "teacher") the student can only learn as well as the instructor can teach. I work to maintain rigor in my instruction and expect the same when learning.

  10. JD.Gattis

    JD.Gattis Guest

    Well after meeting with instructors with the ssi program ive desided to go with that. Also one advantage is they have there own dive pool indoors. 1st class setup. The padi class i would have had to take class at store on some nights and go to a pool 45 min away to do the water classes.

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