is this class worth it...Advanced Buoyancy Clinic (ABC)?
Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
When I had a few hundred dives completed, I thought I was a total master of buoyancy. My first technical diving class taught me I was a raw beginner.
The reason was that I was just learning by diving, and the diving I was doing was the typical recreational diving in which true mastery of buoyancy is unnecessary. Once I was forced into a different environment with a different set of standards, I realized how much I had to learn.
Once I had gone down that path, I saw how much a true beginner can improve when taken out of the typical basic recreational diver domain and shown what true buoyancy really means. A good instructor is critical to that development. In that learning environment, a student can pick it up much more quickly than through simply diving; in fact, it is quote possible that it can never be learned that way.
A couple of years ago I was diving with a very experienced group of recreational divers in Ni'ihau, Hawai'i. We went into a room in a coral formation. There was an unusual specimen in a corner of the room. I swam over to it, my chest in inch or two from the ground, my tank nearly touching the ceiling, and my head about 6 inches from the wall. I topped there and hovered there motionless, watching the specimen (a rare species of lobster) for a while. I then backed up until I had a little more room, turned around in place, and swam off, never touching anything in that environment.
When we returned to the boat, that maneuver became an object of discussion. For me, it was nothing--I couldn't have passed Intro to Tech without being able to do that. For the others it was something they had never seen. I repeat that story with some trepidation. Some people will see it as bragging, but anyone who has really learned advanced buoyancy skills will know how really basic and unimpressive that moment really was and wonder why I bothered to mention it.
If you take the advanced buoyancy class I teach, you will learn those skills and more. You will need to practice them, because they can't be learned in a day. On the other hand, you can take a class that calls itself advance buoyancy but teaches little more than you learned in your open water class.
Find out what the class is teaching before you decide how worthwhile it is.
I am not saying people do not need to learn. I am saying if they have been trained properly to begin with they should have all the basic skills needed to work this out on their own with a little advice.
You have also said that you can get proper buoyancy from reading books and the internet. The PADI OW requires that you own a copy of the manual which goes in to detail about weighting and trim... however the reality is that many many divers have fairly poor buoyancy skills.
Thus people are calling you out on that.
IME divers can make a few dedicated buoyancy dives by themselves or do a little buoyancy work over a lot of different ones. Or they can have a dedicated buoyancy class with a diving instructor who has training and experience in making better divers.
Does holding a 'black card' make an instructor worth spit? I don't think so and I would advise people to do some research before dropping dollars in to a buoyancy class just as I would for any scuba class, or driving class, or piano class. Do your research as there are plenty of muppets out there pretending to know what they're doing.
Just holding a license means nothing so: Caveat emptor.
For anyone truly wanting to learn buoyancy and trim, a cavern class is a fun way to get the training and add some other critical skills at the same time. I have only met a few cave/cavern instructors who do not do this well, so your chances of getting an excellent instructor are high. On top of that, you'll really broaden the scope of the places you can dive!
I think most of you are making my point for me. It is not taking you 100s of dives over the course of years to learn buoyancy, you are perfecting what you have learned. This is what I have said from the start and unless this $100 ABC course involves 100s of dives you are not going to perfect it there either. If a diver understands the basics that diver should be able to do what you have done. Sure there are a lot of divers who have poor skills just like there are a lot of people driving cars with poor skills. To paraphrase the OPs question "Would my money be better spent on another course?" I would still say yes. As I would to most other people but there is always going to be a few people who need extra training. I do not think a guy working toward getting his DM is one of them.
Being an instructor or on the instructor path has nothing to do with being a well rounded diver. If you want to learn bouyancy control, I agree that the best thing to do is take a cavern class. You'll learn a lot of other useful skills, and it's way more interesting than doing helicopter turns in some freezing quarry or something.
It was just below freezing and snow was falling steadily. As we stepped toward that portal separating a cold and dreary world from the tranquility and wonder of another dimension teeming with life and color a passer-by shook his head and muttered "crazy". Poor fool. If he only knew. (Airsix)
A cavern class is going to cost way more than $100 ... especially if you live someplace where they don't have any caverns ...
A good class that really teaches advanced buoyancy skills will also cost more than $100. If cavern is not available, you may be able to find a good class that is available . You can take one in Colorado, where we have nothing resembling a cavern, from several shops, but as I suggested above, you have to know what you are looking for. For many and perhaps shops, what they call advanced buoyancy is hardly advanced.
wow! this is a hot topic. thanks for all the feedback. I actually decided to enroll in it an was giving a deal because I enrolled in nitrox also. It is only 50.00 and they are a very decent dive shop and school down here in the sourthern states. I would say the best around with greta instructors. I have asked what the class entails and it seems worth it. I know the instructor well and dove with him.
My website - Chipola Divers - Sidemount, Technical, Rebreather, & Cave Diving Instruction & Mentoring
It's Cyber Monday! Visit Chipola Divers, LLC online store for great deals today!
We have great deals on KISS, SEAC, Tilly Tec, Ralph Hood reels, EezyCut, a CO analyzer for less than $200, and more!