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!

NEW for 2014 Access SBlogbook for members. It allows you to directly upload data from your dive computer, validate your logs digitally, link your dives to photos, videos, dive centers (9,000 on file), fishes (14,000 on file) and much more.

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: Sports Chalet PADI OW Course

 


  1. #1
    Registered


    Has not set a "status"
     

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles County
    Posts
    3

    Sports Chalet PADI OW Course

    Well, the name's Brendan, I'm a complete newb to diving and have never even done a discovery dive. I turn 15 on the 26th, and one of my good friends has his cert, so I thought I'd start diving as well. Having just come back from the Caribbean, I'm more eager to start this awesome hobby and just yesterday signed up for the Open Water diver course at the local Sports Chalet. I didn't even think beforehand to compare different organizations and dive shops, and now my ignorance has me somewhat concerned. Is Sports Chalet an adequate place to get my Open Water cert? Obviously it's a big name, and there are many Instructors that work at multiple stores across the entire chain, but does anyone know of quality control issues, or particularly large class sizes that may be detrimental to my learning process? I've got my "Orientation" tonight, and no real instruction until next weekend (which seems slightly odd to me). Anyways, I was just looking for some background on Sports Chalet's courses, the less-than-enthusiastic employee who signed me up at the Scuba area has me slightly worried.

    Thanks,

    Brendan
    I'm a Newb.

  2. #2
    Registered


    Has not set a "status"
     

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    west coast
    Posts
    1
    Dives
    1,000 - 1,999
    dont go to sport chalet you wont get quality training and they just try to sell you gear, go to a mom and pop shop where they care about you and your diving experience

  3. #3
    Captain Happy

    Go Red - Support SB!

    Has not set a "status"
     

    Puffer Fish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    10,834
    Dives
    2,500 - 4,999
    Photos
    813
    The quality of the instruction you get is first and for most about you...how hard you are willing to work... how much do you care. After that it is the instructor and what they teach. Don't know the specific instructor, so cannot comment on that specifically, but in general, yes. I know good divers from every agency.. and almost every type and size of class.

  4. #4
    Captain Happy

    Go Red - Support SB!

    Has not set a "status"
     

    Puffer Fish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    10,834
    Dives
    2,500 - 4,999
    Photos
    813
    Quote Originally Posted by pussiinstructor View Post
    dont go to sport chalet you wont get quality training and they just try to sell you gear, go to a mom and pop shop where they care about you and your diving experience
    pusslinstructor - understand your point of view, but unless you know specifics... that is not much help for Branden93.

  5. #5
    Equipment Manufacturer


    Manufacturer
     

    DiveNav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,379
    Dives
    200 - 499
    Photos
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan93 View Post
    Well, the name's Brendan, I'm a complete newb to diving and have never even done a discovery dive. I turn 15 on the 26th, and one of my good friends has his cert, so I thought I'd start diving as well. Having just come back from the Caribbean, I'm more eager to start this awesome hobby and just yesterday signed up for the Open Water diver course at the local Sports Chalet. I didn't even think beforehand to compare different organizations and dive shops, and now my ignorance has me somewhat concerned. Is Sports Chalet an adequate place to get my Open Water cert? Obviously it's a big name, and there are many Instructors that work at multiple stores across the entire chain, but does anyone know of quality control issues, or particularly large class sizes that may be detrimental to my learning process? I've got my "Orientation" tonight, and no real instruction until next weekend (which seems slightly odd to me). Anyways, I was just looking for some background on Sports Chalet's courses, the less-than-enthusiastic employee who signed me up at the Scuba area has me slightly worried.

    Thanks,

    Brendan
    Brendan,
    first and foremost ... WELCOME to this beautiful sport

    I got my OW, long time, at SC, then my DM via a Private Instructor and did my IDC (prep to become Instructor) with a "Mom and Pa" shop (Local Dive Store).

    I have found good - and few not soo good - Instructors across the board.
    As Puffer-Fish said earlier, what really counts is Your attitude toward learning.

    From Your post above, it seems to me that You will be fine and will become a very good diver. Just don't rush it.

    Last but not least, in case You do not know it already, You can now virtually dive online some of the local Southern California dive sites (including the popular Casino Point at Avalon - Catalina) using our free dive simulator available here --> www.ediving.us

    Regards,

    Alberto
    online eDiving service

  6. #6
    Photographer


    could use another Mai Tai
     

    livewire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    222
    Dives
    1,000+
    I'll defend Sport Chalet here also. I've met, worked with, and been out diving with various instructors over the years, including several from Sport Chalet. I don't think you can say generically that Sport Chalet sucks, or that Mom and Pop store X is better. When it comes to instruction, whether your course is good or not really depends on individual instructor.

    As far as quality control, PADI is the organization that sets the guidelines, and Sport Chalet is a PADI 5 Star Dive Center (their highest rating), which means they've met certain quality checks and requirements that PADI has set for quality of instruction, safety of students, etc. I can also tell you the Sport Chalet does provide some nice perks for instructors in hopes that they will attract and retain good instructors (covering instructor's insurance, discounts on gear, etc). But really I think you'll know if you're going to like your instructor or not soon after you meet them, and that's what counts. I wouldn't sweat the employee that signed you up... I've had that experience at Sport Chalet, too. Fortunately, they're not the ones teaching the course.

    Hope this helps!
    Santiago

  7. #7
    Registered


    Has not set a "status"
     

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles County
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the responses. I just got back from the Orientation which went okay. The Instructor seems fine, he talked to us about how the course works and then showed us some equipment out on the floor. My next question, which I guess was partially addressed, but should I purchase my basic gear (snorkel, mask, fins, boots, etc.) from Sports Chalet or should I head over to a real dive shop and look at their selection? I didn't find a ton to choose from at Sports Chalet, but I can't tell if that's the norm or not because I'm a newb to the entire diving world. Diving will be awesome, I'm very excited.

    Brendan
    I'm a Newb.

  8. #8
    Photographer


    could use another Mai Tai
     

    livewire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    222
    Dives
    1,000+
    Glad to hear it went well.

    I think snorkeling gear is fine to get there (mask, snorkel, boots, fins, gloves), since it's the same stuff you're going to find pretty much everywhere, even buying a tank there is fine, but BC, regulator, and even weights seem to be more expensive there, don't know why. I think they're carrying a Body Glove wetsuit that's somewhat reasonably priced ($280 I think?) but the ONeill one is like wicked expensive.

    Oh speaking of snorkels, SC does carry the AquaLung Impulse which is, in my opinion, one of the best snorkels ever manufactured. The hard core free divers would probably disagree, but for a new scuba diver in So. Cal, this thing is worth every penny.

    Best of luck!
    Santiago

  9. #9
    Registered


    Has not set a "status"
     

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles County
    Posts
    3
    Thanks Santiago, I'll look into that snorkel.
    I'm a Newb.

  10. #10
    Sr. Moderator


    Just dive.
     

    Teamcasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Near Pasadena, CA
    Dives
    500 - 999
    Photos
    205
    Sport Chalet has some very good instructors.
    They also have some quality gear and they have some inexpensive stuff as well. A note about masks, get one that fits, forget about price or brand name, try it out before you settle on one. Nothing will ruin your dive experience quicker than a leaky mask.
    Dave

    To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 64
    Last Post: October 20th, 2007, 02:06 AM
  2. Sports Chalet
    By Charles R in forum Basic Scuba Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: August 25th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  3. Sports Chalet Lobster Contest Ill Advised
    By drbill in forum Marine Life and Ecosystems
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: August 22nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
  4. Sports Chalet
    By Dive-aholic in forum Southwestern Region
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: March 9th, 2007, 10:35 AM
  5. Sports Chalet
    By SBP Studios in forum Southwestern Region
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: July 17th, 2006, 05:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •