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.
Here's my question. I'm about to go pro (over the next 2 years) and want to know from other SSI DM's and Dive Cons why you went with SSI instead of another agency. What are the advantages of going with SSI? I've also posted in going pro asking why others decided not to go with SSI. So if you have why nots please use this link and post them there.
I did my DM with a PADI shop first, but I liked the SSI shop in town much better, so I did my dive con with them, which is equivalent to padi AI. For me it wasn't the agency as much as the dive shop owners, the SSI shop just takes better care of his Instructors and assistants.
Soonerwink, that's where I am right now with my decision whether to go with SSI or not. The shop that I like the best is an SSI shop with a large amount of inventory, as budget minded as an LDS can be, indoor pool on site and a really good staff. The other shops around are small and don't have a pool but I wouldn't have to work out of their location... I'm going in this week to meet with the owner and talk about what is expected of me and what type of support I will gain from them.
I went with SSI mainly because I was very impressed by the quality of the folks at the LDS I was working with (botht he staff, other instructors, and friends). Eventually though I did a cross over and also was certified as a PADI isntructor (mainly so I could go independent and increase revenue potential).
My experience stems from experiencing better education. I was going to go through my DM course with my original OW instructor, as I had been with her through all my continuing education all the way through. Still being a rather newer diver, I don't know what I don't know, I didn't know that there was better out there. I did a 2 weekend course. 1 weekend class & pool & the next week end of open water dives. That was the only type of course she taught, I had no idea there was any other type of course. As I later came to find out, I was only taught to the very basic standards. We were only required to perform the skills one time in the pool & 1 time in open water. Was I trained to dive coming out of OW? I would say (with hind sight) marginally. Was I comfortable with my skills? No I was not, but I was told, "you did great!", "your skills are very good". Who am I to question an instructor.
As stated earlier, I was supposed to start a PADI DM course with her in Jan. a few years ago. The course was supposed to start in late Jan./ early Feb. I went to check on the course in early Jan. & to buy books. I was then told that there were a couple of high school students who could not start until school was out in early May. I wasn't happy,... but that is life at times. In late April, I went back to inquire again about the class. This time I was told that the class was being postponed (again) until Sept. when the youngest of the high school students turned 18. This was 9 mos. after the class was supposed to start. How long was I going to have to keep putting my life on hold for the class to start? I found another local shop was going to begin a DM (Dive Con) course soon. I talked with the instructor & was impressed with the information he gave me. I was further impressed when I took a Nitrox from him, as my original OW instructor did not offer Nitrox. Once the course started, I was then introduced to having students repeat skills again & again. I also had my eyes opened that my skills weren't as good as I had been lead to believe.
My current instructor was kind enough to take my under his wing & he worked with me 1 on 1 to get my skills where they belonged & made sure I was comfortable with them. It was a lot of work on his & my part, but he got me there. I learned what quality was, not just the basics. Agency? Instructor? I would say both.
The only negative to SSI is having to be affiliated with a dive shop, though in my case, that's not such a bad thing. The Owner/ head instructor treats us (his staff) very well. We get many perks, are treated with respect as professionals & we are backed up with the resources of the shop. It's a give & take, as is anything dealing with diving. Where you have to give something up, you gain something.