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Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Jody Freitas, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    1,130
    1,491
    I've found most courses to be less than I was hoping for, but never useless. I think you can get a lot out of just diving with more experienced buddies, but formal instruction does often mean you learn more in a shorter time. Sometimes it's less about the course content than the instructor, and sometimes it's less about what you learn than about just having a safe environmentto try new things. I took a night diving course in which I ended up being the only student. A local dive shop organizes weekly night dives, and I wanted to join. But I'm a little shaky on surf entries in general, and felt especially apprehensive doing them in the dark. It was really helpful to me to have a professional looking out for me as I pushed my own personal comfort envelope. It also happened that my instructor was a marine biologist, so he taught me a lot about the critters. I'm thinking of taking the deep course just so I can have someone looking out for me the first time I get narced.

    AOW was pretty helpful for me as a brand-new diver; I think it would have been less helpful after I'd gotten in 25-50 dives. Since you may need it to get on some boats going to deeper sites, why not do it now, while you can get more out of it?
     
  2. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47

    I just picked up your book on Kindle.
     
    Jim Lapenta likes this.
  3. formernuke

    formernuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New England
    2,895
    2,614
    Nitrox and drysuit. Being northeast if you want to do deeper dives even in the warmer months a drysuit is preferred. Plus it expands your dive season so you can get more experience.

    Which club are you a member of?
     
    Esprise Me likes this.
  4. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    MetroWest
     
  5. Lostdiver71

    Lostdiver71 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Jupiter, Florida, United States
    403
    300
    Find a good instructor that teaches beyond the standards, the agency doesn't matter as much. Definitely take the prerequisites for Rescue Diver with whichever agency and get rescue certified. Nitrox, solo, deep and night diver courses are also ones I would take when you get the chance, night diving is great if you take a vacation to a tropical location! I have actually been asked for a solo card at a facility before even though I am an Instructor and the maximum depth at the location was 35 feet, if you want to dive some places you have to follow their rules even if they make no sense.
     
    Boston Breakwater likes this.
  6. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    596
    357
    You didn’t mention which agency you are looking at for AOW. For SSI, they are all elective, but Deep, Night, & Nav are often chosen, and recommended, but I don’t believe it is an SSI requirement. In my case, I took those three. I had also previously done Nitrox with SSI, so that counted as one of my 4 specialties. You might already have what you need with the three you are planning.
    I use a 19 cu ft pony. It mounts to my main tank with a couple of straps. I believe the straps were made by Zeagle. Inverted so I can reach the valve easily. That requires a longer hose.
     
  7. jejton

    jejton Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    120
    39
    This sounds pretty amazing. I took AOW last year locally in south Florida and was extremely dissapointed. I was given the PADI book to read and taken on 4 certifying dives. No didactic, minimal discussion and left not feeling much more confident or knowledgeable than before. Luckily I have filled in some of that gap by learning from friends and divemasters on subsequent dives but I really would like to get some more in-depth training to nail some of these things down.
     
    Barnaby'sDad likes this.
  8. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    1,197
    1,000
    That’s unfortunate on your AOW course, but it’s great that your friends and some DMs have helped fill in the blanks.

    What you get out of the AOW course is entirely dependent upon your instructor. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen posts with people talking about how they didn’t learn anything useful from their AOW class. I don’t think that’s the fault of the curriculum, but the manner in which it was delivered.
     
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    14,620
    3,998
    The course I took was pretty good. Navigation and Search & Recovery dives were the best. Deep only went to 63', but that's where the boat went in winter on the FL panhandle. I did all the knowledge reviews in the (paper of course, 2005) manual, which can't hurt.
    Pretty basic stuff. But, I only had 6 post AOW dives then. Many have said that you pick up a lot of this stuff by just diving with more experienced divers. Then if you do enough diving and take AOW because some charters require it to go below 60', you may not get much out of it.
     
  10. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    596
    357
    That’s disappointing. While largely due to the instructor, the PADI AOW course is different from most other agencies. SSI, for instance, gives you an AOW card after completion of 4 specialties. PADI AOW is more of an introduction to 4 specialties. Most other agencies call it Advanced Adventurer, or similar.

    My AOW course was pretty decent. I can’t say that I learned a ton, but that was mostly because I had years of diving under my belt at the time. The instructor was great, and took time to go through everything. Though Rescue wasn’t a specialty I was taking at the time, I did get to participate in a rescue of another student. Panicked at depth, largely unresponsive and gurgling at the surface. My instructor (shop owner) and a young instructor from the same shop (just arrived with OW student) handled everything perfectly. I learned quite a bit on that dive.
     

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