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American divers get no respect

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by kneptoon, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. kneptoon

    kneptoon Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    I have been diving in French Polynesia the past two summers and I have run up against a distinct disdain for American divers based on our predominant certification agency; PADI. You get no respect. Dive operators sneer at the mention of PADI. Fortunately, I also have various certifications from NAUI, SSI, and the YMCA in addition to PADI, so I managed a little more street cred. I asked a friend of mine while there what is the big difference between CMAS (the predominant French certifying agency) and PADI. The laws of physics don't change between certifying agencies. So what is the big deal? Is it just snobbery (I know a French snob, sounds unlikely). She answered that the majority of problems they have with divers are mostly US or Aussie divers. Is CMAS so different? So much better?
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Yes. CMAS standards are much higher than PADI'S for new divers. More skills, more thorough knowledge, and more requirements for divers to dive independently.
  3. muzikbiz22

    muzikbiz22 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Southern California
    Sounds more like "French Pride", to me. In my travels, I've never experienced a "nose up" at a PADI cert of any level, and yes we are all aware of freshly certified, cruise ship-vacation divers and we often discuss them, but never usually "cop an attitude" with them. If anyone is a steward of our beloved sport/hobby/profession, you won't be an a$$ towards them. But as most of us know, there are plenty of attitudes & egos swimming around with a tank on their back. If anything, there might be an attitude towards Americans in general, not just Padi Cert'd American divers. Neither Darwin or stupidity care about your cert, why should anyone else ??
  4. dmoore19

    dmoore19 Denizen of the PUB ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Frozen He**, Stay Away!
    Name the op. I will be sure to never darken their doorstep.
  5. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    Like everything in life, actions speak louder than words, or in this case, how you dive will quickly have the dive op forgetting who you were certified with 10 years ago.
  6. demed

    demed Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Kirkland, Washington, United States
    CMAS is when government gets in charge of teaching diving. I trained with CMAS standards in Europe in the seventies, and nothing has changed since for them - if they were still being sold, they would continue to support horse collar and J-valves.
    JJ666 and Omisson like this.
  7. AndrewRawlingson

    AndrewRawlingson Barracuda

    there is a stereotype of needy, obese american divers who are too fat to put their own fins on. like all sterotypes, it's bull****. i have met good/bad divers from many countries and good/bad divers trained by various different agencies.
    lsorenson, Pearlman and Searcaigh like this.
  8. dmoore19

    dmoore19 Denizen of the PUB ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Frozen He**, Stay Away!
    Looks to me like they worship the same thing PADI is purported to worship. $$$$$ If they don't like American or Aussie divers all they need to do is say so up front. If there is that much disdain then perhaps they should just quit taking their reservations and their money.
    NAM001 and Chugwhump like this.
  9. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: British Virgin Islands
    Well, I think this is part of a wider phenomenon - you see the same thing with British divers and BSAC sometimes. I think it has less to do with agency standards than the fact that England and France are fairly challenging diving environments, so divers who come from those countries tend to be pretty hard core for the most part. If you meet a British diver then "do you use a rebreather" is a reasonable question, as about a third of them seem to.

    In the U.S., just by the law of averages, you would expect to see a lot more "fair weather" divers.

    But people who pass judgements based on generalisations inevitably end up looking foolish. (Or, if you are French, more foolish.)

    I do fondly remember my own diving experiences in French Polynesia. Unless memory plays me false, that may have been the last time I dived using a J-valve instead of an SPG (in the heady 1980s).
  10. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    Well, lets not just sweep this under the rug as stereotypes Jim is right when he said this:

    When I dived in French Polynesia, they let me know that there were different standards and the CMAS ones were higher than PADIs. PADI AOW means little to a CMAS dive operation, it doesn't equate apples to apples, you need to be Rescue certified to meet their criteria to dive below 30 meters.

    They also made it clear in casual conversations that they took your certification very seriously because there was a high level of legal accountability for not only a dive operator but for the dive master if there was an accident or an incident.
    NAM001 likes this.

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