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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. Scubagolf

    Scubagolf ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sacramento, California, USA
    We have been to French Polynesia three times in the past 10 years, diving with a number of operators. We did not run into any overt anti-PADI sentiment from any operator.
    Chugwhump likes this.
  2. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    I have dove in quite a few countries...I never had any issues of them accepting my PADI cards. They are, however, checking out my dive skills on the first couple of dives. The only time I had any issues was in Coz and I dived liked I had 15 dives under my belt...which is what I had. This DM did not want to deal with my inexperience and treated me like crap. The next day I had a different DM and I had a great time...plus I watched and learned from this DM. I showed my appreciation with a very large tip. BTW...the French don't like to tip either.
  3. oszillodrom

    oszillodrom Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austria
    Where I worked (in Borneo), the few American customers we had were well-liked because they were great tippers!
    cmulvaney and grantwiscour like this.
  4. ev780

    ev780 Barracuda

    I have heard this sentiment many times over the years. I will offer...

    *Diving in the 60's was a very different animal. The equipment, our knowledge of diving physiology, reasons for diving and the participants in the sport all different.
    *There was not any other classes so yeah, initial cert may have combined OW/AOW/Rescue
    *Technology has made us all safer. As the technology matures training becomes easier. Excellent BC's make buoyancy a snap. Computers rendered math irrelevant. Regs rarely fail.
    *One theory may be that the agencies saw a way to extract more money from divers by dividing up certification into separate classes
    *I don't suspect there was a specific "dumbing down" of the curriculum. But breaking out the components into separate classes may make for better learning. Same happens in lots of activities/professions. Initial training---experience---mid level training----experience----advanced training----Experience......etc, etc. Very legitimate way of managing progression.

    So yeah maybe there are higher standards out there when not separated into different classes. But I feel that as a minimum the, OW---experience---AOW----experience----Rescue/nitrox----Experience......system is as good as any. Is the European/British model just PADI's three class series put into one bundle? Not so much more rigorous just packaged differently.
  5. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

    French Polynesia is administratively part of the French Republic and is therefore (I guess, never having been) part of the FFESSM dive system. In France the PADI system is widely understood but most divers certify with FFESSM. The FFESSM system is recognised by CMAS and has equivalence, but it is not CMAS. I am guessing that the outfit was FFESSM and the anti-PADI attitude is not some sort of racist viewpoint of US citizens (although unpleasant stereotypes of "yanks" is as common in the wider world as it is about "frogs")

    There is some "snobbery" towards other agencies by certain people trained or training in FFESSM. There are one or two dive shops in France like that, but it certainly isn't a universal view. The one big difference is decompression diving, as PADI doesn't have a deco certification this often can be the root cause of such regrettable "superiority". (PADI, of course, has now brought in decompression diving through DSAT.) The big grumble is generally PADI OWSI who find they cannot teach in France as they don't have a deco certification. IANTD went down the CMAS route a while back so if you have IANTD Adv Nitrox this goes down well (Nitrox Confirmée).

    PADI AOW has always been a weird one as it's not by any means an "advanced" certification but it is often sold that way. Rescue diver (and all the higher PADI certifications) is CMAS 2 star and I have never heard of anyone having an issue with that. However the FFESSM depth limits are less generous at this level and this too can be annoying. CMAS 3 star lets you dive pretty much as you like, but does need some decompression certification. In France (not much help in this instance I admit) you can get a course to cross over from PADI Rescue, with Deep Speciality to FFESSM level 3 (CMAS 3 star). These courses are called "passerelles" or pass overs. (Passerelles PADI - ANMP/CEDIP - FFESSM/CMAS à Paris - Ecole de plongée) Such a thing should be available I would think in Polynesia if you wanted to do enough diving there to justify it.
    sebach likes this.
  6. agilis

    agilis ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: N.J.
    Scuba training in the US has clearly been dumbed down over the past several decades. One can dispute the reasons, but the evidence of observation is compelling.

    Certainly, there is a considerable difference between the average student of earlier eras and many contemporary students. Long ago, every new diver was expected to be fully prepared by having good swimming skills, to be completely comfortable and experienced in the water, and to accept a rigorous, lengthy, and demanding training experience.

    This has changed significantly, with scuba frequently perceived as being just another 'activity' attached to a vacation trip, or as something that seems interesting to people with very little previous interest or contact who have seen appealing TV documentaries. There is nothing wrong with this, but it has greatly changed the profile of the average newcomer to diving. The inevitable result has been that training has evolved to fit the student.

    There are a number of states in which the ability to parallel park is no longer a requirement for obtaining a driver's license. It was simply too difficult for a population that, to an ever increasing extent, no longer regards driving as a complex skill to be mastered. Idiot lights have replaced gauges on automobiles. Can scuba be far behind? One amusing result has been a number of failed carjackings because the thief was unable to drive a standard shift.

    Scuba diving, like driving, has responded to economic and social imperatives. This seems to be less true in Europe, with its more demanding standards and requirements in so many activities, but from the little I've seen of divers from Asia they appear to be following the American model.
    dead dog, 993guy and cmulvaney like this.
  7. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    Not sure if you're aware of it, but PADI has changed in the last year with a total updated to their training. We will all be seeing a much different newly PADI certified diver on the boats with us.
  8. Freewillow

    Freewillow Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brussels
    Cannot agree more with Chris and a few others. I am belgian, mainly from PADI training but also CMAS and IANTD.

    As people have said, you can find "idiots" from every country and the "french arrogance" is as renowned for us as the "US arrogance" :wink:, although placed on other subjects. But I do not want to start this fight :kiss2:

    Be aware that a lot of dives in the Tuamotu ( french polynesia ) is done beyond the No deco curve. Therefore the "doubs" on most US or non french divers.

    To summarize, the "french" educational system has been driven by the elimination of the incapable one while the US educationalsystem tends to help most of the student to succeed. So the diving education follows this image. The french Diving system in governed by federal laws, is not money driven and has been quite a bit "macho" traditionally. For PADI, THE referrence in the world, it system is in fact very US oriented, more friendly, all sex equals and $ driven..........:cool2:

    To speak from my personal experience, I trained for my PADI Dive Master in a BIG PADI School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida quite a few years back. I was surprised that some people, with only a few dozens of dives under their belt, could go trough Divemaster and Instructor in a few weeks. No one failed and god knows that I would not take some of them as instabuddies :shakehead:. If I rember well, some 50 dives was a requirement. Therefore, the suggestion was made to break one hour shallow dives into two dives of 30 minutes, just by surfacing for a minute. When you know that and you understand what it takes to pass N3, the equivalent of Rescue divers, no doubd that the french have a sense of superiority. They acquire one at birth :)
    Chugwhump, danvolker and agilis like this.
  9. DeepSeaExplorer

    DeepSeaExplorer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cave Country
    I might be doing the IDC in the spring and I'm looking at the new PADI Encyclopedia of Rec Diving and I'm fairly impressed with the new version. It's a big upgrade since the one in 1999. In all the different courses I've taken with different agencies, PADI's training materials have stood out as the most well written and thorough. Many of the other manuals were replete with misspellings, poor sentence structure, general incompleteness, etc.
  10. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    Getting back to the OP - this has been addressed in other threads on FP diving, the Police 'oversee' diving there. I'm an Aussie with CMAS certifications because I happen to love diving FP. Those CMAS cards will come in handy in other French protectorates like Reunion.
    vincent54 likes this.

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