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AOW before Tech?

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by jtsfour, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Germie

    Germie Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    For the TS and Preach:

    Remember: If you want and want to work for it, go for it. With this in your mind, you can learn technical diving. Some faster than others, but if you are lazy, the way to learn it will be an impossible one.
    Yes, sometimes there are divers that don't have the talent and feeling to learn it, but most can learn if they really want.
    Technical diving means the right skills and the right mindset. It starts with the mindset, then practising the skills. If you dive 200 times a year you can progress faster than that you do only 30 dives a year. 30 dives is a low amount if you want to progress to a technical diver.

    18 is young, but it is the age of consent. Some people never get responsible enough, others can be at 18. I agree with preach. Not every diver need a gatekeeper course, but 18 is not too young to decide you want to go tech. And an intro to tech course can be helpfull for some divers. Or as mentioned before the right buddies or mentor.

    Backmount or sidemount is a personal one, both can work in caves.
    LakeCountyDiver and taimen like this.
  2. LakeCountyDiver

    LakeCountyDiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida
    OP, dont let anyone tell you you are too young or not ready. No one at 18 is too young to learn. If you want adv. trimix cave then go for it. Don't listen to these pretentious morons who say you can't do it or shouldn't.

    Seek out training and learn. Dive dive dive. If you put your mind to it you can do it.

    If you move toward cavern and want a buddy let me know I'd be happy to dive with you and show you some of the cool caverns we have in N.FL.
    tbone1004, jtsfour and Preach like this.
  3. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    While I would certianly encourage you to follow your dreams / aspirations, hopefully your use of the word 'record' in the above context is just poor terminology / slip of the pen as it were, and not your underlying mindset / goal.
    RainPilot likes this.
  4. jadairiii

    jadairiii Contributor

    I would forget AOW for now and (forgetting the dogma attached) if you are really interested in Cave then GUE Fundamentals is a must, it will very quickly give you some needed skills. Then get a "tec" pass, that will put you into doubles and prepare you for those additional skills. I would also get squared away diving a dry suit long before you consider cave. There is nothing taught in a standard AOW class that will really help in Cave.

    In the mean time, dive and dive some more. Practice those skills you learned in the above classes, play around with stage bottles in shallow water, lots and lots of S-drills, valve drills and all the kicks. You will be way ahead of the curve in any Cave class if you do the above
  5. NAM001

    NAM001 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: the moon
    one thing that lots of divesa gives you is this: being exposed to (you and your buddy) to failures sand problems. through that ,,,you learn to realize that the only emergency is OOA and the rest is an temp annoyance. in a cave you do not have the luxury to just head up. That means you have to, with a buddy, think identify your problem and fix it. that can not come in 2 x 4hr days in a class room.
  6. jtsfour

    jtsfour Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Alabama
    While i do keep track of my "records" that is not my underlying goal or mindset. My underlying goal is one of exploration. I'm am not trying to push limits.
  7. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    Then with all due respect, at this stage in your diving progression, I suggest you look on them as 'accomplishments' as opposed to 'records', so you don't get into that mindset. Just some friendly advice is all.

    Oh, as an aside, if your goal is exploration, which I commend your for, I think it inevitable one day you will find yourself "pushing the limits", even if only your own.

    I wish you all the best on your journey!
    RainPilot likes this.
  8. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    I would say take AOW now because, well, why not? It takes, what, two days of your "precious time"? You take the class, you get a card. It's not going to directly help you reach your goal of tech diving, but again, AOW takes all of two days out of your life and a relative pittance out of your wallet. If you have a good instructor, it can be fun. So why not?

    The road to tech, in contrast, can take YEARS and cost thousands of dollars in gear and training. Generally, you don't just take a course and voila you're a tech diver. Rather, you might take an introductory course such as Intro to Tech or GUE Fundamentals, learn to dive doubles and drysuit, maybe a Cavern class, and all the time continue diving and improving your skills until you're ready for the next phase. Along the way you might learn to service your own regulators. You'll likely spend time on all sorts of things that don't seem directly related to tech training. The route you end up taking may not be as straight as it looks right now. It can be slow going. AOW is nuthin' in comparison.
  9. SnohomishDiver

    SnohomishDiver Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Monroe, WA
    As a 65-year old newbie OW diver (certified in 2008, never dove, now starting up again) I have no advise regarding the technical path you might take. My question is your motive for your end goal - why do you want to be a certified kick-ass cave diver in 2-3 years? Your motivation for the goal is going to bias everything you do along the path to enlightenment.

    Do you want to dive caves purely for recreation - diving in caves already mapped and available to explore? Are you wanting to push the boundaries and explore new passages? Do you want to join a team that is linking systems in Florida, Mexico, etc? Perhaps you're of a scientific bent and are interested in aquatic speleology. Just to become a "cave diver" is sort of a vague goal. You'll retain your motivation to navigate the complex chain of instruction and experience outlined by others if your goal is more concrete - "I want to dive Sump 7 at Sistema Huautla."

    Although I'm a newbie diver, I have accomplished a few other things so far in my life. I'm an experienced alpine mountaineer, achieved a paraglider pilot license, and was a high level ski instructor for many years. None of those achievements were done for just for the sake of having another notch in my belt. They all came from a love of nature and the natural environment.

    If you look deep into your motivations for this cave quest - you just might find an interesting and thrilling career path. My interest in mountaineering drove me to college degrees in geology - and at retirement age I'm still in love with my profession as a geologist. Maybe a bit of introspection in this area will help you resolve questions more important than "do I need AOW or not", but would a degree in marine biology or geomorphology or entymology or archeaology or maybe even geology springboard your love of diving into something really interesting? Just think, pursuing the right Ph.D. might get you free training with NOAA or USGS, maybe even NASA. At 18, the possibilities are nearly limitless. My simple advice - don't lock your thinking in on something as limited as a certificate with your name on in. :)
  10. almostDIR

    almostDIR Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Finland
    the Fundies would probably be the best way to go if you have good instructors near you. you will need lots of time to practice the propulsion techniques and fundies may speed up the process a lot.

    the AOW could be useful in other ways so you could do it as well depending on how much it costs and how easy it is to arrange. it would be good if the instructor would have technical diving experience as well so you could get more out of the aow.
    If you decide to do the aow then it might be useful to add the deep specialty as well if it can be made on the same dives.

    remember that PADI teaches the drysuit buoyancy control with the suit only as a primary method (single tank agency heh) when with large doubles one would rely primarily on the wing or combine the two. So the PADI drysuit method basically does not work on tech and you have to learn both techniques. My personal experience is that with single tanks it MAY be easier to control the suit than the wing if using a large wing where one could "lose the air bubble" more easily when the weights are spot on and thus the amount of balance air is very small. In contrast, drysuit is hell of a difficult to control if you need lots of balance air which is why it does not work well as primary method when consuming lots of air during the dive (full doubles emptied during a single dive etc)

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