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Classes to be a great well rounded diver?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by NCK, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. NCK

    NCK Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: California
    60
    21
    8
    I know most take specialty classes as needed. But as someone that normally travels half the year and the world is closed I'm just bored. I don't live near any great diving (Monterey 150+ miles) and for the little diving close by finding a buddy can be an issue. But I can take classes just for something to do. Not trying to say don't just get out there and dive more.

    Hypothetically, If you were guna take classes to make you a good/better all around diver from OW what would you take? I guess what I mean is get you up to DM level diver but without the working in the industry part. Build yourself a well rounded skills package.

    As far as specialty choices. If you had to pick one that would make you a over all better diver which would you pick, which did you get the most benefit from.

    I know this is kinda random but I have been thinking about what it would take to get me to a profession level of diving, not a dive professional, I have no interest in working in the dive industry.
     
  2. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,613
    573
    113
    lots of good knowledge based classes out there. nitrox and science of diving being only 2 of them.

    for myself personally, if i was to recommend one class above all that would improve most divers, it would be a cavern class. it was a real eye opener and ended up completely changing how i approached diving.
     
    NAM001, txgoose and Esprise Me like this.
  3. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    13,996
    3,680
    113
    Maybe Underwater Nav. I rarely use most of the stuff learned, but I feel better knowing I know that stuff. Sometime in the future I may take the solo (Self Reliant) course. I always dive solo anyway, but usually shallower than 30'. I'm sure there are a few things I could pick up from that course, plus an instructor freind here is quailfied to teach it (previously it was never offered here).
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  4. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    16,495
    12,984
    113
    Depends a lot on your diving conditions. Given the viz in my home waters and that we dive independent buddy pairs without an in-water DM to hold our hand, a Nav class would be a waste of time and money for me. I had to do that crap from my first post-OWD dive unless I wanted to surface at a quite different spot than where my boat was, or where I waded into the water. I seriously doubt if a PADI Nav class would've given me anything of value.
     
  5. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    946
    1,188
    93
    Nitrox is a good class that helped me better understand some of the stuff that was rushed through in OW about nitrogen loading. It can also be done without getting in the water, so that's a plus for you.

    If you live up in NorCal, a drysuit course may be a good idea. You can learn without a course, but the course is helpful, and the cert allows you to rent a drysuit (you can buy one without it).

    Rescue is usually recommended, and for good reason. Some would like to see it folded into OW. With PADI, I believe you need at least the Adventure Diver (3/5 of the Advanced Open Water course) to take Rescue. You might as well get AOW, since some boats going to deeper or more challenging sites insist on it. Plus, it's like a sampler platter of specialty courses; you might find something you want to pursue further.

    There are also a lot of good books out there if you'd like some recommendations.
     
  6. admikar

    admikar DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
    717
    321
    63
    Classes are fine. Choice depends on YOUR circumstances. Night, nitrox, drysuit, rescue, navigation. Some are required, eg. nitrox, to be able to get a fill. Do whatever class YOU think will benefit you. Best course of action is to find experienced buddy which will mentor you through expanding your limits.
     
    NAM001 and Bob DBF like this.
  7. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    2,657
    2,115
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    You can take all the cert classes in the world and have tons of knowledge and still be a shite diver.

    If you want to be a well rounded diver then go out and dive.

    The skill sets of divemasters is so varied and the standard to become one is so low that I would not recommend you use DM as a benchmark. There are plenty of great divers in the world without pro level certs...find a couple and dive with them...emulate what they do well, evaluate what they show and tell you, adopt what makes sense and stands up to logic and scrutiny.

    Most of all get out and dive in different conditions and environments....this is the key to becoming a well rounded diver.

    Taking lots of scuba cert classes does not make you a well rounded diver, it makes you a well rounded student.

    As you gain experience you will reallize on your own what cert classes you should pursue...for now put that money into air fills and boat rides.

    Cheers,
    -Z
     
  8. Addicted2H2O

    Addicted2H2O One of those damn FFM divers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Denton, TX
    837
    590
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    Have to agree with what Zef said above. Classes are great and all and the knowledge base is there, but without real world experience to draw from they don't really mean much. Dive, dive, dive and figure out the areas you feel you could use some improvement in and go from there. There are two classes I would recommend considering, though and they are Advanced Buoyancy and Rescue. AB will give you a better understanding of buoyancy and trim and teach you some tips & tricks on how to improve in that area. I'd recommend that to ANY diver that hasn't been through it honestly. And of course Rescue seems like it would be self-explanatory, but the main focus of the course isn't so much on the task of actually performing a rescue. It teaches more about situational awareness and what to look for in yourself, your environment, and other divers to prevent incidents/accidents from occurring and of course teaches you how to handle issues when they do arise. Most rescue classes have a minimum dive count (usually 25 or so) that you have to have completed before you can qualify for the class so again get out there and dive and get yourself accustomed to being in the water and being aware of your surroundings. Get comfortable with taking your time and remembering not to panic when issues come up during a dive. Generally, circumstances aren't nearly as dire as you might think they are and you have plenty of time to handle issues safely as they occur. Apart from those two classes, though, just Dive. The rest will come.
     
  9. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    16,495
    12,984
    113
    Not everyone is able to find a competent mentor. One of the great things about European dive club culture, but I'm digressing. Again.

    For those not able to find a competent mentor, a class with a good instructor may be a great way to extend their diving in a safe way.
     
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    13,996
    3,680
    113
    Agree. You could make good use of those skills in the right locations and conditions. I get turned around a lot on lm shallow dives shell hunting (even though I'm familiar with most of the sites). Sometimes it's just easier to surface and see where you are than to start with all the compass stuff.
     

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