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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. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    what a great line. i am def gonna steal that one.
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  2. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    I cannot say this response is entirely hypothetical.

    DM training CAN help you become a better diver. It expands your dive theory knowledge. I provides focused practice on performing basic dive skills. The practical applications provide a view of diving from the perspective of dive professionals, and that is informative.

    I pursued DM training with absolutely no interest in working as a DM, or becoming an Instructor. I pursued it because I wanted to become a better diver. The training helped me accomplish that goal. (OK, I ultimately became an Instructor, but that came about because of other events.) So, I would not necessarily rule that course of training (DM) out as a way of becoming a good/better diver.

    Another path to becoming a better diver is technical dive training. Whether or you really have an interest in deep dives, long dives, etc. is not necessarily the basis for deciding to pursue technical training. I learned to 'nail' my buoyancy control during that training, I learned to solve problems underwater during that training, I learned (more) about dive planning, I learned (more) about gases, decompression theory and reality, equipment (including maintenance), etc. through technical dive training. Yes, we often talk about how expensive it is to pursue technical diving, and I am not suggesting that you have to train all the way to trimix, or anything like that. But, you might find that pursuing an Intro to Tec course , as an example, would be beneficial.
    The challenge with picking one or more specific specialty courses is that the course AND the Instructor have to both be good, AND the Instructor needs to understand your overall goal - becoming a good/better diver - and be willing to focus the training in a way to help you achieve that goal. That is certainly possible, I am not suggesting it cannot be done, only that you will need to not just 'take a course' but engage the Instructor in your development, which may take a bit more time to find the right fit. Having said that, in terms of skills, I think highly of Search and Recovery as a specialty, to give one example. Learning to use and really control a lift bag is a skill that requires the ability to 'multitask', and good buoyancy control, among other things. Searching for lost objects promotes good planning, and requires situational awareness and competent compass use, among other things.
    Diving Dubai and Cdncoldwater like this.
  3. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    It depends on the focus of the DM class.

    Many years ago, when I was still climbing the PADI ladder, I decided that I wouldn't go further in that system. PADI's "go pro" wasn't for me. Then I discovered CMAS, and CMAS 3* ("dive leader") is the ISO equivalent of PADI DM. But in a club diving environment, not as an unpaid serf at a PADI dive center. I jumped at it as soon as I could, and that class has really made me a better diver. I seriously doubt that a PADI DM class would've given me the same.
    Bob DBF and Colliam7 like this.
  4. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    As you so aptly stated :) :
    I fully agree, that training has to meet the needs of the trainee, not just the needs of the training entity. Not every DM program puts DMCs in the role of 'unpaid serf'. I agree that there are some that do. Many do not. I trained in one of the 'not' programs. When I train DMs, they are most certainly 'not' unpaid serfs, they are dive professionals in training.

    My point was/is, that DM training CAN - it has the ability to - help one become a better diver. The content and structure supports such an outcome. It is not, however, a guaranteed outcome, if the particular shop / dive operation / Instructor conducting the program chooses to emphasize unpaid serfdom and fails to deliver the intended content in a manner that meets the needs of the candidate. Nonetheless, I wouldn't dismiss it as an option solely because of disinterest in working in the dive industry. Nor would I simply pursue DM training without evaluating the program, any more than I would simply take a specialty course without 'interviewing' the Instructor.
    Storker likes this.
  5. GJC

    GJC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California, USA
    At your level (open water) the one course that you will get the most benefit from is Advanced Diver. It is sometimes required on dive boats for certain dives. It covers more theory, building on the open water course and exposes you to a variety of dive conditions.

    The only course that preps you to the dive professional level without becoming a dive professional is the NAUI Master Scuba Diver Course.
    Bob DBF likes this.
  6. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I agree with both of your posts re DM program and Tech. (though I have done no Tech. training). I guess the big drawback to the DM course is it costs quite a bit more than simple specialties if you are not interested in being a "pro" (I put that in quotes because of the usual threads about DM pay and "serfdom" you mention). You can also buy some of the DM course materials and practice honing the basic skills to demonstration level on your own. Not nearly as good as taking the course, but less $. There is a lot of very interesting information in the DM course, but IMO a lot of it really doesn't improve your own diving, and a certain % is simply not going to be of practical help when you work as a DM assisting. Doing the mapping project involved some skills and was a learning experience, but I haven't mapped anywhere else since.
    All education is good, but even better if you have the money for it.
  7. Shasta_man

    Shasta_man Loggerhead Turtle

    I realize you said you can't get to the ocean but I second what others have said, that the best "class" is just experience, time in the water.

    With that, you understand more about what you really need to know and why the class teaches you X.

    Many people think they should go through all the classes immediately and equate completion with skills too directly. I suggest completing initial required classes then spend time getting experience, then more classes.

    Places in Monterey were open when I was there a couple weeks back so with a place to stay you could dive.
    Zef and Bob DBF like this.
  8. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    A very good point. Going back to the OP's question, one factor to consider, in addition to content (that relates to becoming a good/better diver), and availability, is cost. Perhaps, it really is a question of value - what do you get for what you pay?
  9. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    Cavern and/or Peak Performance Buoyancy -- or some iteration of that.
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  10. Chavodel8en

    Chavodel8en Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oakland, CA
    If you want to just dive, dive, dive, there's the NorCal forum on this board, as well as several Monterey scuba facebook pages. You can arrange buddies there.

    I used to use Meetup.com which has several local scuba groups, but it has become a dead zone.

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