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Instructor for SDI Solo Diver

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by BAMA6977, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Crass3000

    Crass3000 Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
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    Yah I guess if you look back at what I wrote you might think I meant the instructor wasn't that important. In reality the instructor I had is probably the hardest, most experienced, and most demanding instructor in the region I live in. He claims to teach the most classes than any instructor in the Midwest meaning recreational, technical, and fire/safety/recovery type divers. He also runs a non-profit to help recover bodies when local divers are having a hard time doing body recovery. He is definitely the instructor in the area that I respect the most and he did make me think more about solo diving than ever before even after diving straight out of open water solo for just about all my dives except those where I have been trying to help local family out (I dive solo less now than ever really). Ironically I just read the section on diving deaths and found there were two deaths on the quarry within a little more than a week just recently. I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like the instructor doesn't matter on this class -- only that if you read the book you would get a better idea of what is typically taught during the class. It's not a technical diving class was really what I was getting at and I don't believe it was meant to as most technical diving agencies including TDI do not recommend technical diving solo.
     
    BurhanMuntasser likes this.
  2. sportxlh

    sportxlh Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: formerly Palm Beach Gardens, FL: now Atlanta
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    I agree: I took mine at Jupiter Dive Ctr on the other side of the state and the instructor had me run through a number of drills that were not in the book. Really opened my eyes to the danger of 'lazy' buddy diving if one experiences an emergency underwater: especially while drift diving where it is easy for inattentive buddies to quickly separate. A good solo instructor will take the arrogance out of you pretty quickly
     
  3. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    I continue to recommend the Jupiter Dive Center, assuming you might be in the area. My being out of state, the instructor made fast contact and correspondence and I appreciated that courtesy. He was there and on time for the class. Everything went well as does everything I have done with JDC (diving charters).

    Did I learn anything new? No, but it was a good review. The danger of true solo (not buddy seperation) is much exaggerated and over stated, but it is not for everybody anymore than flying in cloud. The class may help some identify that.

    James
     
  4. Crass3000

    Crass3000 Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
    344
    56
    28
    Ironically I was just in Florida but got heatstroke to the point that I was falling down from dehydration when I would get up too quick. This northern boy isn't used to the heat and I do have cancer (for the last 6 years) so I'm not in the best of health. A place in Pompano wouldn't bring me out (I was bummed) but I felt like once I hit the water and cooled off I would have been fine (which I would have. I just sweat like a pig anywhere). Maybe I should be thanking them but I did get to get one boat (wreck and drift) in on the Castor which was full of nice size Goliaths. I was thinking about heading to Jupiter to do some diving up there since I never have since my son had just got certified (he's 11) and we could head out of the area. Not that I would have brought him deep (or anything deeper than 40ft) but the steel 120s I had rented were nice compared to the aluminum 80s I am used to diving and would have been a nice tool for the job. I've heard great things about Jupiter. Would have been nice to hit the Bonaire but it may have been slightly out of my depth range since I haven't learned deco yet so the dive would have been shorter than I would have hoped. Not sure they would even bring me out on the Bonaire without Technical training but I never asked. I would just have to watch my depth and use a good nitrox mix. So the trip was a success since my son got certified but I forgot my camera (Sealife with two Pro flashes) in the hotel room on my one boat trip which kind of sucked. I figured if I could walk around SeaWorld all day I would have been fine for diving. I just needed to take my entry a little slow. Now of course I wish I would have went to Jupiter but the moral of the story for me is to never hit Places in their summers at least in hot regions.

    I'm sure someone in cave country or Jupiter would be fine. Realistically I would just talk to the instructor after taking a look at the book and tell them what you hope to get out of the class. The instructor could surely make the class more demanding if that's what you are looking for. If you feel like you need to be able to do certain things to be comfortable being granted the solo card then I would practice them and ask them to require things of you or at least get into what they are going to expect from you. If you feel like you wouldn't be earning the card then move on. Someone mentioned Steve (the guy who wrote the course) as a good teacher. I get the idea that if one has standards as high as his one must be a very good diver. I know I sure would be proud to see his name on my card as the one who issued it.
     
  5. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,879
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  6. ehoffman81

    ehoffman81 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oviedo, FL
    11
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    As far as FL goes, I did my solo cert a few months ago with Dayo Scuba. No complaints. Honestly, if you've been diving a while, which I believe 100 dives are required, it's mostly common sense and you wont find it that difficult.
     
    Jordan Trotter likes this.
  7. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
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    ++1. I also feel it should be a required course for every diver. We would all be a lot safer if everyone (especially when diving in groups) would have this skill set. If you don't have these skills and aren't equipped to be self sufficient then you are endangering everyone you dive with. There is no justification for not being able to take complete care of yourself. If you can then a real (very dicey) situation can be handled so much easier.

    One of the reasons I dive almost exclusively solo is I've encountered too many situations where my "buddy" endangered me due to stupid crap that is taught to avoid in OW. Some of these "divers" have 100, 200, 500 dives in their log - yet they are still dangerous or, at a minimum, not available to people diving with them.
     
  8. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    If you dive weight integrated, do know that you will likely be doing several doff and dons. We did one or two on the bottom, and one or two while swimming including swimming with the rig off and held. I did my first set weight integrated, there was cool water so I had on a wetsuit and of course behaved like a hot air balloon. But, mine were as good as the instructors, I am usually pretty polished at doff and dons. For the next dive I switched to a weight belt which made it all much more fun (or less fun dependent upon the vantage point).

    Also, for those who are prone to dive their long hose rigs, let me again mention, you will be do doff and dons and I was rigged for my first dives with a double hose and no octopus/second and a slung pony. On my later dives I switched to my Titan LX, removed the long hose and plugged it and of course still my slung pony running a MkV (clone) with button gauge and XS Scuba puck second.

    We did one dive essentially with no mask, then we lost our fin(s) and in between the exercises just swam around visiting with all of the turtles that were about in force. I suspect the instructors, I know I would, if the student shows a weakness, they will explore it (for helpful purposes) and if you are like a piece of steel, they just touch on this or that to make sure the student is in fact a piece of steel.

    [​IMG]

    Hey, I know what, I recommend Jim Lapenta, never taken anything from him but no doubt you would get your money's worth with him.

    N
     
  9. Doppler

    Doppler Dive Equipment Manufacturer

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    If you remain interested and uncommitted to a specific shop or individual instructor, I will be teaching in Florida (panama city and williston) at various dates through the remainder of the summer and fall. I think I run a pretty thorough program.
     
    Jordan Trotter and Jim Lapenta like this.
  10. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    6,637
    3,240
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    BAMA6977,

    I just looked at your “about me”, thanks for filling it out.

    You state in your OP that you are looking for a “high end” instructor. They can be found. Allow me a bit of unsolicited advice to that point. If you just want a card for something it can be bought. If you want a “name” on your card that proves to you that you mastered the basics of the course, you are in for a rougher time of it. I’ve taken a lot of great courses, but had a really bad time with two of them. Both with “world class” instructors.

    Here is the big thought: If you are signing up for more than an agency standards course, then you damn well better have the basics down pat before you sign. The basics are pretty simple. 1) Hang in place without any motion in shallow water and in comfort. 2) have a strong and natural frog kick. Show up with just determination and you will both waste your money and your instructor’s time while they attempt to teach you trim, buoyancy, and propulsion. Much of this requires repetition and there goes your course...

    I’ve always tended to throw myself at a problem and work at it without caring how I looked during the whole process. I’ve proven to myself, twice, that there is a less painful way. The end results of this approach are that I’ve only managed to convince two world class instructors that I don’t belong anywhere near water. So be it. I press on. I know what needs work.

    To that end, I recently took an informal “clinic” with a Long Island, NY instructor who suited my style. The first thing he does is to figure YOU out. The deal was to get me back to basics and get me sorted out with respect to trim and buoyancy in sidemount and nothing else. Watch the vid in this link: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/pe...c-student-report-post7433942.html#post7433942 I’m the diver at the end.

    If you can’t do at least that in your gear, then get yourself together before even thinking of confronting a “high end” instructor for anything but a trim and buoyancy course.

    Next for me is backmount. Been diving backmount (poorly) for years. All paid up and in another course to get the same result in backmount as I did in sidemount. This time with a “name”, a name from left field, but still a “name”. :wink: I’ve finished all the course work, but am stalling on the in-water work until I can get one last little annoying issue solved. Once past this, I’ll continue and get what I came for and with a lot of good feelings along the way.

    I suggest a big dose of honest self-assessment of your basic skills before you continue your search as you stated it.

    Cheers
     

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