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Judging a diver's experience: logging number of dives and hours of dive time

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by scubadada, Apr 26, 2021.

Do you log number of dives and/or hours of dive time?

  1. I log number of dives

    25 vote(s)
  2. I log hours of dive time

    1 vote(s)
  3. I log number of dives and hours of dive time

    158 vote(s)
  4. I do not log number of dives or hours of dive time

    39 vote(s)
  1. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    It is often debated how to judge a diver's experience. One way is to log number of dives and/or hours of dive time. I would be interesting in seeing how SB participants deal with these variables.

    The question of judging experience is different from judging competence. The latter may really only be judged by observation of performance. There are many other ways to potentially judge experience, such as certifications or certification level. Duration of certification is probably not a good discriminator, by itself. Feel free to discuss these other methods of judging experience in your post.
  2. ofg-1

    ofg-1 Course Director

    You left out the option for just sewing all the patches on your jacket.
    ICatchBadGuys, Doc, flymolo and 13 others like this.
  3. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    Type of diving
    Varied locations of diving
    Number of dives past 20m
    Frequency of diving, at start vs toward end of dive trip
  4. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    I didn’t always log dives, as I found the paper logs useless. I logged during my OW course, then a few after, then stopped for years. I didn’t really start logging again until I got a dive computer with the ability to download to an electronic log. Now, I just download to Subsurface, so it pulls it all; hours, dives, depth, etc.

    But, that’s not what I use to judge a diver’s experience. I never ask to see someone’s log book. I just check how they set up, and how they dive. That speaks volumes.
  5. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    My main dive log is a spreadsheet I developed. Every single dive I've ever done is logged there. I have some on older paper log books, some on Shearwater Cloud, but ALL of my dives are logged on my spreadsheet. On it I track dive number, dive duration, max depth, average depth, SAC/RMV, temperature, equipment, buddy (or solo), and location/site/operator. I calculate my per dive average dive time both overall and per year. I also track my min, max, and average SAC/RMV.

    In terms of judging experience, I find the number of logged dives, diversity of conditions, and average dive time all helpful. One of my past instructors put a big emphasis on average dive time. He used that to gauge your progressing experience as much or more so than logged dives. He wanted to see his advanced students and certainly those he took on for technical training to show a progression of lengthening dive times as they gained experience and competence.
  6. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Funny you mention that. An instructor was showing around a bunch of teenage-20ish gals at the local quarry last weekend. They all had these “Aqualung Dive Team” jackets with various patches sewn on. I saw DM and master diver as the highest patch. Had a good chuckle.
    DogDiver, Kimela and Sam Miller III like this.
  7. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    Diver's experience should be assessed by the number of dives, the hours underwater, the sites dived, the different scenarios seen, the certification level, and so on.
    I met a dive instructor some years ago that had only dived in fresh water in a quarry complex (several quarries in cascade). He had no sea water experience. How could he get that instructor cert ?
    NorCalDM and Sam Miller III like this.
  8. jerrydascorpion

    jerrydascorpion Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Near Twin Cities, MN
    I log number of dives, dive time, skills done during dive, exciting things seen/done, equipment used, amount of weight, etc. I am sure I go overboard.

    I am an engineer and I like data, even if it is useless. I am a newer diver that dives locally (cold) and vacation (warm), so I like to keep track of the amount of weight that works well in different situations. Also renting equipment on what gear I like and don't like.
    Cdncoldwater and Searcaigh like this.
  9. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    I've never had freshwater experience (apart from a shower :D )

    No of dives + no of hours, as well as experience in various locations.

    However watching someone set up their gear speaks volumes.
  10. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    It's common to see divers with no fresh water experience, even no pool dives during courses, as courses were taken in confined waters.
    It's not common to see divers with no sea water experience, though still possible.
    But a dive instructor with no sea water experience ?

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