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Komodo vs Penida for DiveMaster

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by Scorp1109, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Scorp1109

    Scorp1109 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Seattle
    Hi everyone,
    I have it narrowed down to a couple choices for my DiveMaster course and was wondering everyones opinion:
    Unfortunately ScubaJunkie Komodo is fully booked until September and I was looking at something in June-ish.
    So I found Wicked Diving in Komodo which seems to have an excellent program or ScubaJunkie Penida which also sounds amazing.
    I am looking for a program that I can get the best training in, in different conditions, so I have the best experience to set me up for future jobs as a DM. But I also want to enjoy the diving and see the awesome marine life and learn as much about the Ecology and life to include that into training. I'll have almost 100 dives at the time of start. I know it's all about experience and both seem to do around 50 dives for the DM program. (I originally thought of doing it on Koh Tao with a 3.5month Eco focus with unlimited dives in there to add up experience, but I'm not really impressed with the diving on Koh Tao and I think I'd rather get more experience in various conditions). I also am not a partier, but I do like being social and making friends - but obviously this is about training, as the primary focus

    So pro/cons of what I am trying to decide:
    1. Wicked diving - Pro's - good reputation, training on liveaboards included, 6 weeks approx 55 dives. Con's - they are the only company that includes port fees saying it's a legal thing, but I've written other companies to ask specifically about this and no one else does it - so are they the ethical ones and everyone else is a cheat, or are they the cheat since no one else does it??
    2. Mikumba diving (Komodo) - great client reputation, but new DM program and very small school, but 8 weeks and 80-100 dives, possible to get on a Liveaboard in training if there is room.
    3. ScubaJunkie Penida - great reputation, 6 weeks, approx 60-80 dives, seems very diverse conditions, and none of the drama above

    Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated!
    Thank You!!
  2. CWK

    CWK Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Probably on a LOB somewhere
    Try 2 Fish. They have multiple locations and I think you can split DM training between 2 locations.
  3. Azul Unlimited

    Azul Unlimited Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Labuanbajo, Indonesia

    We are a dive center also in Komodo and we offer divemaster courses with a duration of 6-8 weeks. We focus on professional level courses as we have a Course Director as one of our instructors. Please have a look at our Divemaster program and drop us an email at info@azulunlimited.com if you are interested.

    Take care & Buen Azul

    Attached Files:

  4. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai UAE
    I've used Wicked a couple of times and thought they were great. However last year the underwent a change and my contacts tell me they're not the centre they used to be.

    Blue Marlin Dive is somewhere else you could look into, Every time I've been there they have a group of DMC's under training, they have good facilities and their bar is the focal point for all the centres each evening.

    With regard to the course, you should try to get the longest internship you can afford timewise. 6 weeks would be the minimum I would recommend to get the experience and knowledge. Also try to get a course where there are a few candidates, being able to help each other makes it more fun

    The Liveaboard portion will be pretty brief, just because of logistics. You'll get lots of experience on the sites on day boats, and of course learning to guide, practicing delivering dive briefs to guest comfortably and in a humorous way. Learning when to assist and when to stand back is all stuff that takes time and is fun

    Lots of people dismiss the skills circuit - even if you don't' want to teach, being able to carry then out smoothly and slowly whilst neutral will pay dividends in your day to day diving with better confidence and buoyancy

    Where ever you decide to go you can improve your experience massively by preparation before you go:

    Study the dive theory - there are lots of online resources to help especially with the table, dive physics and maths. Get yourself to 70-80% there before you go so less pressure and yu can then get the instructors to go over stuff you're not quite up to speed on

    Learn the knots - lots of good YouTube sites (animated knots is one I recommend) Having these skills completed will give you more time to enjoy the course

    Have decent buoyancy before hand - ideally minimum would be to maintain a total vertical deviation of 5' (+/-2.5') or 300mm ish again if you can do this first then less tie spent on this sort of remedial stuff and more time to learn and enjoy the other stuff. If I have to get my DM's up to standard before the course then that's less time they get to spend on other stuff

    Don't be in a rush to complete any module. Search and recovery for instance - you can pretty much guarantee you'll be dropping in to find mask, weights and computers dropped by guests so taking time to figure out what works best will pay dividends.

    Where ever you go it'll be fun and you'll make some great friends and start to network in the dive community. Even if you don't want to work full time havign contacts often helps when choosing vacations :)
  5. Mr. Sunday

    Mr. Sunday Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Seattle-WA-USA
    I would also recommend taking a look at Blue Marlin Komodo.
  6. Bubble Junky

    Bubble Junky Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: In paradise...
    At a risk of complicating your decision further, it might be worth checking the dive centres in Sanur, Bali too. I mention this because you mentioned experiencing different conditions. The dive centres in Sanur run trips to three main locations - Tulamben, Padang Bai. and Penida/Lembongan. The three locations offer quite different conditions too - Tulamben in the north is pretty relaxed 'tropical diving' with warm waters and little currents. The Penida/Lembongan trips will also get you diving in the strong currents and cold thermoclines in that location, and Padang Bai offers varying conditions too. And there's a good mix of marine life - big and small.

    You would also learn the different logistics/organisation of these three different trips too - Penida is about 40 mins by boat, Padang Bai is an hour is a bus, then 10 mins on a small local boat, and Tulamben is two hours' drive and then shore-diving...

    Sanur is a pretty quiet town too, not a big party scene, but a very social location...
    Diving Dubai likes this.
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Or instead of Sanur, you could do the same out of Padang Bai, without the long bus trips. 45 minutes to Penida/Lembongan sites, 10 minutes to Padang Bai sites and only 1 hour van to Tulamben. Much more quiet than Sanur though.
    Blueringocto_73 and Bubble Junky like this.
  8. Alex Prins

    Alex Prins Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ventura, CA
    I have just returned from Komodo (May 4th-10th), Diving with Wicked Diving. I did a 7-day liveaboard and completed my AOW during the first few days of the trip. I really enjoyed my time, the staff/crew were all cool people which made the experience amazing. The liveaboard was alright, not super fancy or anything but comfortable and pretty tasty food. After Komodo, I dove in Nusa Penida for a few days. I enjoyed the variety of dive sites and the stronger currents in Komodo a bit more than Penida. If you decide to dive with Wicked, see if you can get Aji as your dive instructor. He was an awesome instructor and was always down to share a few beers after the last dive of the day. I am looking to go back when time permits to complete my DMT with Wicked. A lot of the Wicked staff seem to be friends with Scuba Junkie, I hear they are both good shops.

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