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List of solodive friendly divecenters

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Germie, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Rickk

    Rickk Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    Just checked my health insurance, void if diving solo or outside limits of certifications. (Cannot go deeper than 30 m unless certified by an agency and they give PADI as an example of certifying agency.)

    You may have better luck diving without a guide/DM once they know your skill level with a buddy than pure solo diving.
  2. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    Ok, it seems that on a solo forum still solo is more or less forbidden. An ask for a list ends in a discussion you need guides. But sometimes you dont want and need guides, on most sportsdiverdives not.

    UK is solodiverfriendly, great and I know. You can dive solo with kaolak scuba adventures, but I would ask in front before booking again.
    In the Netherlands, you can dive everywhere without guides and solo. Northseawreckdiving can be done best and safest solo.
    Malta and Gozo are solodiverfriendly, you can rent tanks and go diving.

    I am a promotor of solodiving, it can be done safe but is not for everybody, that must be mentioned. I dont have any limits in depth or deco as I have full trimix and full cave certs. You can do solodive or self sufficient courses nowadays, that is also a proof it can be done safe. And divers know that. No stats that solo gives more accidents, whatch coming out of the closet from Mark Powell.

    Sadly, it seems a list of solodiving friendly operators based on part of the world is hard to make. Such a list would make choosing the right or best divecenter easier.
  3. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    Good luck getting a list of dive shops that will commit to you in writing, ahead of your trip and without having ever laid eyes on you, that you are ok to dive solo using their equipment or boat. I dive solo all the time, and I would think that any shop that was THAT encouraging of solo diving ujder those circumstances was not to be trusted.

    My experience is that when a dive shop gets to know you, they will give you a longer and longer leash. And of course, for shore diving, there is pretty much nothing to prevent you from diving solo, especially if you enter and exit the water with a dive buddy who is similarly diving solo. Though again, you will almost certainly have to sign a statement promising not to do that.
  4. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    But if you want to book alone, it is really important that a divecenter does not ruin your trip. I had it once, said being only interested in wrecks over 60m, no problem, when I came there, they did not organise as it is easier to drop a group at 40m wrecks that can dive every diver than split divers in 40m and 80m. It ruined my trip. I dont come there again ( this was not about solodiving and had nothing to do with my skills as they knew me as I did my full tx course there), it was not the weather, it was just that 40m can be done by all divers, split in groups is a little bit harder.
    My driving licence is never a problem to rent a car solo. Why is a solo cert not enough? I can sent videos of skills before booking. So easy to check.
    We must change this vision. An answer we do a checkdive and then you can go solo is ok. That is not difficult to give as answer.

    But I will tell my experiences when I am back (trip is in 9 months).

    And maybe we still can make that list, just tell where you went and could dive solo and how you did it (first dive, or after 1 dive or after a lot of dives). Yes, this will be used as 'person x also could go solo, so I also have right to do', but if we don't tell about experiences, the opinion that solo is nice and safe and as normal as driving a car solo will never change.
    shoredivr and markmud like this.
  5. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    Unfortunately treating people like adults is not part of the training for DMs etc. The basic assumption is that customers are idiots. Now, that might be a good assumption but it means no fun for people used to running their own lives.

    Maybe this is a commercial opportunity for SDI though. If they were to keep a list and promote centres which are prepared to properly respect their qualification then people might be more inclined to take the solo course and centres more responsive to the expectations of customers.
    shoredivr, markmud and Germie like this.
  6. Jcp2

    Jcp2 Literally virtually diving ScubaBoard Supporter

    The closer thing to renting a car with a license and driving solo is renting gear from a dive shop and shore diving. I think it’s a bit different when you use their boat to get to a dive site. Then they have a lot more discretion as the trip begins with them leaving the dock and ends when they return. Even if you sign a waiver and all that, acknowledging the risk, if things don’t go well and you can no longer speak for yourself, your loved ones didn’t sign any waiver, and then the whole thing is just a big mess.
  7. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    Your drivers license analogy is way off the mark.

    The problem with many dive centers is that they don’t have the expertise to evaluate if a diver is sufficiently equipped and skilled to solo dive.
  8. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    Yes, so let us show that divecenters don't have to worry about solodiving. Give them the experience that solodiving is safe and normal. Some will still not want to learn, but then the strength is also on negative reviews online maybe.
    I agree with KenGordon, some divecenters treat customers as muppets, and some customers like that. But others don't and it is not normal that if you have a cert that you still cannot use it where you are certified for. An instructor must not certify people who are not able to dive on their own (open water divers already are officially trained to dive with another open water diver, not with a guide. In my country it is normal that 2 open water divers go on their own. Boatdives to wrecks is solo here or with another aow diver, no guides here).
    You see this negative trend of not able to dive self sufficient or not able to dive without a guide also in technical diving. Why would a trained cavediver need a guide? Of course you are free if you think you need it, but to require a guide is really strange in this. The problem is the low level some divers are trained for. But why need the bad divers be treated same as good divers?
    If we cannot make a list of solofriendly divecenters, how can we make solodiving more normal and accepted? I already promote solo as safe in my club. I tell and show how I do it, but I also explain that it is not for everybody. But beginner know already here that an ow diver need to dive with a buddy, but that you can build experience and go solo later.
  9. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    If you have the solo certification, then it should be accepted. Just like any other certification. There are dive ops that kind of like to check out new to them divers regardless of the certification. Okay, then afterwards, let them be and if solo certified, then so be it. There is another aspect to all of this, in many places, the locals make their income guiding divers and they expect to be your guide and get their income.

    So again, why can there not be a list of known shops, facilities, operations domestic and abroad, that allow a solo certified diver (in general) to exercise their solo certification. If they are PADI, as many are, what are they denying their own certification programs? N
  10. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    I've never seen an issue with solo diving from any boat in California nor God's Pocket in Canada.

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