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Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Norboo, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. ketralis

    ketralis New

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Silverdale, WA
    The main difference that I've seen is in their teaching styles. I've been helping out providing some underwater and surface support for an OW class at the shop where I got my cert. They are primarily NAUI, but we have a few PADI instructors as well. The main difference that I have seen is in teaching styles. NAUI instructors, mind you, this is only from personal experience, tend to do a little more lecturing in the classroom setting, whereas our PADI instructors seem to have more of an open forum style of teaching. It's all about personal preference though, like everyone else has said, and no two instructors will have exactly the same teaching style. There are minor differences in the curriculum's as well, but I think the meat of the instruction is the same. The most important thing is this, find an instructor that will teach you to be a SAFE diver, as well as encouraging you to take your time and have fun. If you are military, like me, then flexibility in class scheduling is a must, I.E. 'I'm not going to be able to make it to Tuesday's class, can I make it up on Wed, etc." Find someone you are comfortable with, and if you get a bad vibe from them, go somewhere else.

    Be careful, I had a bad experience with my first instructor, when it comes to diving instruction, cheap can often equal dangerous, in more sense than just one. When I first got into diving it was on vacation with my wife in Hawaii, and I became "Certified" there. I went for cheap and quick, and I got screwed. The guy who gave me my first training was not a certified instructor through any dive organization, and I didn't even know it until I stopped into Sound Dive to rent some gear for my, oh I don't know, like 20th dive. I recertified through NAUI, but all in all, I ultimately ended up paying somewhere around 650-700 dollars for a certification that should not have cost more than 300. Not only that, but I got lucky in that the guy who initially trained me, while a scam artist, still had about 30 years of diving experience and taught me skills that were useful, current, and valid, however, who knows what he may have left out. Nothing about maintenance or dive planning, nothing about Tables or gas management. Had I faced a real dive emergency... I don't even want to think about it.

    Think about these things when you are choosing who you want to get certified through, if you are going to do private lessons or you know someone who is willing to teach you to dive at a lower rate than you can find at the local shops, then do your research first, make sure you know what they will cover in their course, and make sure that they are a certified instructor through a legitimate entity, the most recognized worldwide are NAUI and PADI, though there are some smaller organizations as well.

    I don't want to scare you away from diving with my horror story, I simply want to share my experience so that I can prevent it from happening to someone else. In fact I strongly encourage you to get into the sport. It can be expensive to begin with, but once you have you're own gear, you can dive whenever and wherever (Tides and Weather permitting) you choose for little more than the cost of an air fill (around 7 dollars). It is one of the most relaxing and rewarding experiences I have ever had, and it never gets old as you see new things every, and I do mean EVERY time you dive.
  2. GQMedic

    GQMedic NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SoCal. (Yeah, baybee)
    This seems to pop up from time to time.

    EVERY dive agency has it's claim to be "best". The TRUTH is, your diving competency will in part rest upon the shoulders of your instructor, the other part of it rests upon your shoulders as a student. Ultimately, YOU decide what kind of diver you will be. As to PADI or NAUI, Chevy or Ford, what's your flavor?

    On a personal note, when this subject pops up, I oft roll my eyes, really.
  3. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

    Unless you've already been issued a Y card, you can't unless you've mastered time travel. If you need a replacement, they are available through SEI Diving or through the YMCA of the USA.
  4. glbtrekker

    glbtrekker Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: TN
    Instructors aside, PADI is a for profit agency that requires their instructors to pass all certify all students who pass the test and skills. NAUI is a nonprofit agency who allows their instructors to fail a student (if they don't feel the student is ready) even if said student does not pass the test and skills. NAUI instructors also have more leniency in adjusting the curriculum to the student and what they feel is best.

    In my area, NAUI is considered to have higher standards and/or requirements to certify students while PADI seems to have "streamlined" the material to make it easier for students to pass (in all honestly all agencies have made it 'easier', PADI just seems to have gone a little further). For example, the class that I just completed with NAUI met twice a week for a month. The local PADI shops teach their OW classes on Fri. night, Sat. and Sun. afternoon and they are done (except OW of course).

    Therefore, IMHO, if you want short and quick go PADI, SSI, etc. If you want thorough training and a more challenging experience that will make you more confident in the water (time in the pool + difficulty = confidence) go NAUI.
  5. scubaflier

    scubaflier Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Groveland , florida
    no scuba certifing agency has yet to defiy the laws of nature. I have been a Naui inst for 9 yrs
    you either have good students or you dont. An instructor cannot take credit for a great student nor should they be blamed for a idiot. the diver makes the Agency a success or a failure. When a diver performes good they compliment the training agency and the inst. when a diver does something stupid they blame the agency and the instructor.

    People have learned to dive long before PADI and NAUI showed up.
    Newton Perry taught some girls to perform underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs in 1947
    I guess in those days it went something like this
    OK quit playing PADI cakes cause NAUI gonna go diving.
  6. shurite7

    shurite7 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: In transit
    Both NAUI and PADI allow their instructors to not certify a student (or as it is put above - fail a student) if they are unable to conduct the skill(s).

    When it comes to the length of the course, both agencies are similar. One can take a three day o/w class or you can take a semester long o/w class or something in between.

    Teaching styles are left up to the shop / instructor. I've worked with a shop that offered both PADI and NAUI, and the courses were taught in a similar manor. I've also worked at a shop that was strictly NAUI, another that was strictly PADI, yet the courses were similar in terms of length and technique. While working in the islands I had to teach in a completely different manor in order to adapt to the needs of the shop - regardless of agency.
  7. glbtrekker

    glbtrekker Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: TN
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the difference is that with NAUI even if a student is able to conduct the skills, but does not demonstrate proficiency to the instructor's liking, they can still fail the student, whereas with PADI they cannot (unless of course they cannot complete the skills).

    BTW, in my area the NAUI class is almost double the hours of instruction. About 24 hours (NAUI), vs. 12 hours (PADI) vs. 16 hours (SSI).
  8. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    That is correct, but that is "a" difference, not "the" difference.
  9. DMDavid

    DMDavid Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    The OP is six years old, yet this is still being discussed.

    Both will teach how to dive safely.
    Both are recognized world wide.
    Neither will allow an incompetent diver to get a C-Card unless standards are violated.
    Both have their fans and critics. Almost without exception the harshest critics are instructors for other agencies which presents a conflict of interest.
    Most of the differences have been exaggerated in an effort to simply win arguments and/or bolster egos.

    It is my opinion that the biggest difference is in your instructor. Choose wisely.

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