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New Open Water Diver

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by BlakeN, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. BlakeN

    BlakeN Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Gardner, KS
    7
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    So had a busy weekend finished my OW check off then completed my Enriched Air course. I think I'm hooked already! Going back next month for Advanced OW the Palm Beach. I think the hardest part of all this is finding people to dive with. How do you guys find dive buddies?
     
  2. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    1,662
    1,191
    113
    I found mine on OK Cupid (for the times I'm not diving solo).

    Since you're working your way through the important certifications, considering adding "Solo Diver" to your list, along with the proper additional gear. That way you're always prepared to dive no matter who is around.
     
    Sh0rtBus likes this.
  3. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    5,585
    3,939
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    SB, local dive club, FB, dive shop, instructors.

    I only dive local/regionally, though.
     
  4. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    5,275
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    Some of us marry them. Sometimes we even do that first and progress to ow cert later.
     
  5. NAUI Wowie

    NAUI Wowie Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Silicon Valley northern CA
    724
    311
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    I did my AOW right after my OW and that was a major mistake. I am athletic and confident and been snorkeling my entire life however there is a bit of a comfort level and muscle memory gained in the first 25 dives.

    You do not have any of that if you jump straight into your AOW where they take you to 100 feet deep on the deep dive, do narcosis tests, dosearch and recovery where you have to search the ocean bottom for hidden objects, etc.

    There are ALL kinds of AOW dives they can do with you and the reason I would say WAIT till after about 25 dives to do your AOW is that on your 5th thru 10th dives or longer for many people you are still familiarizing yourself with the most basic concepts like perfecting equalizing ears which gets much easier after a couple dozen dives, you are perfecting your boyancy, you are possibly going from rental gear to owned gear OR different rental gear than you used initially....etc etc

    You dont want to be the one person in AOW that cant get down due to not equalizing or the person bouncing off the ocean floor alot while searching for items ....

    Some people say take the AOW right after OW and if its a dive operation they make more money having you take more courses. If its just friends they may want you to be able to do more advanced dives quicker to be able to buddy up with them. People may say AOW is just a second part of OW and you need more training.

    None of that in my experience matters. You will more fully enjoy the experience of AOW and truthfully you will remember much more of AOW if you dont have to worry about equalization, boyancy, equipment unfamiliarity, and MOST IMPORTANT ...Situational Awareness. after your 4 OW dives you are still in the small envelope of just paying attention to yourself staying alive under water. it takes time to expand your situational awareness to seeing your partner and noticing issues with their diving or their equipment....and then it expands further to encompass more things like using less air .... after about 50 dives I only use about 1/3 the air I used as a new diver.

    Unless you have a big scuba trip upcoming where there may be deep dives our difficult situations my recommendation is to wait till after about 25 dives to do your AOW.

    I did not wait and I regret it. In fact I literally almost died because I was new. I did my deep dive in monterey in dark cold water and had a reg i borrowed that was dialed all the way in. It gave minimal air. Ok for shallow water but at 90 feet under heavy exertion swimming hard to catch up to others I had a CO2 hit and blacked out. Luckily i was only unconscious for a few seconds and i woke up sucking water in. My partner was brand new too and right in front of me staring at me. He had no idea what was going on and was looking at me with my regulator hanging down beside my body and not knowing what to do. In his defense he was new OW too and was a bit narced at between 90 and 100 ft in low viz pea soup.

    If i had waited till about dive 25 to do my AOW i would have known about the dial on the mouthpiece and would have twisted it all the way out for max airflow in deep water.

    there are a million things that can go wrong on deep dives and you have to do that on AOW. I recommend again not doing this until you are completely familiar with all facets of diving. What you dont know in scuba can kill you. And your instructor in AOW will assume you know what you are doing as it is an ADVANCED course not for beginners.
     
  6. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    1,662
    1,191
    113
    The post above refers to.s one of the more hotly debated topics on ScubaBoard and you'll probably find roughly equal numbers of divers on each side of the debate as to how soon AOW should be done after OW.

    The experience of the diver who posted immediately above me on this thread clearly is one of regret but not everyone has this experience. It's largely about comfort level and how quickly you pick up the skills. I've read stories of lots of divers who went right into AOW after OW and were very satisfied with the experience. The thread starter sounds like one such diver.
     
    Outbound likes this.
  7. NAUI Wowie

    NAUI Wowie Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Silicon Valley northern CA
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    I was also one such diver Caruso.... confident, good at all basic skills....all that. My point is its EASIER if you wait and you will remember more of those advanced techniques. Ive seen alot of divers do both one after the other and they still dont know how to use a compass or realize maybe carrying a cutting tool in monterey kelp forests may be a good idea. Im rambling sorry this is not an attack on you but even the most confident talented water people will have an easier time and remember far more if they dont start AOW at dive #5 but wait till 20 or 30 dives.
     
    caruso likes this.
  8. Dark Wolf

    Dark Wolf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Missouri
    436
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    Congrats on your certs! Do you plan to do local diving?

    DW
     
    BlakeN likes this.
  9. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location:
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    I did my OW and AOW immediately after (9 dives in 3 days) and don't regret it one bit. I'm super happy I did it that way too because it gave me 5 extra dives with the same instructors who had seen me complete my OW certification. Also it was in Grand Cayman which has some of the most ideal diving conditions.

    During my first few AOW dives they saw that I was clearly overweighted (started with 14lbs) and we dialed it down to 8lbs. He could tell I was overweighted partially because I was running out of air before everyone else was. On my navigation dive I had to go up to 20ft where everyone stayed at 40ft or so because I was lower on air, and I ended up going up by myself and the instructor went back down with everyone (there were multiple instructors).

    Then on the dive with 8lbs (the 4th of AOW) he said I still looked a bit overweighted and that he wanted me to relax and concentrate on breathing better since I was still lower than everyone.

    So we went down to 6lbs on the last dive which was a fish ID dive on a reef around 40-45ft, and he wanted me to come to the surface with no less than 800psi.

    Well the weight was PERFECT and I hardly used my BCD, and I had the zen like moment where I was controlling my buoyancy with my breathing, and could make myself descend as I exhaled and come up by inhaling. It was a very cool moment where it just "clicked" to me. It reminded me of when I learned stick shift and it just "clicked" and became super easy.

    Then when I came to the surface, I had 1150psi and the instructor was super happy with it all, and I was AOW certified at that point.

    So as mentioned, there are varying experiences.
     
    caruso likes this.
  10. NAUI Wowie

    NAUI Wowie Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Silicon Valley northern CA
    724
    311
    63

    I thought I should put in a caveat on my hardline thought that you should not do your AOW right after your OW. That being that in warm tropical waters with great viz, no gloves or hood, almost no weight ....its far easier to do AOW along with the OW compared to cold water with a semidry wetsuit or drysuit with little to no viz and possibilities of dark narc or CO2 hits

    I have a filipino buddy that did his AOW right after OW and rescue and other C cards all soon after. He had his Master Diver C card right after 50 dives. So thats cool but then he wants to dive with me in Monterey with water that ranges from 52 down to 46 out by carmel and said he will just double up wearing 2 3mil wetsuits....

    After I stopped laughing I told him its a bit different diving with a 2 foot visibility and still probably freezing in an 8 mil semi dry. He thinks California is basically alaska already lol.

    Rant over I guess its really dependant on where you primarily dive and take your courses as to when its best to go advance your training.
     

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