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PADI Self Reliant vs SDI Solo

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Pyramid65, May 25, 2015.

  1. Pyramid65

    Pyramid65 Solo Diver

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    Other than the title what are the differences if any?
     
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
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    Standards wise I don't have the PADI ones for that course here. I am an SDI Solo Instructor. This is one of those courses that really depends on the instructor and to a degree, in my opinion, where you are taking it. The SDI standards allow for and actually require the instructor to take into consideration local conditions for one thing. In my area that means things like low vis, cold water, etc. come into play and knowledge and skills are adjusted and added to reflect that. In the course I offer for instance there are some drysuit specific skills and knowledge for those taking it in a drysuit. Those items perhaps would not be seen if you took it in the Caribbean.

    While two dives are required I have students do three. Perhaps four if I think they need it. This is how I was taught in the course when I took it as a diver. The instructor I had added skills to suit our local conditions. We had to shoot a bag with a blacked out or no mask and ascend using that. We did extensive dive planning and gas management. He added material in the classroom that he felt was beneficial.

    The standards also require an additional independent regulator attached to an air source. Pony bottle, doubles with a manifold, H valve, independent doubles, or a Spare Air is how it reads.

    There is also a swimming skill of 600 yds in full scuba gear non stop performed in open water.

    Scuba skills require, among other things, compass proficiency, switch to the back up air supply at less than 100 feet depth, and deploying the smb. As I said my instructor had us do it with a blacked out mask or no mask in midwater. That was fun.
     
    Kharon and sheeper like this.
  3. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
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    There has been quite a bit of discussion on SB about this. I chose SDI Solo. I wanted no ambiguity. My understanding is that there are two main differences. The name on the card, some dive ops require that "solo" card though I've never been ask if certified for solo. But then, I tend to use the same dive ops and they know me well (and still let me dive! :D).

    And of course, the instructor, which is true for any course.
     
    gypsyjim, aquacat8 and shoredivr like this.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    There is an SDI Solo Diver manual for the SDI course; haven't heard of one for the PADI course, although I imagine the SDI manual would be relevant and useful for it, too.

    Richard.
     
  5. Pyramid65

    Pyramid65 Solo Diver

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    I have the SDI Solo manual
     
  6. knotical

    knotical perpetual student

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    Location: Ka'u
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  7. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
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    Jules in Key Largo lets you dive solo with the SDI solo card. Don't know if they accept self reliant. Have had a couple dive ops specifically say I could dive solo if I had a solo card. Again do not know if they would accept self reliant.
     
  8. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

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    My understanding is that the PADI self reliant course is simply part of their Tec 40 course. Those with greater knowledge, please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  9. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
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    I think that as Jim has said, Its the instructor that makes or breaks the course. I know it is an easy thing to say by reposting old lines however. I have taught for 7 years and you can compare one instructors output with an other and there are always small and large differences. One thing that always has to be remembered is that learning is a combined effort of both the instructor and the student. OW is one sided but the more you advance the more of a serious role the student has to take. Given that there comes a point where the question becomes who has to put in the most effort the course or the trainee. I doubt that I would have to look at the content to say this but here goes. All the courses will cover the same minimum material. The differences is in the organization's goals for the course. IE teach what they need to know for the card or teach more as a prep for further training. There are only so many skills to achieve for the solo requirement. How much the instructor demands a level of perfection is another thing. From the instructors position some will treat the course as a stepping stone for IE Tech. Others will teach it with solo intended as an end of training pipeline. I have always found that the best students push the instructor for more critical evaluation. The best students will see a skill and drive themselves to perfection and others will require the instructor to do the driving. When all is done both have the same required skills however there are those that have them and much more. Students seldom see the instructor component of training but see it as an agency standard. So if you question is which agency has what required completion standard's That is all together different than which is better padi or sdi based on a product of student quality.

    For what it is worth, to me, the name padi is a recreational rooted agency, The name sdi tdi iantd ect are more technical/ professional founded agencies, both whose core goals are different which include the same common goals.

    Again, the instructor can make any course as pathetic or professional as they chose to do. Many will pass on one having the ability to do,,, and others pass on demonstrating the mastered skill to do. That is always a mix of agency and instructor.
     
    Remy B. and Kharon like this.
  10. knotical

    knotical perpetual student

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ka'u
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    Uness it's changed recently, the PADI Self Reliant Diver course is a stand-alone course, a so-called "standardized distinctive specialty". I used to teach it.
     
    gypsyjim likes this.

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