• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

PADI swim test

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Paladin, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,285
    2,682
    113
    Many know my thoughts on swimming and swim tests, and sorry for beating a dead horse.... I support the view that swimming is a sport unto itself, and a skill--one that is considered the best of all possible exercises, using basically all muscles without the pounding that running causes. But certain muscles are used more than others. And there are the techniques of proper arm strokes, arm stroke ratio to kick cycles and proper breathing. If one is unable to pass a swim test it doesn't at all mean one is out of shape, though he may be. It means one is out of swimming shape. One SB poster gave the excellent example of the body builder who sank before finishing one lap.
     
  2. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
    0
    Boy, how did this thread return from the dead after two months?:)

    I can't say how much more negative I'd be, except that I'm currently about +18 with minimum gas in my suit. I've never experienced a full flood in my suit (I need to try that for practice). Depending on how much gas you managed to keep in your suit, I might be anywhere from 0 to +18. What worries me is the sheer difficulty of swimming in the thing when it's waterlogged. I've swum 150-200 yds freestyle in my suit with fins, and the weight and restriction will tire you fast. I expect my CF200 may be one of the worst on this score, as it's quite heavy when the outer cover is saturated. Trying to do crawl in the suit sans gear, you aren't going to get much if any effective kick (and most peoples' kick only contributes 10-15% of their propulsion when doing freestyle under ideal conditions), so it's all on your arms. Now add several lb. to either, plus the restricted motion, and you can see how tiring it can be for even a good swimmer in good shape, who's comfortable in the water. Add some incipient panic and an inefficient stroke, and all that's likely to happen is that the person will exhaust themselves to no purpose.

    A poor swimmer, especially in rough seas where they may be getting a faceful of water on a regular basis, is likely to be thrashing around, wasting energy and probably losing what little air bubble they have in the suit. Once they get tired, they're likely to be ingesting even more water, and not have the strength to keep their face clear. A good swimmer may just decide that they can't reach the boat, and concentrate on maintaining buoyancy; they're certainly far more likely to not panic in that situation, know how to breathe to avoid swallowing water, etc. Way back when, I had to learn how to inflate my pants and my shirt and use them for buoyancy, so keeping some air trapped in the suit and waiting for rescue is a possibility in the back of my mind.

    As to waiting for the boat, yes that may work, but that assumes that the visibility is such that they can keep track of you (no fog, big swells, fast current etc.), that they can buoy the anchor rapidly, that the engine will start instantly ("I just had this fuel pump serviced, and it's still cutting out on me"), and on and on. So waiting for a boat pickup may be a valid choice, in some cases the only one, but given the option I'd much prefer to be able to get myself back to the boat and not depend on everything else going right. I much prefer taking active measures to ensure my own safety, unless they're doomed to failure.

    Guy
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  3. BarrelRoll

    BarrelRoll Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Dallas
    159
    0
    0
    I'm doing the unthinkable, but I didn't read the thread.

    Here's my input.

    I got certified a while ago from a tech diver who knew I knew my way around the water. Basically, we'd done all of the necessary stuff and he just told me, "Ok, go do the swim test. It's gotta be done."

    We joked about it, I asked him if I could use a DPV, etc.

    At the end of the day I just did it with shorts on, but it was 100% my choice. If I'd been very lazy I could have gone MFS, but time was more important to me so I slammed it out with a freestyle stroke since it was done in a pool. He knew I could get the job done, and honestly he didn't even watch me.

    My point is an instructor should be able to assess whether or not their student can swim after all that pool work. You can tell if someone is comfortable in the water. Let's not make it too insanely micro-managed.
     
  4. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
    0
    Well, there you go, a perfect example of why you should have read it. The reason for the distance has been discussed, and it isn't to tell the instructor if you can swim. As has been previously mentioned, that's obvious within a couple of strokes. And now, let's let this thread return to wherever it's been resting for the past two months.

    Guy
     
  5. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    0
    31
    0
    Marek K,

    It's a EU "standard", which I believe applies to all EU countries and all agencies operating in the Union.

    The exact wording in the standards is this:

    The following countries are members of CEN. The European Norms (ENs) specifically apply in these: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France†, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal†, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain†, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    I don't know where you found the bits of text you found but the snorkel option is not available in the above countires, regardless of what someone's website might say. This has been the case since 2006 or 2007 so maybe you were certified before that.

    R..
     
  6. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer Captain

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    1,938
    165
    0
    The swim test as currently administered by most agencies is entirely inadequate to demonstrate comfort in water in diving conditions or to indicate fitness levels.

    I've seen plenty of very clearly out-of-shape people finish the tests easily because they are naturally buoyant due to body composition. I have seen many people who are quite good swimmers in the pool freak out while swimming in waves and current.

    For the swim test to be meaningful to demonstrate anything related to potential real-world diving conditions it needs to be done in open water, with at least mild chop, over a significant distance (a mile or more), and be timed to demonstrate fitness level.

    Otherwise it's a waste of class time that demonstrates nothing to do with diving or comfort in the water in real-world diving conditions.
     
  7. Marek K

    Marek K Loggerhead Turtle

    1,824
    5
    38
    Oh, that's interesting. Yes, our kids' PADI and SSI OWD training in Europe was in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

    But the three quotes I gave were from the FAQs on PADI's current web sites for Germany, Poland, and The Netherlands. Maybe they hadn't updated them?
     
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,285
    2,682
    113
    Agree with everything. One problem is, like the DM tests, I imagine the rules were put into place decades ago and never revised to be more practical (someone correct me if I'm wrong). In a perfect world everyone would do the tests under the same exact conditions, even if in a pool (ei. same length pool, etc.). Even better would be everyone doing them in open water. In our locale that would limit classes to 2 months in summer as the ocean temp. almost never hits 60F, and we have way too many OW students (18-20 classes) each year.
     
  9. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    0
    31
    0
    Yeah, PADI doesn't put much effort into getting it's European language stuff translated properly. It's probably just a 1:1 translation of the American pages and nobody thought to check if it was right.

    R..
     

Share This Page