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Personal Limits to Solo Diving

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by bradymsu, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    556
    378
    It's not a "course", it's a workshop. The difference being that you bring all your honed skills to the workshop and run through them with some mild mentoring.

    A course is where you bring the prerequisites and are taught new skills so you can go away and practice.

    Therefore one's core skills (buoyancy, finning and trim) are a given, as is using redundant kit, handling shutdowns, in-water issues, etc. If you don't have those skills, you don't have the pre-requisites.

    The 'badge' isn't the point. It's an independent evaluation and confirmation of your skills.
     
    Degenerate and Cdncoldwater like this.
  2. VikingDives

    VikingDives Mostly Harmless ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New Mexico
    194
    126
    A student may have previously practiced all the solo skills when they show up, but it isn't a given - that's the point of the course.

    Students can meet the pre-reqs by doing 100 shallow vacation dives... they might think a pony bottle is for nursing newborn horses. That student is going to get some serious training.

    If you show up wanting to punch a ticket, having dived solo for many years, it might be easier, but at least personally, I'd try to make it more challenging for you. It might be something like gas switching in a blackout mask, or without a mask... That's just a personal thing, I don't want you leaving one of my classes without feeling like you got something out of it. I think most instructors would probably do something similar; no one likes spending good money just to get a card.
     
    Esprise Me and Cdncoldwater like this.
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    556
    378
    I do hope the ones with less experience get sent home to practice before coming back. The Solo certification's somewhat different to most others in that it's an absolute standard to hit; certifying that this person is fully up to the standards. For example, someone who's taking the early tech courses could be given a little (though not a lot) leeway as they'll be diving with others. Solo doesn't have that scope.
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  4. VikingDives

    VikingDives Mostly Harmless ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New Mexico
    194
    126
    Are you saying you think it's better to send someone away to figure it out on their own than to take a course? Really?

    I'm aware of what the standards are, and no I wouldn't certify someone who looked like they were riding a bicycle... and I wouldn't recommend that someone take OW, then do 100 easy shallow dives, and show up wanting to be solo, but I'd be more worried about someone with 25 dives and advanced going to to tech training. Maybe we should send them away to do some light deco dives until they get their issue worked out.

    All classes have absolute standards that you must hit. Hit them and you get your card.... but with SDI and TDI I get the leeway of only certifying those that I would dive with, so I don't have to certify someone until they are ready, and if that means more training, they get it.

    I think you're missing the point of training, it's to get there sooner than you would on your own.
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    556
    378
    Definitely not!

    What I'm saying is if someone presents to you who's not got the core skills and "has no real expectation of achieving the standards by the end of the course" (sorry for the quotes), then it has to be made clear to them that they're not going to get a pass.

    Personally I'm all for people taking a class then going away to practice and coming back for an assessment or resit of the class. This happened to me when I took my ANDP; the second time I took the course it was a breeze as I'd heavily practised in the 4 months between the sessions.


    Your standards seem very sound, certainly in comparison to the ubiquitous beach OW & AOW (I'm Advanced, therefore I can dive!) 'courses'!
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  6. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    1,966
    1,010
    FIFY

     
  7. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    191
    121
    On my solo course we were told we had to "earn" our certification and that mentoring would be minimal as we were there with the expectation of having sound fundamentals and practicing skills prior. We had some failures including an OW instructor and a DM; both with well over the 100 dive requirement. I dove prior with those two often, recreationally and trying to prepare for our solo course; one was exceptionally self critical which possibly affected his ability to recover from mistakes during the course (dwelled on them) and the other was occasionally over confident IMO. I'm self critical but I don't let it transfer to my next dive; acknowledge, accept fault, adjust and advance is my mindset. From my experience you need to arrive prepared, park your ego and listen to all debrief points and adapt. I never felt that I "nailed" it or had particularly great dives and when asked by my instructor how the dive went I told him what I felt I did poorly first and then those I did to "standard", acknowledging all my skills could improve. I had the advantage of diving my configuration (SM) for 50 + dives in various conditions while the other two had less time with their pony or SM configurations and that may also have been a factor. I consider both of them good divers and enjoy diving with them still. From my experience fundamentals, comfort with gear etc are key in this course not so much the number of dives and it is one where they need to have very strict standards.
     
    Wibble likes this.
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    556
    378
    I bet sidemount made an enormous difference for you. Redundancy, check/tick. Swapping regs, check/tick. Handling gas releases, check/tick! Not to mention looking good and flat in the water and all the other sidemount benefits.

    If I have to dive solo on open circuit, it's always sidemount.
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  9. 100days-a-year

    100days-a-year Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: NE Florida
    2,320
    784
    180' on air , 250' on mix. Given optimal conditions and competent surface support.
     
  10. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    5,291
    3,499
    Wait. You will dive solo to 180 feet on air?
     
    100days-a-year likes this.

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