• 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

refusing an instabuddy

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by ballastbelly, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. ballastbelly

    ballastbelly Nassau Grouper

    Hello there, did my confined OW sessions :) and am getting close to getting my cert & will be able to join groups now.

    i have been reading about the next danger facing group diving - reckless/clueless instabuddies. the horror stories recorded here on SB gave me shivers.
    daredevil OWs entering wrecks from tiny openings, instabuddies wasting their air 15min before the rest of the group blowing bubbles, instabuddies
    descending past 40m on walls & almost universally instabuddies with cameras completely ignoring the other buddy.

    what clues do you look for on the dive boat when assessing potential trouble? if the DM (maybe there are some here) pairs you up with someone you dont have a bad gut feeling about, how would you politely rectify the situation. incidentally what sort of legal obligation is there between instabuddies?

    & finally, underwater, whats the signal for 'wont follow, your on your own' ?
  2. dmoore19

    dmoore19 Denizen of the PUB ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado, United States
    You can always decline to dive, sit it out.

    I know the answer to the last one. A single finger.
  3. FM1520

    FM1520 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Coronado, CA
    1) I think the horror stories are way over blown - don't worry about it

    2) Just tell the DM or the buddy you don't think this is a good match

    3) there is no legal obligation between instabuddies

    4) as a brand new diver (trust me, you are very easy to spot) you are the one people are tying to avoid
  4. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    You never have to go where you do not want to go.

    The type of buddy you are talking about will probably not wait for you to discuss it. They will just head off. If with a group you just stay with the group. If not with a group and they take off you either thumb the dive, go solo if trained and in the mood for it, or hook up with a pair diving what you consider safe.

    If they ask you to follow, you just point at your self and give the no signal.

    I have picked up an extra buddy more than once during a dive. Usually its when say two of a threesome want to go up and the third has air left. Couple times it was somebody in a class that got separated so I had them join us/me rather than them going off in search of their class. Couple time buddy pair got separated and a single was heading back for the anchor with air.

    Understand that I almost never dive in a situation where there is a guide for a group of several divers. Also most often I am on a wreck or ledge offshore and making an open water ascent is not the first option. The first option is to return to the anchor line and ascend to the boat safely. If separated meet at the anchor is SOP.

    having a buddy is good. But nothing bad is going to immediately happen to you because the buddy is not there. You should be able to slowly and safely return to boat or to a buddy situation. It is what you were trained for.

    ---------- Post added June 30th, 2014 at 11:42 PM ----------

    Assuming you are comfortable in the water I would rather dive with you than somebody who wants to swim like crazy all over the place. In my experience new divers hang next to me like a remora. I just do my usual pleasant poke around and take a couple pictures dive and they are right there next to me. Especially when a big old sandy cruises by. :)
    grantwiscour and ballastbelly like this.
  5. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Like FM1520 said, the horror stories are overblown.
    I've had a few problems with buddies but interestingly they were not instabuddies.
    Join clubs and I hate to say it, but take more classes if for nothing else because it's a great place to meet potential buddies.
    One thing I would do is avoid trying to meet potential buddies on the internet. Like Forrest Gump once said "You never know what you're going to get". Which is funny because here we are on the internet :0
    But when it comes to the actual nuts and bolts and the real thing, seeing and talking to the person first is always the best way to interview them or size-them-up, to be a little more blunt.. The internet allows people to hide way to much of who they really are.
    You want to see a persons body language which is a lot more telling than written words on a screen.
    Every time I've conversed with a person on the internet about buddying up and finally meeting up to do a dive somewhere, I would say over 60% of the time the person was not at all what I was expecting, and not in a good way. I would never have picked that type of person if I saw them and talked to them first in the flesh.

    If you do get buddied up with someone on a boat and you decide to go with it, make sure you talk to them enough first to get an idea of what they are about. Come up with a plan and set some rules that they will agree to. They may have a few concerns themselves and may request a few ground rules also.
  6. ballastbelly

    ballastbelly Nassau Grouper

    none at all? so if a guy showed up with no octopus on his tank, the DM would still pair him up with someone?
  7. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Also you don't dive with operations that think it's ok to just pair people up. If they do it does not relieve you of the responsibility of planning your own dive and sticking to that plan. What kind of instruction are you getting? The DM is not there to.plan your dive, find you a buddy, or keep.you safe in any way. That is solely your job. Read the sticky in the new divers forum titled "who is responsible." No one but you is going to keep you safe.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
    BDSC and Kharon like this.
  8. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI
    Congrats on completing you pool work :cool2:

    There are more diving professionals (DM and up), shop owners, dive medicine experts, industry leaders, and manufacturers here on ScubaBoard than you will ever be able to meet anywhere else. If you take the time to look around, and read, you'll be able to spot the true professionals, and weed out the "know-it-alls". Although, there are some that are Professional Know-It-Alls and those people you can trust.

    There are hand signals to tell the other diver no, other than the single finger. You could hold a hand up like a traffic cop, or a clenched fist, or just shake your head no. One thing to remember is that, if you separate from your buddy, BOTH of you are now diving solo. Discussing the dive plan with your instabuddy BEFORE the dive would ensure that both of you understand each others personal limitations.

    That's funny! :rofl3:
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    My wife is not a diver, but we go on a lot of vacations to a lot of places together. I dive and she snorkels. Consequently, I have had many, many insta-buddies--probably several hundred. I agree that the horror stories are overblown. Yes, I have had a number that were less than perfect and some who clearly waned to go their own way, but they were few and far between. I have never even considered turning anyone down.

    The first step is to feel confident yourself--before you even get out of bed that day. Even when you are with a buddy, you should feel confident that you can handle problems even if the buddy were to evaporate suddenly.

    The second step is to be a proactive buddy yourself. If you meet on the boat, immediately start talking about your gear setup so he or she is familiar with it. Start talking about hand signals and procedures. In my experience, whoever it is will usually reciprocate and then follow through on the dive.
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    I haven't used an octopus in years. I would only put one on if I were teaching an OW class. Same with snorkel and BCD. What you are learning in OW class will not always translate to real life, although it should have a pretty good basis for it. Personally, I applaud your enthusiasm and desire to learn it all right now, I think it's a good thing. Now, go finish your OW class, and go get 25 dives without an instructor. Many of your questions you ask today will seem redundant then, as the answers will come to you with experience. By far the biggest problem you will have with an instabuddy will be their air consumption versus your air consumption. Sometimes instabuddy stories get embellished or blown out of proportion to make a point.

Share This Page