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To those considering an OW class...

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by loosebits, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. norine62

    norine62 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Denton, TX
    23
    0
    0
    I just got certified a few weeks ago with a 2 class/pool sessions and 2 days OW (I had class materails and studied them for about a month before class #1. Do I consider myself a great diver? No... I really barely consider myself a competent diver. Maybe my experience was in the minority, but I felt my instructors prepped me VERY well. While I didn't come close to being in an actual water setting for 100 hrs, I can assure you that the class was paced for competency, not just the "grindmill" as some seem to have described. The class did not move on until competency was attained by everyone - some of the basic skills I may have repeated them 30-40 times, with about half of them being in "real" situations (ie: not kneeling on a platform). Actual water time was just under 25 hrs.

    Now that I have my c-card I look to get more involved, but this also means that I know my limits because they were drummed into me repeatedly by the instructor, DM, etc. I will NOT night dive, I will NOT enter an enclosed environment, I will NOT enter a situation that I have not been instructed in. Heck, I probably won't do anything more advanced than super basic dive-park diving without a DM around (lucky for me we've got a great scuba park around with a max depth of 25').

    I cannot argue that my class system was better than a longer one becuase I have no experience in any other system - I do know that in my case I would not have my c-card if I had not satisfied the instructor personally (not to any certifiation minimums) that I could perform in a basic way without being a harm to myself or another. As I said before, maybe I'm in the minority. I had a fantastic (I mean REALLY fantastic) instructor and dive master who introduced me to SCUBA and instilled a firm grasp of the basics in me., as well as drummed my limitations into me REPEATEDLY.

    Maybe that's the middle ground - instead of saying that it must be 100 hrs or 200 hrs or whatever, maybe people should be concerned with finding the program in which they could learn the most and become the safest beginner possible.
     
  2. SkullDeformity

    SkullDeformity Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hilo, HI and Issaquah, WA
    357
    0
    0
    How many more pages is this thread going to need to accumulate until they sticky this?
     
  3. buhund

    buhund Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pflugerville, TX
    15
    0
    0
    I just finished my OW checkout dives this weekend. Looking back, I have to honestly say I was less than impressed with my instructor. His knowledge level and experience were very high, but I felt he was a poor instructor. There was not really a focus on mastery of most of the skills. Some skills we did quite a few times: mask removal/clearing, both regulator clearings, and both regulator retrievals. But most other skills we just had to do once in the pool and once in open water (including buddy breathing with octopus). Plus, I'm sorry to say, that there were some skills we didn't even do: simulate leaking low pressure inflator, orally inflate BC underwater, simulate out of air by instructor turning off air, cramp removal, share air with one regulator, and I know there are others I just don't remember off the top of my head.

    Our "water time" was pretty minimal. We spent less than six hours in the pool. This includes the 200m swim and 10min water tread at the beginning, and the stuff we did with just the snorkel. Our open water time was about 75 minutes but roughly 30 minutes of that was the "planned fun dive". None of our dives "required" us to make a safety stop so we never took one.

    Other things: no real discussion on buoyancy control, no talking about "how" to plan a dive, minimal dive debriefs, listening to him talk about how little weight he has to wear compared to us, or about how little air he used compared to us….I could go on but I don't want to bore everyone.

    Overall the process seemed to be a "check the box" experience instead of being focused on developing well-prepared new divers. I am very happy that I studied the book so well and found these forums prior to taking my class. My own self-studying has made a big difference for me. I think the fact that I can look back and see how poor of an instructor he was will help my keep my confidence in check and keep me within my limits.

    Next for me? I'm going to take it slow. Hopefully I'll be able to find some experienced divers in Austin that will let me tag along and continue to learn :D. I have three months before my trip to Cozumel.
     
  4. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
    113
    Sorry to see that. Was this a private instructor or one associated with a shop? Unfortunately, instructors associated with shops are often held to time constraints. It's not an excuse, but something to keep in mind for future training. Either find a shop that allows for more time, or find an independent instructor that will provide the time you want. I know there are some in your area.
     
  5. buhund

    buhund Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pflugerville, TX
    15
    0
    0
    Dive-aholic, the instructor was associated with the shop. I would like to believe that it was due to time contraints but I don't think it was. The class/pool sessions were scheduled to go from 8-5 on both Saturday and Sunday. We ended up going from 9-2 one day and 9-3 the other day. Those times include a one hour lunch break each day. And there was no one waiting for the pool after us.
     
  6. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
    113
    Yeah, that sounds like the instructor then.
     
  7. Steve50

    Steve50 Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: USA - around the middle
    837
    89
    0
    Sounds like much was left out. Curious - how did you know what was left out?
     
  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    36,349
    13,605
    0
    Maybe because he's waded through the 23 pages of this thread?
     
  9. Steve50

    Steve50 Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: USA - around the middle
    837
    89
    0
    :rofl3: Oh yea - been a while since I read much of it - didn't remember it had so much "content".
     
  10. buhund

    buhund Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pflugerville, TX
    15
    0
    0
    I knew what was left out by reading the book. The book says in Confined Water Dive "X" you will need to demonstrate the following skills:. Now, I realize the book isn't the end-all-be-all and can't take the place of actual experience. Further, I realize the skills don't necessarily need to take place in the specific order they were listed, however I didn't expect some of them to be completely skipped.

    Reading these forums did help as well. :D
     

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