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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. Flaviss

    Flaviss Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Orlando, Fl
    9
    0
    0
    Couldn't read it all, sorry.

    My $.02

    The Weekender classes are not for everyone, but they most certainly work for some. As an educated, scientific, and tech savy person going into the class there was alot of material that was really unneccesary.

    I understand Boyle's law, I know the affect of pressure and how it affects gas pockets. I am familiar with partial pressures and such. It took 2 minutes to explain how to use tables and I could do every problem 100%. I don't need 8 weeks of classes.

    More dive practice is what I needed, and I could have got this in the time allowed if the class was smaller or not made up of people with issues. For each of the skills we had to do it took about a half hour to go around because there was at least 8 people per instructer and innevitabley 3-4 of them had to come up because they had issues. I understand that people are not comfortable/have issues, but it is usually the same ones. I could tell after the first hour and a half in the pool who the comfortable and uncomfortable students were.

    If the instructers would have seperated us and given the "comfortable" students time practicing bouyancy and rescue techniques while waiting for the "uncomfortable" students to work out thier issues I feel I would be alot more prepared to be in the water. The "uncomfortable" students should then have been given another pool session the following day for the nominal pool use fee. As it is we did not practice sharing air, only transfering the octo w/ ascent. The bouyancy practice was a whopping ten minutes where they looked around to see us to stay off the bottom without flapping. I dont feel anyone got anything out of it besides and idea of what being nuetrally bouyant feels like.

    I was also dissapointed in the weight managment instruction. Except for a cursory instruction to add/subtract weight till I float eye level we did not get much instruction and there was not enough time alloted or increments of weight provided to zero in on a good weight for us. Taking another half hour in water to figure this out would help immensly. Students were encouraged to not worry about weight too much and hence everyone was overweighted and had to overcompensate with bouyancy, making it harder to get and stay nuetral.

    Two of the Cert dives were ocean drift dives and all ascents were done throughout training without lines so I feel I was well practiced with that but I was mostly left to my own to maintain safety stops and because bouyancy was undeveloped I had difficulty. Venting air was heavily emphasised so I didnt have a problem with that but I was not nuetrally bouyant and maintained my safety stop with constant finning up to maintain 15-20 feet and was constantly moving back and forth within that range.

    In conclusion these weekend classes would be fine IMHO if:

    - They required more educated students (even if it is just forced studying of books before class)

    - In water skill tests had a lower ration of stuendt to instructor/assistant 6 per should be maxx IMHO

    - Once general student comfort is established in pool, future pool sessions should be split between those picking it up and those needing special help with those needing special help having another pool session to make up for misssed training

    - divers should have ALOT more instruction in weight and bouyancy

    - divers should have more instruction in rescue.

    I think all of these can be added to a more efficient course with only adding a half to an hour of in water time. That much added time would not require anouther day of training time to turn off prospective students, nor cost signifigantly more for a teaching facility.

    EDIT: I am not saying I feel that is enough to master the skills, just enought to prepare me adequatly to learn them through experience. I look as the OW certificate and just the minimum cert to be allowed to learn, not a certificate of mastery.
     
  2. TheRedHead

    TheRedHead Orca Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dixie
    6,948
    3
    0
    OMG, I can't believe that this thread is still alive too. It gives every newbie performance anxiety.
     
  3. MargaritavilleDiver

    MargaritavilleDiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Miami, FL
    24
    0
    0
    A wise Chinese man once said "We can't offer a Shaolin kung ** program lasting 3 years to Westeners, they don't have the patience for it." He was probably right. :)

    So in my blinkered opinion...

    If the course was longer, you'd get a lot less people interesed in diving. It's better from an association's view to get a lot of people certified in the most basic skills to get them interested and then push them onto the other more advanced classes.

    ETA: I can't believe f and u together are censored!
     
  4. wanadive

    wanadive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Georgia - The Peach State
    47
    0
    0
    OW Certification get you to pass the BASIC course so that you are certified, having fun, you want to buy all the gear you can buy so you can dive - - -then 3 or 4 dives later you encounter obstacles in which you were not trained for - - - boat dives....salt water vs. being trained in fresh water.....long shore swims....not enough training is being taught about your weights, aluminum tanks vs. steel tanks etc. etc. Okay. . . so now after being certified 10/07 and spening $1,500 + on gear and in the negative $125 + on dives I was unable to do because of needing additional experience---so do I throw in the towel and give up???? I don't not want to - I want to dive - but I am one of those who need a little added practice. But from what I can gather unless you have BIG$$$ for personal lessons you can throw in the towel - who cares??? there are plenty more divers who will get certiifed next month and the monht after!! Just this past weekend I made a terrible mistake and made an uncontrolled ascent from 42 ft. after getting to the bottom to discover I was not weighted properly. A minute and a half down and the same up - became deathly ill - vertigo set in - which inturn I was unable to do my dives on Sunday. (You have already paid - so what --- you are just out that money as well)

    There seems to be allot of peoplewho feel the same way- about additional class/pool room time. If there were options for extended classes - maybe we would have more divers.

    In midst of WHAT to do . . . . .??????
     
  5. letsgodiving

    letsgodiving Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: At my desk
    150
    0
    0
    Our instructor assessed everyone during the first session and then split us into groups. The more competent students practiced buoyancy and other skills while the instructor mentored the less competent students in the basics.
     
  6. TheRedHead

    TheRedHead Orca Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dixie
    6,948
    3
    0
    I'm sorry wannadive! Sounds like you experienced ear trama during your ascent. Don't give up. Go talk to your LDS and your instructor about the problems you encountered. Most of them do want to help.

    Good luck!
     
  7. wanadive

    wanadive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Georgia - The Peach State
    47
    0
    0
    Thanks Pink Pride -
    I don't want to throw in the towel - I guess I just need a slower pace class - to practice buoyancy - saftey stops, etc.

    Yes - I did suffer some ear trama- infact just returned from ENT. I am lucky it wasn't more damage than vertigo, throwing up and exhaustion. Ath the beginning of the dive....The last thing I heard from the DM while training a class of about 18 was "When yall get down the rope - move and get over, out of the way" so when I got to the end - I had to reach and hold on to my buddies hand - she had actually carried additional weight for me - but we didn't make the understanding clear how I was to tell her I needed additional weights. I was patting my weight bags etc, and as I started ascending when I let go of her hand ..... I was immediatley headed up - So therefore I gave her the thumbs up and proceeded up the rope - in the midst of ascending my mask started flooding - which felt like Mt. Rushmore entering in my face - stinging w/ burning salt water --- not to add I wear hard contacts- and fearing I would loose one of those as well. It was amazing how quick I descended to 42 feet. Lesson learned no matter HOW LONG you are in a dive you always have to do a saftey stop - or atleast slow down. Thanks again for the confidence in NOT giving up!!

    Wannadive
     
  8. Scuba Laura

    Scuba Laura Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St. Thomas, USVI
    110
    0
    0
  9. Scuba Laura

    Scuba Laura Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St. Thomas, USVI
    110
    0
    0
    Wow, another one!!

    CLAP CLAP CLAP

    Thank you for posting your experience and your thoughts.
     
  10. TheRedHead

    TheRedHead Orca Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dixie
    6,948
    3
    0
    Your class sounds like a CF, WannaDive. A student shouldn't be carrying extra weight for you. The "need weight" signal is to touch your weight belt, but the DM should have the extra weight.

    My OW class lasted about 3 weeks, 3 nights per week. We did 7 pool sessions and we could go to the pool at any time to practice skills we had learned. Perhaps you can find a slower paced class?
     

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