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Worth pursuing AOW?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Orestis82, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    It depends on the shop. I hope you have a Mediterranean Monk seal visit you on your dives. There seem to be more of them there.
  2. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    When I worked the tables for my dive planning doc (as I had to cover both Imperial and metric), I was surprised as to the difference.
  3. American Digger In Europe

    American Digger In Europe Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Germany
    If your instructor was SSI, he violated course standards by not teaching you compass and how to deploy an SMB. It is a course REQUIREMENT!
  4. Doctor Rig

    Doctor Rig ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Michigan
    Good thread on the benefits of AOW! I’ve been on the hunt for a good time and place to pursue my AOW coarse and have some related thoughts.

    If I understand correctly, all certifying agencies offer the same AOW class framework, but the value one receives from the AOW experience is for the most part determined by the AOW instructor, not the certifying agency. The prior posting from “American Digger in Europe” is a good negative example of this point.

    In my search for a “good” AOW coarse and instructor, I’ve been looking at Florida dive centers, as the instructors are likely very experienced, having the ability to dive & instruct 365 days a year in a competitive market place. After considerable research, I’ve also heard that SDI AOW instructors are encouraged (by SDI) to provide a much broader instructional training experience, beyond the confines of the five (5) selected specialities.

    In my discussions, one SDI instructor actually confirmed this to me in explaining his AOW coarse. I prefer this SDI approach to train beyond the content from more than five (5) selected specialities.

    I’d expect other agency instructors might offer a version this broader AOW instructional training, but that would be on their own, not necessarily promoted by the training agency, as I understand it. If I’m wrong, then I’d like to understand your perspectives on this issue.

    Getting a certification card is a nice to have, but becoming a better diver is where the real value is.... at least to me.
    GrafCanuck likes this.
  5. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    AOW is different across different agency. If we want to talk about the "5 different try dives of various specialties" that is PADI AOW, SSI/SDI Advanced Adventurer, NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver (6 dives here). I'll stop there, as I think that's what you are looking at. Please correct if I am wrong.

    SDI and NAUI allow instructors to augment their courses with additional skills requirements.

    If you are looking at South Florida, I would highly recommend @custureri or @LandonL. Both are awesome instructors. Ryan has helped me grow tremendously as an instructor. I've learned a lot from him, probably more so than from any other instructor. He's got quite a background that he's applied to his courses. Oh, and most important, we have fun with pointless arguments on FB because we are both too stubborn to back down! :wink::D
    Doctor Rig and Jcp2 like this.
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    It is also different across instructors, whether a matter of required dives, my instructor also required PP Buoyancy as well as Nav and Deep, all the way to the more sinister not staying within standards

    PADI, from my understanding, instructors can add material, but can not make certification dependant upon the student knowing/doing the additional material. This was the reason my OW (NAUI/PADI) instructor dropped PADI. I don't know how many other agencies have this attitude, but it would be hard to give any knowledge on local diving without it.

    Best thing for AOW is to get a referral from another diver(s), or respected dive proffessional, and talk to the instructor about what, and how, he teaches before you sign up.

    Doctor Rig likes this.
  7. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: same ocean as you
    Circa 1983

  8. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    PADI (and all other agencies) have a minimum number of dives. If a student cannot meet the performance requirements as interpreted by the instructor (not including RAID here as they have objective instead of subjective requirements), then additional dives are required until those performance requirements are met. When I taught for PADI, I picked the dives: PPB, nav, night, DSMB, deep. And no one finished in 5 dives. They always needed some teaching, go off and practice, and then come back. While this is not uncommon for people who teach on the side, it is uncommon for people going to resort areas. Since the OP is going to South Florida where there are some really solid instructors, he can expect to pay a daily rate for training. No corners will be cut there with the right instructor.

    PADI allows additional academic material, not additional skills. SSI has a process referenced in their standards, but I don't know anyone who has gone through that process, but I'm sure that someone somewhere has. SDI/NAUI leave it to the instructor to add additional skill requirements to certification that are appropriate.
    Bob DBF and Doctor Rig like this.
  9. Orestis82

    Orestis82 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Denmark
    He mentioned compass briefly, and I know the theory from the manual, but are you positive about SMB? Can’t find a reference to it in the digital manual.
  10. OSNL

    OSNL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NL
    I did AOW when I was about 10 dives in. I only dive on vacation and for me it was worth it, because it allowed me to get some more time with an instructor. It gave me more confidence and I did feel that especially my buoyancy control improved rapidly, although of course we'll never know whether I'd have seen the same improvement if I had just done some fun dives.

    Financially the investment was not that bad; the shop I did it at offered the course over three of their regular two tank boat dives, and the extra cost of those 6 dives + AOW compared to just the 6 dives was about $70. I would have gone diving anyway, and to me the extra $70 to receive extra training was worth it.
    jonhall likes this.

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