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Worth pursuing AOW?

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

  1. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Yeah, the sampler platter AOW might be the easier way to go for vacation divers.
  2. leadduck

    leadduck Barracuda

    PADI AOWD is 5 dives (the sample platter), they are the first dives from 5 specialties. The corresponding SSI card is the SSI Advanced Adventurer. Whereas the SSI AOWD is more than that, it contains 4 full specialties.
    So there's some confusion because SSI AOWD and PADI AOWD are something different.
    CMAS** is like AOWD and Rescue. You need to talk to the instructor if OWD is sufficient prerequisite for CMAS**, or if he wants to see AOWD before.
    For a boat dive to 30m, it doesn't matter which of these cards you have.
    For a 40m dive, many boats want to see additionally the deep specialty card.
    I'd choose by the instructor and shop, which one you like better, but not the agency as it doesn't matter.
  3. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Photographer

    Interesting. Is really an insurance requirement? Or just a rule that the shop made up? (and then lied to you and blamed it on their insurance so that they would not have to justify the rule...)

    Does anyone have any first hand knowledge that it is an insurance requirement? It would be interesting to get feedback from a shop owner or knowledgeable employee. I vaguely remember reading a post a long time ago where a LOB operator confirmed that their specific insurance was good to the recreational limit of 130 for OW divers. I could be remembering wrong?
  4. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Photographer

    Google is your friend when your memory gets vague

    OW limitations
  5. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Rockville, MD
    I did my OW and AOW immediately following. I did 3 OW dives on a Friday, the final OW dive Saturday morning, then 2 AOW dives that afternoon, and 3 AOW dives the following day. I'm glad I did it that way.

    The primary reason I wanted to do it was because I knew it was something I was going to stick with, and it allowed me to have 5 more dives with instructors while I'm in learning mode. My AOW dives helped me get my weight properly dialed in thanks to the instructors and I started my OW training with 14lbs of weight, and ended my AOW dives with 6lbs of weight, which was absolutely perfect. The whole thing about using your breath to control your buoyancy and move up/down in the water clicked on my final dive as well, and it was this zen like moment where I was like "Oooooohhhh NOW I get it!" like the light bulb turned on in my head.

    That said, I know having my AOW doesn't mean I am an advanced diver. The name of it is poor in my opinion, but I get it means you are advancing your skills, rather than BEING advanced. I still have under 20 total dives so I'm far from being advanced.
  6. Jcp2

    Jcp2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    For a vacation diver without a regular buddy who is going to hire a private DM anyway to dive, the incremental additional cost for formal instruction is not a lot, whether it’s AOW or something else that would fit into interests and accessibility.
    MrBigfins likes this.
  7. American Digger In Europe

    American Digger In Europe Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Germany
    SSI Standards for AOWD: Complete four (4) SSI Specialty programs AND log 24 open water dives.
    Only two (2) specialties from another recognized certification agency may be credited toward the Advanced Open Water Diver rating.
  8. GrafCanuck

    GrafCanuck Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: London, Ontario
    I waited a year plus and 25 dives before doing my AOW. Loved the requisite 5 dives down in Bonaire. Personally had more fun doing the AOW than OW. I was fortunate to have a very good instructor and 1:1 coaching. My decision on taking the AOW had more to do with simply getting more experience. Next on my training docket is enriched/nitrox. Maybe. All the best in your decision.
    BlueTrin likes this.
  9. myshadeofred

    myshadeofred Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia
    I messed up a reply...but here it is.

    This is dependent on the company. I find I get less hassles with the AOW. Now I'm rescue so I led with that.
    At place like Key Largo...open water is going to be fine unless it's a deep dive past 60 feet but they offer a lot above that.

    I think it'w worth the investment not to worry when I travel. Amount of dives is irrelevant. However, in NC they did require a deep dive within a year regardless of certification for their dives to wrecks due to no guides. Food for thought.
    Johnoly and chillyinCanada like this.
  10. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    It actually really came to light and be enforced when the Speigel Grove went down in Key Largo. At the time most Florida boats had Vicencia & Buckley insurance and then it spread that same year to all the other dive boats audits. And YES, I have seen and have 1st hand knowledge of insurance audits on dive boat manifests. In today's litigation wild world it's the insurance companies that determine the rules boats follow. But it's also the divers responsibility. @JoeFriday , have you ever asked the captain to see his CG license? I have and most are exceptionally proud to whip it out. Plus I want to know he has it with him when we get boarded or it's going to be a very long day sitting in the sun doing nothing while the officer chooses to do a full inspection rather than us dive.
    GrafCanuck likes this.

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