Scuba Diving

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Kizmet, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I'm thinking about taking up scuba diving as a new hobby and so I'm asking if any of our members can point me in the right direction as to learning/instruction/certifications. I've done a little homework already and found this site which (surprise!) offers some DL opportunities

    Can any scuba vets help me to not make any bad rookie mistakes?
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Ask a lot of questions:
    Where is the check out dive? Is it included in the price of the certification?
    One place I looked at included the check out dive in a local lake another place required (at an additonal fee) a checkout dive in the Keys. Who wanted to be stressed on vacation in the Keys? I did mine at a lake then went on vacation to Bimini.

    Is gear included in the classes?
    Some places required you to have mask, fins, and snorkel while others required you to have everything.

    Decide which organization you want to go with. I think PADI is a bit more expensive then others. I went with a shop that was SSI. Honestly, I do not think there is that much of a difference.

    As I think of other things I will add them.

    *I have been certified since 1993 and done over 100 dives with most of them in the first 5 years*
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Ask where the water exercises are - a pool or open water? I did mine in a huge pool and it was an excellent place to learn.

    How big are the classes? You learn a lot in the water during classes if you have a reasonable size class and a good instructor. I think our class was 6 or 7 people. The instructor was a nurse at the hospital I worked at and just loved to dive so he taught. He did it for the "love" not the money.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Thanks. In my area I'm afraid there are few options. I may have to do the basic stuff close to home and then travel (VACATION!!!) to do more advanced training. Already I'm way out ahead of myself (no surprise there) No other scuba pros here?
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Hence the saying that PADI stands for "put another dollar in".
  6. Maria Soledad

    Maria Soledad New Member

    I can add to the information given before that in my case we needed to have classes of Emergency first response; where we learned CPR. In my case, we started with snorkels in a big swimming pool then with all the gear in the Pacific Ocean.
    It is not hard, it is fun, Enjoy it!
    Maria Soledad
  7. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    I managed a dive center in Florida. Kizmet, pm me any question at all as you pursue this, large, small, silly-seeming; I've probably answered the same question for many inquirers already, and I'd be glad to help again.

    I hesitate to answer the open-ended question only because I could write a book (and I shouldn't do so on this right now so I stop myself. Courses in progress!)
  8. jaer57

    jaer57 New Member

    I would get a mask well ahead of time and make sure it is comfortable. You'll be wearing it for hours at a time and if it annoys you after 10 minutes, you won't get to relax and enjoy your dives! That is what it's all about!

    I received my open water certification from PADI back in '98, but I got my nitrox cert from SSI and a Dreager dolphin rebreather cert from TDI which are all solid organizations. Some good friends of mine received their certs from NAUI. Any one of those should be fine.

    Once you get certified and get some dives logged, I'm sure you'll get hooked. There's so many awesome places to dive in the world; I wish I could visit them all! Probably the most unique dive I ever did was in Guam. There's two ships that were sunk in the same harbor during two different wars. One was a German tanker called the SMS Cormoran that was sunk during WWI. Sitting directly on top of it, sunk 26 years later, lies the Japanese Tokai Maru, a destroyer sunk during WWII. Where else in the world can you visit two shipwrecks from two wars in the same dive? Here's an article Forbes did about it. Still amazes me; things like this keep me excited about diving. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!!
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Thanks everyone. I'm going to inch forward as my life allows.
  10. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    To PADI dive shops and instructors: "Paperwork and diving in between."

    But I would not say PADI is generalisably more expensive. PADI and the other certification agencies sell instructional materials, license dive businesses and instructors, and charge the business or instructor a small fee for each certification card. SSI, uniquely, only allows teaching through dive shops (Scuba Schools International); in PADI, NAUI and most other agencies, instructors in active status, with prescribed insurance, etc., can also teach and certify independently.

    Do not rule out working with a good instructor teaching independently.

    To be certified to dive independently, you'll need confined water skills training and open water check-out dives. Occasionally a shallow, reasonably protected lake, quarry or beach area counts as confined water and students can segue to an open water session at the same site. But confined water sessions generally take place in swimming pools.

    Randell is very, very right and apt when he says to ask a lot of questions, particularly about what is included, what you'll eventually be required or expected to buy, rent, pay this or that fee for, etc.
  11. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    I've been a scuba instructor for 20 years, with both YMCA and PADI. YMCA discontinued their scuba program in 2008, so that basically leaves me with PADI now. I'm still an active instructor.

    PADI does have some of their programs online, but I'm not a fan of them. Part of the fun is taking the class with a group of people that can turn out to be great dive buddies. Often the DL option is more expensive too. On the plus side, many of PADIs courses are ACE reviewed.

    My advice would be to find a good local dive store that you feel comfortable with. Good dive stores will take time to answer your questions, not try to push you to buy things.
  12. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I got scuba certified in 2003 by Scuba Schools International (SSI) and my certification ran me around $380 which included all instruction, check dives, and all rental equipment.

    Scuba is a VERY expensive hobby. You can easily drop 2 grand on equipment just starting out. I would hold off and rent as much as you can until you determine how often your going to dive. I know several people who dropped some serious coin to just have there equipment used every couple of years. Also keep in mind that if you travel, it can be expensive to ship all your gear and it might be cheaper to rent. But at the end of the day, its always better to have your own equipment.

    I used rental gear when I drove in Turks & Caicos, Florida, and a few other places since my personal equipment is set up to dive the pacific off California.
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I went to South Caicos for a week long dive trip - what an amazing place. NorCal is right, this does get expensive. When my wife and I got our gear we purchased the BCs and regs at a local dive shop (the one where we took the lessons) during their annual "used sale". We purchased US Diver and both BCs sprung a leak during the class. The wonderful thing was the lifetime warranty that came with US Diver. The BCs were considered unrepairable and we both got new BCs by the time we finished class. We ended up saving about $600-800 on that one.

    In the beginning it is probably wise to rent the gear. Oh - one more thing - if you do buy and go on vacation do not put your stuff in a fancy suitcase with dive stickers. Miami airport was well known for stealing your gear. Get an old Goodwill suitcase and some duck tape. No one would ever want to steal anything that is probably in there.
  14. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    I got my open water certification through NAUI nearly 20 years ago. I was volunteering for my town's rescue squad at the time and they paid for my training (and another guy's) so they could have a dive team on standby just in case they needed to recover a drowning victim in one of the local lakes. Thankfully, I never had to perform this grisly task. I did get to play with the scuba equipment the squad bought (for training purposes, of course) and enjoyed quite a bit of lake diving. Unfortunately, there's just not much to see in a man-made lake...a little bit of trash, the occasional small fishy, and not much else. Kind of boring, really. I'd love to be able to dive in the ocean some day.
  15. Divingequipment

    Divingequipment New Member

    Really, most informative thread, thanks to all members for sharing this information of scuba equipment.

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