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Almost Certified then What's next

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by djpeteski, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    4,213
    4,258
    My stabdard reply to this kind of post:

    The absolute best diver I ever met gave me this advice: "Your card is a learners permit. You need to practice all those skills you were introduced to till you have them down to a conditioned reflex. Do only one at a time till you perfect it before you move on the next. First buoyancy, then trim, then ...And always, ALWAYS minimize your new task load."
     
    pinshootr, bkilleen and RainPilot like this.
  2. wspalding

    wspalding Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Grafton, MA
    252
    106
    Nearly all of my diving is in the Jupiter/West Palm area and there is plenty of good instructors there. My son did his cert dives and I did my rescue cert with Jupiter Dive Center and I thought they were excellent. I know another instructor who works out of the Pura Vida dive shop in Riviera Beach, and while I have never had any instruction from him, I see pictures from his classes that shows he provides his students with an excellent dive experience, and his reputation in the area is top notch. You can let me know if you'd like a name. FYI, diving Jupiter you can see plenty of sharks if you are interested in them, and further south around The Breakers in Palm Beach, you can find some really pretty and shallow reefs.
     
  3. lerpy

    lerpy Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston Ontario
    265
    120
    Practice, just get out and dive when you can, don't get caught up in jumping to the next certification. The more you dive the more many of your concerns will resolve them self. The more you dive the better your buoyancy will become, you will find you can probably reduce your weight as your buoyancy gets better, you will reduce your consumption as you are more relaxed and are not fumbling with gear and controlling buoyancy etc. You will also become more comfortable in the water and be better at managing your accents and descents. It will all come with time and experience. If you can get out with others, like the offer from Paul at Stuart Scuba, to dive with experienced divers, they will help you out, give you tips and tricks from experience that will go a long way.
     
  4. lerpy

    lerpy Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston Ontario
    265
    120
    Practice, just get out and dive when you can, don't get caught up in jumping to the next certification. The more you dive the more many of your concerns will resolve them self. The more you dive the better your buoyancy will become, you will find you can probably reduce your weight as your buoyancy gets better, you will reduce your consumption as you are more relaxed and are not fumbling with gear and controlling buoyancy etc. You will also become more comfortable in the water and be better at managing your accents and descents. It will all come with time and experience. If you can get out with others, like the offer from Paul at Stuart Scuba, to dive with experienced divers, they will help you out, give you tips and tricks from experience that will go a long way.
     
  5. Peter69_56

    Peter69_56 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    1,538
    632
    My response to all new divers, dont waste money immediately on more courses to get certified for skills, dive dive dive, and then do more certs. You cant buy ability, you learn it from practice and experience. You get this from diving diving diving, and enjoy the fun as you go.
     
    Diving Dubai likes this.
  6. Neilwood

    Neilwood Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    2,558
    1,678
    A very good point. About the only course I would suggest would be PPB - any chance to work on trim/buoyancy/weighting etc under a good instructor will be worthwhile

    Not done any further courses (apart from AOW which I don't really class as a course) but I would imagine that most of the courses such as wreck, deep etc will benefit from a diver who is in good control of their diving (good trim, buoyancy etc)
     
  7. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
    3,790
    4,118
    @djpeteski

    I have complete empathy with you. You're not the first to go through this, you won't be the last. I had similar issues when I first learnt to dive.

    1. Fast descent. If you vent the air from your BCD at the surface, and go start falling like a stone, you're over weighted. On descent, with an empty BCD and an exhale should get you down the first 3'. After that pressure will take over. Now here I accept that as a new diver you'll probably take a huge gulp of air and may stop or come back up so a bit more weight will be necessary. For the first part of the descent at least, cross your fins to stop them moving. With a little more experience try to move to the horizontal position after 6' or so.

    As others have said, add air to the BCD little and often. It's considered bad form to descend like a burning Messerschmitt then hitting the sand in a great cloud of dust. Little and often :)

    2. Corking. When you get anxious or panicked your body activities it's inbuilt Fight or Flight reflex. What this does, is lowers your diaphragm increasing your lung volume and thus making you more buoyant. Because as a new diver, thus diving in shallow water, just rising a few feet in the water means you get a significant pressure change. You will be slow to pick this up, and suddenly you start to rise fast. Often you cant' seem to dump air fast enough.

    So being slow and relaxed is the key, but this takes time, hence newer divers start dropping lead from their belts quite quickly with practice and their bodies becomes accustomed to begin underwater and you become more relaxed.

    3. Air consumption, the fastest way to bad air consumption, is worrying about your air consumption. Just don't. what will be will be for the moment. Again with practice, you'll stop moving as much underwater, you'll become more relaxed. You won't mess about with your BCD as much.

    the important thing is to breath normally, don't shallow breath, don't hold your breath underwater (pausing between breaths is okay but basics first) as these make consumption worse.

    Don't worry about your wife - as I say eh reason my wife has low air consumption is that she can't talk underwater :wink:

    But seriously, everyone is different. My wife by her own admission is 50, unfit and slightly over weight. on our last trip without fail she would surface with 500-600 psi more in her tank than the 20 something tiny Indonesian dive guide. She just breaths slowly and is very relaxed underwater.

    At this point just concentrate on making small improvements to your own consumption and your own diving, you're not in competition with anyone.

    Things will improve and get easier as you dive more. If you go on a week long trip where you dive daily you'll soon notice the difference from your start and end point. Keep assessing your weight, at the end of a dive let the air out of your BCD on the safety stop, if you start to sink take 2 lbs off for the next dive. (Or at the surface let all the all the air our for a weight check and see if you sink or if you hold at eye level. Keep a record. and keep checking. Don't keep the same weight for many dives because at the start you'll have large improvements.

    Yes by all means do the PPB course, but time in the water counts as more than back to back courses. Consolidate what you have learnt before moving on.
     
    RainPilot and Peter69_56 like this.
  8. shmuggy

    shmuggy Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: virginia
    280
    90
    You have great diving close to you in Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Riveria Beach, up and down the coast of Florida. I recommend you spend your money on diving so you improve your air consumption and skill level and get comfortable in the water. The more you do it, the better you will be. Taking further courses at this point to me is a waste of money. If you took AOW now, you still will not be an Advanced diver in the real sense.

    If you look on the Florida section here, you can get lots of great info on what kind of diving there is near you and the best operations.

    Good luck!
     

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