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BP/W banned in DM Course

Discussion in 'Thinking of a Diving Career?' started by randytay, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. k ellis

    k ellis Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Oklahoma
    I ran into something eeerily similiar the other day at my dive master class. I was in the pool with the instructor when the owner came in and said he did not want me wearing my zeagle in his pool since he was not a zeagle dealer.

    I just agreed to be diffrent and use his rental gear for a number of reasons. First off is my upmost respect for him for taking me from not being able to even float all the way to pass all the stamina requirements to be a dive master candidate. Second off he did not demand anything he just told me he did not want me wearing it while assisting classes in the pool because he wanted to promote his line of products. Thats fair enough after all he has done so much for me.

    What it all boils down to is the mutual respect for one another. I tried a couple of diffrent dive shops when I was hoping to get certified and hoping somewhere someone did not require a swim test (I was not in the system yet so I did not know of standards) After I reluctantly paid for my course I went to the YMCA and tried my darndest to learn to swim. No luck so I called him and said I quit.

    He had me come to the pool and sat down and did what the swim instructors could not do. He taught me in 10 minutes how to float. He then explained to me how to do the back float and kick to propel myself which was my first time ever swimming.

    Some people in my area have a bad opinion of him but as far as I am concerned he gave me a some of the greatest gifts in life. One was he taught me comfort in the water, he taught me how to swim and float and he gave me everything I needed to know and learn to scuba. If he ask me not to wear a certain brand in the pool its a small price to pay for what he has given me!
    Heath Sapp and MauiScubaSteve like this.
  2. Divedoggie

    Divedoggie Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ft Collins, CO
    I mostly agree with you, but the DMC pays for his classroom and pool time. I don't believe that he is paying for internship time.
    The DMC is there as a "guest", shadowing the Instructor while the Instructor is teaching an Open Water Confined Water session. The DMC is not paying to be there. I certainly don't get paid extra for the DMC being in the water during an Open Water session. It is simply an internship.

    I recently had a DMC who constantly obsessed over his own equipment during an Open Water certification weekend. As a result, he missed briefings, wasn't involved when we handed tanks and gear out , nor when we collected it. This was not because he was lazy or inherently late. He simply was constantly fussing over his personal gear. We had a couple of discussions about it after the class, and back at home. I taught the weekend's class in BP/W, and neither remember nor care what BC my DMC was using. All I know is that he was constantly adjusting, readjusting, rinsing, carrying, stowing, his gear, and missing the learning/assisting situations and nuances of pre-dives, post dives, and even some of the actual dives.

    Only the OP's Instructor knows the real reasons why he asked his DMC to not wear the BP/W long hose setup while observing an OW class. Maybe the OP was excessively fussing with his gear? Ultimately, the Instructor will sign off on the DMC's evaluation form. If said Instructor didn't feel that the DMC was up to the task, whether equipment related, attitude, ability to anticipate and assist, etc., he doesn't have to sign off, or he can give very low scores.

    The OP should have at least one conversation with the Instructor after the Confined Water session, and should confront the equipment question. Maybe the Instrucor was under orders from the shop owner? Ultimately they need to get everything figured out before all paperwork is signed and sent in for DM certification.
  3. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    It sounds like you reasonably made an effort to correct this persons behavior and he chose not to take that to heart. This would make me question his ability to oversee others. Hope you refunded part of his money and told him he was not suited to be a DM, at least for you.
  4. hypertech

    hypertech Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    It's a bit of a straw game to say the DMC pays for classroom and pool but not the interns required for the course. But maybe that is moot in the new curriculum at least for PADI. I understand the course has changed but I haven't looked into how it changed.

    I agree that if one is to preoccupied with their own gear to pay attention to others they aren't meeting the expectations of a DM or a DMC. After all, how can you observe if you spend the whole time fiddling and no time observing. But, that would go for any gear poodle jacket or BP&W.
    Divedoggie likes this.
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    I didn't get that out of his post at all.

    Transitioning a diver to a supervisory role takes time and mentoring. Dismissing the diver as being unsuitable for the role after one failed episode seems a bit extreme. The preening could very well be a disconnect of the diver in question trying to be a "role model" in how his gear looks. After all, that is one of the attributes we look for in any DM: their gear must be impeccable in regards to operation and setup.

    Situational awareness is easy enough to talk about, but the ramifications are some times lost on the newbie DMC who has become task focused. Putting the needs of the group ahead of your own is a foreign concept at the beginning. Developing an awareness that extends beyond your personal zone seems like the next best step for this aspiring DM.
    Divedoggie likes this.
  6. randytay

    randytay Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: USA
    Its a logical and good assumption. Without coming across as being defensive; what would a person using BP/W needs to fuss about when its was already correctly sized? You set it up, you don it an you are ready to go. No further adjustment is needed. Besides, my instructor, due to his former vocation, would have no problem speaking is mind, albeit in a positive manner of delivery.
  7. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer Captain

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    The instructor I helped most while I was a DM is also the instructor I took my TDI training from. He has decades in the dive industry, is an accomplished technical diver, and all around great guy.

    When he teaches OW he wears a jacket and avoids his long hose configuration and requests that his assistants do as well.

    His reason is simple: 99.9% of teh students are going to be in jacket BCDs, because we're in a cold climate and our demographic is people learning to dive to go on vacation so they are using our rental gear most of the time. Because of this, when we demonstrate a skill, we want to be able to as closely as possible, demonstrate the skill in gear similar to what a student is wearing.

    Certainly removing and replacing a jacket BCD is different than removing and replacing a continuous weave web harness. We want to clearly demonstrate each strap and buckle the students need to remember (particularly the first few times they do it) to help them along.

    It does not require that an instructor be narrow minded or short-sighted or ignorant to make this choice. Nor does it require that there be some reflection on the behavior of the DMC. It requires nothing more than that the instructor's take on proper pedagogy be that demonstrations should be made using equipment that is similar to the equipment the student is trying to use. This is nothing more than a perfectly valid and reasonable philosophy about educational choices.

    And, for the record, the one time I saw an OW student in a BP/W, he had me go get mine on so I could demonstrate the skills using gear similar to that one student while he stayed in a jacket for the rest of the class.
    The Chairman likes this.
  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Well, I don't know about other agencies, but in the PADI system, there is no demonstration of skills in OW, only in the pool. Except for our private classes (where students are started in a BP/W), I dive a regular BC in pool sessions, with a standard octo setup most of the time (although my husband, the instructor, dives an Air2, on the basis that many of the gear sets sold out of the shop are equipped with them). In OW, I dive my own gear, and honestly, I wouldn't DM for somebody who objected to it. When I am responsible for unpredictable, unsteady new divers in cold water and low viz, I want to be in equipment that fits, and in which I am comfortable and confident. In addition, I honestly believe that the long hose is a better option for air-sharing, should one of the students run low (and shame on me if they do, because it would mean that I wasn't watching carefully enough).

    However, I do think that the ultimate responsibility for student safety lies with the instructor, and he is within his rights to do or require anything he thinks needful to optimize that. That includes rejecting gear worn by a DMC (who is, after all, participating in the class activities) that he thinks might have a deleterious effect on the safety of students. He may be shortsighted and misinformed, but it's still his right. All those of us can do, who want to dive "unusual" gear, is find an instructor who is open-minded enough to permit it.
    Heath Sapp, Belce, SubMariner and 2 others like this.
  9. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    I believe that such a statement is actually mentioned within the IDC...

    Concur. That isn't an option, a view or a preference. It's simple inaccuracy. An error.

    What's more... it isn't an error that the instructor has read somewhere. It is an assumption that the instructor has made...and then not corrected that assumption by bothering to confirm it with any research.

    I mean... exactly how long do you need to spend on Google to dig up some valid knowledge about BP&W or Long Hose?

    I mean.... really, how much effort is involved in getting your facts straight before you pass them on to innocent students as if they were solid facts, set in stone, and universally agreed upon??

    An instructor who passed on un-informed, un-researched assumptions to their students....as fact.. is unprofessional and incompetant. There is simply no excuse for it.

    Me too.... on many occasions. :shakehead:
    fire_diver likes this.
  10. DBailey

    DBailey Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago
    I disagree with this. The BP/W meets the gear requirements for the DMC course. If the shop/instructor has issues with a gear set-up then it should be stated before money exchanges hands.

    I can understand the "same as shop gear" requirements for a paid DM, but for a DMC it is absurd.

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