Is it time to kill DSDs and go back to the drawing board?

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ShariM

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A big draw for new divers is finding community. If a discovery dive is taken at a resort, the community aspect is lost. The first thing new divers post on Facebook is often to find someone to dive with. How sad to lose an enthusiastic diver because they lack a buddy. Successful shops create and promote these communities.
 

Searcaigh

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I never did it, as I had never heard of discover scuba until long after I was certified.

I don't even think it existed when I started diving, but I still think it's a good idea.
 

Colliam7

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I think the current scuba tryouts / discover scuba diving (DSDs) are... Bad.

I shared my points of view here:

Should We Change the Way We Provide “Discover Scuba Diving” Experiences?

I would really like to hear your feedback on this topic!! I would like to keep on figuring out solutions.

Thanks!
As I understand your article, you propose what amounts to an either/or: a) improving the experience or b) doing away with DSDs as we know them and considering alternatives, such as SSA. OK, in fairness, I doubt you are trying to be quite that simplistic. :)

I vote for 'a)' and belieive 'b)' is a negative experience for many. Part of the joy of diving is the freedom of movement. In my experience I don't have that with SSA as I do with SCUBA.

Now, I fully agree with many of your concerns about the current quality of the DSD experience - for some. In more than a few cases I think DSDs are a disaster waiting to happen, in terms of the way they are conducted. That is a process issue. If there is a problem, fix the process, don't change to another process, that has its own inherent issues. If someone can find a sloppy, unsafe way to conduct 'b)', they will. So, substituting an alternative approach is merely changing the specific problems, arising from the same source, that we might encounter - it doesn't fix the root causes of 'a)'.

My preference is to fix the problems that characterize 'a)' rather than adopt a more cumbersome approach as in 'b)'.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Agree. Does PADI get a cut when someone dies a discovery dive ? If so it’s definitely PADI’s fault as well.

The DSD participant is supposed to receive a PADI DSD Participant Guide. Some dive centers skip that or provide photo copies to avoid buying from PADI. PADI can't do anything about that in a practical manner. Participants are also supposed to be registered with PADI. As there is no certification involved here, PADI also can't do anything about this in a practical manner.

There are lots of problems that dive agencies face. While I think PADI has bigger fish to fry, if (and that is a big if) a participant does get registered and PADI (or insert your agency of choice) doesn't follow up, I agree that they are missing out on another opportunity. I'd have to ask people who did receive training materials as part of their introductory scuba experience if they were later contacted by anyone, as using PADI as an example, if a dive center is providing (buying) DSD Participant Guides, then PADI will expect participants to be registered and should follow up with the dive center if registration is not occuring.

I'm in a cold water location, so I'm not a good person to address what happens. I can only state my opinion of what I think should be happening.

But it all comes down to whether the agency learns about you or not. If PADI doesn't know, can't fault them.
 

Cap335

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Since I got started in the scuba biz we as owners do free DSD's in the pool for people that are interested. We achieve about an 80% conversion over to open water diver. The store owners do most of the DSD's
 

MrBigfins

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So I started with a DSD, me and my son as a last minute spur of the moment thing while in Yucatan. We had both played around with the pool try me thing, but never really considered going further. We had an open day and when my son was asked for suggestions on what to do, he said why don't we try the scuba thing.

We had a VERY positive experience, instructor and just us 2. Worked through everything in detail in classroom, worked through everything thoroughly in the pool for skills, and then moved on to 2 open water dives. This shop was a corporate, cattle boat style shop. I honestly think our DSD was a better experience through them than dives would have been if we were certified.

Less than 30 days after I was certified at home, in cold water with almost no visibility. That was years and several hundred dives ago. Since then my son and his mother have been certified and dive occasionally.

So is there room for improvement in the system? Certainly. Would I be diving today, and passionate about it without DSD? Absolutely not
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Interesting assertion. How do you know that?
Because I've seen it. I'm not saying every PADI dive center does that (I believe it is the minority that do), but I have seen first hand it happen.
 

Colliam7

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Because I've seen it. I'm not saying every PADI dive center does that (I believe it is the minority that do), but I have seen first hand it happen.
So, just to be clear - you have seen this in MANY (PADI) Dive Centers? Can you quantify 'MANY'?
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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So, just to be clear - you have seen this in MANY (PADI) Dive Centers? Can you quantify 'MANY'?
Fine. I changed many to some. Are you happy now? JFC, let's not obfuscate the point I was making. Jesus.
 
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