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Is the minimum enough before doing DM training?

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by TheHuth, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. TheHuth

    TheHuth Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Long Beach, CA
    330
    74
    28
    I've done some searches and found some older posts, but wanted to see if I could get a fresh answer on an old running question.

    I'm starting Rescue in 2 weeks. By the time I finish I will have more than the minimum dives needed to start a Divemaster internship. I would eventually like to become a DM mostly to become more involved with the dive community, and get invited out on more activities.

    Clearly there is a large gap between a divemaster and instructor. To be clear, I have no interest in becoming an instructor. What I'm wanting to know is it even reasonable or realistic to do divemaster training this early on? I assume PADI says 20 to start and 60 to finish mostly as a way for someone who wants to start a career to be able to fast track it. Again, to be clear, I would never see diving as a career. I've got a career that I have no intention of leaving. I'm looking for a way to further a hobby.

    So what are some opinions on this matter? Is 20 enough to start, or should you have 50, 100, 200, 1000? I know many will say, it all depends on the diver. You could consider me to be progressing my skills a fair bit faster than an average person. I know there is no hard and fast number to the quantity of dives needed. I'm more trying to set my expectations; and more so trying to decide if I should plunk the $600 down now, or put it off for a year or two or three.

    Edit: Once I've gained sufficient experience (and this will clearly be well over 100 dives), I'll probably look at starting TEC training, and maybe even Rebreather.
     
  2. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Turkey
    46
    17
    8
    It doesn't feel right to me to be a master in anything with just doing it 60 times. Sorry nothing personal but I will never leave my life to a divemaster who has this less dives. It needs years and hundreds of dives to be a master. Diving in the same waters with same persons for 60 times might even be done in one summer and bing… you are a master… Not a wise nor a right decision…
     
    mselenaous and Kharon like this.
  3. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,854
    8,523
    113
    Based on my own experience and doing it what I consider the wrong way now, before starting DM training you should dive as much as you can. Once you get rescue just dive. DM is not going to get you invited on more dives. Unless it's to shlep tanks and do grunt work for others. What will get you invited on more dives is demonstrating you are a skilled, knowledgeable, and most of all -safe diver.

    I now tell everyone that asks about DM training to spend the money on a couple tech courses first. Intro to Tech, Advanced Nitrox, Deco Procedures, Cavern/Intro to Cave, etc. before going the pro route. Learn what real dive skills are and what the real risks are before getting into an area where you are responsible for others. You'll be a much better role model and have more fun.

    The other issue I have with some DM training is it is sold as another course. It should not be. DM's should be selected not solicited. I have discouraged people from DM classes who had no business in them.Their skills were nowhere near the level a DM should have. Your skills should be exemplary before starting training. If they are not the program is not going to make them much better. If you have no interest in instructing or leading dives for pay there are much better ways to improve yourself that also don't require you to shell out a few hundred bucks a year for liability insurance.
     
    BabyDuck, Brandon, mselenaous and 3 others like this.
  4. TheHuth

    TheHuth Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Long Beach, CA
    330
    74
    28
    Thank you both for your advice. It sounds like the best plan will be to keep things status quo. I'll keep pursuing more training, but will take DM off the table.

    Jim, do you have any specific classes you would recommend? I do see TEC in my future, but I think I'm not nearly prepared to take that on yet. I have done my Nitrox course, but have not yet dove with a tank of it yet. I guess I didnt convey this well in my first post, but my main reason I considered pursuing DM is to gain more knowledge. No matter how much I learn, I want to learn more. But I realize you have to apply the knowledge before you can build upon it. I want keep my training full steam ahead. The science behind diving is just as interesting as the actual diving itself.
     
  5. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,854
    8,523
    113
    Find a good intro to tech class. Can be done in a single tank with a slung bottle. Some shops may offer doubles to do it. I offer sidemount as an option, I have two extra rigs and 5 sets (6 if someone wants to sidemount a pair of LP 95's) of sidemount ready tanks.

    You could also find a NAUI or SEI Master Diver class. These are not cards given for a collection of other ones. They are stand alone courses with the goal of instructor level knowledge and skills without the teaching component.
     
  6. Freewillow

    Freewillow Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brussels
    1,662
    412
    83
    I did my DM in Fort Lauderdale some 20+ years ago. We were 20 people on the course. Half of them were BAD/VERY AVERAGE divers, before, during and after certification. Most of them with less than 50 dives. I sincerely do not believe that you can be a "proficient" diver, able to guide others, if you do not have +/- 200 Dives under your belt, UNDER different environments. However, the pure number of dives is not really relevant. It is more the variation, the amount of trouble and the difficulties of the dives - cold, no vis, dry suit, current, washing machines, good/bad buddy...;- and the lessons learned that will make you a GOOD DIVER.

    So if it is for yourself only, as you say, you could do it. You will learn a lot but do keep in mind that evolution in any skill comes from training and exercice. FYI, I have some 800 dives, I am 67 and a DM since 20+ years but the last class I took was advanced Nitrox from IANTD, 2 years ago :). And you would never have me to dive in sub 60° water with very low viz .
     
  7. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Loreto, MX
    72,479
    55,965
    113
    Classes are an artificial environment. You do not learn how to dive in a class ... you learn how to learn. In order to learn how to dive you need to go do some dives outside of a class and apply your training in the real world ... preferably in a variety of conditions.

    I have yet to meet a fast-track DM that I would consider a dive professional ... or a "master" in any sense of the term. Some may be book smart, but they haven't the context to be able to understand why the book said what it said. Dive shops do not do you a service by pushing you through the training that fast ... but it's profitable for them, and that's why they do it.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    NorCalDM and ScubaDocER like this.
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    11,964
    2,519
    113
    Difficult question as to when to take the course. One thing is you can take the course with the minimum, then continue to hone your skills before accepting employment. That was my approach in doing the Rescue course with only 26 dives under my belt (back in 2006 you needed 20 logged dive just to take Rescue). So for DM, I would think it also depends on what you intend to do with it. If you assist with OW courses like I did, you have a lot of different responsabilities compared to if you are DMing charters say, in a place like North Carolina. Then again, there is the discussion about how much or little doing the course does for your own dive skills, but that's another thread or 20. I took the course after dive # 158, and it felt right to me. Everybody's different, I guess.
    I'm "retired" from active DMing, but though you consider it a hobby, PLEASE don't work for free, or tips only--it degrades being a "pro"--but again, another thread(s).
     
  9. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    10,599
    12,380
    113
    I was in your shoes not too long ago. Lots of classes being pitched. Suggestions of needing more training, etc. Honestly, I put a halt to all of that and focused on putting my money toward actually diving and not paying for certifications. Sure, when the time comes I'll further my training, but if you don't intend on getting in the dive business, why bother. $600 buys a lot of gas for a lot of dives.
     
    tep and undrwater like this.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    11,964
    2,519
    113
    But a working DM gets FREE GAS. I miss that....
     
    yle likes this.

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