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PADI not teaching theory re/EANx

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by CuriousRambler, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. saxman242

    saxman242 Divemaster Candidate

    The computer manual tells you how to set gas mixes, but not what gas mix to choose, what the limitations are, etc. The PADI material does cover this.
    Esprise Me likes this.
  2. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    PADI eLearning for EAN is for a diver that will only use a computer and never use tables. There is also a book & video version of the PADI EAN course that covers the same content, same streamlined approach. And as mentioned already, a crewpack for the full tables version is also available, but not via eLearning. (I still have one or two in my shop collecting dust...)
  3. loosenit2

    loosenit2 Solo Diver

    I did the PADI Nitrox course a year ago, through the book+video crewpack. That crewpack included tables and additional supplement on how to use them.

    I also picked up a copy of Mark Powell's excellent book Deco for Divers and read it. Gave me as much theory as I could handle and a lot more. The organized structure of a course is always a helpful start but can't be a substitute for self study and the pursuit of knowledge.
  4. CuriousRambler

    CuriousRambler Solo Diver

    I definitely understand the..benefits (?) of, and students' desire for streamlining the training, since "most" folks will probably only ever dive by their computers anyway. I guess I'm just a little shocked at how minimal the theory seems to be.

    I will admit, I was a bit premature in my critiques. The course is not entirely devoid of the reasoning behind computers' numbers, though I don't think I'd call it thorough. All in all, I can't claim the course is "missing" any information, at least not any that I think would impact my ability to safely dive nitrox and stay within safe limits. As a couple of you have pointed out, the issues of table vs. computer and the level of material covered are two separate things.

    My fault for whining before I had completed the course. I think my expectations/desires are at odds with PADI's (and presumably plenty of other agencies just the same) target audience. I'm a nerd, and I tend to focus heavily on the theory behind things I engage in. That's not normal, so I definitely shouldn't fault anyone else.

    All that said, my options for dive center and anything else are somewhat limited by my choice to take the class with a friend who is an instructor, and lives at a very remote work site. I will definitely be asking if he's got any tables laying around, because I'm a luddite like that.

    I do have a computer, but have always used it in gauge mode. The more I think about and absorb this class and my situation as a whole, I think I'm going to embrace the state of things, flip my computer back to computer mode, and "live the good life" for a while. I'm out of practice as a diver, and frankly wasn't ever all that experienced. With fewer than 100 dives, a decade out of the water, and a logbook that decided to leave me at some point in that time, I'm just going to treat myself as a brand new diver and adopt the current state of the industry. If I'm able to make this a sustainable hobby again, I can always switch up the way I do things later. In the meantime, I'll continue my nerd-ly ways and do more in-depth reading on the topic outside of class. Nobody ever said I have to stop with PADI's material.
  5. Scuba Scott

    Scuba Scott Instructor, Scuba ScubaBoard Supporter

    PADI doesn't teach. Period.
    They provide training materials to instructors.
    They provide instructor materials that contain all the information on tables and formulas. It is up to the instructor to decide to use the extra materials or not.

    PADI provides eLearning to meet the desires of the majority of students who want to get the minimum information as easily as possible so they can just get a card to be allowed to set their computers to 32% and dive. If you want more information it will need to come from your instructor. I always ask students if they want to go beyond the minimum and if they do the extra instruction comes at no extra cost.

    While the extended materials are available to all PADI instructors, I would be surprised if a majority of PADI specialty instructors are actually able to teach the formulas and tables. This is why it is so important to chose the instructor, not the agency.
  6. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    If you're interested in 'tables' to satisfy a desire to learn, I really wouldn't bother getting the 32% and 36% tables that used to come with the PADI Enriched Air course. These are specific to only two potential mixes and still "dumb" down the theory.

    All you need is the standard air table and Equivalent Air Depth formula, which together will give you an accurate NDL for any recreational mix.
    eleniel, Esprise Me and drk5036 like this.
  7. Oitzu

    Oitzu Regular of the Pub

    How about simply getting a book about the topic and read that?

    Our course content was in this order:
    What are the dangers and advantages of nitrox and what is mod, aed, best mix etc.
    Calculate mod, aed and best mix by hand and use air tables for decompression.
    Using nitrox tables for that.
    How to measure and mark tanks.

    Computers were metioned but no introduction other then 'read the manual'. Which i was happy with because its 5 minutes playing with the computer or 2 minutes flipping through the manual to learn to do that.

    I can understand that padi streamlines that process, but i would also be unsatisfied with that reduced content for that price tag.
  8. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    I can only speak for myself but as a PADI instructor, I teach Nitrox because I love Dalton’s Triangle. Like REALY love it!!

    My students learn about PPO2 and how to figure out any part of the triangle given the other two factors. They do many of these so they get familiar with it.

    Once that knowledge has sunk in, we discuss EAD and look at the tables to then get our estimated NDL.

    After we have that info, I then have them use the planning function of their DCs with it set for the mix we are diving. This way they can see how their computers differ in NDL from the tables.

    It is up to the instructor to teach a good course and sadly, some instructors have never heard of Dalton’s triangle. I know because I had more than one pull me aside and ask me to teach them “that triangle thing because it is a neat trick”
    eleniel and RayfromTX like this.
  9. CuriousRambler

    CuriousRambler Solo Diver

    @ScubaWithTurk , you sound like the guy I want as an instructor haha. I had watched this youtube video a few months ago, calling Dalton's Triangle the "magic circle." I honestly don't get along with math all that well, but given how basic this is, I think it's worth covering.

    I have to admit I fully screwed up on this course selection. I know from past experience that online education isn't something I enjoy, or do particularly well with. Tried that in college. Exactly once. So there's honestly a chance I just didn't absorb some info from the eLearning that I had hoped to catch. But I also should have known to expect a "lightened" coursework compared to what might come from a more technical agency, and again by taking the online (i.e. more convenient) course in the first place, rather than pushing for a sit-down, physical book and classroom experience. That's all 100% on me.

    I've been texting back and forth with my friend/instructor, and we're going to dive into things a bit deeper once I get out there. When asked about getting a copy of the tables, his response was "Those are for baby boomers and people who don't know smartphones exclusively." :rofl3:

    That said, I don't think the elearning covered EAD at all. It definitely wasn't on the knowledge review or final. @Graeme Fraser - your point is well received. I kind of had my mind set on the two tables I expected came with the course, but EAD is a less cluttery way to go, for sure. A quick search returned plenty of online material covering it. Again, simple enough I'm kind of shocked it isn't at least glossed over in the course.

    Bright side to everything is, I'll be traveling for ~35 hours to get out there, which means plenty of time for reading more :D

    Attached Files:

    ScubaWithTurk and Graeme Fraser like this.
  10. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    It bears repeating: PADI eLearning is for diving Nitrox using a computer, and not tables. So no, EAD is not covered. Also, the most common/popular PADI Nitrox crewpack (book and video version) is also for computer use, and not tables. That version actually existed prior to eLearning, and was the adapted source for eLearning. The PADI tables version is still out there, but relatively rare, and requires far more study and instructor resources than learning just a computer.
    Unless doing a technical course, I can think of very little practical need for the tables version of the course. Are you expecting to do your Nitrox dives subject to the limits of a planned square profile, same as the RDP for air? Or will you be gaining the full benefit of Nitrox profiles by using a computer? By all means, if it appeals to the geek in you to learn the tables process go for it. But when using a computer it is by no means a necessity.

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