Things to look for when joining a dive club

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Aura

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What would be deciding factors for you when looking for a dive club to join? I'm going to join one, and I've been looking at the overall level of activity, the frequency of both local diving and longer dive trips they do, that they generally seem interested in developing the skills of their members and do their own courses, and that they're safety conscious (not entirely sure how to know this last one before actually going diving with them).

Am I missing something? What would be important for you?
 

Alekseolsen

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So, I'm a member of two clubs, first club is my local club - beeing local was priority one.

I jooked the 2nd club as they are diving different spots, at different days.

I'd be surprised if you find "bad" club in Scandinavia, so of the club you consider is active, then go!
 

Eric Sedletzky

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Just curious, what is your geographical location?
That might matter a little just based on the type of diving and locations the dive club goes to.
I would find out when they are having their next club meeting and show up. Observe the other people and see what the basic vibe is of the group.
Some are very inclusive while others might be more cliquish and ‘core’.
Ask questions and see how receptive they are to conversing about the type of diving they do and where.
For instance, I went to a local dive club meeting once years ago when I was starting out and all they seemed to want to do is talk about all the glorious killer vacation dives they’ve racked up over the years at far flung locations around the world. None of them did a lot of local diving so I knew it wasn’t for me.
At another club there where about five core members that seemed to be very tight. I got the feeling early on that they just wanted more membership so they could use the dues money to run “their” club. They would use the money to book group sites for club dive campouts, but then the core members would do their own thing and ditch the rest of the club to go out early in the morning and Salmon fish off their boats for instance. I thought it was supposed to be a dive club? It was pretty exclusive with the core five and then everyone else. So the rest of us would just find somewhere to shore dive and there wasn’t much of a ‘club’ feel. I figured why should I pay these guys $60 a year when I could be doing those dive on my own?
So not all clubs are created equal. Know what you’re getting into and see what the club mission is.
The best clubs I’ve found are the loosely formed groups that do a beach dive somewhere once a week or once a month with no dues or fees. It used to be there would be a flyer pinned up on the dive shop message board, but now it’s probably Facebook or something.
There was a beach diving club in SoCal a long time ago called the Sand Eaters that was a group like this.
They did a beach dive somewhere off the Southern California Coast every Sunday morning.
Unfortunately the guy who was in charge decided not to do it anymore and nobody wanted to carry the torch so it died out.
I started a dive club once and it went for several years. My original intention was to model it after the Sand Eaters. Unfortunately, it was internet based (all the new rage of the day) so it attracted a few very awkward types that couldn’t find buddies on their own and they became toxic. The club ended up self destructing.
The club was also too diverse, if there is such a thing. There were hunters, photographers, looky loo’s, boat divers, muck divers, a few DIR types, environmental divers, weirdo divers, etc. a lot of internal fighting began based on ideals and that helped end it. This convinced me that a club should be more focused on a common ideal for harmony, even at the expense of diversity. Let the others start their own club.
 

Aura

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I'd be surprised if you find "bad" club in Scandinavia, so of the club you consider is active, then go!
I also thought I wouldn't run into bad instructors here, but I did, so that's why I'm kinda trying to be a bit more selective with who I get in the water with :p

Just curious, what is your geographical location?
I'm from Denmark. Many of the things you mention are things I'm a bit worried about too, so I'm thinking of going to one of the weekly meet ups of the club I find most interesting, to get a feel for who the members are and what I should be able to expect if I join.
What I'm hoping for is basically to go on frequent dives with competent and friendly people, who want to help me become a better diver.
 

TMHeimer

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I only was briefly a member of the club when a new diver. Clubs are not for me, but if I were to join one the biggest thing would be how dependable would it be. Such as how often was a dive cancelled for lack of divers? What about weather problems? If today sucks, I can go tomorrow or the next day being retired. How flexible would club dives be re weather?
 
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