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Timing of OW class - end or beginning of dive season?

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Marie13, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Imla

    Imla Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Oslo, Norway
    What is this "end of diving season" you are talking about.
    We don't have this phrase where I live. :D
    Make sure you have proper dive wear and you'll find that there is no "season"
    wetb4igetinthewater likes this.
  2. wspalding

    wspalding Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Grafton, MA
    Personally, I don't see a good reason to wait until next Spring to do your training. If you get your cert now you still have some opportunity to dive before it gets too cold, and I would wager that your dive shop will offer a skills refresher course (usually a single session in a pool) that you can take in the Spring to hone your skills before picking up your diving again.
  3. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    Marie, some of what I'm about to write is just a repeat of what has already been posted. But it was good advice, so it's worth repeating.

    1. No one is criticizing you for asking questions on SB. I dream of having students that take the initiative to do some "homework" before they show up to OW class. Doing this will make your class much smoother for you. But the more you learn, the more specific your questions will become and the more you will benefit from the corresponding advice provided here.

    2. Do your OW class now if there is a way to keep your skills "fresh" between the end of your class and the next time you get to the open water. One shop near me has their own pool and allows customers to come in any time to practice their skills. It's a good policy for the customers... and good for the shop, since it keeps people interested AND visiting the shop. If a shop in your area can do the same thing, get certified and then get some regular pool time in.

    3. If there will be no way to get in the water to practice skills between October and April, definitely consider waiting to do the class. You can get the book in the meantime, maybe even start the class in the winter, get the classroom and pool portions done, drag it out a little so you get plenty of pool practice and are doing your OW dives at the beginning of "dive season." I agree with the post that claimed if you get certified now and then do nothing for six months, you'll be pretty frustrated next spring.

    4. But getting in the water might be easier than you realize. Look for cheap flights to Florida. Once you start looking, you might be surprised by what you find. A quick flight to Fort Lauderdale and a long weekend in Key Largo might enhance your definition of "dive season". Just make sure you buy a roundtrip... you have to plan the return trip in advance or it becomes waaaay too easy to justify staying.

    5. Above all else, have fun. And by all means, ask more questions.
  4. Rapid Star

    Rapid Star Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago IL, USA
    In a way I can see how she would misunderstand what was said since as a new diver myself I have seen how intimidating whether intended or otherwise it can be to ask questions of more experienced divers.
  5. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    Well, some u/w time will change your perspective on things. :wink: Like maybe diving in a 7mm full-body suit in green murk will make you think again about that tropical vacation.

    We got our cards in summer and didn't dive until the following April. My better half was not super-comfortable in the beginning of that trip -- but then again she frets before the first dive all the time. I guess the plus side of doing it now is you'll have a better idea what to look for during Black Friday/Xmas sales period.
  6. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    The issue with the tropical vacation is that I would be going by myself. That didn't appeal to me. Aside from my friend in another state who inspired me to dive, I'm doing this by myself without knowing any divers IRL. But someone I know from another forum I'm a long time member of told me he's an instructor and he'll dive with me if I take a winter weekend vacation to his Florida city. So that problem is solved.
  7. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    As others said, check with the local dive shops: most do organize group trips where you won't be alone.

    I would go get the cert now: in spring you might be too busy doing something far more urgent and important. You can always pay for a refresher lesson & dive after a break, that's only a fraction of the full OW class cost/time.
    wetb4igetinthewater likes this.
  8. EricTheDood

    EricTheDood DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California
    Take the class now and a refresher in the spring if necessary.

    The OW class requires a time commitment. If your schedule allows for it now, take the opportunity. You don't know if a personal scheduling conflict may arise in the spring. I can attest - I went through a 21-year hiatus between starting my first OW course in my early teens and completing my second in my early 30s. "Life" happened.

    Besides, it's less about "skills" and more about being comfortable in the water, and more dives will only help. You know your own body when it comes to muscle memory and that sort of the thing. A refresher is optional. You can also ask your instructors to tag along on open water dives with future students.
  9. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    I think you are doing the smart thing asking a number of questions, though you will often get replies that contradict other ones!

    I would ask also, what is your vacation schedule like? Getting certified now, finding dive clubs in your area, and then taking up the instructor in Florida on his/her offer to dive with you is one possibility. I do agree that you want to keep diving to keep your skills fresh. I do follow up with students whom I've certified to keep diving (we have year round diving here, but many decide to take the summers off for other activities).

    You can also find potential dive buddies in different areas from the regional pages here or on Facebook. For example, I had a business trip to Australia, found the Scuba Dive Sydney page, and went diving with 5 different people.

    Good luck and see you under the surface!
  10. wspalding

    wspalding Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Grafton, MA
    Btw, you don't need to go too tropical to have a great dive vacation over the winter. The Palm Beach area and the Keys have some great diving. I think late winter the lemon sharks pass through the area (Jupiter), they are always cool to see.

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