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UTD Essentials of Recreational Diving - What graduates say

Discussion in 'UTD: Unified Team Diving' started by randytay, May 15, 2017.

Would you consider taking this course?

  1. Yes

    19 vote(s)
    29.2%
  2. No

    39 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. I need more information

    7 vote(s)
    10.8%
  1. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,463
    6,099
    113
    Stuart, I figured someone might take that position. Still, I think there are a lot of people who have no interest in tech diving whatsoever but just want to become "better divers" for whom either Essentials or Fundies or even one of those super-duper tuneup courses that people like the Chairman offer would suit their needs. That's how I fell in with the GUE system--I just asked on SB what I could do to become a better recreational diver. GUE was the obvious choice for me, given that High Springs is an easy drive from Atlanta, but UTD probably would have met my needs. I had no intention of ever doing more.

    However, IF someone were to take Essentials with UTD and then later decide they wanted to do a tech course with GUE, then maybe they shouldn't balk at taking Fundies. What harm could extra instruction do? If anything, the diver gets the benefit of some different perspectives. Sure, it costs money, but if one is intent on pursuing tech diving, a few days and a few hundred dollars with an instructor is a small investment in the larger scheme of things.
     
    wetb4igetinthewater likes this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    58,384
    26,557
    113
    OK then, my Trim, Buoyancy and Propulsion class is just a streamlined OW course. No Super, no Duper and absolutely no regimentation. Other than shooting an SMB from depth, they don't do anything in addition to what my OW students do. In fact, because I see it as a remedial course, I don't offer a card to go with it. It's very laid back since it's not rocket science. It's only Submarine science, so it's simple and easy.
     
    stuartv and Lorenzoid like this.
  3. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    5,373
    1,115
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    He was quoting my comment about the rebreather program to be dangerous and implying that UTD has had zero RB accidents. Although that may be true UTD has actually only had a handful of RB divers certified and all the ones I know have returned to OC diving. I also know that UTD attempted to modify several rebreathers to suit their program needs only to have the manufacturers of those rebreather remove support for the agency.
     
  4. CAPTAIN SINBAD

    CAPTAIN SINBAD Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Woodbridge VA
    2,782
    1,023
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    Sigh I know! And as we have discussed this many many times, the very fact that instructor is more important than the agency is because agencies have failed to maintain a uniform training standard. Thus we have no choice but to ignore labels like PADI, SSI, SDI etc and see who is teaching the course. Exception to this are agencies like GUE, UTD who have maintained training standards from one instructor to the other. Whether we agree with the standards or procedures of UTD or GUE is one thing but they have done a great job in maintaining a uniformed training standard across the board so that as long as you go within these agencies you do not need to look for "the instructor." They are all identical clones who dive in identical gear and drink the same cool aid after the dive.
     
    sigxbill and wetb4igetinthewater like this.
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    58,384
    26,557
    113
    Ah, boy did I read THAT wrong. Thanks for clarifying. I thought it was in reference to Ratio Deco and I personally know more people who've gotten bent on RD than on all the other protocols combined. When the researcher from Duke said the same thing, it really rang true.
     
  6. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,849
    4,539
    113
    I really disagree with that (commonly espoused) attitude.

    For one thing, I started off OW diving with the "right" equipment, and then I did a lot of good bargain hunting shopping. My entry into tech diving was not NEARLY as expensive as people make out that it has to be. Anyone can do the same thing I did to get into tech diving without spending the shedloads of cash that some people claim is required.

    Second, Fundies is basically a week long course and costs a pretty penny. It requires about as much of an investment in time and money as taking AN/DP. To have to basically take it twice is a serious impediment, I think. The time and money required for tech courses is such that I personally feel like I can probably only manage 1 per year. If I had to take Fundies "twice", that would delay my further progression by a year. I don't feel like I'm nearly alone in how my vacation time and finances constrain me in that way.

    Tech diving does not HAVE to be a sport for well-to-do persons of leisure. And I don't think it should be billed that way to newer divers who are looking for more advanced training. I'm not saying people should be pushed to take Fundies instead of Essentials. I'm just saying that people who are considering either should be given all of the relevant info, including "what it could mean down the road", before they decide what to do. For ME, the difference is only relevant in consideration for future plans to do cave training. So, if someone asked me and said they were never going to be interested in doing Cave, then I would definitely tell them to look for a good instructor for either one and take whichever one that instructor teaches.
     
    TooManyHobbies likes this.
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    58,384
    26,557
    113
    Sigh. I disagree with this assertion. It sounds good, but I've heard too many horror stories that suggest that not all UTD nor GUE instructors are created equal. One of the reasons I love NASE is that I'm allowed to EXCEED minimum standards with impunity. Agencies, including the oft maligned PADI, hold their instructors to minimum standards. Considering the number of instructors out there, it's not surprising that PADI has more bad instructors. I'm sure they also have more great instructors too. When's the last time you heard about a horrifying accident being caused by a Mitsubishi? Did you even know they were a brand? Being the least popular has a few advantages if you play it right. As was pointed out, it's nigh to impossible to become a GUE instructor, so they have a far, far tighter control and it's going to be harder and far, far more expensive to learn to dive through them.
     
  8. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,875
    17,544
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    EDIT: I thought this was a reference to people being bent on Ratio Deco when I wrote this post as well.

    Yes, UTD will tell you that there have been zero incidents using Ratio Deco. They were saying the same thing when i was arguing with Andrew about it.

    I am trying to remember exactly, but when we talked our small Rocky Mountain UTD group had had six DCS cases, with two resolved by surface oxygen, two resolved by in-water recompression, one resolved after a number of days of chamber treatments after driving home to Colorado, and one resolved after a series of chamber treatments following a helicopter evacuation.

    According to Andrew, though, if you added all those cases together, the total would be ZERO.

    Why, well, yes, they did get DCS after doing a dive profile based on Ratio Deco, but the reason they got DCS was not due to Ratio Deco. Like what? It could have been lots of things. It could have been a PFO, for example. But it wasn't Ratio Deco, because people do not get bent because of Ratio Deco. So, the number of Ratio Deco cases in our group was actually zero.

    I am not counting two other divers from our group who had incidents while doing a dive together. First of all, it was a very high altitude dive, and I don't know for sure how they planned their profile. They were still believers in Ratio Deco, but I suspect they may have altered it. Second, the one who was paralyzed from the waist down for three months following his DCS hit lost buoyancy control and corked before his deco was done. As for his buddy, since the body was never found, it's hard to say what happened.
     
  9. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,463
    6,099
    113
    What percentage of new-ish divers have a vision of "down the road" other than to continue diving and having fun? I really don't know, but maybe it's lower than we think. A few years ago I saw a survey somewhere of new divers that asked if they would be interested in tech diving down the road, but I think the responses were biased by the very question. How many would have said "I want to cave dive" without prompting? A few, perhaps. But not many. Sometimes I think we on SB tend to assume more divers want to "go tech" than really do. One of the first questions when a new diver here asks about buying gear is "Do you see yourself getting into tech diving in the future?" How many divers really do? I had never heard of "tech diving" when I found SB. It sounds hard to believe, but I had done a couple of OW dives in FL springs and never really even understood that there were caves further below that ordinary people like me could learn to dive. We just had fun splashing around in Devil's Den and Blue Grotto.

    I don't think people who say they are only are interested in rec diving really want or are capable of digesting "all the relevant info." If someone had planted a seed in my head that I might be interested in tech diving someday, and that which agency I choose now might make a crucial difference down the road, I might never have taken the step of signing up for Fundies. If someone had told me, when I asked how to improve my recreational diving, that I should take into account things like the agency's approach to "Ratio Deco" before deciding on GUE versus UTD, I would have tuned them out. That was way above my head at the time. In fact, it was all the clutter--the differing viewpoints and bits of information on gear and techniques offered to me by random helpful divers over the years--that ultimately made me appreciate the GUE system.
     
  10. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,849
    4,539
    113
    Fair enough. Analysis Paralysis is certainly a risk. But, if there is 1 OW diver in 1000 that has a clue what they want to do, and the info helps them make a good (for them) decision, I think it's worth broaching the subject to every diver that asks. I mean, it really seems as simple as:

    OW: "I'd like to get some training to really improve my dive skills like buoyancy and trim. What should I do?"

    Tech diver: "Check out UTD Essentials and GUE Fundies. Do you think you might eventually go on to cave or tech diving?"

    If OW says yes, then tell them a bit more about the agencies. If they say no, then tell them to look for an instructor, from any agency, that they like and that has a good reputation.

    I don't think you have to overwhelm anyone with info just because they asked that initial question. If they don't have any more vision than "continue diving and have fun", you could simply say that taking Fundies might open a door for them for the future that Essentials would not and if they don't have any idea of their future, taking Fundies would give them the most future flexibility. Again, without getting into all the nitty gritty.
     

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