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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
    I'm not sure I agree with that approach, but I certainly get what you're saying.
     
    stuartv likes this.
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,875
    17,544
    113
    It would be hard to get an estimate lower than mine. I am pretty sure my estimate is within a plus or minus range of 1% to reality, but then, my estimate is that it is fewer than 1%. When I taught OW classes, I always asked students why they wanted to learn to dive and what their future plans were. Almost all were focused on a specific upcoming vacation trip, and I cannot even remember hearing new students talk about any significant plans beyond the most basic.

    This debate says more about the peculiarities of ScubaBoard than the reality of the outside world. The rest of the diving world pretty much doesn't care.

    I decided to leave UTD (about 6 years ago) just prior to heading to Florida for a month, and I decided to take advantage of that opportunity to cross over to TDI while I was there. We had an outstanding month of weather, and so I got in a whole lot of technical diving on a number of dive boats while I was making that crossover. I cannot estimate how many conversations I struck up with dive shop employees and other technical divers on the boats. In that entire time, not a single person I met had ever heard of UTD. Not one. I tried to explain by comparing it to GUE, but I only met one person who knew what GUE was. My TDI instructor had heard of GUE and DIR, but he knew very little about either. When I saw the veiled attacks on DIR and George Irvine in the TDI course materials, I had to explain them my instructor. For example, showing him Irvine's baker's dozen reasons for not using 80% for decompression explained the cryptic attack on "chest thumping" divers insisting on 100% for deco.

    A couple years ago, I made a presentation on the concept of bringing technical diving skills into the world of recreational diving to an audience of recreational divers at a dive shop social gathering. When I talked about the history of all of this, I discovered that the audience did not have a clue. Not a single person in there had ever heard of any of this. Not a single person had any idea how the skills used in technical diving were any different from any other skills in diving. Most of all, only a couple showed any interest in making any changes to the way they were diving then. They were just fine the way they were, thank you very much.
     
  3. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    4,093
    1,620
    113
    Hey John, I know your quote about UTD is in italics so it draws attention to your point. And I'm not surprised that in Florida, 6 years ago no one in the shops had heard of UTD. It is still a very small agency although it has grown considerably in the last 5 years or so. Certainly in Florida, which is GUE's backyard, although now we do have a facility in Ft Lauderdale. You would be hard pressed to find awareness about ISE, RAID and many of the 200+ agencies in existence. Even locally, NAUI, SSI and SDI have almost no presence and are not well known.

    I think, collectively (many of us on SB), we have shown that what were once considered "tech" skills are actually "diving" skills. The issue was that most rec instructors didn't have the skills, knowledge or even awareness of what is now (almost) considered best practice. I'm very thankful for having the skills required by those agencies to make me a better instructor no matter which agency's program I'm teaching.
     
    peocro, Colliam7 and randytay like this.
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,875
    17,544
    113
    I agree. My point was that those beliefs are not the beliefs of the general diving public, and in my experience, they are not the beliefs of the average instructor.

    A couple years ago I was our shops only tech instructor, and I did most of the more advanced specialties as well. I was teaching some specialty or other, dressed in my usual garb, and I of course talked about why I wore the gear I do (etc, etc. etc.). One of the students told me then that his OW instructor, the one who did more OW classes than anyone else in the shop, flat out told his class that they should NEVER take any technical diving classes of any kind, because that kind of diving was just nuts.

    It's hard to attract tech students with that thinking going on.
     
    decompression likes this.
  5. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    4,326
    2,690
    113
    I think most divers want to look at pretty fish. I don't know what the breakdown is of vacation only divers versus people who dive a lot in their home area. I am able to dive year round. When I first started, I had absolutely no intention of going tech. People's goals change.

    Given how social media has rapidly changed the speed in which information is spread, I am guessing that over time, people who have an interest in improving their skills will learn about technical diving and about the smaller tech focused agencies. People who just go diving on vacation to dive recreationally in the tropics will never run out of dive sites and amazing experiences that will enrich their lives without every putting on a BP/W.
     
  6. randytay

    randytay Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: USA
    585
    108
    43
    You speak as if there were no Cave programs in UTD. Sure, RD may not be your cup of tea and I appreciate that, but have you compared both Cave programs to turn people away from Essentials if they are aspiring to cave dive?
     
  7. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,849
    4,539
    113
    No, I speak as if I would not consider any advanced classes from UTD (for the reasons I posted earlier in this thread). Thus, I would not recommend them to anyone else.
     
  8. randytay

    randytay Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: USA
    585
    108
    43
    Yes I did read your comments but the reasons you quoted was more in reference with RD and/or tech. So why would you not recommend UTD's cave programs?
     
  9. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,849
    4,539
    113
    Because to get to full cave, one would have to start doing deco diving. Or such is my understanding.
     
  10. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    4,326
    2,690
    113

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