What do you look for in students to tell if they are ready for AN/DP?

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jtsfour

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I figure this will get a lot of varied responses but I am curious what instructors out there have to say. I am planning on scheduling classes in the next couple of months and am wondering what level of skill and knowledge is expected for AN/DP. I know the course curriculums have certain requirements but I am curious as to the personal opinions and experiences of instructors that teach this class.



Thanks for any comments.
 

Tracy

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Gear and equipment familiarity.
Your ANDP course shouldn't be the first time you dive doubles. It shouldn't be the first time you are in a drysuit. There are courses tailored to those things.
You should have a good understanding of the basic kicks, know what they are and how to do them. If you come in with a strong frog kick but your back kick sucks, that is fine, we will work on that through the week. If you are coming in at a 45 degree angle flutter kicking the bottom, you aren't ready for that level yet.
Whether you are in doubles or sidemount, you should have some experience and comfort with that configuration. Classes will be task loaded enough without struggling with new kit.
People get in a big race to see the bottom, I was one of those people. It is amazing how much clearer you can see when you look backwards. Take time and go through the steps. The bottom will always be down there.
 

Wibble

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IANAI (I am not an instructor)...

Core skills - buoyancy, trim, finning.

Without that the course will be a misery as you'll struggle with the drills and skills: demonstrating shutdowns (many times); holding a stop; being task loaded; clipping stages on; working with other students...

You should be competent with your kit too, as in twinset/doubles.

When I did my initial courses, people without those skills were at a real disadvantage. They're also really difficult to work with as they rely on other people to overcome their shortcomings, e.g. being a reference for a regulator switch procedure, or they descend whenever doing a skill due to the task loading.
 

kensuf

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You need to be comfortable with the core gear you will be diving, either BM doubles or SM. Do you know how a manifold works? Can you share air? Can you do a valve drill?

You need to have excellent buoyancy control and trim in your core gear. Can you hover within 1.5' in either direction (3' change)? Can you shoot an SMB without going to pieces?

You need to have decent propulsion techniques and know when they are appropriate. Do you have a frog kick and know when it's useful and when it's not useful? Do you have a modified flutter kick and know why you'd use it?

You need to have self-awareness - do you know what depth you are at, do you know what pressure you are at, do you know how much NDL time you have left?

You need to have global awareness - do you know where your buddy is, do you know where you are?
 
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jtsfour

jtsfour

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You need to be comfortable with the core gear you will be diving, either BM doubles or SM. Do you know how a manifold works? Can you share air? Can you do a valve drill?

You need to have excellent buoyancy control and trim in your core gear. Can you hover within 1.5' in either direction (3' change)? Can you shoot an SMB without going to pieces?

You need to have decent propulsion techniques and know when they are appropriate. Do you have a frog kick and know when it's useful and when it's not useful? Do you have a modified flutter kick and know why you'd use it?

You need to have self-awareness - do you know what depth you are at, do you know what pressure you are at, do you know how much NDL time you have left?

You need to have global awareness - do you know where your buddy is, do you know where you are?
Thank you that was very insightful.

Would you have any additional advice for someone that 90% of their diving experience is lakes, rivers, quarries, springs, and caverns considering doing AN/DP in the ocean? Are there any open water/ocean specific skills you think should be highlighted?
 

kensuf

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Thank you that was very insightful.

Would you have any additional advice for someone that 90% of their diving experience is lakes, rivers, quarries, springs, and caverns considering doing AN/DP in the ocean? Are there any open water/ocean specific skills you think should be highlighted?

Yup, ability to hold buoyancy at stops is incredibly important - blue water decos without visual references and currents are a real thing. Also the ability to shoot an SMB is important.

You can simulate some of this stuff in a lake or quarry, but it's not quite the same. I don't teach AN/DP nearly as much as I'd like mostly because the way I insist on teaching it involves the logistics of driving to SoFla (~8 hours round-trip) for a boat ride.
 

Wibble

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Putting up an SMB and following it up. Reels are massively easier than spools.

Boat etiquette too, unless you're shore diving.

Will have some waves, so that may affect your 20'/6m stop.
 
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jtsfour

jtsfour

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Putting up an SMB and following it up. Reels are massively easier than spools.

Boat etiquette too, unless you're shore diving.

Will have some waves, so that may affect your 20'/6m stop.
Is using a reel more common than a spool? I tried using a spool once and hated it.

The boat etiquette question was another I had. I am diving SM a lot right now. I'm wondering if setting up some doubles and learning to use them is worth it/necessary right now. The problem is I would only use them in the ocean and I plan on being cave focused.

Sidemount diving off of a boat seems like a pain I should probably avoid but I'm not certain yet.
 

johndiver999

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Yup, ability to hold buoyancy at stops is incredibly important - blue water decos without visual references and currents are a real thing. Also the ability to shoot an SMB is important.

You can simulate some of this stuff in a lake or quarry, but it's not quite the same. I don't teach AN/DP nearly as much as I'd like mostly because the way I insist on teaching it involves the logistics of driving to SoFla (~8 hours round-trip) for a boat ride.
I am curious as to why that is the case. I would think that it would be far safer and easier to have a visual and tactile reference such as an smb on a spool/reel etc. under which the drifting diver could "hang".

Is it good practice to have the smb for reference? Is the actual use of it for real deco required when training? Is it good to be able to not need one incase of an emergency?

I don't really know much about this, do a lot of people do blue water deco in a current without (using) this piece of gear? thanks?
 

kensuf

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SMB yes, but not every diver in a team needs to launch their own. You only need one for the team.
 
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