What would you do different, if you had PADI OW certification to do all over again?

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Lorenzoid

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I would transport myself in a time machine back to the late '70s or early '80s when, according to you old timers, OW training included what is now part of AOW and Rescue.

But if no time machine were available, I have to say there's nothing I would insist on doing differently. If I recall, my classes were efficient, covered in three consecutive Saturdays. My first OW dives were from shore on a calm sandy beach in San Diego, and the checkout dives were from a boat where the only people were my classmates and instructor. It was a well run operation that had been certifying divers for years and years. I suppose I might be wary of using a dive shop that's not located in a place known for diving, where the shop may run OW classes only sporadically and where you have to travel somewhere to do the OW dives. That seems like an invitation for things to not work out as efficiently as planned.
 

BabyDuck

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i totally lucked into my instructor - found him on yahoo personals, even. he did a great class & showed me the bar without being punitive about it. i'd change nothing at all about the class.

i'd change what i bought for the class, but that's another story.
 

Them

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Fairly recent OW certification here...

I would have done it sooner. Oh, wait, I guess that isn't really an option in life. Darn linear time!

I actually have much more appreciation of my OW certification experience now than I did just after certification. I've now dived with fairly experienced divers, and with noobs, and I haven't endangered anyone or harmed anything. I have also realized that the example he (and the DMs) set was unusually good. Actually, most of my reservations about my OW experience disappeared on an early dive when a dive buddy signaled a stop, plopped onto the bottom in a kneeling position, and cleared his mask. I didn't understand what I was seeing at first, then I realized, and I began to appreciate that my instructor had us clear while floating neutral. Was my experience perfect? Of course not. I'm not perfect and I was involved in the process...but it was good enough.

I don't really know how to translate that into advice for someone else though.
 

Kitty_Kat

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I also lucked out on my instructor via signing up blindly for a class offered through my college... After trying a few different shops for continuing ed. classes, I guess it says something that I chose to work for the shop that originally certified me :D

The classroom and pool portions of my OW class were conducted over a 6 week period which was irritating at first (i was soooo eager to go diving), but looking back was a great layout! We really had the time to learn the material and practice our skills/gear assembly. Now having been exposed to the quick and dirty "weekend open water" style course, I am not a fan...
 

Absolutbill

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More time spent talking with potential instructors. My ssi dive shop has a few great ones, but did not like the one we took classes with.


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Mr Carcharodon

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Honestly I think PADI open water is pretty good for what it is. Sure it is just a start, but if the course was 10x longer and 10x more expensive almost no one would take it. I doubt I would have since I had little direct interest in SCUBA prior to starting.
 

Scuba_Noob

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Probably exactly the same. My instructor was experienced and pretty great. I'd transport myself back to right after my cert, when I bought my equipment, though. I'd buy some different gear that suit my goal now, rather than having to spend that money again later.
 

SlowlySinking

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My partner and I took our OW three years ago and were very pleased with the training and attention we got. It was only this year, with a different dive company, when we chose to do a scuba review to go over our skills that we realised the difference between a good and a great instructor. The instructor we had for our review made us gain a lot in both competence and confidence and we considered it a bonus that our diving after the review was with him as well; we continued to learn throughout.

Having said that, I think we struck fairly lucky when we did our OW course, as we only decided to do this once we were on holiday (frist time without children with us) and hadn't looked for reviews/comments about the dive companies available before going.

Having had a couple of less than satisfactory dives a couple of years ago I did look up the companies available before booking for this year and it was time well spent; something I would now do if I was considering the OW again. In fact I would do the course with the company we were with this year - no question about it.

How many people do their OW course (perhaps, like us, after a number of DSD dives) and then get into diving enough to start reading about it/joining forums like this etc?
 
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