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

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by MeraSonnet, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. iluvtheocean

    iluvtheocean Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hollywood, FL
    i would have gotten certified sooner and with my favorite shop. I like a shop that offers a dive club which especially for those just getting certified/new cert are a huge bonus! The biggest trouble i had right after i got certified was finding people to dive with - then I found scubaboard who directed me to the LDS i tend to frequent now since the guys there are great, knowledgeable but not afraid to say i don't know!!, and offer lots of dives each week thru meetup.com

    I'm taking my AOW thru the new shop rather than the 1st one (even though it's geographically closer to me) and i plan on next year getting Nitrox. I'm waiting on nitrox because i want to get better on breathing & bouyancy before i do. Better bottom time has been quoted by many but it won't do me any good if i can't make the tank last longer?
  2. Mr. Willoughby

    Mr. Willoughby Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Calgary, Alberta
    I enjoyed my OW course quite a bit. It was done in a very good shop with a great instructor. The OW dives were in a lake at the end of September and it was very cold for that time of year which made me a better diver for the adverse conditions.
  3. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    I didn't have the option of PADI OW... it didn't exist when I started diving. When I finally got certified, I did it through the Los Angeles County Underwater Unit. Not PADI bashing with this... I have two PADI certs (both essentially repeats of what was in my LAC cert, but many younger instructors and DMs don't have a clue what an LAC cert means). I think the OW instruction of most popular agencies today is much too watered down, although it would be costly to duplicate the class I took back in the 60s and that would dissuade a lot of people from getting into this great activity.

    Choosing a good instructor is first and foremost. People really should do a little more research when they make this selection, rather than doing it based on cost and convenience.
  4. tplyons

    tplyons Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
    I wouldn't do anything differently.

    I had a great experience. I went with a dive shop based on the recommendation of a friend who had recently taken up diving. I did my OW certification with rental gear, in a cold-water quarry. Didn't have any problems with a 7mm wetsuit, but it was warm enough that I didn't bother with the hood.

    I had a great experience with my shop and am still very involved with them.
  5. tadawson

    tadawson Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lewisville, Texas
    I certed with PADI as OW in 1978, IIRC, and back then it was a very good program, and well worth the time and work. These days, I tend to agree with drbill - things have become way too simple to maintain a skillset that can deal with even minor issues underwater . . . Experience will get that, but right out of OW, I am getting concerned with safety of the new divers . . .

    - Tim
  6. tlking

    tlking New

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: San Diego
    I too wouldnt of done anything different. I did the PADI online portion and was able to study at my own pace. Then I did the pool and open water dives at a Sandals resort in the Bahamas. I lucked out and was the only one getting certified at the time so I had one on one training. The instructor was super friendly and informative. We knocked out the testing in two consecutive days and the rest of my vacation I dove everyday and he ended up being my dive buddy on most of the dives. Great experience.
  7. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany, NY
    In the short run I was disappointed with my PADI training, but in the long run it didn't make much difference. Much more important was finding the online community, and from there, the world of technical and cave diving.
    TSandM likes this.
  8. Adam Grose

    Adam Grose Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson, AZ
    The main thing that I would have done differently is NOT WAIT SO LONG!!! Oh well... I guess hindsight is always 20/20. :wink:

    Bill Parker likes this.
  9. NOVADiveGuy21

    NOVADiveGuy21 Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Alexandria, VA
    I know it sounds trite, but I wouldn't do anything differently and you learn from your mistakes. I had a great experience during my open water dives, but they were in cold, zero vis water, and very basic. My instructoer was good and made sure we passed all of our skills. Now that I have a few (re. less than 25 dives) under my belt, I've realized there are a few things that I might have done differently, but I didn't know about them and, without trying the "other/regular" types, I wouldn't have been interested in them. 1) I now have a regular (much more experienced) dive buddy), 2) I've realized that I am tech-curious, 3) training in low vis rocks, yeah it might be nice to see cool things but i am comfortable in a crappy dive environvent, and 4) any diving is better than not diving. My first instructor taught me the basics. As I've fallen in love with diving I've adapted, become a better diver, and relaxed in the water. Every in water experience is different for each person, do what feels best for you.

    Good diving,

  10. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    PADI was not around when I started diving so I didn't have the choice. When I finally got certified 7 years later, the best option for me (having moved to SoCal) was to go with the Los Angeles County Underwater Unit's certyification program which lasted three weeks and covered essentially everything up through Rescue diver. PADI's philosophy under Cronin was to break up the long course into sub-units (OW, AOW, Rescue) which may have made it less expensive to get initial certification, but IMHO also left the newly certified diver less prepared. Of course that approach is now pretty much the standard one for most recreational agencies (and I did get AOW and Rescue from PADI just so unknowledgeable PADI dive operators would recognize my level of training).

    I do not like the current approach to dive instruction, but do recognize that a course which covers everything my original LAC cert did would probably be somewhat cost prohibitive and result in fewer people entering the activity.

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