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Further training

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by Gasman, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. Gasman

    Gasman New Member

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    Once ive completed my PADI open water. I would like to do enriched air also night and wreck diving. I know padi do these. Are there many alternatives and are the qualifications as valid worldwide, also who Polices them ?
     
  2. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    You don’t really need a course for wreck or night, just get some experience and do it yourself, nitrox is worthwhile though. You’d arguably be better off doing Advanced Open Water first though, having said that I did my nitrox before my advanced.

    You can do nitrox with other people like SDI or TDI too, the choice is yours.

    If you have a qualification with a well known agency then travelling abroad will be fine.
     
    #2 jb2cool, Dec 3, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
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  3. Gasman

    Gasman New Member

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    Th
    Thanks jb
     
  4. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    A BSAC branch could be a good alternative. They'll cover nitrox, drysuit and teach you valuable stuff for UK diving such as how to use a dsmb, as you work toward sport diver.

    They can be a bit variable, so contact a few and find one that fits. I contacted 3 local clubs before joining the one I'm in now. They're 80 miles away from me, but they're very active.

    https://www.bsac.com/club-life/find-a-bsac-club/

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Gasman

    Gasman New Member

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  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    From a PADI perspective, the progression will be Open Water --> Additional Open Water (which they call Advanced for some reason) --> Rescue Diver

    If you stick to the PADI fold, then you can do the AOW pretty soon after the OW. It really is additional skills and gets you access to deeper dives, 30m or 40m if you do the deep speciality. I've found that UK training is more rigorous than foreign training.

    The PADI Rescue Diver course really is a good one. You must have some experience behind you before taking that course as you need to be thinking of others rather than still fighting your own skills, e.g. buoyancy, finning, etc. Many people, including myself, think that the Rescue Diver course is PADI's best course. It does change your outlook on your diving.

    You should do the Nitrox course as soon as you can. This is mainly classroom based and focusses on the oxygen content and maximum depths for diving it. You need the card to get oxygen rich fills.

    There's a bunch of other "speciality courses" which PADI may push. Some of these are of dubious value, such as putting up an SMB which you could easily practice yourself and ask others for advice. A Peak Performance Buoyancy course might be useful, but only if the instructor's good and knows what they're doing (clue: they should be completely flat in the water and can be completely still)

    The DiveMASTER is PADI looking for assistant instructors and PADI dive leaders; what they refer to as "professional" courses. Waste of time IMHO unless you see your future as a trainer. DiveMASTER skills are very variable and I've seen way too many who aren't at all masters of their skill set. They're only recreational skills, so they don't know about decompression diving, mixed gas, diving deep, twinsets, etc.


    IF you move to a twinset, you need to seek out other agencies to PADI for your training. Whilst PADI do the Tec45, Tec50 and Tec55 (??), these courses are often taught by people who don't dive to those levels except for teaching, i.e. don't have any *real* experience. For that there's TDI's Intro to Tech; Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures; Helitrox and Extended Range. Or GUE's Fundimentals (Fundies) course. Or IANTD's equivalent. BSAC also do those, but it does depend upon the instructor.
     
  7. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Depends what you want to do.

    If you're planning to dive in the UK, join an active BSAC club (Bizarrely, some seem to do next to no diving!)

    The training works out cheaper, you'll be with a group of people who will get you out diving and you'll probably have access to decent second hand kit as divers upgrade their kit.

    Of course, there are exceptions (Indeed I had good experiences with the PADI centres in Plymouth and Wraysbury in my early days), but BSAC training is, I would argue, better designed for UK diving than PADI training (where everything seems to be a 'speciality' for £150).

    If you're just going to dive overseas, on holiday, you probably won't get much out of being in a BSAC club.

    I actually did the PADI wreck course with Plymouth DC and it was excellent doing my lining out exercise inside HMS Scylla - With a good instructor it's a great way to gain experience of wreck penetration in safety, but actual penetration isn't a prerequisite of the course, so many places it's almost academic.

    Don't let any dive centre sell you a Master Scuba Diver package, either, that's just a way to sell loads of pointless courses to give you a pretty meaningless badge.

    M
     
    #7 snowman, Dec 4, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Think the main thing is that all clubs and "Local Dive Shops" (LDS) are variable. Some are good, others not so.

    PADI are very recreationally focussed so you won't be stretched once you get past your initial training. A lot of the LDS will push their diving abroad trips and many don't do any UK diving.

    Definitely agree that BSAC's more UK focussed. Their clubs are variable, so it's worth going along for an evening or two before making a choice.

    BSAC's training is a lot cheaper than the commercial PADI courses, but it can take longer to finish.
     
  9. Gasman

    Gasman New Member

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    Thanks Wibble that is a great help. I guess my holidays will be dive based some where warm and my long weekends will be UK based. So keen to get moving.
     
  10. Gasman

    Gasman New Member

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    Cheers Snowy , sound advice, will be in touch with my local club as they have pool access. See you on the drysuit threads
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I started diving in Spain with PADI on holiday. Did their OW then AOW later in the season. All perfect for their kind of diving.

    Then I dived in the UK with 36 dives and "Advanced" Open Water. I thought that with 36 dives it would be straightforward. Nothing of the sort! UK diving's definitely not the same as warm, clear, tideless water to about 20m with lovely weather and sunshine. Oh noes. Diving to 30m off a RIB in lumpy sea, with a tide running (was slack, but still running), cold water, drysuit, dark on the bottom and 3m visibility.... Quite some baptism. Was hooked!

    Having been back to Spain subsequently, I find Spanish diving quite boring and very predictable in comparison. In the UK we've an almost unlimited supply of wrecks to play on. Loads of fish, loads of interesting stuff to look at, variable tides, visibility. And, most importantly, it's far from predictable; you get what you get. Miss the sunshine and holiday atmosphere though.
     
  12. LJDiver

    LJDiver Member

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    I passed my PADI OW September 2019 in Spain, and decided on the PADI route due to thinking I'd only dive when I was abroad, so although all certification groups are recognised, I thought most places I'd dive with would be PADI, so that would just make things simpler. September this year I took my PADI AOW in Turkey, as I want to go on diving holidays, and had seen those holidays generally require deeper depths which PADI AOW gives you (although that wouldn't be any good in the UK as the conditions are apparently/understandably different, Ie I probably would be able to jump into the sea in the UK and go down to 30m as the condition would be very different to what I'd trained in at that depth and my experience - I say apparently as I haven't yet done any dives in the UK lol). I then realised that to maximise your dives on these diving holidays, Nitrox would also be useful.

    I've really enjoyed scuba so far, so much so I don't want to wait until I'm next abroad to dive again, and want to hone my skills. So looking into things, I've decided the best route for me now is to jump onto BSAC. There are a few clubs in my area, so I'm evaluating which is the best to join, ie is active in regular diving and training capacity. Unfortunately covid has delayed this as many swimming pools aren't open so I haven't been able to go along and meet some of the people and get a feel for them. As soon as pools re-open I'll be visiting a few more and joining. Get drysuit certified and buy a dry suit and then start actually diving in the UK.
     
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  13. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a plan. Uk diving has a lot to offer. On the BSAC route deffo do your best to find a club doing what you want to do. In club instructors should be good to help you develop , but also there are an increasing (covid exceptions) of regional events. So it’s worth sussing out what region your in and joining up to that Facebook page. For example my club is in Eastern region , Essex etc , I live just into Essex so watch eastern and London region. The BSAC website also will show a list of events.
     
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  14. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Ok since you have OW and AOW you have most of what you need already, just find a regular group to go diving with (be it a group centred around a shop or a BSAC club) and you can build up UK experience.

    BSAC club makes sense and if you like the whole club thing would be a good choice, I’m quite introverted and antisocial so this wasn’t my preferred route. Just make sure you get on with the people first, I hear some can be a bit cliquey.
     
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  15. NickPicks

    NickPicks Super Moderator

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    LJDiver, As JB says, you have most of the training you need to dive in the UK. As you're already looking at Drysuit training / purchase, I'd say the only other desirable essential is the ability to launch a delayed surface marker buoy (dSMB) as in a lot of UK diving, it's not possible to come back up the same shotline you went down.

    A BSAC club should be happy to teach you both Drysuit and dSMB (as a lesson for the Sports Diver course which would be the next course to take in a club). When choosing a club, it's a good idea to visit a couple of clubs to get a feel for what suits you (visiting might be difficult right now - our club hasn't met in person for 9 months!) or call them and discuss what type of diving they do (does it match what you want to do) and how quickly you could expect to do your training (eg: how many active instructors do they have? - some clubs struggle to have enough instructors even if they do a lot of diving).

    Where abouts are you looking for a club?
     
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  16. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    To add that there are some PADI outfits who are also not bad. They do vary with many not doing any active diving, training aside. There are some PADI local dive shops who go out diving quite frequently and are good at buddying people up.

    The main thing with diving is getting in the water and doing it! Whilst training's good, diving's much better!
     
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  17. LJDiver

    LJDiver Member

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    Club thing.... Ummm I do and I don't. pro's and con's I guess. I'm not introverted or anti social but I'm not a massively chatty person, I'm quite blunt and direct :whistling:

    That's what I'm trying to do at the moment, but as you've said covid is making it problematic. I'm based in Staffordshire, so there's Potteries, Stoke, Biddulph and Stafford which are the ones I've contacted.

    Mainly just posting my path to date to help OP
     
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  18. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    The downside of PADI outfits is illustrated by the name. Professional Association of Diving Instructors is about running a business around diving. Every skill is a 'speciality' and every bit of kit carries a cost. I once rescued a victim of this system and the only comment from the 'instructor' was about him paying for the lost reel (BSAC incident report 12/100 is the official report).

    Clubs on the other hand are a bunch of nutters with a similar daft idea of what is fun and who want others to join them in their pursuit (it reinforces their silly decisions). To that end they'll lend you kit, teach you skills, and even sell you stuff they don't need at below the market rate. Social skills are nice, but not essential, and they'll tolerate most things to encourage others and support their habit.

    Apart from BSAC clubs there are also SAA clubs. There is certainly one in Staffordshire and they do some interesting diving.
     
  19. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Certainly agree that PADI relationships tend to be more commercial with the LDS using their customers to buy stuff. Alas frequently pushing the wrong stuff (https://www.ukdivers.com/threads/what-in-the-yellow-rubbery-feck.13246/) and focussing on their core business, frequently dive holidays abroad.

    The benefit of a commercial relationship is you don't need to be as loyal, so can go elsewhere for additional experience or training. An amateur club may come with an 'obligation' to support them over other diving alternatives, even if they decide not to go diving for a few weekends. There's also the obligation to help out; cleaning, maintaining kit, etc.

    Each to their own.
     
  20. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I don’t do either of these, I simply dive with friends. Some I met on a diving holiday and stayed in touch with, some I met on Internet forums and some are a loose collection that all trained with the same agency, there are some Facebook groups out there for people looking to team up and dive.

    just thought I’d mention that as it has some of the benefits of being in a club but you can effectively pick your club members. Of course it doesn’t have all the benefits of being in a club like training etc. But it’s another option.
     
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