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New diver checking in

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by AdsDiving833, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Not the OP, his responses are reasonable :)

    Shame he's call 60plus as that suggests us other 60+ youngsters also talk rubbish.....
     
  2. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Or indeed some of us 70+ :whistling:
     
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  3. Graysyid

    Graysyid Member

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    Got a good few years diving as a 40+ then?
     
  4. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    oh yes, I was 47 when I had a try dive and I qualified the following year. That was many dives ago and I still manage a good number each year.

    The important things is to avoid excess weight and keep a reasonable level of fitness to help delay the time when things start wearing out.
     
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  5. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    Perhaps I should include a tin hat and body armor as essential diving equipment in case I come across some of you at a dive site!. Seriously though, I am not a troll. I understand you can find them on Harry Potter. Yes for most UK diving a drysuit is the right choice and as I have posted twice before I may get one. Some of you are talking about about 45 minute deco stops and deep dives - is this really applicable to the OP, a beginner who has not yet completed his OW qualification? I acknowledge the superiority of a drysuit for most UK diving but having said that it still does not mean that purchasing one is the right choice for the OP at this stage.
    Why do quite a number of UK divers buy drysuits and then hardly ever dive in them except in water where a wetsuit would suffice? I know of two people who bought quite expensive drysuits and all the diving gear and after a few dives no longer dive in the UK. One has now not dived at for maybe 2 years and the other has pretty well decided UK diving (because of the cold) is not for her, she will just dive on holiday in places like Lanzarote in a wetsuit. I have also come across divers who were far keener than me only for them suddenly to decide it was no longer for them
    I am maybe slightly biased - I am pretty cold tolerant, I work outside a fair bit of the time, ride motorcycles and do a bit of open water swimming. I have cold water rated regs (Aqualung Core). whether I will ever actually need their cold water ability I don't know. I know that in a 2/3 wetsuit I can dive sufficiently comfortably in 13 degrees C to do the dives I want.
    What ever the rights and wrongs of wetsuits vs drysuits at least I have never felt the need to insult other posters or use religion in a defamatory way.
     
  6. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Yeah you still don't get it i'm afraid.

    Those of us who train large numbers of students to dive (so yes that will be beginners), are fully aware of what's needed
    for UK conditions. We've learned that over many years of seeing idiots with near on hypothermia who claim that a wetsuit
    was fine only to bail after the first dive. As any diver knows, entry level dive courses tend to be 4 or 5 dives depending on
    agency and as the max we can do is 3 a day that means 2 days. A diver learning in a wetsuit will often struggle to complete
    the required dives and even if they do they are short ones often scraping the bare minimum of 20min. It's been a long time
    ago now, but before drysuits it would take 3 and on the odd occasion as many as 4 days to complete purely because one
    dive was all they could manage on the day before quitting.

    But hey let's run with your poor advice. A suitable semi-dry to at least attempt to be used in the UK needs to be a well-fitting
    and a single 5mm is not going to cut it unless it's mid-summer. However the price of that suit alone like the Scubapro or
    Waterproof is £300 (£100 more if 7mm). The over-vest to boost the torso is another £100, so your 'cheap' option is anything
    but cheap, it's at least £400!!! (Before you cut in with any second-hand BS, apply like for like - either it's all new or it's all old).

    Meanwhile a new drysuit like a Typhoon Seamaster which is an ideal first suit can be bought right now for as low as yes you
    guessed £400 and even a MTM one like a Seaskin not a lot more just £500. So in fact not only is it possible to get a NEW
    drysuit suitable for the coldest the UK can throw at us, but at the same price as the semi-dry alternatives.


    Not quite, the majority of beginners use supplied or hired drysuits and these naturally vary in fit. UK conditions are also extremely
    variable not only with temperature, but also visibility and weather conditions (many divers don't do boats well). You've also got
    the romance of everything being new and the intensive nature of the course which means for 5 days it's nothing else but diving day
    and night (well day and night over two weekends as that's how most UK training works). Then 1 min after the course is done diver
    is totally on his own and the reality of 'WTF do I do now!!!!' kicks in. Which is when the new diver thinks,' I must get a drysuit' in the
    misguided idea that kit alone will solve all the other issues

    Meanwhile you walk into a dive school on hols in a sunny location and an hour later you are off in some warm, clear water teaming with
    fish.

    Fact (yep a real one, not some anecdote from some bloke):The majority of those trained in the UK will not dive the UK again post an
    entry level course.
     
  7. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    @60plus, a dry suit mightn’t be for you, you might prefer diving in warmer water in your wetsuit, that’s all fine, but your preferences and a few anecdotes of little value don’t mean it’s not the right tool for the job for the diving that most of us do and indeed for a new diver to UK waters (FYI most of my dives this year have been non-deco and even I’m not daft enough to try them in my wetsuit).
     
  8. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty cold tolerant too; in my dinghy racing days I sailed through the winter in a 3mm wetsuit and also rode motorbikes all year. However, the difference is that, when diving, you are often moving slowly or even stationery. So, you aren't keeping warm by exercise. It's difficult when you begin as a dry suit is a significant investment when you don't know what kind of diving you are going to do, or if you are going to continue at all. It also takes more time to get used to - I had some horrible dives early on.
    Of course, foreign parts are not always warm - in February, Cyprus was 17/18 and most divers were in dry suits. Madeira rarely rises above 20 and I'm likely to be taking the suit there next time we go. The advantage of a dry suit is that you can adapt it to different temperatures by changing the layers underneath - a wet suit is a wet suit.

    I'm so pleased that I did OW as I did - Norwich theory/pool, Madeira sea dives. If I'd done the dives in Stoney, I probably would have never dived again and If I'd done them in somewhere really warm - Caribbean/Far East I would never have dived in UK. Pure luck :joyful:
     
  9. JasonP

    JasonP Active Member

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    Is that true? I would have thought PADI schools had a better than 50% rate of getting people to do AOW before they give up UK diving.

    If more people did their training dives in the sea, or did a couple of post course dives in the sea, I think far fewer would give up UK diving.
     
  10. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you are not a troll, but you are offering poor advice. Curiously, reading your text below, you say a drysuit is the best equipment for the job and then persist with idea that a wetsuit is a worthwhile investment for UK diving.
    As the OP hasn't checked in for over 28 weeks I think we can assume he's not reading this thread.
    Is the failure of others a valid reason to not take a good decision? This forum is called 'UK divers' and we offer advice on how to dive in the UK.

    To put my take on this into context, I did PADI OW in a lake in Holland, in June 2005 and was wearing a wetsuit. I did another 4 dives in that same puddle. I bought a wetsuit (5mm semidry) as my next (8) dives were in Malta. I joined a local club and listened to the good advice that a drysuit was necessary to continue my diving in the UK and took myself to my LDS and bought a set of dive gear, including a drysuit. My next dive was a quarry in February 2006. There was frost on the ground and that began my UK drysuit diving.
    I dive the UK all the year round and I normally use a drysuit. For shore diving between June and October I sometimes use my 5mm semidry. Outside that limited set of diving parameters a drysuit is the only viable option.
    I am cold tolerant, I run, I cycle, I do (sprint) triathlons and I do open water swimming. I have a rebreather, heated vest, drysuit and dry gloves and for UK diving I would only ever use regs rated for cold water. Last weekend we went diving and the sea temperature was 10 degrees. I left the bottom (~36m) after 35 minutes with a bit of decompression to do and I was warm enough. Some of the others (in drysuits) were cold and we didn't bother with a second dive. A wetsuit diver wanting to join us would not have allowed on the boat.
     
  11. JasonP

    JasonP Active Member

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    And of course you don't want to be exerting yourself as you use up more gas. The more experienced you are, the less flapping about underwater you do, you're neutral so you're not kicking the whole time and the colder you feel. A 5/3mm wetsuit is fine for surfing most of the year round in Cornwall, whereas a 2 piece 7mm semi dry is less than optimal for diving.
     
  12. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    I'd also argue a 2 piece 7m wet suit/semi dry is never the right choice for diving. On the surface it provides most insulation but at depth it will compress and offer less insulation. Also, due to compressing characteristics, the diver will be correctly weighted only at the surface and will be overweighted for most of the dive, again becoming more buoyant during the ascent.
     
  13. JasonP

    JasonP Active Member

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    Depends how deep you go really. It would be alright for a shallow shore dive. Might be better than a drysuit if it involves being on your knees on rocks like some of the Malta exit points.
     
  14. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Yes it really is and it's easy to see. Take a look at any diary from a dive school and count the number of open water to AOW courses.
    The average is a rough ratio of around 1 AOW to 5 OW courses at best. If the OW were going to other PADI outfits to do AOW they'd
    be running more AOW courses. If they are going BSAC etc. then BSAC would be massive, it is not, so let's be very generous and put
    the retention rate at about 25%.

    It depends on the business model.
    1. If you have a regular supply of OW trainees and a percentage of new kit sales to them during or post course even if that's for overseas
    makes sense to concentrate on that.
    2. If the flow is not so great better to spend more time on that captive audience and promote the school to do AOW. These are the ones
    that typically run trips, clubs etc. and will spend longer on courses than the mill usually does to keep them engaged.
    3. Then you Have a technical arm or a parallel agency that pickups post-AOW to do baby tech courses that can even lead to a second
    bite at kit sales :)

    Loads of different versions, just really depends on what the input is at the base.
     
  15. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Just curious Dave, but when you dive at the cove is changing at home a viable option? x
     
  16. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is. For drysuit dives I sometimes change at home and go down in my undersuit. It depends on my plan for post dive activities, and on the weather. For wetsuit dives I change on, or near, the beach.

    The divers who live is Chiswell walk out of their front door carrying fins, masks and cameras.
     
  17. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I'm so jealous as there is no fresh or salt water to dive in within two hours. :hurting: The good news is that we can look out of the window from our bedroom and see nothing but countryside, even detect a slight whiff of cow when the wind is in the right direction. :joyful:
     
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  18. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    We were in a similar state before we moved, with Wraysbury as the nearest puddle.
    Yep, a good view is very special :cool: We also like our view and I was tempted to post a picture and decided it was unfair on those less fortunate :)
     
  19. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    We’re at Portland over bank hol. Can’t wait , hoping the forecast holds. Be much nicer doing sports diver training in the sun!!
     
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  20. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    As May bank holiday weather is usually rubbish we'd scheduled the boat coming out for inspection (for coding), for hull cleaning and anti-foul. So good is the weather forecast that is postponed to the following week as we are going diving too!
     
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