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PADI Open Water woes...

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by VintageGt, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    I despair at a lot of BSAC clubs, we are supposedly meant to be closed for new students over the Summer
    as our main intake is next week, but we've taken on and trained a dozen since June, even though it's our quiet time :)

    No fear of having to buy kit as it's all provided gratis as part of membership and yes that includes drysuits.
    If I get an email it gets answered in 24hours = always.

    I can;t knock a club for wanting to keep small and ,maybe not doing training etc. but the key here no matter BSAC,
    PADI or SAA is always to just do what you say.
     
  2. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    I thought most BSAC clubs had kit for trainees to use. Ours has 10 sets of kit, but doesn't include drysuits. I know that Tel's does, but I expect that most clubs have a much lower intake of divers, so buying and maintaining a stock of different sizes might prove too difficult.

    Or do you size people as they join and then look for suits to fit them Tel?
     
  3. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    We have a large range of sizes from XS to XXXL with multiples for the most common, then if the demographic
    changes we add/subtract or sometimes change neck/wrist seals. Stuff that doesn't get used in just under about
    2 years get shifted and reinvested. If we get a funny size we'll adapt the suit, change boots etc, shorten arms.

    Students are here for a year, so we see it as investing in them and the club's future and have a mantra that
    kit must be as good as or better than that used by the Instructors. Often a line up of divers makes it hard
    to tell who is the student and who is the Instructor :)


    Kit isn't as bad as everybody makes out and can be bought for not a lot these days and even
    smaller clubs can up there game. It does take time and effort and that's kind of the issue
    that same as running a boat need someone to take it on for it to work and often (same in the boat)
    those that will help vs those who want to use it are not balanced.
     
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  4. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Thanks Wibble. It's certainly an all options open affair for me right now. I have done some digging and had some positive interaction with local PADI clubs last couple days.

    The consensus I seem to see is that BSAC training is more in depth and they take an approach where quality is more important than quantity. For example...practice a particular skill and that's it...signed off because you've done it. With BSAC it seems that skill will be done again and again until they are happy you have mastered it and so are you. This is of course not going to be the case in every club but just seems to be the majority of what I've read from people who have had issues with PADI ran outfits.

    Also I read yesterday on one BSAC club website that for £175 (+ any fees for boats, entry to Capers etc), they will train you to Ocean Diver standard which, according to them, is equivalent to PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water. With a PADI club I'd be looking at getting no change from £500 to do both of those. I guess that's the defence for lack of kit to hire...keeping costs of training to a minimum.

    I certainly agree with you though. I'm certainly not here to rubbish the PADI brand, all clubs can't be bad. Its just a bit of a mine field when you're new to it like me and just want the best training you can get and just get in the water and dive safely with like minded folk.
     
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  5. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    The club I spoke to basically has cylinders and BCD's and that's about it. That's just one club mind you, not had any word from any others yet.
     
  6. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Well er on paper sort of :)

    PADI AOW is better termed "more open water", so a better comparison would be an Ocean diver with + 5 dives.
    As 5x dives cost and PADI AOW is the cheapest course PADI do, the difference is not that great in £ terms.
     
  7. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    Oh dear. If they've got cylinders and BCs, you'd sort of expect them to have regulators as well.

    Some clubs can take a time to respond to enquiries, especially during holiday season, which is a bit of a shame.

    Where abouts in the country are you?
     
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  8. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    Like Tel, I despair at some clubs. Membership is at an all time low and still decreasing and some clubs CBA to return calls or answer emails.

    Our club provides kit (not drysuits) for all members should they want it but encourage more experienced members to buy their own if they are able.
     
  9. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've seen loads of divers from all agencies that look like a sack of shite in the water; appalling trim, kicking up the bottom, total lack of awareness, rubbish buoyancy, and with kit all over the place.

    With diving, experience is everything. The ticket, just like a driving test, means nothing more than you've passed a test on that day. What counts is your attitude to diving once outside of training. Skills need to be developed and constantly practised, particularly the core skills (buoyancy, trim, finning, mask drills, etc.). Even though I've done hundreds of dives, I probably still spend around half my dives training and practising (yes, I must be completely rubbish!)

    I'd suggest that it's a matter of making a rule to dive with people better than you. There's nothing better than knowing what good looks like. Even in the early days it's really useful to be able to differentiate those that can from those that don't. That could be because they can't so need more practice; it could be that they weren't trained properly; or it could be that they won't -- the absolute worst person to be around (I've seen some shocking examples of awful diving skills from people who just don't care).
     
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  10. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    As you may be aware both myself and Mrs PD have been away from diving for some time and have often called ourselves ex divers. But occasionally we have thought about getting back into it after some refresher training.
    Consequently we thought about going down the BSAC route but sadly after contacting a number of local clubs we have not heard from any. The club based at the LDS that I had dealings with seems very cliquey and not very welcoming to new members and another runs pool sessions when I am at work. Not their fault.
    I can now understand why as Hawk says membership is dropping as no one wants new members or are they just being run for the benefit of an elite few sandal wearing beardies.
    Or dare I say Diving is becoming a very elite pastime all round.
     
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  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Not all clubs though. Some really are friendly and welcoming. It's just trying to sort the wheat from the chuff.
     
  12. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Frustrating really, don't understand how clubs can't answer enquiries. Most clubs I know would benefit from a few more keen members so to struggle to get an answer is unreal.

    I've been with the same club since I started diving, we meet weekly and I'd expect that from any club. Deffo try to meet up with people to get a real feel away from FB and web sites.
     
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  13. Mako-JD

    Mako-JD Active Member

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    I have been down to my local BSAC club last night for a chat and see how things are. £159 for membership for the year ( BSAC & Club fees)

    2 RHIBS, free air and the vibe felt ok,

    Q: Because I am PADI ow/aow whats the script, do I just become a sport diver automatic or would i have to fill in some gaps.. I have no nitrox card but have drysuit card
     
  14. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    On paper you dive on your existing qualifications with no need to do any courses, but in reality this
    makes the assumption that your past dives match the ones being done by the club. This can mean
    clubs will often want to make sure that you are upto that level. This is less a PADI thing and same
    would apply to an unknown BSAC diver - safety of the club and it's existing members is paramount.

    If however the club is doing Nitrox and the sort of profiles that stray into deco it makes a lot of sense
    to do Sport Diver and it's this that I suspect you'll be invited to do. It has a lot of content, is a fun actual
    diving course to do puts you in the right place to mix with similar buddies. It's one of BSAC';s best
    courses, so well worth doing :)
     
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  15. reefer

    reefer Member

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    I joined a local BSAC club with the same PADI qualifications as you.

    I had to do a check out dive with the diving officer in the pool. He wanted to see mask clearing and regulator recovery. Additionally, I had to do CBLs.

    I can continue to dive under my current quals.

    If I'm on a club dive I am limited to 18 / 20 metres (can't remember), unless accompanied by a dive leader - in which case I can go up to my 30 metre aow limit.
    To all extents and purposes, I believe BSAC don't really rate the aow - not that I disagree with them!

    I've got a dry suit course coming up soon with the club; and they have said I can do the sports diver theory over winter period. Works for me - as I can just continue to dive under PADI quals in the mean time.
     
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  16. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Nick, apologies, my mistake. They do also have regs.
     
  17. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    I'm in Tyneside area
     
  18. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Dare I say it, I did half suspected this may be the case having done some digging into BSAC but I had zero to base that on other than a general feeling I got so may well be completely off the mark.

    Having now received a response from a BSAC club (eventually after several emails over several weeks I hasten to add), it does seem that isn't the case as the email is perfectly courteous and welcoming.

    I guess it's just a matter of getting out there and getting involved with as many groups and clubs as you can in some small way and then taking the plunge (pun very much intended) with one of them.

    I have also been made aware of another organisation called RAID which I presently know nothing about but will endeavour to take a look at.

    It seems that there is a great deal of choice and variety out there, seems odd how every new diver I know (including me) thought PADI was the only route when starting out. Maybe its clever and widespread advertising that they excel in where as the others out there rely a little more on the word of mouth approach.
     
  19. Big Joe

    Big Joe Active Member

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    I've never done a drysuit course either. When I bought my first drysuit I had a pool orientation as part of the price. The only time you need a card, is to hire a drysuit. What you really need is time in the water and practice. Mind that doesn't always work - I'm still crap. Ask @Wibble.
     
  20. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Aye, that's very true indeed. Time and practice.

    Thing is, I'm finding that with only Open Water under your belt, the amount of local dives you can get is very limited as they're predominantly boat dives so you need AOW at least to be able to get on.

    Plus...this time of year, I'd like to be bale to don a dry suit and I haven't got my ticket yet so again we go full circle and go back to the training required before I can get a variety of dives in and start getting that log book populated and diving with experienced divers. As @Wibble correctly pointed out, the best way to improve is to be around people better than you. I learnt that from years of playing guitar (though I'm still rubbish at that!) :whistling:
     

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