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Qualified to what depth AOW?

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by pitdiver, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    PADI pushes courses relentlessly. We did our OW and were 'encouraged' to do PPB, Dry Suit, AOW, Rescue.... I'm surprised there is even a number of dives requirement for DiveMaster etc.. And how they can honestly say someone with only 50 dives is ready to be responsible for a new diver I dont know - I had no idea it was such a low number. Luckily for our family, the local shop is run by a very experienced diver who over trains his staff and we have not met anyone associated with the shop who wasnt very competent. But 50 dives? I've almost got there and I'd say I can just about look after myself - and that's in a 20m quarry.
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I love this description though:

    "Join the best of the best in recreational scuba diving and live the dive life as a PADI Master Scuba Diver. The Master Scuba Diver rating places you in an elite group of respected divers who have earned this rating through both significant experience and scuba training. Fewer than two percent of divers ever achieve this rating. When you flash your Master Scuba Diver card, people know that you’ve spent time underwater in a variety of environments and had your share of dive adventures."

    :vomit:

    To be fair, the PADI Rescue Diver course is good and should be something to aim for. It's basically their top-level non "professional" course (ignoring their tech courses).

    This summer I happened upon a bunch of divers below a boat all kneeling in a circle doing some skills. Aww, bless, I thought as I assumed they were doing their Open Water skills. Was stunned when I heard they were all doing their DiveMASTER training. Kneeling. On. The. Bottom.

    A lot of the specialities are OK but exceedingly dependent on the person teaching you.
     
  3. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    The 'trouble' with PADI qualifications is that they cover a huge breadth of experience/capability.

    I've dived with AOW divers with thousands of dives, who've never felt the urge to get any other qualifications, but who are very capable and very experienced divers, who I feel totally at ease with (maybe even a little in awe of).

    Likewise, I've dived with Divemasters who dive like they've done 50 dives in 3 weeks and wouldn't have a clue what to do in an emergency.

    Of course, there are better and worse divers with qualifications from any training body and the sheer volume of divers trained by the huge number of PADI instructors will tend to exaggerate that for PADI.

    M
     
  4. JasonP

    JasonP Member

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    Divemasters have to be able to do skills to a demonstration quality. They're supposed to be able to demonstrate how to do it to OW students on courses, so of course they're going to kneel on the bottom because that's what the OW students will do.

    The gear swap whilst buddy breathing is funny though.

    Sadly, I'm not one of the elite 2% with master scuba diver. In fact, I've only done 2 specialities and can't really think of any I'd want to do.
     
  5. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I'm one of the elite 2%! I have to say I don't feel very "elite".

    Rescue is well worth doing anyway. The specialities I did are nitrox, deep, ice diver, DPV and dry suit. The nitrox is useful, the deep was a prerequisite for the tec course, ice and DPV were good fun. Dry suit is the only one that was a bit of a waste of time. I'd already been diving in a drysuit a couple of years and I had my own so didnt need to hire one. I did it to keep a mate company who was just starting out.

    The MSD card was free when I got mine. I wouldn't have bothered getting it otherwise. I've never used it for anything.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Is this the first time it's been used -- to show your elite rating ;)

    Lets face it, it's a nice little earner and it does give novice divers something to aim for. It's only later that one gets all jaded and cynical!

    Definitely agree about Nitrox and Deep specialities. PPB (Peak Performance Buoyancy) would be good too as long as it's done with the right instructor and in the right environment.
     
    splinter likes this.
  7. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    PADI and similar unlike other outfits are a bit stuffed when it get's past second levels.

    The highest non-tech PADI level is PADI AOW diver gained with as low as 9 dives.
    Rescue is not a diver grade as such and once on DM etc. that's professional.

    So your average punter that doesn't want to go-pro or teach is lost after just two courses.

    Which is where MSD comes in :) Not only does it boost the sales of speciality courses
    for the punter, it's a mega-income stream for those OWSI's who pay through the nose to
    do MSDT and have to do a minimum number of certs, thus promoting yet more courses.

    It's almost like someone has seen a gap in their market strategy and come up with a
    nifty plan to fill it :)
     
  8. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    What is the right environment to do AOW as I might just decide to get back in the water and do it as my wife says I could with ease. I think I would treat as a bit of fun in all honesty.

    Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk
     
  9. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Why don't you think Rescue Diver is a diver grade?

    Having done it, I think it did cover a lot of ground. Although I've nothing else to compare it with.

    I was impressed that it covered Emergency First Response -- hmm, need a refresher -- a load of in-water skills, additionally a load of UK-focussed boat and sea-based search skills (which that dive shop do above the course requirements).

    Most of all it was the first course I'd done up to that point where I had to think about other people; kind of think like a grown-up. Prior to that it's all novice stuff dealing with yourself in a "managed" environment.
     
  10. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Because it's optional in the PADI scheme of things and sadly not taken up by a large number of divers.
    Rescue or not will make no difference to what you can actually do depth-wise.
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Definitely!

    Based on my experience of it, call it Additional Open Water and that nicely sums it up. At a general level, all training's good, and it's fun to play as it were.

    The main bitching about Advanced Open Water is novices have no concept of what advanced is. I have some exceedingly embarrassing memories of a conversation where I really thought that having my AOW ticket with 30-odd dives meant I was experienced. It's toe-curling to think back. Not saying I'm advanced now, just that I know a lot more about what I don't know!
     
  12. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    None :)
    Do BSAC Sport instead, it's a proper course and you learn way more about real diving.
     
  13. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. It is a comprehensive course which gives you a 35m ticket, with rescue, SMB, nitrox, decompression and gas planning, commonly with drysuit experience, and which includes experience in a range of conditions.

    AOW is worth doing if the local BSAC club is slow with training and you need the extra depth to join in with more of the diving, whilst you complete SD.
     
  14. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I agree - it's harder work and will take time, depending on the club. The one I'm with, a cross-over session, six lectures on a weekly basis, a revision session, exam, two pool sessions then, finally, five dives - around three months with Christmas thrown in. AOW you could do in a week!
     
  15. JasonP

    JasonP Member

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    I did mine in Cornwall. I'd only dived abroad and it was an ideal way to do 5 dives with supervision and kit included. The "deep" dive was the shallowest dive I'd done that year.
     
  16. speed098

    speed098 New Member

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    I have been a bit shocked since starting back at the std shown.
    I have watched Padi Divemaster stress training on YouTube and even when I did my BSAC course way back it was much harder. We did a full ditch and retrieve these so called Divemasters struggled even in a pool.

    Now I know there are some great Divemasters out there with vast experience, but I do agree Padi need to seriously look at the training structure.

    OW... should mean hopefully you and another at the same level should not endanger yourself or buddy diving in the same or better conditions you learnt in.

    AOW.... you now should be able to handle slightly worse conditions but hey this is more about us making money and giving you a taste of some specialities in the hope of getting you to book some, and pay us more money.

    RD... Now we start to look at training more seriously you should be able to help yourself in most conditions and start being able to offer help to others.

    MSD.... Hey we never said we would stop trying to get more money from you.

    DM... we want you to get on the first rung of pro quickly that way we can get you to spend more pay for more medicals, and hopefully draw you in to take an instructor course.

    Now specialities.... Some of these are useful some are fun some are more about us making money... Never forget PADI is a business after all.


    Sorry so cynical but I always ask myself with these things.......... Who taut the first person?

    Training is good but I would love to see Padi make AOW graded ie from third class to first class. Third means you have just done the course have under 200 dives. Second is over 350 dives and first is over 500 dives.

    I would also like to see Padi remove the taster specialities from the AOW and replace them with full training for the specialities chosen.
     
  17. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    TBH "Advanced Open Water" really is Additional OW which gives you a chance to reinforce and develop some of the training you've had during OW. From the PADI website:
    Grading on the number of dives doesn't completely coincide with good skills. The thing that makes most difference is the number of dives done and the attitude to improving skills. Some people with hundreds of dives are terrible in the water whereas others with a few tens of dives but who work at their skills are superb. This applies as much to PADI as other agencies; less so the more technical the course simply because there's skill pre-requisites that'll weed out the poorer skilled divers. In fact most technical courses have a passing criteria such as from TDI:
    At the end of the day, PADI are a training organisation -- their name reveals all. They're a organisation that get people diving, generally on holiday and more often than not plain "follow the leader" dives where the DiveMASTER is responsible for the string of novices they're leading.

    PADI are great at feeding these divers into other agencies as they move onwards.

    However, as @Tel often points out, most people stop at Open Water or AOW. Few continue to Rescue and very few continue to technical. Of course there's all the people buying into the dream of a career on the beach. Oh if only I were younger....
     

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