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#4315 - 05/30/01 05:28 AM experience before advanced ow
rallen98 Offline
new diver

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 2
How much experience diving after getting ow certification is advised before getting advanced ow certification?

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#4316 - 05/30/01 09:33 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
Here is my view on this subject.

I recently completed both the book and dive requirements for PADI's Advanced Open Water certification, and after discussing my experience with both the shop's training director and some other senior instructors, I am **NOT** able to say with confidence that I actually am an advanced diver. In my opinion, I thought the PADI standards to be a bit too "relaxed".

In fact, the training director pointed out to me that per the current PADI standards, it is actually possible for someone to achieve "Rescue Diver" status in less than 20 dives. And this is something that he (and now I) don't agree with.

In my view, a diver should have the following to be qualified as an advanced diver:

  • both a certain number of dives and a certain number of bottom time hours

  • certifications (aka actual cards) in a minimum number of specialties, such as night/low vis, navigation, wreck, peak bouancy, search & recovery, etc.

  • certain number of fun dives with buddies of various experience levels to practice what you are learning.

And what I listed above is how Scuba Diving International approaches advanced diving. First you become certified in at least 5 specialties (through classroom & dives) and then after a certain amount of diving you are awarded the advanced moniker. And the training director stressed that he would rather have the student make the call if he/she was now an advanced diver.

In a nutshell, there is no pat answer to your question. It depends on the diver, instructor, and training agency.

[This message has been edited by TexasMike (edited 05-30-2001).]


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#4317 - 05/30/01 09:35 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
I should mention that this past weekend I completed my 25th dive, and my total bottom time is about 13 hours.

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#4318 - 05/30/01 10:15 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
And one more thing to think about with regards to advanced certification....

Ultimately, what sort of diving do you want to do? Dive on wrecks? Wall dive to 150'? Use different breathing gasses? Explore underwater caverns? Dive with a dry suit or a scooter?

Your answer to this will direct your training. And most of the specialties that you aquire (such as Night and Navigation) will be building blocks for other specialties (such as Wreck and Cave).

--Michael


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#4319 - 05/30/01 11:13 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
The SSI requirements are only 25 dives. Though I highly advise that the diver have several abilities.
first they should definitly have control and ease in dealing with bouyancy.
second the diver shold be good at dive planning without the use of a computer.
third the diver should have kept in practice since certification.
I also advise when taking the adv course that one of the specialties be stress&rescue

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#4320 - 05/30/01 02:33 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
I agree TexasMike, PADI does seem a little loose with its Advanced Open Water. Durring our Open water c-dives the instructors asked "who's gonna come next month for advanced open water?" to which i responded "shouldn't we have some more dive experince before that?" to which they said "there's no number of dive requirment." So basically, i could be advanced open water certified and only have the open water c-dives, and the advanced open water c-dives. That seems a little absurb. I fortunatly am not going to do that, and do my dives this year with just o/w and get my advanced next summer.

-Dave in KC


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#4321 - 05/30/01 03:20 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
IMHO, there is really no reason to wait until you have more experience to take the advanced open water dive course. As long as each individual diver knows his/her personal limits, what difference does the title on your c-card make?

The advanced class offers some additional training that any OW certified diver would find valuable. Does having an advanced C-card mean your are an advanced diver? No, it simply means that you've been trained and now need practice your trained skills to become an advanced diver.

Get all the training you can, as soon as you can afford it. Make sure you understand your personal limits and dive within your plan.


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#4322 - 05/30/01 04:01 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
quote:
Originally posted by nobends:
Get all the training you can, as soon as you can afford it. Make sure you understand your personal limits and dive within your plan.

No arguement there. Like the training director said, "You now have graduated from being a 'student diver' to 'someone who studies diving'. And you only quit studying diving when you finally hang up your fins for the last time."

--TexasMike
(at least he didn't call me "Grasshopper")

[This message has been edited by TexasMike (edited 05-30-2001).]


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#4323 - 05/30/01 07:24 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
PADI's philosophy on the adventures in Diving program is based on the premise that diving is a means to explore other interest. Once comfortable with basic skills, divers want to conquer new tasks, see different creatures, journey into diverse environments and experience new adventures. Divers look for convenience and flexibility in continuing their diving education. The Program's design allows divers to choose the dives that interest them and to sample activities under the guidence of a PADI instructor. Some divers may choose to make only 1 adventure dive others may want to complete several dives to earn a PADI certification (Adventure diver / AOW ). This allows them to broaden their awareness of the environment and their capabilities as divers.

No matter which training path they choose, Adventures in diving program encourages divers to gain practical experience under supervision.

Remember that any AOW program is not a means to make you advance as much as it is a way for you to experience new things that interest you under the supervision of a instructor. The AOW cert does not make you a advance diver, only time and experience does that.


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#4324 - 05/31/01 07:23 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
Rstone,

I totally agree with your description of the PADI program. But I guess that now I should say that my beef is that the shop was promoting the class as what was required to obtain "advanced o/w" certification (aka, the card), versus the adventure diving as you described. In fact, if I had desired, the shop was willing to sign off that I had fullfilled PADI's requirements as an Advanced Diver.

Now please understand that I am not faulting the shop for doing this since they were following PADI's guidelines. I just feel that PADI's nomenclature needs to be improved and the shops need to update how they explain the classes.

If I was told that PADI was "Adventures in Diving" while SDI was "obtaining specialty certifications until you feel qualified as advanced", then I would have chose the SDI course at the beginning and save the time/money.

--TexasMike


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#4325 - 05/31/01 02:01 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
I am a PADI and NAUI instructor. I offer the advanced class as soon as possible after the open water. There are a couple of reasons for this.
1.to keep them diving
2. To ensure they don't create bad habits, I create copycats. If they dive exactly like I do I know they will be safe and confident divers. Lets say they went out on a boat trip with other divers who were trained elsewhere and may have picked up some bad habits along the way, these other divers have different views on diving and safety.
3. The best way to keep my students growing in their skills is to offer an advanced class in which they will refine their skills making them safer and better divers.
Why would you tell someone to dive until they are advanced level before taking the advanced class? That doesnít make sense. The advanced class is designed for fine-tuning your skills. If you want to go further than that take the master diver class. It requires a more specific list of specialties and gets into more technical information.

My recommendation is to take the advanced class as soon as you possibly can after open water. You wont believe how much of a better diver you will become after those 6 specialty dives.



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#4326 - 06/01/01 07:55 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
Rebecca,

While I agree with you that the best way to improve skills is to both keep diving and to continue with training/instruction, my disagreement is the training agencies williness to label a diver with less than 20 dives as an advanced diver by issuing them a c-card with that designation.

I now view an advanced diver as one who, regardless of the c-card they have, has both significant number of dives and bottom time hours and has mastered the basic skills of safe and comfortable diving. And that it's up to each diver whether he wishes that label to be applied to them.

--TexasMike


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#4327 - 06/01/01 10:05 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
What I think it comes down to is that the Advanced Open Water course does not make you an advanced diver. It is still a VERY entry level course that is simply designed to present some of the options for various types of diving one can do and do a bit of fine tuning on your basic diving skills. There is NO course that you can take to make yourself and "advanced" diver. That comes with time and experience. Even though your card says advanced open water diver on it most people with experience will not assume that you have any appreciable amount of experience or are a particularly skilled diver. In reality AOW is just skimming the tip of the diving iceberg. Hope this was helpful.
Take Care,
Sean

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#4328 - 06/02/01 12:49 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
SGHOWE,

Well stated, sir.


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#4329 - 06/02/01 04:17 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
BottomFeeder Offline
new diver

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 3
Loc: IN, USA
My 2 cents.....
Maybe the confusion is simply in the terminology used. Let's not confuse "Advanced Openwater Diver" with "Master Diver". (these are the names used by NAUI at least) I believe in completing advanced training as soon after open water as possible. What could be better for a beginning diver than to continue their education. What is even more important is that you gain more actual dive experience under the supervision of a qualified instructor before venturing out on your own. Of course, for Master Diver status, there are(and should be) experience requirements which must be met. Maybe they should just change the name of the AOW cert. to something less missleading. NAUI used to call there certs. OW1 and OW2......."Advanced" was the term used for what is now "Master". Oh well, what's in a name anyway?

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#4330 - 06/04/01 06:36 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
Mike Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 18
Loc: tampa, florida, usa
Why do want advanced certification?

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#4331 - 06/05/01 03:06 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
So that we may beat this into the rug:

I will have to say that PADI's term (and other agency's too) of Advance Diver is a bit misleading and has been the bane of the training sect. I prefer the NAUI labeling of OW1 and OW2. The thing that seems to deter students to continue with the PADI AOW is that the term "Advanced" scares them a bit right after taking the OW course.

The truth of the matter is this: if you stop educating yourself in diving, then you will not gain the knowledge and tools and skills necessary to deal with issues underwater, and you may not have the opportunity to explore new avenues of scuba that may interest you. PADI believes that divers may take the Adventures in Diving curriculum right after the Open Water course because, not only does it introduce new diving experiences, it also shows divers that the Open Water course is not the end of learning to dive. In essence the Open Water course from any agency is just the tip of the ice berg, giving you only the essential skills necessary to get you underwater. It does not teach you to deal with problems or how to prevent them, it doesn't show you that diving is more that just a bunch of skills done under the auspice of an instructor, it doesn't teach you about interests that you may have individually, and it doesn't teach you the skills that I personally feel every diver should know and use on every dive.

I personally feel that every diver needs to experience a deep and night dive under the auspice of either an experience buddy or a dive professional. I personally believe that all divers should attain the level of rescue or better; not only will you be a better diver yourself, but more importantly a better buddy. I want to know that my buddy can save me in the unlikely event I can't handle the situation myself.

While it by no means makes you an Advance diver, which has been stated above time and time again, it will make you a better diver. An Advance diver my definition would be one that has a lot of bottom time in a variety of different situations using a variety of gear configurations. And, and Advance diver never stops learning and pursuing new, more challenging dive experiences. PADI's definition of Advance Diver may not fit into the industry or an individual diver's view, however it does promote the need to continue learning and keeps divers diving (or at least that's the hope).

So, go on and take the course and enjoy the experience, but don't stop diving and seeking out new diving experiences. Put in all the bottom time you can, use your own equipment, seek out new experiences, and never stop learning.


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#4332 - 06/11/01 07:53 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
Mac8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 46
Earlier in this thread, Rebecca said...

"If they dive exactly like I do I know they will be safe and confident divers. Lets say they went out on a boat trip with other divers who were trained elsewhere and may have picked up some bad habits along the way, these other divers have different views on diving and safety."

Gee rebecca, it must be nice being perfect and never making a mistake. And on top of that, it must be nice to have students who are SO smart and able to retain every single minute detail of how YOU dive that they never make a mistake again. Where can I find some students like this it would make my job alot easier if we never had to EVER teach a class again beyond Open Water Diver.

Honestly though, to say that once your students dive with you they can see how it should be done is like saying I could watch Evil Kenevil jump 15 cars on a motercycle then go drive a Harley.

I know many excellent instructors who teach class very well and still have students who have no business being in the water. And regardless of how ANYONE teaches their class there are some out there who just dont get it and probably never will.

[This message has been edited by Mac8 (edited 06-11-2001).]


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#4333 - 06/12/01 12:48 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mac8,

I think you have taken Rebecca's quote out of context. She was merely suggeting that she creates "safe" divers, not perfect divers. She was emphasizing that she can make them increase their awareness and practice of safe diving habits by keeping them diving with her. The more you see, hear, participate..etc..the better you will be. By the way, why are you complaining about unskilled divers...perhaps you should consider not issueing them certification cards if they dont belong in the water. One last point..why is everyone confusing "advanced" with "experienced". Advanced simply means beyond beginning which is exactly why advanced certification should be done immediately after open water courses. Experience isnt a class, it comes with dive after dive after dive. But dont assume someone with 100 dives is more experienced than someone with 60 dives. It all depends on the type of diving and adversity faced during the dives.


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#4334 - 06/12/01 09:43 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
Take it easy Mac8. It seems to me that every post you've put up in the past couple of months has taken a stab at Rebecca. I've said it before, I'll say it again... personal attacks on a message board don't help anybody with anything. Stick to the topic okay??

Hey maybe you can start a Rebecca bashing thread!! Just kidding....


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#4335 - 06/12/01 07:19 PM Re: experience before advanced ow
Mac8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 46
To answer your question Mile Hi, there are many divers I know that have absolutely zero business being divers in the first place. They are inept and have not a shread of common sense. However if they are able to complete all the classroom, pool and open water work, the instructor has no choice but to issue the card. We cant say to people "well you passed all the requirements, but you are an idiot so we wont be giving you your card."

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#4336 - 06/20/01 02:35 AM Re: experience before advanced ow
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
To continue, even if you have logged over 500 hours in one situation, being thrown into a completely different one can knock that advance diving knowledge/skills back into the dark ages. For example, take the diver who has 500+ hours diving in cold dark lakes and ship wrecks plus some carib diving, then suddenly throw him/her up under the ice where he/she has never been before. Can he/she handle the situation? Possibly, but because it is far different than any other situation he/she has ever been in before, there's a strong possibility of not utilizing all that experience from prior dives and losing the normal comfort level. In essence, an Advanced certification is a misnomer in that it doesn't really denote the experience level but rather where one is at in their training and potential comfort level in certain situations.

Mile Hi summed it up nicely...Bravo!


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