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#4725 - 12/06/02 09:29 PM Which one is the way to go?
RevJW Offline
avid diver

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 5
Loc: GA
I have a question about all the different types of certifications. It seems that the people believe that their certification is the best. Which is good, don't get me wrong. But how do you choose? They all seem good to me. So my question is if you needed a dive buddy and there were three people ready to go. Each certified by a different organization. Which one would you choose?

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#4726 - 12/28/02 10:38 AM Re: Which one is the way to go?
kingPrawn Offline
avid diver

Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 5
Loc: New Jersey
RevJW,

Certifications are like a High School diploma, it does not matter so much where you went to school, as what type of person you are, and what experience you have. So to use your example, if you have three people ready to dive from three different agencies, the questions are who has the most experience, who has recent experience, who is familiar with this particular dive site, and who is interested in the same aspects of diving that you are? Personally, I would not even ask what agency they were certified from.

I’m sure others have said this before, but the individual instructor and possibly the size of the class are more important than the agency. Working with the same agency and shop, I have had several instructors with completely different teaching styles.

Dave

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#4727 - 12/29/02 01:57 PM Re: Which one is the way to go?
WreckDiver Offline
avid diver

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 7
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
I would agree with kingPrawn. Overall experience and familiarity with a particular dive site are much more important than certification agency, or even certification level. Some people never find it necessary to go beyond their initial Open Water Diver course, but these people can be the most experienced, and best diver in the group. Other people seem to "collect" specialty certifications, but this may not be an accurate reflection of their abilities. One rule of thumb to go by is, the person that has the most dive patches sewn on their jacket is probably the person that you want to avoid while in the water.

I would even go one step beyond looking at overall experience, and say that the TYPE of experience they have is very important. I can remember diving on a wreck in Lake Michigan, and there was this diver on board who was very proud of the fact that he was an instructor, and he claimed to be a very experienced wreck diver from Florida. The problem was, he had never dove in cold water before, and the instant he hit the water he went into a panic. Between the cold temperatures and less-than-great visibility, he freaked out and climbed back into the boat. I've seen this type of problem occur several times to people who claim to be great divers. Be wary of those who talk a lot (and look for the patches).

When diving with a new group of people, I never ask what certification agency or levels they have, and I never offer this information about myself. You'll be able to tell after the first dive which ones know what they're doing, and which ones to avoid in the water.

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#4728 - 01/29/03 09:12 AM Re: Which one is the way to go?
DiveVawreks Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 31
Loc: Virginia
They all have the same requirements. Some teach a little more. They are right it is the diver not the agency.

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#4729 - 01/29/03 10:09 AM Re: Which one is the way to go?
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
There is no substitute for experience and diving in an environment that is similar to the one the diver was trained in. If diving with a new buddy or in a different area for the first time, take sometime to get familiar them.

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#4730 - 03/14/03 10:01 AM Re: Which one is the way to go?
Anonymous
Unregistered


The value of a certification is Not the card or patch you get. It is how well and often you are able to use what you learned. First you must learn. The aspects of learning are: the quality of the materials you are taught with, the quality of the instructor, and, most important, the effort and diligence you put into your own education. I have certs from six different agencies (from OpenWater to Trimix/Tech III). The training materials from one agnecy to the next are very similar. You should augment these materials with study on your own. The quality of the instructor is more about the quality of the actual individual who teaches, than it is about the agency that individual represents. But, above all, what you get out of your certification depends on how much you put into it. Do not seek certifications for ego gratification. Instead, Learn to Live. Because all of what you learn can preserve or save your own life and the lives of others. Diving is a potentially dangersous sport. Never, ever forget that.

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#4731 - 03/17/03 11:06 AM Re: Which one is the way to go?
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
Diving does have inherent risks, but with proper training, common sense and diving in the type of environment you were trained to dive in, it can be the most exhilarating recreational activity around.

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#4732 - 03/18/03 01:06 AM Re: Which one is the way to go?
seksifroggy Offline
avid diver

Registered: 03/16/03
Posts: 5
Loc: victoria bc
i dive with two buddies all the time, i have only my open water, one has his commercial and ones a tech. diver. i prefer to stay with the one whos commercial for no other reason than we communicate under water better, so it's a comfort thing. also the techi is never far away and he's always got an eye on me too. i know i can trust both with my life and i do. for me certs. mean nothing it's trust and comfort, also when using a new buddy the best advice i got is if your not comfortable call the dive. a true buddy will never get mad if you call a dive.
we dive in three and it works for us, there more experienced and use steelies so they'll take me to my deco stop and they'll go back down. this is also always discussed before the dive and they always wait for me to exit before they decend again and it works for us.

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#4733 - 03/17/03 05:13 PM Re: Which one is the way to go?
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
I understand that diving in 3's might be working for you, but over the years diving with one buddy is recomended as the safest way to dive. Of course this is open to debate.

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#4734 - 03/27/03 07:02 PM Re: Which one is the way to go?
Cheetah Offline
avid diver

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Montana
i just kinda skipped everyone elses posts so i bet this has been said several times, but the way i see it, a certification is a certification, as long as they know how to dive i wouldnt be worried...just make sure they know the difference between their wetsuit and their BC

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