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#5323 - 06/08/01 12:22 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
jmsdiver Offline

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
Mr. Stone,

I did not say that "a child under supervision is a danger to himself" by diving under supervision. I said that I did not feel that they could understand the concept of diving being dangerous. As a matter of fact they don't understand that concept in the other sports you listed either. That's what allows them to do all those fancy tricks on snowboards, skis, blades, and so forth. Any adult that would pick up those sports would give careful consideration to the consequences.

As PADI gives their instructors a choice on whether or not they will work with students 10 and 11, I have chosen not to work with them. I have had 12-14 year olds in classes and they don't pay attention during classroom or water sessions. I have a hard time thinking that 10-11 year olds would have better attention spans.

While diving is statistically safe, according DAN's annual stats report, I still feel that the inherent dangers that are present in diving are enough to warrant re-examination of what age is too young.

Furthermore, I believe that a lot of the hype around younger students is just another pocket for the industry to dive into. In other words, I believe it is driven by a desire for money, not in the interest of the children we are ultimately teaching.

Now, that isn't to say that if a child is brought up through the ranks that they wouldn't make a good diver (i.e. in the PADI system of education there is SASY then Seal Team), I am saying that I wouldn't want to by responsible for them. Furthermore, the industry is somewhat against solo diving, and that is just what we put ourselves and/or the parents of those children in by requiring the children to dive with a professional or certified parent. In fact, PADI's position was putforth in a memo and on the web stating that they are against solo diving practices. Sounds somewhat hypicritical of them to putforth that statement and then put parents and professionals into the situation.


#5324 - 06/08/01 06:07 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
kwesler Offline

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
Here is the perspective of a newly certified 11 year old. My wife and I are both certified, and we did the whole class with him, which was a VIP course with just us. Our rules were that he had to pass OUR version of the tests-more stringent. Also, he had to be perfect in all his confined water excercises. He could exhibit no discomfort in the water or with any of the equipment. He had to do everything himself. Most importantly, when the instructor was watching his skills, I was watching his eyes for any sign of distraction, or in the case of reg recovery drills and such, panic. My son, as a part of his personality, is a very calm person. As an accomplished musician, and former NASA camp attendee, he has consistently demonstrated discipline and concentration. I have great confidence in him. All that being said, when we dive, we go as a threesome. We only go in good conditions. We only go when we are all feeling perfect-not ok...perfect. Diving with him is not fun, other than the pleasure in knowing the world that is opening for him. It is rigorous parenting. But the best stuff always is!

#5325 - 06/08/01 08:36 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
rstone Offline

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
sure toothpickman there is a interdependence that exists in the sport of diving and putting a parent in a position of being a solo diver without the experience could be dangerious and do i think parents should have tougher restrictions if supervising a child.. YES!. however that doesnt mean i think a child is anymore a danger in the water then some adults or anymore likely to kill themselfs then in any other sport. What i was trying to point out was that we do require children to do alot of things to be certified and the dive industry should be given credit for this since alot of other sport industries dont!.

jmsdiver sure adults consider the consequences, and some of them make a bad judgement and die, and im sorry to hear you had bad experiences with children then again we only do private classes with children.. store policy. One on one is alot easier. Jmsdiver i dont care if its open water or divemaster sure its about money isnt everything? 95% of the dive industry is in the dive business to make money. You and me both teach for money not because we are great guys and want to do it out of the kindness of our hearts.. just a fact of life.

Actually jmsdiver the padi memo didnt state that. You didnt read the whole thing did you?
here is part of the PADI memo:

Can Solo Diving be done responsibly?

Yes, but let's be clear about what responsible solo diving is and what it is not. It requires experienced scuba divers willing to make the necessary commitment to train and equip themselves to accept the added risks involved. That is to say, a person with the required attitude and aptitude to pursue responsible solo diving. This is true in other adventure sport activities such as solo rock climbing.

It is important to clarify what responsible solo scuba diving is. PADI views it as a form of technical diving and not for everybody. To responsibly engage in solo scuba diving, a diver must first be highly experienced, have a hundred or so buddy accompanied scuba dives, be absolutely self-reliant and apply the specialized procedures and equipment needed to engage in the activity. This includes, but is not limited to redundant air sources, specialized equipment configurations, specific dive planning, and management of solo diving problems and emergencies. When solo diving is performed within this description, we see a place for it. Responsible solo diving is not diving alone without the mental discipline, attitude or equipment. That said, no amount of redundant equipment can effectively back up a diver's brain better than another individual.

let me state that again in case you missed it...

"when solo diving is performed within this description, we see a place for it."

#5326 - 07/19/01 01:23 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Sebastian Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 9
Loc: Piran, Slovenia
Look at this page, its a godd article about this.

#5327 - 07/19/01 11:35 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
gqmedic Offline

Registered: 07/01/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Moreno Valley, CA. US
While my 11 and 13 year old are pretty great boys, in observing thier latest examples of judgement, self accountability and perception of danger,(The eldest can't even sit still in his math class, my youngest can't even remember to take out the trash! Much less be trusted to maintain his gear post dive or trusted enough to NOT jam his arm in some underwater hole occupied by a startled home defending morray eel) 10 year olds diving? Not with me they're not! Trust me, when I say, DAD SAYS NO.

Would my vehement NO ever change? Certainly!
Without consideration of chronological age, when they reach a point in thier developement as young men, demonstrating self accountability, perception of danger, the ability to absorb and respect the information being presented to them accompanied by the aquisition of the skills and physical requirements, I look forward to taking them to where Dad goes weekly to see the things I see underwater. I can't think of too many things more facinating I could share with them. So, from a parent's point of view, do I think 10 year olds "pack the gear" to be competant divers. No, not really.

But, what do I know? I've forgotten what it was like to be 15, when I knew everything. *wink*


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