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View Full Version : What's the best class you took since OW and why?



Flatliner
08-06-2007, 21:55
OK, here is my question:

What is the best class you have taken since you got your OW Certification?

I have been very leary about forking down any cash for another class because in both my class and my son's class I felt like we were trapped in an amway presentation. It was nothing but buy from us...followed by "the internet is bad..." In fact my first ST purchase was motivated more by my irritation with this than it was by ST's great reputation.

So anyway, I am feeling like I would like to learn more BUT I want to take a class that will be beneficial.

Flatliner
aka Robert

DivingsInMyBlood
08-06-2007, 22:14
What kind of diving are you more interested in? after i get my ow water, i plan on getting aow then gettin deep dive, wreck and night, maybe enriched air also. Also if all goes as planned I would like to look into rescue diver too but thats a long way down the road.

Coaster
08-06-2007, 22:16
You know what you like to do on your dives so get some instruction or train yourself to be more skilled in thosr areas.

I most enjoyed a PADI course on search and recovery..did it in a deep cold water pond (old mine) that I had never dove before. It was a challenge and a rewarding experience to find and lift an object to the surface.

thesmoothdome
08-06-2007, 22:33
My favorite by far was my divemaster class. It was the longest in terms of duration out of any of my classes and we had a ton of fun. It was work though, but we learned a lot and were able to spend time reinforcing what we learned in rescue.

Dive-aholic
08-06-2007, 23:46
The best courses I took were the ones I took from independent instructors. Probably because we didn't have to deal with the amway presentation stuff. Not all shop instructors or shops do this. I've come across a few that got my business just through good customer service. But for the most part, that's the way it is. Unless you have a place like ST where the customer service and prices sell the products themselves.

ertechsg
08-06-2007, 23:53
Just return from ST tonight and did the class part of AOW heading to the lake this weeked to do water classes. Sounded like it would be fun. great people in the class and the instuctor Nick was great (keeping it fun) ST had a special for$99 per person so why not. Sorry don't mean to brag....yea I do I live so close.:smiley36:

DirtyWaterIL
08-07-2007, 00:32
search and recovery. Practicing in a pool with a blacked out mask then diving at a quarry doing search patterns digging through the muck creating 0 visibility for an entire dive over and over really builds confidence for doing things blindly.

CompuDude
08-07-2007, 00:39
Rescue was the most rewarding.

But I'd have to give credit to my DiveMaster class, too. It was certainly the most challenging of any class I've taken since OW.

If you're just referring to raw utility, however, Nitrox has to be near the top of the specialties. ;)

Zenagirl
08-07-2007, 08:07
I'll second Rescue. I learned extremely important things in that class, that I've used since the class. Not only do you learn self rescue techniques, but search and recovery techniques, and how to assess and deal with emergency situations. Essential class IMO.

Next two were Equipment and Nitrox. Nitrox for the ability to use nitrox (duh!), and equipment because it helped save a dive for us recently. Our instructor included field fixes in the class and when we were gearing up for our first dive on a trip last year, my husband's reg free flowed like crazy. I was able to adjust the reg and we didn't miss the dive.

MEL-DC Diver
08-07-2007, 13:07
I'll second compudude - the everyday use of nitrox makes it the top of my list.

Here in the States, a lot of emphasis is put on AOW and Deep in order to gain access to certain sites. This is irrespective of demonstrated skill or experience, so put those on your list as well.

I think most of the specialities have their value, but in the end it is the instructor that will make the difference as to how much knowledge you gain. Remember that the card means nothing if you don't get good knowledge to back it up.

namabiru
08-07-2007, 16:56
MEL-DC, good call on the knowledge bit. I took AOW in Okinawa, and while I was glad to do so, I still don't feel like I came out with a lot of knowledge. Then I must say I was pleased to meet Dive-aholic and Mrs. Dive-aholic, and proceeded to get 3 c-cards and a heap of knowledge from them. If I had the opportunity, I'd set it up with them and go to Florida and do Master's training.

The best course I took, I will also say Rescue. Rescue gave me confidence to know that trying my best to help someone, and failing, is better than doing nothing at all. Things I learned from martial arts I took into Rescue training, and I have since taken things from Rescue back into the dojo as well as into my daily life.

(Ropes-in-a-bag aren't a part of daily life, nor my martial arts training; however, continuing to do ridiculous things so as to draw the laughter of my comrades is. See the Scuba Stories section for this post)

namabiru
08-07-2007, 17:02
Probably because we didn't have to deal with the amway presentation stuff.

You know, my great-grandmother was an Amway saleslady. She swore up and down that Amway was the only way. She even kept the stuff after she stopped selling it. So she had this burn ointment in her apartment, and insisted that my mom use it on me after I got 2nd degree road rash (separate story, comes back to doing ridiculous things). I swear it smelled like cat pee--the ointment, not the wound. Although I do wonder if grandma didnt somehow get a bad batch back in 1951, when the can was made.

Now grandma's selling Amway up in heaven to all the fools who died because they didn't use Amway to treat their wounds on earth the first time around.

Point being... well, I'm not sure quite yet. I just thought I'd tell everyone about this out of boredom.

*shrug*

:smilie40: Popcorn?

ScubaCrash
08-07-2007, 21:28
The BEST class I tokk after OW was definately Wreck specialty, but I'll mirror the other guys who have said it by saying the most REWARDING class was certainly Rescue

WV Diver
08-07-2007, 21:38
I'll help overburden the scales with a vote for Rescue. It is a very good class for everyone to take.

sidneydiver
08-08-2007, 00:42
I vote for Rescue too. I learnt a lot of useful skills but it was great fun too!

SouthernSeas
08-08-2007, 06:39
The natural thing to do after an OW would be an AOW... It's the natural progression IMHO. It will allow you to dive deeper and may get you access to more sites, as depending on where you dive some might be restricted to AOW. You'll also learn more about navigation etc. which is handy if you want to dive without a dive master.

I did a nitrox course after my AOW, which was interesting, but is only useful for certain dive sites.

Best,
SouthernSeas

TxHockeyGuy
08-08-2007, 09:13
As others have stated Rescue. I learned so much not just from the class but from what happened on the first day. Our first day of classes got canceled so most of us just dove with an OW class and just watched. I learned so much just from watching those students. Anytime someone was anxious you could just tell, it was very interesting to do right after doing all the book and pool work. We completed the rescue class the next day which was also highly enlightening.

A close second has to have been my Nitrox class, I learned so much during that class way above and beyond what is necessary to dive Nitrox safely.

MEL-DC Diver
08-08-2007, 09:44
The natural thing to do after an OW would be an AOW... It's the natural progression IMHO. It will allow you to dive deeper and may get you access to more sites, as depending on where you dive some might be restricted to AOW. You'll also learn more about navigation etc. which is handy if you want to dive without a dive master.

I did a nitrox course after my AOW, which was interesting, but is only useful for certain dive sites.

Best,
SouthernSeas

If you are suggesting that Nitrox is optimal in a certain depth range, then I would agree with you. However, Nitrox is useful for virtually every rec diving scenario, given the PPO2 and MOD. To say that it is useful for only certain dive sites gives the impression that it is a niche mix that only works some of the time, which is not the case.

Vercingetorix
08-08-2007, 10:57
Also if all goes as planned I would like to look into rescue diver too but thats a long way down the road.Why is Rescue a long ways down the road? You learn how to be a better buddy. You learn what to watch for in your fellow divers on the boat and beach. You build confidence in your abilities to handle the rescue situation should it arise.

These skills are far more important than diving deep or diving dark. In fact, Rescue will only enhance your abilities in these environments.

My two centavos...rethink your prioirites.

TxHockeyGuy
08-08-2007, 11:03
Also if all goes as planned I would like to look into rescue diver too but thats a long way down the road.Why is Rescue a long ways down the road? You learn how to be a better buddy. You learn what to watch for in your fellow divers on the boat and beach. You build confidence in your abilities to handle the rescue situation should it arise.

These skills are far more important than diving deep or diving dark. In fact, Rescue will only enhance your abilities in these environments.

My two centavos...rethink your prioirites.

I agree, I'd do OW, AOW, Nitrox, Rescue, and then the other specialty stuff you want to learn. How much time you spend diving between each of those is a personal decision, but I would definitely get rescue in before learning deep, it's more useful.

cummings66
08-08-2007, 12:55
I'd say the best class I've taken after OW was rescue. Without a doubt there's fantastic info in that one. Not fluff like some others.

Bill22
08-08-2007, 17:59
Well it seems all the really advanced guys here say Rescue :-) I only have AOW and Cavern now. I got interested in doing Cavern Diving and that course was important because it taught skills that were important to know for diving in an overhead environment. AOW was useful because it went into more detail about things and gave me more skills to accomplish more diving. I'm very comfortable running a compass course even though I've never done "Underwater Navigation". I love diving at "night" (3 of my last 4 dives) even though I've never done the "Night Diver" specialty. I've done plenty of diving off boats, but have never gotten my "Boat Diver" specialty. Same with "Drift Diver". I also have a handful of "deep" dives, even though I've never gotten my "Deep Diver" specialty (I don't see the need to go deep most of the time). The point I guess I'm trying to make is the same as has been pointed out. Do the ones you need first. You can get the Enriched Air/Nitrox as an OW diver. You will need to do AOW next as it is a prerequisite for Rescue Diver. You'll also need at least 20 logged dives and documented experience in deep diving and underwater navigation. As has been pointed out Rescue will not only make you safer in the water, but also a better buddy. I agree with this and is why personally I will be doing my Rescue Diver next. After that I'm thinking I may go back and get all those specialties I just mentioned above, just for the heck of it and to get my Master Scuba Diver :-) Even though I've done all those things I'm sure I will pick up some things I don't know and that will help me be a better and safer diver :-)

texdiveguy
08-08-2007, 18:22
Rescue like so many others have said is a great course--comes in handy when you least expect it to also.

Nitrox was fun and interesting.

My DAN courses were great.

Flatliner
08-09-2007, 21:22
Thanks for all of the great responses. It looks like Rescue is the big winner.

My next question relates to WHERE to take rescue. I am SSI so I do not need AOW before I take rescue.

For those of you who don't know, with SSI, Advanced is 4 specialities (which includes Rescue) and 24 logged dives.

I really like the SSI shop in my community BUT it is the "amway" shop. The other shop is PADI, nothing wrong with PADI but I am not sure I want to take AOW which as several posters pointed out is a pre-req for Rescue with PADI.

In your experience, will rescue present the opportunity for the shop to push gear or will it be true education. I am willing to give the shop one more chance but...

Flatliner
aka Robert

cummings66
08-09-2007, 22:36
It's up to the shop. Mine didn't push a thing on me. I suspect though that they could push a lot of things, rescue gear, masks, o2 tanks, regs, Dan O2 course, but not all do.

cummings66
08-09-2007, 22:43
For those of you who don't know, with SSI, Advanced is 4 specialities (which includes Rescue) and 24 logged dives.


Check and see if specialities carry over, you might have a bunch of the advanced class already done if it does.

TxHockeyGuy
08-09-2007, 23:21
Thanks for all of the great responses. It looks like Rescue is the big winner.

My next question relates to WHERE to take rescue. I am SSI so I do not need AOW before I take rescue.

For those of you who don't know, with SSI, Advanced is 4 specialities (which includes Rescue) and 24 logged dives.

I really like the SSI shop in my community BUT it is the "amway" shop. The other shop is PADI, nothing wrong with PADI but I am not sure I want to take AOW which as several posters pointed out is a pre-req for Rescue with PADI.

In your experience, will rescue present the opportunity for the shop to push gear or will it be true education. I am willing to give the shop one more chance but...

Flatliner
aka Robert

This is entirely up to the shop. I took my rescue through ScubaToys and they of course did not push anything on me and provided a very high level of instruction, at least in my opinion. Talk to both shops very frankly and explain your expectations and remember you are the customer. If you are afraid it may damage your future relation ship simply sign up for a new email account and ask your questions and express your concerns anonymously. If that doesn't work you might try to seek out an independent instructor through either here or ScubaBoard. Nothing bothers me more than a shop who tries to push equipment and I personally will not deal with such shops.

Dive-aholic
08-10-2007, 03:27
Not all PADI AOW courses are that bad. You can get a good one where you learn something.

Where are you? That might help us help you better.

I 2nd THG's suggestion to look for an independent. There's no gear or trip pressure at all. It's all about the diving...at least with most independents. There are some independents out there that are only independent because a shop won't hire them.

If you're anywhere near North Florida, come on over and dive with me. If you like my style, I can set you up with AOW and Rescue.

namabiru
08-10-2007, 16:40
If you can, take Rob up on his offer. You'll have heaps of fun and learn a lot. In fact, inshallah I would like to complete my Master Diver course with Rob & Jen. (Even though they may decide, to be funny, to make me execute a rope-in-a-bag toss first in my rescue review...)

awap
08-10-2007, 17:25
Nitrox. Why - it was immediately useful, it was free, and it is the only class I have taken since OW. I read the AOW and Rescue books and decided I could live without the cards.

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 17:49
Nitrox. Why - it was immediately useful, it was free, and it is the only class I have taken since OW. I read the AOW and Rescue books and decided I could live without the cards.

AOW, especially at your level, is useless... unless you happen to find yourself on one of the few boats that insist on it.

Rescue is a great course no matter how many dives you have. There is real experience that you can gain in class that you can't get by reading the book.

awap
08-10-2007, 19:00
Nitrox. Why - it was immediately useful, it was free, and it is the only class I have taken since OW. I read the AOW and Rescue books and decided I could live without the cards.

AOW, especially at your level, is useless... unless you happen to find yourself on one of the few boats that insist on it.

Rescue is a great course no matter how many dives you have. There is real experience that you can gain in class that you can't get by reading the book.


Yes, I would have taken that course until the provider explained that CPR (in the last year) was a pre-requisite and the course included O2 provider. That was not what I was looking for.

snagel
08-11-2007, 10:26
Just a quick note - the classes you take or don't take depend on what you like and what you want to do. I took the AOW, only so that I could take Rescue at some point (I think at some point all divers should take a rescue class - but that is just me). Some might want to do nitrox or cave, but at this point, I'm not interested. Theoretically, I'd like to take a Peak Buoyancy Class (I like many divers can improve in this area). But, after my AOW, I'm hesitant to take this class unless I can find a really good instructor and shy away from the cookie cutter style of class such as my AOW where we did a lot of things, but I didn't feel like I learned a lot, but did gain more experience (this is a different thread).

I try and treat every dive as a learning dive. I concentrate on one aspect every dive - buoyancy, breathing, safety stops, etc. Every dive in my log book has a section on what thing I worked on during the dive.

I would like to take a class on maintaining the gear and learning more information on the gear, but again that is just me.

S. Nagel

Damselfish
08-11-2007, 11:18
Maybe there is less opportunity or logic to push things in Rescue, but if a shop has the Amway attitude for OW I wouldn't expect them to change much.

Some sort of Advanced class is good, both for the additional training and experience and just so you have it for the ops that require it for certain dives. If it's an advanced class where you can choose what to take, you want the things that help your diving skills like night/limited viz or navigation, not stuff like fish ID or photography. Nothing wrong with fish ID or other "hobby" like things if you are interested, but for the purposes of an advanced class focus on areas that will help improve your basic diving skills.

Rescue is of course a good thing to take. Nitrox is useful to get, both for what you learn and so you have the option to use it if you want to. PPB might be good if you have issues in that area. Naturally, any of these classes can be good or bad.

Beyond that, it comes down to your interests and what you want or need to learn. Some things are just as well learned on your own or easy to pick up, really depends on your situation.

Dive-aholic
08-13-2007, 12:53
Just a quick note - the classes you take or don't take depend on what you like and what you want to do. I took the AOW, only so that I could take Rescue at some point (I think at some point all divers should take a rescue class - but that is just me). Some might want to do nitrox or cave, but at this point, I'm not interested. Theoretically, I'd like to take a Peak Buoyancy Class (I like many divers can improve in this area). But, after my AOW, I'm hesitant to take this class unless I can find a really good instructor and shy away from the cookie cutter style of class such as my AOW where we did a lot of things, but I didn't feel like I learned a lot, but did gain more experience (this is a different thread).

I try and treat every dive as a learning dive. I concentrate on one aspect every dive - buoyancy, breathing, safety stops, etc. Every dive in my log book has a section on what thing I worked on during the dive.

I would like to take a class on maintaining the gear and learning more information on the gear, but again that is just me.

S. Nagel

There's not much to gear maintenance. Just keep reading here and other boards. You'll learn a lot from these places.

namabiru
08-13-2007, 13:00
Or, you know what? If you like a physical resource, Mr. Clay Coleman's book is brilliant. I *still* refer to it, and reread parts as I need to.

MtnDiver
08-13-2007, 13:21
Well I agree with just about everything that has been said here. Diving is such an individual experience that it really does come down to what YOU are interested in doing. Rescue was the most rewarding class yet FOR ME. It was also the last cert I got...but I am looking very forward to DM cert and will probably have a new "most rewarding" cert after that. Like some of the others have stated, each dive is a learning experience and I don't care how many dives you have logged....use each dive as your own "class" to work on things that interest you.
Be a dive junkie if thats what you want to be. Live sleep and eat diving....if that's what YOU want to do. You only get out of a class what you put into it...even with a poor instructor.
The more you bring to the table, the less you will have to ask for.

Skinsfan1311
08-15-2007, 10:42
PADI AOW......because it was in St. Lucia!!!

gtjason2000
08-20-2007, 12:48
Specialty classes have been the best for me. Especially night diver in St. Lucia. Peak Performance Buoyancy was also fun doing hydrobatics and swimming through hoops.

subsur
08-20-2007, 12:56
AOW. i learned a lot about navigation during navigation and search and recovery dives, something that i was always unsure of and relied on other divers. Now compass is my new friend as opposed to a mesterious tool on my wrist. Also, during deep dives i got better at controlling buoyancy. Night dive did not do much for me.

namabiru
08-20-2007, 13:23
Yep, navigation is definitely good for you. Then you adapt to your needs. For instance, I have trouble remembering headings sometimes, so I find it good to write them down. Or I take a heading which is easy to remember. It's not precise navigation, but it gets me close enough to where I want to go.

Buoyant1
08-21-2007, 10:20
Currently NITROX! I'm sure that the AOW experience will be great also!