PDA

View Full Version : Green newbie looking for OW cert



MrMike
06-04-2008, 23:01
My 18-year-old daughter and I want to get started in SCUBA diving. My dad showed me a few things when I was a teen (30 years ago :smiley5:) while my daughter knows nothing.

I'm looking for a course in this area, east-central NC southeast of Raleigh.

Let me say first that I'm self-employed and far from made of money, so cost of everything is a big concern, but on the other hand I want some good experiences before I'm too old to have them ...

Looking and asking around, there's a bewildering array of philosophies out there, or to put it less diplomatically a lot of "gotchas" with requirements to buy/provide equipment and/or tons of nickel and dime fees that aren't included.

Anyone have any recommendations in this area of people that aren't out to separate me from maximum amounts of money?

Geoff_T
06-05-2008, 03:15
while I can't help you with a specific outfit there are others on this forum who are from NC and should be more helpful. If you are just starting out just buy your mask fins and snorkel these are considered personal gear like your underwear. A lot of shops will try to sell you a full rig going in but resist that for the time being. Every lesson package I have ever seen includs the rest of the stuff you need.

In any case you can usually rent the rest of your stuf on a use by use basis. This will allow you to decide if you plan on diving often enough to justify the investment in gear. Also you will be able to better judge what type of diving you plan on doing and what equiptment you will need to fufill these dives.

rawalker
06-05-2008, 03:24
You can look up dive shops in your area and instructor at PADI. The Way The World Learns to Dive (http://www.padi.com)

reactive
06-05-2008, 08:30
You can look up dive shops in your area and instructor at PADI. The Way The World Learns to Dive (http://www.padi.com)

Or here: NAUI Dive Center Locator (http://www.naui.org/center_locator.aspx)

MrMike
06-05-2008, 10:42
Thanks guys. The PADI finder errors out for me. Interestingly the NAUI site lists NC State and ECU. Do universities offer certification for general public or do you have to be a student? How do they differ from the dive shops, any cheaper or better?

Geoff_T
06-05-2008, 11:16
Thanks guys. The PADI finder errors out for me. Interestingly the NAUI site lists NC State and ECU. Do universities offer certification for general public or do you have to be a student? How do they differ from the dive shops, any cheaper or better?

Depends on the university and the instructer. I have heard of some who will offer students first shot at these classes and let the instructer running the course fill it out with other students if there are openings, then again some don't. Also the cost is totaly up in the air some universitys don't charge students anything extra for the class and others charge lesson fees and class fees which is doubble what normal cost would be. Most do not have their own staff instructer but contract out to a local dive instructer and shop.

As for better that all depends on who is teaching the class. In general if you know any local divers ask a coupple of them they will probially know who the good local instructers are and point you in the right dirrection.

fireflock
06-05-2008, 18:36
Hi MrMike-

Are you looking only for places in Raleigh, or elsewhere too (ie. Wilmington, Greenville)?

Check out this thread on a local NC site for some more information:
NCDivers.com • View topic - New to diving (http://www.ncdivers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5390&p=75374&hilit=OW+class+raleigh#p75374)

I would stop by at least two places (Gypsy Divers and Down Under for sure in Raleigh), explain your situation, and see what they have to offer.

The classes at NC State and ECU are top notch, but they are a semester long and geared towards students. I dive with a few folks from both programs and their divers are well trained.

Rich

MrMike
06-05-2008, 18:54
Raleigh, Greenville, Fayetteville would all be OK; Wilmington is too far.

I was just talking to an acquaintance in my motorcycle owners club from Greenville and found out he is a diver. He highly recommends Rum Runners, in fact he used to be one of their instructors and says he goes in there almost daily.

I asked him about internet equipment though, and he gave me the old you-can't-get-it-serviced, no-warranty, it-will-kill-you routine.

reactive
06-05-2008, 18:58
Raleigh, Greenville, Fayetteville would all be OK; Wilmington is too far.

I was just talking to an acquaintance in my motorcycle owners club from Greenville and found out he is a diver. He highly recommends Rum Runners, in fact he used to be one of their instructors and says he goes in there almost daily.

I asked him about internet equipment though, and he gave me the old you-can't-get-it-serviced, no-warranty, it-will-kill-you routine.

if we were talking about leisurepro.com or scuba.com, I'd agree with him. However, with scubatoys.com, everything you buy is backed by the manufacturer's warranty. It's as good as buying from a local dive shop. In fact, I consider scubatoys my local dive shop and i'm a couple hundred miles away out here in new orleans.

MrMike
06-06-2008, 04:44
I want to get snorkel, mask, fins and start playing with them in the pool. My diving acquaintance told me not to get a "dry" snorkel because the instructors want you to learn on the old fashioned ones. Is this true?

mitsuguy
06-06-2008, 08:55
I want to get snorkel, mask, fins and start playing with them in the pool. My diving acquaintance told me not to get a "dry" snorkel because the instructors want you to learn on the old fashioned ones. Is this true?

instructor preference or not, dry snorkels are annoying... I found that the semi-dry (splash proof or whatever) snorkels do an excellent job at keeping the splashes out, while allowing you to breathe for the most part... full on dry snorkels are ok, but if that flap shuts while mid breath, you get a suction... also, they are usually a little harder to clear...

we've discussed this here before, but the general consensus is get a cheap, semi-dry, snorkel with a purge...

MrMike
06-06-2008, 11:17
I assume you mean like this one (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=SplashSnorkel).

mitsuguy
06-06-2008, 12:07
You got it... Tusa has a nice one also, the platina hyperdry, that I use, but its about 3x the cost...

MrMike
06-06-2008, 12:43
You got it...
Actually I got two of them. :icon_smile_big:

I don't see spending much on something that will probably end up unused after class ...

Geoff_T
06-06-2008, 16:19
You got it...
Actually I got two of them. :icon_smile_big:

I don't see spending much on something that will probably end up unused after class ...

Thats the same one I used to use. But yes that is somthing to keep in mind is that a lot of divers either don't use the snorkelor only use in limited settings after they pass their ow. Worth haveing just tends to creat drag under water.

Largo
06-06-2008, 16:32
I've dived with these outfits.

In Fayetteville: Cape Fear Scuba. www.capefearscuba.com (http://www.capefearscuba.com)
PADI and NAUI

In Wilmington: Aquatic Safaris www.aquaticsafaris.com (http://www.aquaticsafaris.com)
PADI

Both are fine.
If you do Cape Fear, you'll do your check out dives in a quarry in Lillington.
If you do Aquatic Safaris, the check out dives are on the Alexander Ramsey.

Personally, I'd go with Aquatic Safaris because the dives will be more fun.

Largo
06-06-2008, 16:35
Thanks guys. The PADI finder errors out for me. Interestingly the NAUI site lists NC State and ECU. Do universities offer certification for general public or do you have to be a student? How do they differ from the dive shops, any cheaper or better?


Universities tend to be more expensive because they have to pay the instructor, and take their cut. Sometimes, they only give you the classroom and pool sessions, then give you a referral for another instructor to do your check out dives. That gets expensive.

crosseyed95
06-07-2008, 23:55
Some might laugh at this suggestion since YMCA's in many areas are a joke. However, in North Carolina, most YMCA's are strong and doing fine. I'm not recommending certification thru YMCA but many have a PADI instructor conduct everything at a reduced cost to members. I did my classroom/pool work for $50.00 and they supplied everything including mask and snorkel (this was in North Carolina). You have to be a member but that's minimal if you can get a good price on the class.

Most likely, this won't pan out if you check since they only run them every so often but it wouldn't hurt to check. Maybe you'll get lucky.

crosseyed95

brianwferguson
06-10-2008, 08:38
I'm currently enrolled in an OW class with Down Under Scuba (http://www.downunderscuba.com/) , Gyspy (Gypsy Divers Aquatic Center; Raleigh's Finest Family Aquatic Center (http://www.gypsydivers.com/)), Reef and Ridge (Reef And Ridge Sports - Raleigh, N.C (http://www.reefandridge.com/)) in Raleigh, Water World (http://www.waterworldinc.com/) in Durham, Discover Diving (Discovery Diving Co., Inc. - North Carolina Wreck Diving in the Graveyard of the Atlantic (http://www.discoverydiving.com/)) in Beaufort

Hope this helps

brian