View Full Version : OW - then what

09-02-2008, 14:54
I am a complete beginner :smiley9:

I will do my OW dives next weekend and am very excited...
Hopefully all goes well and I passed - I thought the pool section was tons of fun.

So assuming I pass my OW - then what? I would like to stick with an experienced buddy initially rather than friends from class (this is a good idea right :smiley36:)

How do I go about finding a buddy with lots of experience who won't be bored to tears going on some beginner dives? Should I hire an instructor? Or would that be overkill? I plan on taking more classes but figure I need some more practical experience first...
What did you do?

Also for fun - what was the first piece of equipment you bought for yourself (other than the boots, fins, mask, snorkle for class)?


09-02-2008, 15:04
First piece of equipment was the regulator. In fact, I bought it even before OW class.

As for finding a buddy: join a SCUBA dive club, if there's one in your local area. Hiring an instructor just to be a buddy is overkill. You can go with a classmate; just stay with shallow dives until you're comfortable in the watery environment.

After OW, did AOW to get more supervised diving.

Have fun and welcome to the sport.

09-02-2008, 15:06
Welcome to ScubaToys and the underwater world (once you do the check out dives.)

I would recommend to go diving and enjoy it. Don't move to fast and go beyond your current skills. Master buoyancy and get your trim working right. After 50 or more (I'd say 100 rec dives.) then look to get your AOW and possibly nitrox before or after.

Ask your instructor to teach you about gas management. I'd say that's the one thing I wish I'd been taught. If not in OW, at the very least AOW.

As for who to dive with.. if it's easy for you and your buddy to dive together, do it. Just practice the skills you've learned till they almost feel like second nature. If you both can find some really experienced divers, ask them about allowing you two to dive with them. This will help you see what proper diving is. Just remember to tell them that you are only OW and you don't want to go past your current experience and skill set. If they don't want to help you out, then move on. They won't be worth diving with.

A good mentor is a wonderful way to learn, most good experienced divers will be more than happy to dive with you. I'm still a newbie as well and I love to dive with new people since it helps me to practice my OW skills and stay comfortable doing them.

Ohh, my first piece of gear was my regulators, then my BC.


09-02-2008, 15:07
Welcome! Don't worry, I've only been diving for about 2 months now. Luckily I took the class with a friend, but I also made some great friends in my class. Ask some of the people in your class what they plan on doing?

I know for my first dive I felt a little better going with my friend who was a Dive Master-in-training. Make some friends and then you'll slowly realize (like I have) that this diving world is a small community and I'm sure tagging along on a few dives with them wouldn't be a problem.

Also look into starting your Advanced Open Water classes which will open you up to so many other options for dives and probably interest more experienced divers into diving with you. (deeper dives, night dives, wreck dives...)

I have a friend that hopped right from Open Water to Advanced without a problem, just ALOT of classes.

First major purchase: My BC and Octo...i'm having an argument with my checkbook currently about the benefits of a computer over an analog system...

Good luck!

09-02-2008, 15:51
I wouldn't worry too much about diving with friends from class or super experienced people as long as you dive to your comfort level and within reason. You want to learn to be a responsible diver than can take care of him/herself and not depend on more experienced divers for support. Doesn't mean it's a bad thing to have experienced people around, just don't depend on them to support you all the time.
Do a few shallow dives and work on your basic skills, such as buoyancy, trim, ascent and descent, etc. As you get more dives in, these basic skills will become second nature and you'll progress further into diving.
I would suggest doing the AOW course when you feel comfortable with your basic skills and your generally comfortable in the water. I did AOW at dive 40 and was bored to tears, while others were working to get all the skills down. It all depends on your skill and comfort level.

If your looking for a dive buddy, check with the local shops and look into dive clubs in your area. Nothing wrong with diving with your new friends from the OW course. I still dive with a couple people from my OW class.

Most important thing is to Get out and Dive!

Oh ya. Welcome to the board. You'll find tons of great info and wisdom from some very helpful people.

09-02-2008, 18:18
I am actually not particularly worried about it - just thought maybe I should be :smiley29:

Wasn't sure what was generally done!

That good though - I will talk to some people in my group next weekend and see what they have planned.

Thanks for all the quick responses - this site is great!

09-02-2008, 18:48
I woulden't worry too much about diving with other new divers. As long as your all safety conscious, it should be cool. I would also recoment doing your advanced open water sooner rather than letter. It felt like AOW was an extention of OW, and it gave you a chance to dive with some new buddies but still under the supervision of a dive instructor. I only had about 8 dives done when I did the AOW. But I would consider that the AOW class might vary a little for place to place and from shop to shop. Just do what your comfortable with.

As for gear, I bought a BC first, only because I am a big guy and wanted to be comfortable. Otherwise I would recoment getting a Regulator first.

09-02-2008, 19:10
Welcome to the forum and to the great underwater world. Few places have been able to offer the "un-exploredness" that I have found while diving.

As for equipment, i jumped right in and purchased almost everything right up front. this is not to say that everyone should. I did ALOT of research both online and at the Local dive shops before purchasing. I am also one of the last of my group to get certified and have been hearing about the merits of equipment types for a long time.

I would recommend your regulator first, because it is life support equipment and it is something you can take with you to a new dive site or rental outfit and KNOW that it works the same way it did the last time you used it (as long as it didnt mysteriously break)...

Bc's weight belts, and even masks and fins for that matter are all pretty much the same and function the same operation. (i know some people with harrass me for saying bcs are the same.... but foo-ey o them) By the way.. you wont die if you dont get a backplate and wing bp/w... but it is the way to go, or back inflate...

Overall, enjoy your open water training and make some friends. Try renting some equipment or borrowing it to get a feel for what you will like.. and purchase the best equipment you can afford...

Someone once told me that it is better to cry harder the first time you buy an expensive piece of equipment then to cry once when you buy the inferrior equipment, again when it breaks, again when you buy the replacement... and a fourth time when you realize it would have been cheaper to buy the more expensive better quality in the first place.

go out, go down, get wet.. and ENJOY!!!

fire diver
09-02-2008, 19:18

For starters, just go out and have fun! Get used to diving, and practice your bouyancy on every dive. Try and dive in various places and "types" of dives. Dont' be afriad of trying night dives. find out what types of dives you like best. Then start to figure out if you want to be a reef diver, a cold-water diver, a wreck diver, a cave diver, etc.

There are lots of niche diving styles that have unique aspects and gear for each. So try everything and have fun. As soon as you have some experience, take the rescue diver course. best post-AOW you can take.

09-02-2008, 19:29
My two cents are to take AOW sooner than later, in fact, taking it almost right away may be very positive for you, depending on your skills. It's a very logical extension to OW, and diving with an instructor on 5 dives is really good to help guide you along in developing confidence and good habits. I'm not sure you'll get the same value out of it by taking it after 40 or 50 dives. There's a couple of dives you have to do (Navigation and Deep Dive), and I'd recommend for your optional dives you consider Peak Performance Buoyancy and Night Dive as 2 of the 3 (In the PADI system).

First gear I bought after OW was a regulator and a BCD. Safety first! (I didn't want to rely on rental gear for those at some far off place).