PDA

View Full Version : AOW Rant



Scuba Pete
06-26-2009, 08:52
How many of you felt like you had to get your AOW because every single dive charter that you went to required it to go on some of the dives that you wanted to do? When I decided to get my AOW certification I was pretty upset because the dive charters would go through my log book and look at all my dives that i had done. What made me the most mad was that when we went to dive the Speigel Grove, this was when it was still on its side, they went through my log book. I was sitting next to a guy that had no reason to be on that dive. He was fresh out of his open water / advanced open water class. He had 5 dives under his belt since his OW class. He lost his dive buddies almost as soon as get got in the water. He blew past me and my dive buddy as we were doing our safety stop. He was kicking towards the surface. AOW is a load of crap in my opinion, it doesnt mean anything. That guy also sat on my mask after the dive and broke it. I didnt know it was broken until I jumped into the water at Ginnie springs a couple days later. Good thing I had extras. Anyway, I was wondering how many people have the same feelings towards AOW.

MSilvia
06-26-2009, 09:05
I think AOW is good for exposing shiny new divers to a variety of "different" dives. I don't think it's particularly good for much else, and I think there are better ways to judge what a diver is ready for. It certainly doesn't make someone an advanced diver, but I don't think it's intended to. It's just more advanced stuff than you do in open water, which is like saying it's an advanced learner's permit.

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 10:30
When I took my AOW it was basically getting exposure to some pretty difficult dives with an experienced instructor as my buddy. I did PADI and like the fact that the book has all the different skills was nice. I could read through all the different skills and actually taught myself Peak Performance Buoyancy.

My area has literally hundreds of fresh water wrecks with a LOT of penetration opportunities. Learning to use a reel and penetrating a wreck is not something I would have tried on my own.

So for me, AOW training was well worth it.

IndyDiver
06-26-2009, 10:35
I think AOW is good for exposing shiny new divers to a variety of "different" dives. I don't think it's particularly good for much else, and I think there are better ways to judge what a diver is ready for. It certainly doesn't make someone an advanced diver, but I don't think it's intended to. It's just more advanced stuff than you do in open water, which is like saying it's an advanced learner's permit.

I think the real problem with AOW is that the first half of the boldfaced statement is definately true, but the second half is not how the course is marketed by the agencies and perceived by dive ops.

PADI states that your functional limit is 60ft with OW and 100ft with AOW. I took AOW in a quarry and my deep dive was to the bottom of the crusher pit at 75 ft. So, one dive to 75 ft and I am now "qualified" to dive to 100ft. (My other four dives were all above 30ft)

The charters seem to view this as a deep diving certification as well. I just dove with an op in NC that required EITHER 20 non-training dives, 4 ocean dives, one dive to 100ft, and one dive in the last 6 months; OR AOW.

To the OP's original comments, I can say that my personal AOW experience was completely pointless as a class. I learned nothing that I couldn't have learned myself from the book in the same amount of time (or already knew), and my "deep" dive wasn't deep enough to demonstrate any effects of narcosis (which I would consider a major point of making a deep training dive)

pafindr
06-26-2009, 10:35
There something that my instructor and I told our student when they were getting certified.
"Just because you're certified doesn't mean you're qualified"
You have the certification to do certain things but it doesn't mean that you are experienced enough to do them. You need time in the water perfecting your skills before you rush into anything.

IndyDiver
06-26-2009, 10:37
My area has literally hundreds of fresh water wrecks with a LOT of penetration opportunities. Learning to use a reel and penetrating a wreck is not something I would have tried on my own.


Are you saying that you did a wreck penetration as one of your AOW training dives?!

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 10:59
My area has literally hundreds of fresh water wrecks with a LOT of penetration opportunities. Learning to use a reel and penetrating a wreck is not something I would have tried on my own.


Are you saying that you did a wreck penetration as one of your AOW training dives?!

Yes. My AOW was 5 days and 1 night of diving and 4 nights of studying, practicing with the reel, etc. The book didn't have any of the stuff my instructor taught me so I suspect she went beyond the PADI requirements. She is actually qualified to train for multiple agencies and does technical training (TDI and IANTD).

The penetration dive was the second last dive of the training. I probably would have done another but I lost her reel climbing back on the boat (didn't clip it properly to my D-ring).

IndyDiver
06-26-2009, 11:22
Yes. My AOW was 5 days and 1 night of diving and 4 nights of studying, practicing with the reel, etc. The book didn't have any of the stuff my instructor taught me so I suspect she went beyond the PADI requirements. She is actually qualified to train for multiple agencies and does technical training (TDI and IANTD).


Wow. I wish I had your instructor for AOW. She went WAY beyond the PADI requirements. PADI AOW is usually taught in 2 days. Mine was probably a little light, but I have never talked to anyone that did five days of dives and four days of studying. Sounds like she taught you her own custom advanced diving class and gave you a PADI AOW cert because you met the requirements about 30% of the way through your class.

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 11:26
Yes. My AOW was 5 days and 1 night of diving and 4 nights of studying, practicing with the reel, etc. The book didn't have any of the stuff my instructor taught me so I suspect she went beyond the PADI requirements. She is actually qualified to train for multiple agencies and does technical training (TDI and IANTD).


Wow. I wish I had your instructor for AOW. She went WAY beyond the PADI requirements. PADI AOW is usually taught in 2 days. Mine was probably a little light, but I have never talked to anyone that did five days of dives and four days of studying. Sounds like she taught you her own custom advanced diving class and gave you a PADI AOW cert because you met the requirements about 30% of the way through your class.

She calls it PADI+ but it costs $450. I think it is because the vast majority of wrecks in my area start at 90' and most the ones we went to were over 100'. It is assumed you will often dive to 130'. Actually, most the people at my LDS are technically trained and do deco diving.

in_cavediver
06-26-2009, 11:35
Yes. My AOW was 5 days and 1 night of diving and 4 nights of studying, practicing with the reel, etc. The book didn't have any of the stuff my instructor taught me so I suspect she went beyond the PADI requirements. She is actually qualified to train for multiple agencies and does technical training (TDI and IANTD).


Wow. I wish I had your instructor for AOW. She went WAY beyond the PADI requirements. PADI AOW is usually taught in 2 days. Mine was probably a little light, but I have never talked to anyone that did five days of dives and four days of studying. Sounds like she taught you her own custom advanced diving class and gave you a PADI AOW cert because you met the requirements about 30% of the way through your class.

She calls it PADI+ but it costs $450. I think it is because the vast majority of wrecks in my area start at 90' and most the ones we went to were over 100'. It is assumed you will often dive to 130'. Actually, most the people at my LDS are technically trained and do deco diving.

I don't know whether to be happy or concerned. On one hand, I really like people learning good valuable dive skills. But, penetration dives at 90+ feet fall outside rec limits to me. I don't know PADI's stance but its high risk in a single. The instructor is also a bit concerning. If you deviate to far from standards, you have liability issues and the student still has to wonder what else wasn't up to PADI standards. Then agian - its PADI standards....

So difficult. Still, glad you enjoyed it and hope you got a lot out of it.

in_cavediver
06-26-2009, 11:38
How many of you felt like you had to get your AOW because every single dive charter that you went to required it to go on some of the dives that you wanted to do? When I decided to get my AOW certification I was pretty upset because the dive charters would go through my log book and look at all my dives that i had done. What made me the most mad was that when we went to dive the Speigel Grove, this was when it was still on its side, they went through my log book. I was sitting next to a guy that had no reason to be on that dive. He was fresh out of his open water / advanced open water class. He had 5 dives under his belt since his OW class. He lost his dive buddies almost as soon as get got in the water. He blew past me and my dive buddy as we were doing our safety stop. He was kicking towards the surface. AOW is a load of crap in my opinion, it doesnt mean anything. That guy also sat on my mask after the dive and broke it. I didnt know it was broken until I jumped into the water at Ginnie springs a couple days later. Good thing I had extras. Anyway, I was wondering how many people have the same feelings towards AOW.


This is quite common. AOW isn't Advanced at all but liability concerns push operators to treat it that way.

I have AOW, my wife doesn't. She kinda skipped over it and went on to bigger and better things. (Tec/cave diving). I guess that means she can't do a dive below 60' in rec gear but in doubles with O2 or in a cave, she's good past 160'

obrules15
06-26-2009, 11:42
How many of you felt like you had to get your AOW because every single dive charter that you went to required it to go on some of the dives that you wanted to do? When I decided to get my AOW certification I was pretty upset because the dive charters would go through my log book and look at all my dives that i had done. What made me the most mad was that when we went to dive the Speigel Grove, this was when it was still on its side, they went through my log book. I was sitting next to a guy that had no reason to be on that dive. He was fresh out of his open water / advanced open water class. He had 5 dives under his belt since his OW class. He lost his dive buddies almost as soon as get got in the water. He blew past me and my dive buddy as we were doing our safety stop. He was kicking towards the surface. AOW is a load of crap in my opinion, it doesnt mean anything. That guy also sat on my mask after the dive and broke it. I didnt know it was broken until I jumped into the water at Ginnie springs a couple days later. Good thing I had extras. Anyway, I was wondering how many people have the same feelings towards AOW.

For the most part I agree except I feel there is no way to know how people really perform in water. I buddied up with a guy one year in COZ who had the same amount of dives that I did and the same level of training AND he was going on extra shore dives for experience. He was the worst diver I have ever seen (and that is saying something) so I have a healthy dose of skepticism until I see someone handle themselves in water and I am just glad I am not the one needing to make decisions about fitness to dive from pieces of paper.

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 12:32
Yes. My AOW was 5 days and 1 night of diving and 4 nights of studying, practicing with the reel, etc. The book didn't have any of the stuff my instructor taught me so I suspect she went beyond the PADI requirements. She is actually qualified to train for multiple agencies and does technical training (TDI and IANTD).


Wow. I wish I had your instructor for AOW. She went WAY beyond the PADI requirements. PADI AOW is usually taught in 2 days. Mine was probably a little light, but I have never talked to anyone that did five days of dives and four days of studying. Sounds like she taught you her own custom advanced diving class and gave you a PADI AOW cert because you met the requirements about 30% of the way through your class.

She calls it PADI+ but it costs $450. I think it is because the vast majority of wrecks in my area start at 90' and most the ones we went to were over 100'. It is assumed you will often dive to 130'. Actually, most the people at my LDS are technically trained and do deco diving.

I don't know whether to be happy or concerned. On one hand, I really like people learning good valuable dive skills. But, penetration dives at 90+ feet fall outside rec limits to me. I don't know PADI's stance but its high risk in a single. The instructor is also a bit concerning. If you deviate to far from standards, you have liability issues and the student still has to wonder what else wasn't up to PADI standards. Then agian - its PADI standards....

So difficult. Still, glad you enjoyed it and hope you got a lot out of it.

Actually, the wreck we penetrated was 80' at the mud. We would have entered the stern (the ship was cut in half so the stern was wide open) at 50' - 60'. It was made very clear to me that penetrating a wreck at 90'+ would require doubles or a large cylinder and a pony. Most the guys penetrating the wrecks I surveyed were wearing double HP100 or an HP130 with a 19cf pony.

She also tends to only take on ultra-conservative divers. There were four other people getting there AOW but they finished the first weekend. At that point we had only been to 100' and made a drawing of a wreck. No penetration.

I suspect she is treating me differently because she knows I'm working towards OWSI plus I'm in no rush. The more experience I can get the better.

IndyDiver
06-26-2009, 12:42
I don't know whether to be happy or concerned. On one hand, I really like people learning good valuable dive skills. But, penetration dives at 90+ feet fall outside rec limits to me. I don't know PADI's stance but its high risk in a single. The instructor is also a bit concerning. If you deviate to far from standards, you have liability issues and the student still has to wonder what else wasn't up to PADI standards. Then agian - its PADI standards....

So difficult. Still, glad you enjoyed it and hope you got a lot out of it.

I personally don't feel comfortable with the idea of going either very deep or into any overhead (including cavern) without a second regulator and a second tank. Whether that needs to be/should be doubles, a decent sized pony, or a bottom stage I will leave as a discussion for another day.

As far as PADI's stance is concerned - Their Wreck class is four dives and the last one is a limited penetration dive. Given the amount of dives and work this instructor did, she is probably not very far outside of PADI standards if you consider the class a a combination of AOW and Wreck.

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 13:34
I personally don't feel comfortable with the idea of going either very deep or into any overhead (including cavern) without a second regulator and a second tank. Whether that needs to be/should be doubles, a decent sized pony, or a bottom stage I will leave as a discussion for another day.

I wasn't really paying attention to everyone. I noticed some guys had doubles but all the instructors, assistants, DMs from my LDS had a pony with its own regulator.

I'll have to talk to them about that. Not actually sure what is in the pony; I was assuming the same as the main cylinder or air. I know they dive EANx in the main cylinder. They'll mix it so the MOD at 1.4 matches the mud. Guarantees never exceeding MOD using 1.4. That is how I was recommended to do it.

navyhmc
06-26-2009, 14:45
To the OP, I personally beleive that the AOW is a good course and I strongly recommend it to any OW diver. It gives you a structured exposure to more advanced diving and gives you another good set of skills. However, the class is only as good as the instructor. Does 75' give you the qual to go to 100'? Maybe, what class room instruction did you have first? What were the objectives of the dive? What was the pre-dive breifing? Personally, I believe that anyone that is going to dive to any depth needs to first go up to a roof that is at the same height and they intend to go down to. Look over the side and you'll appreciate the height or depth you're going to-it is indeed an eye opener! The same with the other dives: good instruction ahead of time, a good pre and post dive brief and good objectives are important to your learning and your skills. Knowing what you're doing right is as important as knowing what you're doing wrong.

As for the diver on your trip: I don't think his actions and abilities are indicitive of a problem with the AOW, it looks to me like it's a problem with the diver himself. And remember, a C-card at the most basic means that you have showed the absolute minimum required knowledge and skills to scuba to the prescribed parameters in such a way that you probbly won't kiil yourself or others. Kind of like Med School: The guy that finished last in his clas is still called "Doctor". It's up to each individual diver to improvve their skills and learn a bit of proper behavior, consideration and dive ettiquette so we don't sit on someone's mask, drop a tank on their foot, ruin that perfect seahorse shot you just spent 3 mimnutes lining up.

bennerman
06-26-2009, 15:03
I personally don't feel comfortable with the idea of going either very deep or into any overhead (including cavern) without a second regulator and a second tank. Whether that needs to be/should be doubles, a decent sized pony, or a bottom stage I will leave as a discussion for another day.

I wasn't really paying attention to everyone. I noticed some guys had doubles but all the instructors, assistants, DMs from my LDS had a pony with its own regulator.

I'll have to talk to them about that. Not actually sure what is in the pony; I was assuming the same as the main cylinder or air. I know they dive EANx in the main cylinder. They'll mix it so the MOD at 1.4 matches the mud. Guarantees never exceeding MOD using 1.4. That is how I was recommended to do it.

Off Topic: When you say 1.4, that is a measurement of capacity, right? I also assume you are using our wonderful metric system? Cubic Letres or what?

navyhmc
06-26-2009, 15:10
I personally don't feel comfortable with the idea of going either very deep or into any overhead (including cavern) without a second regulator and a second tank. Whether that needs to be/should be doubles, a decent sized pony, or a bottom stage I will leave as a discussion for another day.

I wasn't really paying attention to everyone. I noticed some guys had doubles but all the instructors, assistants, DMs from my LDS had a pony with its own regulator.

I'll have to talk to them about that. Not actually sure what is in the pony; I was assuming the same as the main cylinder or air. I know they dive EANx in the main cylinder. They'll mix it so the MOD at 1.4 matches the mud. Guarantees never exceeding MOD using 1.4. That is how I was recommended to do it.

Off Topic: When you say 1.4, that is a measurement of capacity, right? I also assume you are using our wonderful metric system? Cubic Letres or what?

They are talking Nitrox and Nitrox %....Learn the basics before confusing yourself with advanced.

bennerman
06-26-2009, 15:17
Ah, thanks

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 15:32
I personally don't feel comfortable with the idea of going either very deep or into any overhead (including cavern) without a second regulator and a second tank. Whether that needs to be/should be doubles, a decent sized pony, or a bottom stage I will leave as a discussion for another day.

I wasn't really paying attention to everyone. I noticed some guys had doubles but all the instructors, assistants, DMs from my LDS had a pony with its own regulator.

I'll have to talk to them about that. Not actually sure what is in the pony; I was assuming the same as the main cylinder or air. I know they dive EANx in the main cylinder. They'll mix it so the MOD at 1.4 matches the mud. Guarantees never exceeding MOD using 1.4. That is how I was recommended to do it.

Off Topic: When you say 1.4, that is a measurement of capacity, right? I also assume you are using our wonderful metric system? Cubic Letres or what?

Sorry bennerman. The MOD standard for Maximum Operating Depth and the 1.4 relates to oxygen toxicity. This stuff only matters if you are using Enriched Air Nitrox or EANx. Don't worry about it until you take Nitrox training. It will make a lot more sense once you have.

scubadiver888
06-26-2009, 15:40
Personally, I believe that anyone that is going to dive to any depth needs to first go up to a roof that is at the same height and they intend to go down to. Look over the side and you'll appreciate the height or depth you're going to-it is indeed an eye opener!

I like this. Do you mind if I use them when I become an instructor?

Hey, I've looked down from a tower at 1135' and I'm cool with it. Does that mean I can dive to 1135'? :smiley36:

navyhmc
06-26-2009, 18:23
Personally, I believe that anyone that is going to dive to any depth needs to first go up to a roof that is at the same height and they intend to go down to. Look over the side and you'll appreciate the height or depth you're going to-it is indeed an eye opener!

I like this. Do you mind if I use them when I become an instructor?

Hey, I've looked down from a tower at 1135' and I'm cool with it. Does that mean I can dive to 1135'? :smiley36:

Close your eyes and imagine you're that far down...you just ran out of gas, would you like to try a CESA from that 1135'??? Class dismissed...:smilie39:

Feel free to use that if you wish, I would be honored.

Travelnsj
06-26-2009, 18:39
Scuba Pete....I could not agree with you more...Many are Card Collectors....I have met knuckle head instructors & DM's in Palau that probably peed in their wetsuits because of washing machine currents that they did not know how to dive in....In fact this last March there was an American Instructor who teaches in Thailand....He was given specific instructions twice to let the Air out of his BC before releasing his reef hook....He ended up on the surface....as my friend/instructor in Palau says he does not care what your cert level is until he sees you in the water.

In East Timor a couple of years ago when I was there I was going with this New DM....Think he had maybe 100 dives....we were going on a deep dive 100+'....he said I cannot take you as you are just an OW!....I got out my log book showing I had been as deep as 133' in North Carolina....I had 250+ more dives that he did and he had never dove anywhere else than East Timor....He would not take me.

IndyDiver
06-26-2009, 22:45
Hey, I've looked down from a tower at 1135' and I'm cool with it. Does that mean I can dive to 1135'? :smiley36:

Almost anyone can dive to 1135 feet. You don't even need scuba gear - just put on a weight belt and jump off the boat.

It's getting back up where the skill, equipment, and training come in. :smiley36:

fire diver
06-26-2009, 23:40
I agree with the OP for the most part. I know that there are instructors who challenge thier students in AOW, and they come out better divers. Sadly, this seems to be far and few between. I took my AOW for the exact same reason an the OP, to clear that imaginaryAOW hurdle on future dive ops.

I just think it's funny, I didn't need AOW to take Nitrox, I didn't need AOW to take Advanced nitrox, I didn't need AOW to take Deco procedures, and I didn't need it to take cavern. I also won't need it to take wreck and advanced wreck. But there are plenty of ops who will restrict my dives if I don't have that stupid card.

I have also seen a number of idiot divers who hold that AOW card.

bsktcase93
06-27-2009, 05:38
I also feel that just because you took an advanced open water course it doesnt mean you are advanced. in my class we had a girl who was lucky she knew how to put the regulator in her mouth if her dad wasnt there.....

scubagirlj
06-27-2009, 06:06
not to mention all the "AOW" divers that have never been in anything but a lake or quarry-the ocean is a little bit of a different environment-i've seen Master Divers that act like newbies their first time in salt water!, like the one the other day that thought my drift marker and line was to be used to pull herself down(couldn't descend even after being reminded about needing to check her weight difference) without noticing me below-talk about unspooling quickly!

neugierig
06-27-2009, 06:45
^ haha, thats real baaaaad.

snagel
06-27-2009, 09:02
AOW does not make you an expert diver......experience in dives makes you better. AOW gives you 5 more dives with an instructor - it's not a miracle pill.

My AOW class was an absolute waste of time for me, but it did give me more time with an instructor. I say waste of time because the goal was to get through the skills not to be better. For example, buoyancy skill was, "try and go through the bus without touching anything" that was it and we passed.

Sure some outfits require AOW to do their dives. I think this is just a CYA thing. It would be better if they looked at how many dives you done, what kind of dives you have done, and when you have done your dives. Carrying my AOW card does not qualify me to dive the Oriskany....the skills I've developed over many dives does.

Snagel

navyhmc
06-27-2009, 09:17
Totally agree snagel. I had the fortune of having great AOW instructor: Phil Aldritt (Thanks Phil where ever you are Amigo!) We did get alot of nav and buyancy, which was great. When I got done, I didn't consider myself an expert diver (still don't) but I was a better diver.

DevilDiver
06-27-2009, 09:55
First I have to say that I agree with the OP and many of the other comments.
I believe from the industry POV the reasoning is more around the retention of the number of divers and gear purchasers than skill levels and safety.

As far as individual dive OP's requirements there are suggested cert/experience levels for particular sites witch is as it should be, when considering liabilities. This does not stop an individual from diving on this site on their own. The question is how is this measured and can it be applied to the diving public as a whole.

I guess you could say it is like a 16 year old can have a drivers license (do you want to be the first one to ride with them on the highway or are they really ready for it) vs. a 16 year old that does not have a license but has been driving for years and proved to be ready. (just a analogy- 16 yr olds should not dive at all)

So the question is full log book vs. plastic card and as a business what standard is used.

DevilDiver
06-27-2009, 10:07
I remember reading a Mike Ange piece some time back where some guy shows up wanting to do a an advanced dive with all of the gear and a full log book. When they were gearing up he noticed that the guy would do everything that he did so when Mike spit inside his fins and to clean them out and the guy copied him he confronted him to discover that he had no training and his documentation was fake.

My point here is when dealing with the public you never know what you are going to get....

bsktcase93
06-29-2009, 16:43
I remember reading a Mike Ange piece some time back where some guy shows up wanting to do a an advanced dive with all of the gear and a full log book. When they were gearing up he noticed that the guy would do everything that he did so when Mike spit inside his fins and to clean them out and the guy copied him he confronted him to discover that he had no training and his documentation was fake.

My point here is when dealing with the public you never know what you are going to get....


You do have to admit that is pretty funny, But at the same time scary cause your log books really do go by the honor system

Darthwader
06-29-2009, 17:16
I remember reading a Mike Ange piece some time back where some guy shows up wanting to do a an advanced dive with all of the gear and a full log book. When they were gearing up he noticed that the guy would do everything that he did so when Mike spit inside his fins and to clean them out and the guy copied him he confronted him to discover that he had no training and his documentation was fake.

My point here is when dealing with the public you never know what you are going to get....


You do have to admit that is pretty funny, But at the same time scary cause your log books really do go by the honor system

It should only be about the experience. I don't think I'd feel safe diving with a card chaser.

I'm only OW; don't want AOW yet (not ready).
I took a French class in college. My prof said that, you may only leave here speaking ten sentences, but you'll speak them like a native.
I took that analogy with me when I got certified. I'm not done tackling all my OW skills to my satisfaction yet. so when I feel I'm ready, I figure I'll be one helluva OW diver:smiley36:

CompuDude
06-30-2009, 15:53
I've ranted about this a number of times.

The AOW cert is not "advanced" in the normal use of the word. It's "advanced" in the sense that you advance from where you were after an OW cert. IF you take the course immediately afterward. If you take it many dive and many years after OW, chances are you will learn little, but you will at least get the little card that keep idiotic operators off your back.

There is an exception to made, certainly, for those rare instructors that go far beyond standards to teach a truly advanced AOW course.

The industry would be well served by changing BACK to the Open Water I / Open Water II nomenclature that was used at one point. It sounds less cool but conveys the meaning much better.

IMO, there's nothing in AOW that can't be used by OW divers immediately after their initial cert. The things taught in AOW should have been taught in OW in the first place, from my perspective.

chinacat46
06-30-2009, 16:29
I've ranted about this a number of times.

The AOW cert is not "advanced" in the normal use of the word. It's "advanced" in the sense that you advance from where you were after an OW cert. IF you take the course immediately afterward. If you take it many dive and many years after OW, chances are you will learn little, but you will at least get the little card that keep idiotic operators off your back.

There is an exception to made, certainly, for those rare instructors that go far beyond standards to teach a truly advanced AOW course.

The industry would be well served by changing BACK to the Open Water I / Open Water II nomenclature that was used at one point. It sounds less cool but conveys the meaning much better.

IMO, there's nothing in AOW that can't be used by OW divers immediately after their initial cert. The things taught in AOW should have been taught in OW in the first place, from my perspective.

I agree with all your points!