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ontheheap
06-03-2010, 00:06
My wife is interested in taking the PADI class only to gain new skills. She's not actually interested in diving in an overhead environment or progressing to learn caves. Is it a waste of money to take the cavern course for this reason only?

chicken
06-03-2010, 18:55
Don't do it. I "won" a free cavern class at a dive event. I took the class and ended up doing intro to cave and then full cave. My original goal was only to learn some skills that would enhance my wreck dives. It can become very addicting.

The agency is not as important as is the instructor. If you have a good instructor the agency doesn't matter.

in_cavediver
06-03-2010, 19:43
I will say this - you can take cavern/cave training for the skills but remember, it is an overhead environment and you need to treat it with the proper respect.

As for agency - My opinion is to skip PADI and take it from one of the 'Cave' agencies. NACD, NSS-CDS, GUE, to some extent IANTD/TDI/NAUI. Generally speaking, you want an instructor who has been teaching cave diving and actively cave dives. Pretty much most all of the good instructors you will find hold certs with the big three agencies (NSS-CDS, NACD or GUE) as well as other agencies. There are exceptions of course like Tom Mount who teaches IANTD. Your background checks on the potential instructors should clear this up about the qualifications on the instructor. GUE also does not offer Cavern - just Cave 1 which is similar to Cavern/Intro to Cave.

As for why I don't like PADI for Cavern training. To teach PADI cavern, you must be a PADI OWSI and certified Full Cave + pay the card fee. To teach for NSS-CDS or NACD, you have to be an OWSI from an established agency, team teach/mentor at least one cavern class with an existing instructor, be peer reviewed by other active cave instructors and pass the 'checkouts' by the reviewers. The exact process varies from agency to agency but all I know of involve peer review to be a candidate to learn to teach cave/cavern diving. PADI requires only a check + pre-req certifications.

jj1987
06-07-2010, 17:41
Taking a cavern class for skills is a terrible reason. Go take GUE Fundies or NAUI Intro to tech, etc....no need adding overhead for no reason.

LiteHedded
06-08-2010, 08:12
agreed.
fundamentals is a fantastic class. no reason to be in the overhead if that's not what you're after.
it will give you some open water skills you wouldn't get in a cavern class and odds are you'll get a much more thorough class as well...

fire diver
06-08-2010, 09:43
Carvern class will give you additional skills, but skills for overhead evironments. If you have no plans to ever go down the wreck / cave route, don't bother taking the class.

I will addd that I also recommend a "fundies" class if you are looking for skills improvement.

ontheheap
06-18-2010, 00:10
Thanks.