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Darth Fishhead
09-22-2007, 22:23
Is my OW Cert limited to a certain depth? I've never got a good answer on that. I realize that I should definitely stay within 130 ft. but is there a limiting factor beyond that?

Also, I know that there are no "Scuba Police" that will revoke my card if I exceed a certain depth. But, I did a 90 ft dive this past summer, and obviously survived, but is there some extra training I should have had first?

DivingsInMyBlood
09-22-2007, 22:46
should be 60 feet for OW you need more training to go deeper (its good that you do get more training as the risks increase). After OW its a good idea to take AOW.

FishFood
09-22-2007, 22:51
Im fairly new at this to. I dont understand what the training difference would be for 60ft or 90ft?

Either way remember the basics...

Dont come up to quick.
Stop for your safety stop
DONT go past your no-deco limits
etc, etc



The only difference I can see is, if you do F-up, the probablity of dieing will be greater at depth...

crpntr133
09-22-2007, 23:01
OW is for 60'.

Theory is that anything beyond 60' nitrogen narcosis can kick in. If you aren't prepared for it then it can be a BIG surprise. I'm sure that there are more reasons than just narcosis.

DivingsInMyBlood
09-22-2007, 23:19
You need more training, might even need more gear like a flashlight and a reel, strobe the list could go on for where you would dive or what you want to do. I dont really have an interest to go deeper than 60 feet untill I do my AOW course so I know what I'm getting myself into and have the right training. Anything deeper than 60 feet can be classed as a deep dive.

texdiveguy
09-22-2007, 23:37
In general a new o/w diver will fine great ops and experience in the industry set 60ft. of depth.

As you progress in your skills and dive exposure you can add depth if you wish.

Use your head and follow your comfort zone.

IMO the AOW is fine to take as well as a Deep Diver class to shorten the learning curve and pick up good information.

Be safe!

ianr33
09-23-2007, 00:22
I
The only difference I can see is, if you do F-up, the probablity of dieing will be greater at depth...

Yep. The deeper you go the consequences of screwing up get worse,and the more ways there are to screw up.

It is pretty hard to exceed a deco limit at 60 feet on a single Al 80 tank. It is real easy at 130 feet.

Get a freeflow at 60 feet and an emergency swimming ascent is an option.Maybe not the best option but a possibility. Get one at 130 feet and, well,I hope you did your gas planning beforre the dive to make sure your buddy has enough gas to get you both back to the surface alive.

Kidder
09-23-2007, 00:40
OW is for 60'.

Theory is that anything beyond 60' nitrogen narcosis can kick in. If you aren't prepared for it then it can be a BIG surprise. I'm sure that there are more reasons than just narcosis.

I case your curious we covered nitrogen narcosis earlier this month.
http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?t=3242&highlight=nitrogen+narcosis

Some of the advanced guys really had some good information on risks and signs.

in_cavediver
09-23-2007, 10:53
Im fairly new at this to. I dont understand what the training difference would be for 60ft or 90ft?

Either way remember the basics...

Dont come up to quick.
Stop for your safety stop
DONT go past your no-deco limits
etc, etc



The only difference I can see is, if you do F-up, the probability of dieing will be greater at depth...

There really isn't that much difference between 30-60-90-120 feet. You just have a few factors that change as you go deeper:

Gas usage increases
NDL times decrease
Narcosis increases
light decreases
Gas gets denser
water usually gets colder (not always)

Taken individually, these are not that big of a deal. To a diver who is less than squared away in their planning, procedures, gear etc, they can lend themselves very quickly to problem escalation. Its even worse if buoyancy control and dive management skills are already poor. You push to hard, you end up in the incidents forum.

In my neck of the woods, there have been several injuries and a few fatalities from which I can attribute directly to depth and lack of diver skill. The culprits, free flows and stuck inflater's.

In a double fatality this past summer, a free flow at 115' was the original factor. The divers reacted correctly to share air but that lead to another free flow. It wasn't determined if they started a CESA or buoyant ascent or if panic set in. Either way, these poor divers hit their limits and it wasn't enough to survive.

3-4 years ago, I witnessed another incident from 70-80 at the same site. A diver got a stuck inflator. He spent his polaris ride trying to take off his scuba unit! (as described once we dragged him on to the dock with ears bleeding). He lived (I believe) as he declined an ambulance ride and drove his POV off site. Here, the initial reaction was wrong.

What to take away from what I said. Diving is an exercise in risk management and accurate self appraisal of abilities. If you can do this well, you can do most any dive you want. If you lie to yourself and lack the basic skills to do a risk management analysis for a dive - well, thats like Russian roulette.

plot
09-23-2007, 11:22
60' with PADI OW

100' with SSI OW

not sure of the other agencies, but 130' seems to be the general consensus for all AOW

thesmoothdome
09-23-2007, 12:42
There really isn't that much difference between 30-60-90-120 feet. You just have a few factors that change as you go deeper:

Gas usage increases
NDL times decrease
Narcosis increases
light decreases
Gas gets denser
water usually gets colder (not always)

Taken individually, these are not that big of a deal. To a diver who is less than squared away in their planning, procedures, gear etc, they can lend themselves very quickly to problem escalation. Its even worse if buoyancy control and dive management skills are already poor. You push to hard, you end up in the incidents forum.



Well stated. Practicing emergency procedures and being VERY familiar with how your gear operates is crucial for any diving, but definately even more so at depth. The good news is, all this stuff can be practiced in shallow water.

diverdad
09-23-2007, 16:21
I think everyone else pretty mush summed it up. It is not a good idea to dive deep until you have the training and the experience.

jo8243
09-23-2007, 17:07
Im fairly new at this to. I dont understand what the training difference would be for 60ft or 90ft?

Either way remember the basics...

Dont come up to quick.
Stop for your safety stop
DONT go past your no-deco limits
etc, etc



The only difference I can see is, if you do F-up, the probablity of dieing will be greater at depth...

Hmm.. how about getting "narced". Using air much faster. etc etc etc

FishFood
09-23-2007, 17:09
Im fairly new at this to. I dont understand what the training difference would be for 60ft or 90ft?

Either way remember the basics...

Dont come up to quick.
Stop for your safety stop
DONT go past your no-deco limits
etc, etc



The only difference I can see is, if you do F-up, the probablity of dieing will be greater at depth...

Then you must not have paid attention to the part in your OW class when they talked about getting "narced".

At 90ft, the feeling (under normal conditions) is negligible.

in_cavediver
09-23-2007, 17:50
Im fairly new at this to. I dont understand what the training difference would be for 60ft or 90ft?

Either way remember the basics...

Dont come up to quick.
Stop for your safety stop
DONT go past your no-deco limits
etc, etc



The only difference I can see is, if you do F-up, the probablity of dieing will be greater at depth...

Then you must not have paid attention to the part in your OW class when they talked about getting "narced".

At 90ft, the feeling (under normal conditions) is negligible.

I can take you somewhere, under its normal conditions, that you'll feel narcosis (cold, dark and low vis) at less than 90'. I can take you to a beutiful warm place with great vis and give you a problem or two and elicit a narcosis response as well at 90'.

The fact is narcosis is highly variable on individuals, days, conditions and who knows what else along with depth. One thing we do know is increasing PN2's increase the probability of narcosis for a given dive. To say at 90' narcosis is negligible is simply wrong.

awap
09-23-2007, 18:00
With an OW card, it's time to build on expereience. Go slow and stay within your comfort zone. If you are not comfortable, seek appropriate training. Somehow I never got around to AOW. With over 600 dive including quite a few over 100 ft, I have no intention of ever doing AOW. My only regret is SDI will not wave their AOW requirement for their solo diver course. I think the loss is more their's than mine.

quasimoto
09-23-2007, 18:00
Narcosis is the main reason for the depth of OW.
As in_cavediver has pointed out, depth alone doesn't mean diddly for narcosis.I ahve been to 135 in salt and 114 in fresh, cold, dark. None of these times have I ever felt narced. Nor have my buddies noticed anything odd.
Some people will get narced out of their minds at 70-80 and other it won't kick in till much later. It is just the way that their body differs from yours. There is no set rule and if you think there is you are only fooling yourself.

JCAT
09-23-2007, 18:49
What in_cavediver (http://forum.scubatoys.com/member.php?u=992) said a few posts back.


Diving is an exercise in risk management and accurate self appraisal of abilities. If you can do this well, you can do most any dive you want. If you lie to yourself and lack the basic skills to do a risk management analysis for a dive - well, thats like Russian roulette.Murphy is always watching. ALWAYS! Be honest about yourself and your current skills. Never give Murphy an inch cause he'll take a mile every time.

Think like Murphy does and anticipate what can go wrong at the worst time. Then mitigate these potential situations and spite the bast**rd.

ScubaGir1
09-23-2007, 19:05
60' with PADI OW

100' with SSI OW

not sure of the other agencies, but 130' seems to be the general consensus for all AOW
My instructor told us that for AOW we were only certified up to 100'. And in order to do a 130' we'd have to get deep certified. We are PADI, so is that correct, or are we really certified up to 130'?

FishFood
09-23-2007, 19:15
I can take you somewhere, under its normal conditions, that you'll feel narcosis (cold, dark and low vis) at less than 90'. I can take you to a beutiful warm place with great vis and give you a problem or two and elicit a narcosis response as well at 90'.

I wont argue with some that has ten fold my experience, so Ill leave it here...

plot
09-23-2007, 19:15
60' with PADI OW

100' with SSI OW

not sure of the other agencies, but 130' seems to be the general consensus for all AOW
My instructor told us that for AOW we were only certified up to 100'. And in order to do a 130' we'd have to get deep certified. We are PADI, so is that correct, or are we really certified up to 130'?

Well, most AOW classes are taken with the deep certification :p

What'd you guys end up doing?

ScubaGir1
09-23-2007, 19:24
60' with PADI OW

100' with SSI OW

not sure of the other agencies, but 130' seems to be the general consensus for all AOW
My instructor told us that for AOW we were only certified up to 100'. And in order to do a 130' we'd have to get deep certified. We are PADI, so is that correct, or are we really certified up to 130'?

Well, most AOW classes are taken with the deep certification :p

What'd you guys end up doing?
Oh, well that would make sense :)
We did navigation, deep, night, PPB, and wreck.
I want to get deep and wreck certification next. But I'm probably going to wait until things get a little slower in my life (maybe next spring). Plus, the waters will be warmer again :D

quasimoto
09-23-2007, 19:31
Well, most AOW classes are taken with the deep certification :p

What'd you guys end up doing?

You might be talking about two difference things. There is the part that is part of the AOW and then there is the specialty. They aren't the same.

130 is max depth for AOW.

plot
09-23-2007, 22:21
Well, most AOW classes are taken with the deep certification :p

What'd you guys end up doing?

You might be talking about two difference things. There is the part that is part of the AOW and then there is the specialty. They aren't the same.

130 is max depth for AOW.

Just checked PADI. That's all f'd up. They require 4 dives for each specialty? Man, they really do rape you.

With SSI, you take 4 dive specialty's, get 24 dives, and you can get the AOW certification. Typically LDS's offer an "AOW Class" thats simply 4 specialty's packaged togethor. Most of these classes have the deep certification, so you're deep diver certified which is to 130'.


PADI's deep diver specialty (that apparently isn't part of AOW cert, and requires a whole nother class with 4 dives...) is good for 130'.

crpntr133
09-23-2007, 22:34
You get more than just going deep on the deep specialty. I haven't taken it but a DB of mine has. I think it is more gear to being safe at 130' and a few other skills. Unfortunately PADI doesn't spill the beans about what is to be in each class like NAUI and a few others. Also deep specialty is needed by a lot of other agencies before you go into the tech ranks. Never figure this one out.

plot
09-23-2007, 23:10
my SSI AOW card clearly states "deep diving specialty".

Guess I'm good to go.

georoc01
09-24-2007, 09:19
Well, most AOW classes are taken with the deep certification :p

What'd you guys end up doing?

You might be talking about two difference things. There is the part that is part of the AOW and then there is the specialty. They aren't the same.

130 is max depth for AOW.

Just checked PADI. That's all f'd up. They require 4 dives for each specialty? Man, they really do rape you.

With SSI, you take 4 dive specialty's, get 24 dives, and you can get the AOW certification. Typically LDS's offer an "AOW Class" thats simply 4 specialty's packaged togethor. Most of these classes have the deep certification, so you're deep diver certified which is to 130'.


PADI's deep diver specialty (that apparently isn't part of AOW cert, and requires a whole nother class with 4 dives...) is good for 130'.

Every specialty has a different number of dives, and your AOW counts as the first dive in the specialty. So for me to go to do with deep diver specialty it was three dives total. First dive was on a line, second dive watch the line, 3rd dive no line. One of the dives had to take down a tank tie it off at 15' and did a simulated emergency deco stop on the way back.

How my shop charges for specialties on top of AOW is $25 per dive plus a $30 PADI processing fee.

PlatypusMan
09-24-2007, 09:40
With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I ask because in my experience as a recreational diver, generally everything that I'm interested in seeing has been in the 20 foot to 80 foot depth range. Unless I'm doing something very specific, such as a particular wreck or reef, there is rarely the need in recreational diving in my opinion to exceed 80 feet or so.

in_cavediver
09-24-2007, 12:33
With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I ask because in my experience as a recreational diver, generally everything that I'm interested in seeing has been in the 20 foot to 80 foot depth range. Unless I'm doing something very specific, such as a particular wreck or reef, there is rarely the need in recreational diving in my opinion to exceed 80 feet or so.

You actually answered the question yourself. Depth is merely a factor on a dive to see/do something. I dive deep to see deeper wrecks or caves. Some reefs only occur deeper with different forms of life etc. I go as deep as need be to see what I came to see.

JCAT
09-24-2007, 12:36
With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I choose dives on whats there, not the depth. Once a dive is decided on, then you start detailed planning and war gaming any issues that may come up.

Diving deep, just to dive deep is kinda not worth anything IMO.

crpntr133
09-24-2007, 13:56
With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I ask because in my experience as a recreational diver, generally everything that I'm interested in seeing has been in the 20 foot to 80 foot depth range. Unless I'm doing something very specific, such as a particular wreck or reef, there is rarely the need in recreational diving in my opinion to exceed 80 feet or so.

Why dive deep. Because there are some really cool wrecks in the Great Lakes at the 100' range. Of course your deep might not be my deep. Some may say anything over 60 is deep. Personally anything over 80 is.

cummings66
09-24-2007, 22:51
I myself only log a dive as deep if it's 100 feet or more, otherwise I consider it shallow for dive log purposes. It's a check box on the Oceanic software and that's how I decide to check it.

Here's my belief. I'm AOW, well Rescue to be honest but in terms of depths I'm supposed to be good for 100 feet. I'll do deeper and have many many times now and I understand the planning and issues well. However I will limit my depths to 130 feet and until I get tech certified I won't go beyond that.

DZorn00
09-26-2007, 07:03
With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I ask because in my experience as a recreational diver, generally everything that I'm interested in seeing has been in the 20 foot to 80 foot depth range. Unless I'm doing something very specific, such as a particular wreck or reef, there is rarely the need in recreational diving in my opinion to exceed 80 feet or so.
I have to go along with this one. Most of the wrecks in the VA area are with in 20 to 80' so is there really something to find any deeper?

in_cavediver
09-26-2007, 19:06
With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I ask because in my experience as a recreational diver, generally everything that I'm interested in seeing has been in the 20 foot to 80 foot depth range. Unless I'm doing something very specific, such as a particular wreck or reef, there is rarely the need in recreational diving in my opinion to exceed 80 feet or so.
I have to go along with this one. Most of the wrecks in the VA area are with in 20 to 80' so is there really something to find any deeper?

Same logic. Most wreck in the Straights of Mackinac are in the 100'-140' range. Why stay at 80'?

Its foolish to consider a single environment near you as typical all over the world. The good news, everybody pretty much agrees you go down to see something. Depth is merely the location you have to get to and not some objective to seek.

Darth Fishhead
09-27-2007, 15:32
First, thanks to all those who have provided me with much needed input on this topic!


With due respect to everyone who has been posting, is there a special reason why it's so important to dive deep?

I choose dives on whats there, not the depth. Once a dive is decided on, then you start detailed planning and war gaming any issues that may come up.

Diving deep, just to dive deep is kinda not worth anything IMO.

I hear you on this one. I don't want to go deep for depth's sake. On certain dives, though, my inner explorer wondered, "What will I see if I were to go a bit deeper? What's in that shadowy expanse?"
As I think I said in the original post, I dove the Hilma Hooker in Bonaire in 90', and thought it was totally awesome! I want to see more wrecks, and it sounds like many are below that 60' limit. I guess my next step will be AOW, which my LDS offers OARB. (On A Regular Basis) (Though, I might wait for either of my buddies (wife or dad) to catch up with the number of dives before I take the course.)

cshel
09-30-2007, 19:59
We got to 85' yesterday in a quarry to see a car. It was cold. We spent just a couple of minutes there and then went to 50' to warm up and then to 40' to see a van and swim through it. We also went to 62' to see a smashed upside down bus. They pushed it over the edge of the quarry to get it in there. No swimming through that one.... The rest of the stuff was about 30'-35'. There was a cool playground there. Lots of stuff to check out and swim through and around.

Boris42
09-30-2007, 20:22
60' with PADI OW

100' with SSI OW

not sure of the other agencies, but 130' seems to be the general consensus for all AOW


I believe YMCA is also 100'. That's what my instructor told me. At least I hope so. My SO and I went to 85' yesterday to check out a car in a quarry.

CrzyJay456
09-30-2007, 20:27
so why is one different from the other?
padi 60
ssi 100
and so on? is it just what the agency believes to be safe?

BobArnold8265
10-05-2007, 11:53
In all honesty, there is very little difference in the training required to dive at 60 feet (OW Cert) and 130 feet (AOW Cert). The main thing in my mind is experienceIt's best for your first 15 to 20 dives to be at 60 feet or less so you can determine your comfort level at that depth. After you first 15 to 20 dives, then I think you'll be ready to go a little deeper. The AOW certification classes seem to be nothing more than a repeat of the OW classes.

danielh03
10-17-2007, 20:30
60' with PADI OW

100' with SSI OW

not sure of the other agencies, but 130' seems to be the general consensus for all AOW


ANDI is 100' for your OW, andvance is 140

pnevai
10-18-2007, 00:56
The training you recieved in your OW course provided you with only enough information to be able to dive in relatively safety to say 60 feet depending on agency. I only know the course requirements for instructors for NAUI. During Instructor training we were taught tto teach only what the diver needs to know to dive at a specific level as a newby diver has plenty enough to learn and master without going into additional physics, and information required at higher levels. It is akin to teaching a grade schooler basic math and then going ahead and teaching them differential algebra. It becomes information overload and the important stuff may not stick. Except if a grade schooler messes up with a addition problem they are not apt to die.

Deep diving or diving past OW has it's own set of training requirements. As mentioned Identiifying narcosis and it's symptoms is one. The physics of the additional water pressure is another. Narcosis and increased pressure at depth both have to be calculated and understood in detail. As in deep diving the surface starts to become your enemy.At a certain point it becomes unsafe to surface.

Deep diver training teaches you how to recognize when the surface is no longer safe, and what the procedure is with how to deal with it. With bottom times ever decreasing with depth, and narcosis becoming an ever greater factor. If you run into the very possible scenario of neglecting to check you dive comp or bottom time timer and find that you have gone past your NDL limit the surface is no longer safe haven, what do you do, how long and at what depth should you wait? How many stops should you make?

This is training you do not get in OW and even in some AOW courses. AOW in NAUI used to be called OWII not AOW, I never figured out why NAUI changed it. But deep diver training was never taught for the OWII NAUI course, that was taught in the original NAUI Advanced course which is now the Master Diver Certification.

So as far as NAUI policy goes you should only dive to the depth that you are certified for as that is the level of training that was given to you. I can not speak for other cerification training agencies. Also Do not confuse a deep dive done as part of a AOW required dive, it is only to expose you to the conditions down there and not Deep Diver training.

texdiveguy
10-18-2007, 01:16
Most all of my diving plans have a set agenda in terms of profile/mission.

Though I have been known to get 'crazy eyed' and plan a dive to depth just to do it--no crime committed.

How deep is deep--that is something we each must conclude on our own.....I know of divers whom think anything past 70' is DEEP and others who find below 130' a walk in the park-lol.

The main thing is to stay within your experience and training and comfort zones....use common sense and NEVER get complacent on any dive.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-09-2007, 15:07
Your C-card lets you get fills. Some operators require other certifications before they will let you play with them.

There are no laws, if you want to make a dive to 250 feet with nothing but a 13cf pony you are free to do so. Please put me in your will before attempting it, though.

The depth limits are just recommendations. PADI claims that an OW diver is qualified to plan and execute open water dives to less than 60 ft in conditions similar to the training environment. AOW is 100 ft, and Deep cert extends that to 130 ft. If you dive in a new environment, they recommend a couple of dives with a dive master before trying to go it alone, regardless of your certification level. True to their reputation, they recommend (re)taking an AOW class as an excellent introduction to a new environment.

BTW, if I recall, the deep dive for the AOW course must exceed 60 ft and must not exceed 100 ft. As stated before, 4 deep dives are required for PADI deep cert. It's up to your instructor whether the deep dive from the AOW class counts toward the deep cert. Their are depth requirements and/or recommendations and limits on the deep cert dives. The first matches the AOW deep dive.

MSilvia
11-09-2007, 16:36
Another factor that deep dives introduce is wetsuit compression.

I did a number of my early dives in the tropics and on Flower Garden Bank in the Gulf of Mexico, and a number of those dives were in the 90' range. I was left with the impression that 90' dives aren't that big a deal, so I signed up for a dive on a popular wreck at that depth at home in New England. It was, to say the least, and eye opener when I discovered that a 2 piece 7mm wetsuit doesn't behave like a 1.5 mm skin at depth. It get compressed, and loses A LOT of buoyancy. When I ascended, I had to dump a lot of the gas I had used to stay neutral at depth, and it was, as a result of being unexpected, quite challenging.

dogseatmayo
08-05-2008, 17:18
OW divers are only supposed to go to 60 ft

plot
08-05-2008, 17:56
OW divers are only supposed to go to 60 ft

depends on the agency. SSI certifies to 100 feet for OW.

Jenn
08-05-2008, 18:05
From what I hear max depth for ow is 60feet but I am pretty sure that I learned 100 ft. Either way I want to do aow before I consider going deeper then 60 feet. With aow you have to do a deep dive and you also learn about the risks of deep diving and so on.

hooligan
08-05-2008, 20:54
I think people get a little too caught up in certifications. By some people's logic, an OW diver who has done 100+ dives shouldn't go past 60ft. But a person who did OW and AOW back to back with 10 dives total can dive to 130ft? That makes no sense to me. I think experience counts a lot more than a small piece of plastic with your picture on it.

crgjpg
08-07-2008, 16:05
I agree that experience counts the most. I think even after getting AOW and a deep diver specialty that you should probably dive with someone that has experience diving deep. This will give you a chance to get experience while having someone there to guide you and help you.

plot
08-07-2008, 17:28
From what I hear max depth for ow is 60feet but I am pretty sure that I learned 100 ft. Either way I want to do aow before I consider going deeper then 60 feet. With aow you have to do a deep dive and you also learn about the risks of deep diving and so on.

Just remember, every way you can think of screwing yourself at 100 feet... you can just as easily do in 15 feet.

in_cavediver
08-07-2008, 18:06
From what I hear max depth for ow is 60feet but I am pretty sure that I learned 100 ft. Either way I want to do aow before I consider going deeper then 60 feet. With aow you have to do a deep dive and you also learn about the risks of deep diving and so on.

Just remember, every way you can think of screwing yourself at 100 feet... you can just as easily do in 15 feet.

Yes, but at 100ft, you add time pressure due to air, narcosis and Deco status pressures. You also may get lower light and lower water temps as well. A lot more stressors to deal with that at 15'.

Catt99
08-07-2008, 19:48
Your C-card lets you get fills. Some operators require other certifications before they will let you play with them.

There are no laws, if you want to make a dive to 250 feet with nothing but a 13cf pony you are free to do so. Please put me in your will before attempting it, though.

The depth limits are just recommendations. PADI claims that an OW diver is qualified to plan and execute open water dives to less than 60 ft in conditions similar to the training environment. AOW is 100 ft, and Deep cert extends that to 130 ft. If you dive in a new environment, they recommend a couple of dives with a dive master before trying to go it alone, regardless of your certification level. True to their reputation, they recommend (re)taking an AOW class as an excellent introduction to a new environment.

BTW, if I recall, the deep dive for the AOW course must exceed 60 ft and must not exceed 100 ft. As stated before, 4 deep dives are required for PADI deep cert. It's up to your instructor whether the deep dive from the AOW class counts toward the deep cert. Their are depth requirements and/or recommendations and limits on the deep cert dives. The first matches the AOW deep dive.


I think people get a little too caught up in certifications. By some people's logic, an OW diver who has done 100+ dives shouldn't go past 60ft. But a person who did OW and AOW back to back with 10 dives total can dive to 130ft? That makes no sense to me. I think experience counts a lot more than a small piece of plastic with your picture on it.

Good posts. I also think that too many in this thread are focused unnecessarily on the certification -- it's not a license that permits you to do certain things and forbids you from doing other things. Training, experience with the conditions, your own abilities, your own comfort level, etc. should all be considered in determining whether a hypothetical dive is appropriate for you, pretty much regardless of your cert level among OW, AOW, Deep Diver Speciality. A 130 ft dive in calm, warm, clear water, with great viz and no currents may be a much, much easier dive (and safer for any given diver) than an 80 ft dive in cold, murky, waters with heavy currents and surface swells. Put another way, I might complete AOW for PADI (but not deep diver speciality) and comfortably determine the 130ft dive is totally appropriate given my skills and prior experience; and I might complete the deep diver speciality but nonetheless conclude the 80 ft dive was too challenging for me.

I'd also echo BouzoukiJoe in that your actual cert level may in fact be critical to certain dive operators, so it's always a good idea to verify in advance - before booking! - with an operator that your ability to dive that certain wreck at 110 fsw that you want to do isn't dependent on you showing up with a whole wallet full of PADI cert cards (AOW, Deep, Wreck, Boat, etc.) :smiley29:

brandon
08-07-2008, 21:10
Just go slow, take it easy, think about what you're doing, anticipate problems and plan accordingly. Seek advice and knowledge from reputable sources and use uncommon sense.

Diving isn't one of those sports where you want to be pushing the limits...

-B

hooligan
08-07-2008, 21:29
Diving isn't one of those sports where you want to be pushing the limits...

Or is it?:smilie40:

thesmoothdome
08-07-2008, 21:42
From what I hear max depth for ow is 60feet but I am pretty sure that I learned 100 ft. Either way I want to do aow before I consider going deeper then 60 feet. With aow you have to do a deep dive and you also learn about the risks of deep diving and so on.

Just remember, every way you can think of screwing yourself at 100 feet... you can just as easily do in 15 feet.


Maybe even worse. The pressure change at 15 feet to the surface is a lot more than at 100 feet to 85 feet.

sravin1
08-07-2008, 22:01
had the same problem when i was diving in key largo last month. my ymca certification does not limit me to 60 feet. when i asked my instructors later, they told me that as long as i remembered everything i was taught (in 10 weeks ow certifiction) i would be fine. my ow cert dives were in a quarry where one of the dives was to 70ft with water temps in the 40s.

joemamma
09-25-2008, 00:38
Your C-card lets you get fills. Some operators require other certifications before they will let you play with them.

There are no laws, if you want to make a dive to 250 feet with nothing but a 13cf pony you are free to do so. Please put me in your will before attempting it, though.

The depth limits are just recommendations. PADI claims that an OW diver is qualified to plan and execute open water dives to less than 60 ft in conditions similar to the training environment. AOW is 100 ft, and Deep cert extends that to 130 ft. If you dive in a new environment, they recommend a couple of dives with a dive master before trying to go it alone, regardless of your certification level. True to their reputation, they recommend (re)taking an AOW class as an excellent introduction to a new environment.

BTW, if I recall, the deep dive for the AOW course must exceed 60 ft and must not exceed 100 ft. As stated before, 4 deep dives are required for PADI deep cert. It's up to your instructor whether the deep dive from the AOW class counts toward the deep cert. Their are depth requirements and/or recommendations and limits on the deep cert dives. The first matches the AOW deep dive.

This man speaks the truth! In my OW, in my AOW and recently in my rescue class (all PADI) it was hammered home again and again, the the depth limit for ALL recreational SCUBA diving is 100'. We were told anything beyond 100' is considered technical diving and requires appropriate training. And just in case you think my instructor was just being conservitive, i completed OW in the Riveiara Maya, AOW in Key Largo, and rescue right here in Utah. FWIW!

Catt99
09-25-2008, 16:30
This man speaks the truth! In my OW, in my AOW and recently in my rescue class (all PADI) it was hammered home again and again, the the depth limit for ALL recreational SCUBA diving is 100'. We were told anything beyond 100' is considered technical diving and requires appropriate training. And just in case you think my instructor was just being conservitive, i completed OW in the Riveiara Maya, AOW in Key Largo, and rescue right here in Utah. FWIW!

I've heard this on several boards and conclude there must be numerous instructors advising this. When I was certified (PADI, only 5 or so years ago) the widely acknowledged rec depths were 130' or 140'; and PADI's own RDP shows NDLs out to 140'; and unless I'm mistaken, the "general consensus" among training agencies is rec depths of 130' - 140' BUT all with the caveat that an individual diver's limits ought to be based on actual experience in similar conditions.

I believe it's an individual choice; in my case, I felt comfortable and adequately trained to dive to ~100 with just my OW cert (this in crystal clear, warm, Carribbean waters on DM-led dives); and I felt comfortable going to 135' (Blue Hole in Belize) before my AOW cert; I wouldn't feel comfortable doing the same in Nor Cal. But my certs don't dictate my dive plans (nor do they for anyone) - only traning, experience, and comfort level should do so, IMHO.

TRACI
09-25-2008, 17:07
On our last trip, someone in our group, (that only had lake O/W dives in their logbook), did a dive to about 125'. I thought it was not a very responsible decision. They are putting themselves and their dive buddy in a dangerous situation if anything happens, that they are not prepared to handle. I think getting my AOW, has been $$ well spent. It taught me alot of things for deeper dives that I was not taught during my O/W.

UCFKnightDiver
09-25-2008, 17:21
wait PADI AOW really is only 100 ft??? Im PADI AOW, and I thought it was 130 oh well I dont often go past 100 anyways. I must say though besides learning about rock bottom gas consumption/management, my deep aow dive was rather silly

in_cavediver
09-25-2008, 19:56
The rec limit is almost universally accepted to be 130'. Most dive training agencies recommend 60' for new OW certed divers and 100' for AOW or experienced divers. Deep training goes to 130'. These are only limits for training purposes. Post training, a OW grad on their first post certification dive can go to 300' on trimix if they wanted to. (wouldn't recommend it but hey, its not illegal)

EAN3236
09-30-2008, 19:14
60' for open water 130' for adv open water

fire diver
09-30-2008, 20:38
No, ther are no limits on what depths you can dive to. Your OW card is your ticket to dive however you want, your life is in your own hands. Now, as others have said, things can be a bit differnet at 130 than at 30. The best course of action is to make your depths increases slowly, over consecutive dives. Learn to get comfortable at each depth over several dives before pushing down another 10 or so feet for the next dive.
This also isn't to say that there aren't some valuable lesson to be learned from further, formal education. But in the end, the choice of the dive you make is up to you. Have fun and be safe!

warscout2
09-30-2008, 21:32
I know most of our local dive boats wont let you go on deep dives if you are not at least AOW

coral cowgirl
10-02-2008, 17:36
I agree that experience counts the most. I think even after getting AOW and a deep diver specialty that you should probably dive with someone that has experience diving deep. This will give you a chance to get experience while having someone there to guide you and help you.
_______________________________

I figure diving with someone much more experienced than I am is a good way to keep improving my skills.
And, working on drills consistently will be a big help when (not if) an emergency arises.

texdiveguy
10-02-2008, 18:03
I remember the first time I hit 80ffw....I thought to myself, I am Soooo deep! I enjoy deep diving, it is the part of the sport that helps keep me on top of things regardless of the dive profile.

Rainer
10-02-2008, 18:07
our OW card is your ticket to dive however you want, your life is in your own hands.

You don't need an OW card (or any card) to dive as deep as you want to. As you note, however, your life is in your own hands.

USF_Diver
01-15-2009, 16:42
I think people get a little too caught up in certifications. By some people's logic, an OW diver who has done 100+ dives shouldn't go past 60ft. But a person who did OW and AOW back to back with 10 dives total can dive to 130ft? That makes no sense to me. I think experience counts a lot more than a small piece of plastic with your picture on it.

I agree, experience and the number of dives you have logged have alot to do with how deep you should dive. Only you know what your limit should be for a dive.

I myself have set 100ft as my limit untill maybe I log 100 dives I might drop that to 130ft as the max depth I would dive.

lund0485
01-15-2009, 17:13
When I was 12 my junior OW cert was good to 60 feet, after that the rec limit was 130, but I would echo what others have said, let your experience determine the safe dept for your dives. I also have no desire to get the AOW unless I know that a dive operator requires it and they are the only way to go.

Montana Diver
01-17-2009, 09:09
This man speaks the truth! In my OW, in my AOW and recently in my rescue class (all PADI) it was hammered home again and again, the the depth limit for ALL recreational SCUBA diving is 100'. We were told anything beyond 100' is considered technical diving and requires appropriate training. And just in case you think my instructor was just being conservitive, i completed OW in the Riveiara Maya, AOW in Key Largo, and rescue right here in Utah. FWIW!

I've heard this on several boards and conclude there must be numerous instructors advising this. When I was certified (PADI, only 5 or so years ago) the widely acknowledged rec depths were 130' or 140'; and PADI's own RDP shows NDLs out to 140'; and unless I'm mistaken, the "general consensus" among training agencies is rec depths of 130' - 140' BUT all with the caveat that an individual diver's limits ought to be based on actual experience in similar conditions.

I believe it's an individual choice; in my case, I felt comfortable and adequately trained to dive to ~100 with just my OW cert (this in crystal clear, warm, Carribbean waters on DM-led dives); and I felt comfortable going to 135' (Blue Hole in Belize) before my AOW cert; I wouldn't feel comfortable doing the same in Nor Cal. But my certs don't dictate my dive plans (nor do they for anyone) - only traning, experience, and comfort level should do so, IMHO.

I thought that the 140' depth was on the PADI RDP only to provide the necessary information if you went below the max rec depth of 130".

CompuDude
01-18-2009, 01:23
I think people get a little too caught up in certifications. By some people's logic, an OW diver who has done 100+ dives shouldn't go past 60ft. But a person who did OW and AOW back to back with 10 dives total can dive to 130ft? That makes no sense to me. I think experience counts a lot more than a small piece of plastic with your picture on it.

I agree, experience and the number of dives you have logged have alot to do with how deep you should dive. Only you know what your limit should be for a dive.

I myself have set 100ft as my limit untill maybe I log 100 dives I might drop that to 130ft as the max depth I would dive.
Just be careful with the line of thought that says experience (measured by # of dives) counts more than training. I'd rather dive with a diver with 30 dives and the appropriate certifications and training, who is carefully thinking things through, on a cold ocean dive to 125'... than a diver with 100 dives but all to only 20' deep in tropical conditions... or the one guy with 500 dives, but all in his local freshwater pond with a max depth of 35', but thinks he knows it all simply because he has 500 dives.


I thought that the 140' depth was on the PADI RDP only to provide the necessary information if you went below the max rec depth of 130".

You are correct on that.

dannybot
01-18-2009, 17:06
I know that there are no "Scuba Police" that will revoke my card if I exceed a certain depth. But, I did a 90 ft dive this past summer, and obviously survived, but is there some extra training I should have had first?

They didn't come and get you in the PADI wagon?!?

With a good instructor, AOW is good to have. In my experience though, deep diver is not that important. I took AOW right after OW, since I would be diving with my teenage sons, and felt it prudent to have as much training as I could get to be vigilant enough to be a safe buddy. For my Deep cert, it was $125 to rehash the chapter from AOW in its own book called "deep Diver Manual," and four more dives in a mud pit. Mind you I already had over 30 deep dives prior to the class (mostly guided by professional DMs).

USF_Diver
01-19-2009, 22:43
[quote=hooligan;211851]I think people get a little too caught up in certifications. By some people's logic, an OW diver who has done 100+ dives shouldn't go past 60ft. But a person who did OW and AOW back to back with 10 dives total can dive to 130ft? That makes no sense to me. I think experience counts a lot more than a small piece of plastic with your picture on it.

I agree, experience and the number of dives you have logged have alot to do with how deep you should dive. Only you know what your limit should be for a dive.

I myself have set 100ft as my limit untill maybe I log 100 dives I might drop that to 130ft as the max depth I would dive.
Just be careful with the line of thought that says experience (measured by # of dives) counts more than training. I'd rather dive with a diver with 30 dives and the appropriate certifications and training, who is carefully thinking things through, on a cold ocean dive to 125'... than a diver with 100 dives but all to only 20' deep in tropical conditions... or the one guy with 500 dives, but all in his local freshwater pond with a max depth of 35', but thinks he knows it all simply because he has 500 dives.


Yeah I agree with that for sure.

navyhmc
01-19-2009, 23:21
As others have noted, you can make a number of dives below the recommended limits of your certifying agency and not have any problems. It's when you have a problem that things go bad fast. If you think about it, when you start out, it might take a minute to notice you have a problem and then a little more time to solve the problem. The more you dive, the more adept you are at the scuba problem solving. The more experience, the less risk of death due to a problem.

While I can't talk for every AOW class, mine had a good number of advanced skills taught and performed on the dives. Granted this was back in the pre-computer days, but we started calculating multi-level dives using just the tables as well as more advanced gas management. We also learned another set of immediate action skills in case something went wrong.

Rockhound76
01-20-2009, 11:09
I've met a lot of divers, new divers, who flashed their AOW card and said, "See, I can do this dive. " I can tell you that while they could and did do certain dives, someone should have told them that card was no guarantee of safety or skills. It only demonstrated a limited level of experience, a license to learn.

Like a lot have said, you can dive as deep as you want. It's your life.

My 15yr. old has OW and Nitrox certifications. He will be taking AOW in the Spring and has around 50 dives for the year ('08), most of them offshore.

Where we dive, unfortunately, most of the good sites are in water from 65' to 105'. I could either let him dive once or twice a year, or I could CAREFULLY introduce him to depth with me as his guide.

To be honest, I don't have a problem with someone, even someone without AOW training, going that deep, as long as they know the physics and understand the risks and either have a good mentor or good experience. The main point I emphasized with my son on these early "deep" dives was that below 60' and beyond certain time limits, he was now in an overhead environment. While not technically true, I wanted to make sure he understood that the surface was a very remote exit point.

A stuck inflator, and a free-flowing reg problem that he handled properly at depth gave me some assuarances that he was as good as most older divers.

To date, he's been to as deep as 118'. What I'm most please with, however, is his realization that shallow dives are as much fun, with longer bottom times, better light and more colorful critters than the deep ones.

He still loves wrecks and I'll still take him deep, within reason, but I'm glad he's not become a depth junky.

I like shallow just fine. So does he.

in_cavediver
01-20-2009, 12:41
I'll go out a on a limb and state that I don't believe most AOW programs give you that much to be 'qualified' to dive deep. Its 5 dives with an instructor to introduce you to navigation (1 dive) and deep (1 dive) - at least PADI's program. Its great for a newer diver to expierence things with an instructor but frankly, I had AOW at dive 9 or 10. I wasn't qualified to do 100' dives and had no buisness doing them. Relevant expierence is the key.

I'd sooner dive to 100' with an avid OW diver with 50 dives than a AOW grad with 12 dives.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-23-2009, 22:37
Amen. I got AOW after just 2 non-class dives. I didn't know jack ship. But I had my AOW card. I guess I could have just jumped on a dive boat to the Normania right then, but thankfukky I had enough sense to gain more experience first.

navyhmc
01-24-2009, 00:03
I've met a lot of divers, new divers, who flashed their AOW card and said, "See, I can do this dive. " I can tell you that while they could and did do certain dives, someone should have told them that card was no guarantee of safety or skills. It only demonstrated a limited level of experience, a license to learn.

Like a lot have said, you can dive as deep as you want. It's your life.

My 15yr. old has OW and Nitrox certifications. He will be taking AOW in the Spring and has around 50 dives for the year ('08), most of them offshore.

Where we dive, unfortunately, most of the good sites are in water from 65' to 105'. I could either let him dive once or twice a year, or I could CAREFULLY introduce him to depth with me as his guide.

To be honest, I don't have a problem with someone, even someone without AOW training, going that deep, as long as they know the physics and understand the risks and either have a good mentor or good experience. The main point I emphasized with my son on these early "deep" dives was that below 60' and beyond certain time limits, he was now in an overhead environment. While not technically true, I wanted to make sure he understood that the surface was a very remote exit point.

A stuck inflator, and a free-flowing reg problem that he handled properly at depth gave me some assuarances that he was as good as most older divers.

To date, he's been to as deep as 118'. What I'm most please with, however, is his realization that shallow dives are as much fun, with longer bottom times, better light and more colorful critters than the deep ones.

He still loves wrecks and I'll still take him deep, within reason, but I'm glad he's not become a depth junky.

I like shallow just fine. So does he.

Sounds like your son has a good buddy! Glad to see you're doing it right!

bubbansc
01-25-2009, 02:49
I'll go out a on a limb and state that I don't believe most AOW programs give you that much to be 'qualified' to dive deep. Its 5 dives with an instructor to introduce you to navigation (1 dive) and deep (1 dive) - at least PADI's program. Its great for a newer diver to expierence things with an instructor but frankly, I had AOW at dive 9 or 10. I wasn't qualified to do 100' dives and had no buisness doing them. Relevant expierence is the key.

I'd sooner dive to 100' with an avid OW diver with 50 dives than a AOW grad with 12 dives.

I agree. I've been AOW since '96 and made just now my first "Real" deep dive over 100". And it was for my deep speciality..with an instructor, LOL.

Lulubelle
01-25-2009, 09:05
My third dive after my OW cert dives was to 120 plus feet on the Papoose. With air, using tables. Darn short dive. Before you flame me, know that my dive buddy has 10 years and 400 dives and is very conservative. She knew the dive op or I probably would not have been allowed to go. She was stuck to me like glue and was very happy with how comfortable I was and how good my buoyancy was. Bottom line is that our diving here is deep unless one wants to get in freshwater (eww). We did a bunch more of these together and I did my AOW this past fall.

Not irrelevant in these choices is the fact that I grew up next to this ocean, am a very strong swimmer, pulled my first person out of a riptide when I was 10, etc. I also have a background in science and was quite clear on the risks i was taking.

I certainly would have gained more experience with shallow ocean dives first if we had such things here.

Travelnsj
01-25-2009, 12:47
Lulubelle....good to hear you had a great dive buddy, a couple of the operators I have spoke with in NC demand you have at least 50+ dives to go on their boats. I did a couple of 120'+ dives there with a 120 tank on and that was after a couple hundred dives. Although I did not stay at that depth for very long and hung up on the top side of the wrecks around 90' to 100'.....I was still an Air Hog....with 45 to 50 minute dives.

NC is one my favorite spots!

Lulubelle
01-25-2009, 13:01
Lulubelle....good to hear you had a great dive buddy, a couple of the operators I have spoke with in NC demand you have at least 50+ dives to go on their boats. I did a couple of 120'+ dives there with a 120 tank on and that was after a couple hundred dives. Although I did not stay at that depth for very long and hung up on the top side of the wrecks around 90' to 100'.....I was still an Air Hog....with 45 to 50 minute dives.

NC is one my favorite spots!

Most of the ops just require AOW but some will ask for your dive log too. Their perogative on whether they take you or not. I suspect that if I looked into it a fair number of folks bite the dust in NC waters, so their caution is justified. I still only have 35 dives, but I have been out with all of the ops in Morehead and they know I am not a danger to myself or others.

Plus, I'm sure that a little bit of southern female charm works a little magic. :smiley2:

I only carry an AL 80 on my dives and run out of time before air. I'm a girl, life is not fair. My dive buddy comes up with twice what I do. She is a short girl, so maybe she has smaller lungs?