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lovesmexico615
09-22-2007, 22:16
What are the major differences between dive certifications? I'm planning on getting PADI certified, and am wondering if there are better choices out there for me. I just don't know the differences between them.

DivingsInMyBlood
09-22-2007, 22:23
Just look for a GOOD instructor, ask around your area word of mouth is usally the best way.

FishFood
09-22-2007, 22:24
Incase someone hasnt said it, welcome to Scuba Toys!!


Honestly, this question has been asked quite a bit, and the general thought seems to be go with a good instructor, and dont worry so much about the company.

Here are a couple threads that you may want to read that discuss the PADI vs NAUI issue.

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/new-divers-those-considering-diving/33583-padi-vs-naui.html

http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?t=3432&highlight=padi+naui

Oh, and BTW, goodluck on getting certified and enjoy the sport! :)

texdiveguy
09-22-2007, 22:32
Both agencies are fine....just get certed and don't look back!

scubasavvy
09-22-2007, 23:11
Doesn't matter, but I get the sense that PADI is looked at like they just certify people to collect the cash and get them the hell out of training. That could be any agency though. I agree with the above posts to go with the best instructor...

crpntr133
09-22-2007, 23:40
Naui tends to teach you a bit more per class, usually safety. Not saying that PADI is bad, in fact I started with PADI. Just wish that I would have switched for the type of diving that I am looking at doing in the future.

Zenagirl
09-23-2007, 08:18
It's all about the instructor IMO. Some do the minimum, some go the extra mile. My OW instructor (many moons ago) was a dual NAUI/PADI instructor and said there wasn't a difference in how or what he taught.

They are both "for profit" agencies and who really cares what's on your c-card?? Heck, when I'm on a dive boat I haven't a clue who has what certification or agency unless someone tells me...and I don't really care! ;)

dludwig
09-23-2007, 09:00
Heard PADI refered to the other day as
Put Another Dollar In :smiley2:

thesmoothdome
09-23-2007, 09:21
The bottom line is that any differences between what is taught and to what depth is nominal at best. PADI is very user friendly and for that, seems a little less "serious" about the depth of knowledge they present, but the skills presented are what you need to be good beginner diver. No agency covers the physics and physiology behind diving in great detail during OW training, BUT that doesn't mean an OW diver can't learn it. Most good instructors are happy to spend time with you getting into more detail and there are plenty of books, videos, etc. available if you really want to learn as much as you can.

Like others have said, neither agency is better than the other. Just choose an instructor or a shop that you're comfortable with.

in_cavediver
09-23-2007, 09:37
From my perspective. To an OW level diver, there is very little difference in PADI vs NAUI vs any other. The variation in standards is minor compared to the variation in what instructors actually teach. With that, find a knowledgeable, dedicated instructor who you can learn from. (Different instructor, different styles of presentation)

NOW, once you move on to more advanced levels and pro levels, there is a very big difference between the agencies. Those come down to the procedures, structure and requirements for teaching the various programs. They also come down to the underlying philosophy of some aspects of diving. Some agencies are more rigid, some more flexible in the application of these tenets. Again, this really is only for the more advanced/pro levels and by the time you ready for these, you'll have developed your own thoughts/philosophies.

crpntr133
09-23-2007, 09:54
Heard PADI refered to the other day as
Put Another Dollar In :smiley2:

1-800-pay-padi. Yes that is actually their toll free number. They use to post it that way but I think they got away from it.

JCAT
09-23-2007, 17:22
You don't need to stick with one agency either. Go with the instructor who can teach they way you learn.

ScubaToys Larry
09-23-2007, 17:25
Hey guys... I just want to post up here to say Thanks! I've been an instructor for both agencies, and I get so fed up with the agency bashing I've seen on other boards... and just wanted to say thanks for the mature and accurate posts... It's the guy (or girl) teaching you - not the acronym on the card!

Find someone you respect and trust - and take a class with them no matter what letters end up on your card in the end.

chinacat46
09-23-2007, 17:26
Pay Another Dive Instuctor.

Not Another Underwater Idiot

WV Diver
09-23-2007, 17:30
Someone correct me if I'm wrong he here. I have been told to go PADI because if you ever decide to say quit your job and become a dive bum you will be more marketable since PADI is so large and spread out.

quasimoto
09-23-2007, 18:26
Someone correct me if I'm wrong he here. I have been told to go PADI because if you ever decide to say quit your job and become a dive bum you will be more marketable since PADI is so large and spread out.

Are you saying that since PADI is more well known or covers more area that you would be more employable? If so that could also back fire on you. Would you rather have thousands of DM's competing against you or just a few? I'm sure that is probably a double edged sword. I see your view as well.

Now back to our regularly scheduled thread. An instructor can make a world of difference in what you get out of a class. Personally I would tend to lean more towards the NAUI side since they do tend to teach more before class. Some could look at this as it is less time to do other things but I see it as keeping your butt safe and knowing what to do.

I am looking into a deco class and am doing my research on the agencies. Some I look at and shake my head. They want you to do say 4 classes that really don't pertain to deco before you enter deco. Sorry but PADI is one of those. And actually I'm not totally impressed with NAUI's either.

So do your research and check into what each agency has to offer you and then take it from there. No one agency is going to be right for everyone. Personally between PADI and NAUI... I would pick NAUI even though I started with PADI.

WV Diver
09-23-2007, 19:05
Someone correct me if I'm wrong he here. I have been told to go PADI because if you ever decide to say quit your job and become a dive bum you will be more marketable since PADI is so large and spread out.

Are you saying that since PADI is more well known or covers more area that you would be more employable? If so that could also back fire on you. Would you rather have thousands of DM's competing against you or just a few? I'm sure that is probably a double edged sword. I see your view as well.



Sort of, it has been my understanding, right or wrong, that PADI will not use any other agencies DM. And since PADI is sometimes the dominate or only operation in some areas it would be hard for a DM certified through another agency to get work.

If one were looking to be able to travel, and if indeed this is the case, one would prefer to be as marketable as possible.

I have only dreamed of being a dive bum. Certainly there is a dive bum here somewhere that can tell us if this scenario is true.

thesmoothdome
09-23-2007, 19:36
There's no doubt that PADI is the 800 pound gorilla of the dive world, but I wouldn't stress on the agency you're training with until you decide to go pro and even then, PADI will allow instructors to cross over to their agency if they take part of the IDC and the IE. Not sure about DM roles, but from what I've seen, most tropical DMs are instructors.

in_cavediver
09-23-2007, 19:51
Someone correct me if I'm wrong he here. I have been told to go PADI because if you ever decide to say quit your job and become a dive bum you will be more marketable since PADI is so large and spread out.

Are you saying that since PADI is more well known or covers more area that you would be more employable? If so that could also back fire on you. Would you rather have thousands of DM's competing against you or just a few? I'm sure that is probably a double edged sword. I see your view as well.



Sort of, it has been my understanding, right or wrong, that PADI will not use any other agencies DM. And since PADI is sometimes the dominate or only operation in some areas it would be hard for a DM certified through another agency to get work.

If one were looking to be able to travel, and if indeed this is the case, one would prefer to be as marketable as possible.

I have only dreamed of being a dive bum. Certainly there is a dive bum here somewhere that can tell us if this scenario is true.

OK, a couple of points.

1) As a pro level DM, you are pretty much tied to working with the same agencies instructors. There is a little overlap with CMAS/YMCA but for the most part, its choose an agency and go there.

2) If going from DM -> Instructor. Its all at the discretion of the Instructor Trainer. I've looked in to this extensively as one day, I'll get around to doing my instructor. I did a PADI DM in 2002 and likely will go NAUI for Instructor. (although I do like the IANTD standards as well). I do not agree with parts of the PADI teaching philosophy so I won't go down that path.

3) If you want to get work in the dive field, its a lot easier to do it as an instructor rather than a DM. That said, what agency is the dominate one depends on the geographic region. PADI is one of the biggest though and so long as you agree with the PADI philosophy, a good choice.

lovesmexico615
09-23-2007, 20:50
Thanks so much for all the info so quickly! Honestly, when I started looking at learning to dive, I didn't even know there was more than one agency. I checked out about 20 different agencies, and found that more than half wouldn't respond, or give me any more than a pre-generated form e-mail. I did find a shop that I've been talking to daily for the past 2 weeks, preparing for my OW. Really personable people, and have had great tips and suggestions for me as an emerging diver. I'm excited to actually get into the open water, and get some real dives under my belt. Until I started checking out the boards here, I was interested, but now it's a downright obsession!

TxScubaBear
09-26-2007, 07:10
I did OW with PADI, and liek someone said previously, it's the instructor who teaches and trains you not the agency. I had a superb instructor and remember what he taught like it was yesterday. I did AOW thru NAUI and ST, because they offered one more dive than PADI did and just felt like I'd get a better educational experience in it- again, the instructors make a world of difference. Both are good agencies, but ask about the instructors from friends; they are the ones who can teach you how to survive if something goes wrong, or how to do certain things maybe 2 ways (all by the book, no shortcuts). For my future training, I'll probably look towards NAUI and ST simply because of the excellent training I got thru AOW and because the instructors/DM's genuinely care about what and how you learn.

LarryB
09-30-2007, 22:28
Just to muddy the waters a bit, what is the opinion on SSI?
How do they compair with PADI and NAUI?

JipThePeople
10-06-2007, 01:15
I have received training from both agencies and I found both experiences to be of the highest caliber. With OW especially there is the age-old issue of how much should the minimum requirements be? If you make them too strengent, then fewer people will explore the sport and less money is made to remain in business. If the requirements are too lax, then new divers are more apt to have an accident. I had excellent instructors with both.

datamunk
10-06-2007, 09:20
i started with NAUI in Georgia for my open water... it was i think 2 or 3 months long, 2 days a week for 3 hours a day (im pretty sure)... i learned a LOT and my skills were excellent before i got my cert card (for an open water). i knew most of the skills that i learned thru PADIs advanced and rescue diver already due to my NAUI open water.

PADI seems to fast now.. I thought it was just classes in Florida, but even my sisters in Ga was one weekend of class and pool work. you learn how to survive and the basic info but, if you have time and the extra normal money, id start NAUI

BobArnold8265
10-06-2007, 16:08
I was certified through SSI. I thought they had a very good program and materials. I agree though, it's the instructor that makes the difference. Once you get your c-card, it really doesn't matter which agency you use.