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skdvr
07-19-2007, 16:44
I was just wondering what your thoughts were on getting training from a LDS or from an Independent Instructor?
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<DIV>I would think that most Independent instructors may give you a little more personal attention than a LDS with huge classes.</DIV>
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<DIV>Just my opinion. What is yours?</DIV>
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<DIV>Phil</DIV>

Vercingetorix
07-19-2007, 17:08
At some shops, such as ST, you can take either class or private lessons. The private lessons will cost more (sorta).
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<DIV>That said, I took my NAUI AOW through ST in April 07. I registered for the class. When I arrived at Travis, I was the only student. Therefore, I got private instruction at group prices.</DIV>

tc_rain
07-19-2007, 17:22
One advantage by taking them through a shop is sometimes they give a pretty good discount on the equipment you buy afterwards.

Moxie
07-19-2007, 17:30
I was OW trained by a guy I worked with. It was one on one and he really made sure I knew my stuff. The level of attention he paid to me really helped me out.
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<DIV>When I did my AOW, I was in a class of about 8. There were DMs and AI's, but it really wasn't the same. However, most of the class had to go through remedial OW items.</DIV>
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<DIV>Further training for me has always been one on one. </DIV>

CompuDude
07-19-2007, 18:09
Depends on the class, the store, and the instructor. Either could be the best choice, but the best choice is going to vary for every person, and every instructor.

awap
07-19-2007, 19:15
The independent is less likely to take class time that you paid forto try to sell you grear fromthe sponsoringshop. While it also may not happen with a shop sponsored instructor, it is an unfortunately common occurance. It is a very rare thing to find a shop sponsored instructor using personnel gear that is not sold by the sponsoring shop.

Dabaras
07-19-2007, 22:18
It can be a tradeoff. Sometimes the independant doesn't have the resources that the dive ship instructor does. I DM for some instructors with the Texins (TexasInstruments) dive club. We teach classes to TI employees and the general public. We are an independant, but we have as much (or often times more) equipment available than a shop. We don't teach as much because we are all volunteers.

techgnostic
07-19-2007, 22:59
<DIV>That said, I took my NAUI AOW through ST in April 07. I registered for the class. When I arrived at Travis, I was the only student. Therefore, I got private instruction at group prices.</DIV>
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<DIV>Sa-weeeeeet! You win.</DIV>

Dive-aholic
07-20-2007, 07:13
I may be a little biased since I'm an independent. Generally, I think you'll get better instruction from an independent. Independents don't have shop schedules they are held to. If it takes you a little longer to go through a session, then it takes longer. Some shops stress to their instructors that they must stay on schedule. If pool work is from 7-12, then you better be out of the water at 12 so the next class can come in.. Not all shops are like this, but the majority are. It's one of the reasons I went independent. However, I've also heard of independent instructors that are independent because no shops will contract with them. And these are the same shops that require you be out of the pool by 12!

przeor
07-20-2007, 07:47
Geez what a toss up... i know this realwhack-jobindependant instructor from the Tucson area... the classes are fun, but talk about Zzzz, he is like my wife- boring! And he has the lamest screen name around... hopefully he doesn't find these boards, he's always online posting at all hours of the night. I'll protect his identity in sake of fairness...

TxHockeyGuy
07-20-2007, 13:50
I may be a little biased since I'm an independent. Generally, I think you'll get better instruction from an independent. Independents don't have shop schedules they are held to. If it takes you a little longer to go through a session, then it takes longer. Some shops stress to their instructors that they must stay on schedule. If pool work is from 7-12, then you better be out of the water at 12 so the next class can come in.. Not all shops are like this, but the majority are. It's one of the reasons I went independent. However, I've also heard of independent instructors that are independent because no shops will contract with them. And these are the same shops that require you be out of the pool by 12!

A lot of independents do not have their own pool and you run into exactly the same problem. Basically it's a loaded question and the answer is, it depends.

I know for example at ScubaToys if you take any classes from them they tell you their pool is always open for you provided there is not a class using it. I've been in there a couple of times to check weighting and such after I certified. I know they also don't rush their classes, at least not when I was taking them. After having trouble with the no mask drills I asked to take a few because it was getting me pretty worked up, it was no problem. We took a break and 5 minutes later I did the drill. So, it all just depends.

Dabaras
07-23-2007, 11:45
It comes down to their being good instructors/programs and bad ones. You have to do some research and if you can, talk to people who have gone through the same program.

Jason
07-27-2007, 22:42
you can look at the situation a couple ways. If your in a large class you can learn from others mistakes or poor form. Example.. if you were to witness how ineffective a bicycle kick is for finning, you can imagine a better way to fin in a effective matter. In a private class you will learn from your own mistakes that you had that day. If you didn't display difficulty in a skill, generally an instructor will move along to the next.

Private class or independent you can focus on your own needs and not wait for others to catch up, or "get it". Generally you will have the same bottom time single tank dives, but this can vary from instructor to instructor.

thesmoothdome
07-27-2007, 23:04
You may find a better price at an LDS, but you may not find better instruction. That comes down to the instructors. Some LDS instructors are great and some are uh, less than great. Same thing with independents. It's really hard to know who to trust when you talk about instructors or shops though. Most people will tell you how good their instructor was because they have no basis for comparison and obviously the LDS is going to tout how good theirs are.

The best thing to do is to meet the instructor before the class begins and spend some time chatting with them about everything under the sun. This at least gives you an idea of what kind of person they are. Regardless, if you think somethings not quite right, go with your gut and ask for another class or instructor, even if it's a little inconvenient.

Dive-aholic
07-31-2007, 01:38
you can look at the situation a couple ways. If your in a large class you can learn from others mistakes or poor form. Example.. if you were to witness how ineffective a bicycle kick is for finning, you can imagine a better way to fin in a effective matter. In a private class you will learn from your own mistakes that you had that day. If you didn't display difficulty in a skill, generally an instructor will move along to the next.

Private class or independent you can focus on your own needs and not wait for others to catch up, or "get it". Generally you will have the same bottom time single tank dives, but this can vary from instructor to instructor.

The one thing about independents (at least in my case) is that you get so much more out of the course. I don't just teach you what's in the book. I teach you what I feel is important to know in diving. For the advanced classes I teach, I also adapt to your style. I just taught a Rescue course this past weekend to a couple of DIR divers. I don't profess to be DIR, but I know enough about the philosophy that I can adapt my courses and make them acceptable to all types of divers. Most LDSs can't do that.

Disneymom
07-31-2007, 08:39
In my case, I learned from a group of independents. I looked at 3 LDS, and didn't feel the level of comfort or repoire that I did with the independent group I found. I liked the ratio of instructor:student, and their teaching philosophy. As a result, when I hit a couple 'speedbumps' in my classes, they were able to tailor my training more for 'me' and not just the group, but I still had the benefit of seeing other's mistakes in the small group of students. It was perfect, and I can't wait to go back for my AOW. Plus, I get to go diving with them any time I want. (a plus when you don't have a dive buddy...)