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View Full Version : Training - how times have changed



Puffer Fish
12-19-2007, 06:13
Reading the thread where the issue of confusing a snorkel tube for a vest hose, got me thinking about just how much training and skills have changed.

In my classes, the first 6 pool classes were without dive grear. Ok, the first was the skill tests and general equipment evaluation, but the next 5 were all snorkle skills.

Part of the reason was that this allowed class time for everyone to get comfortable with the technology, before going in the pool.

On the last class of that section, I had a simple skill test.

Note: We had olympic pools, so having a lot of room was never an issue.

I had a tupperware childs play ball...it was about 8 inches around, with different shaped holes in it, and a bunch of plastic shapes that went thru the holes.. the plastic floated. There was a circle, square, cross, star, etc, etc.. and the game was to put them in the ball. 2 year old stuff.

So, take the ball and tie a weight to it, and put it in the deep end (12 ft)...then give the parts to each student and have them put them back in the ball - in less than 5 minutes.

If you are really fast, putting one in at a time would just be under 5 minutes... but that would be very hard.

No one progressed to using tanks unless they could do that... and I never had a student that did not eventually pass it (although some took a lot of tries).

Do they even teach snorkle skills today?

scubaculture
12-19-2007, 06:51
It's not a big part of the training today you are right.

In my Scuba Diver class though we would spend one full pool session on the various snorkel skills. Practised various entries, clearing etc etc. I still feel a competent snorkeller makes a better scuba diver. It also helps to evaluate a students comfort int the water

Puffer Fish
12-19-2007, 07:50
It's not a big part of the training today you are right.

In my Scuba Diver class though we would spend one full pool session on the various snorkel skills. Practised various entries, clearing etc etc. I still feel a competent snorkeller makes a better scuba diver. It also helps to evaluate a students comfort int the water

I have always believed that. There are a couple of really important skills you need there:

1. You become comfortable being underwater without having a regulator in your mouth. One of the great ways to reduce stress when something does go wrong.

2. You know that you can, if you had to, reach the surface without air (in most cases).

3. We used it to evaluate students... I had three assistant Instr, and our typical class was 16 students... so pool work was divided into 4 students per guide... we wanted to make sure that we put a mix of skills together, and if that was not possible, then I would take the weakest ones.

4. All the snorkles were the simple type... no sealing ones - no purge valves..so everyone was used to clearing and having water in their mouth.

The only bad issue involved was that of holding one's breath...so we taught the slow exhale practice.

I did 8 weeks, two times a week, two hours per session for pool work...as I was not concerned about making money, or how fast I turned out students. And having an olympic sized pool allows a lot of space for training.

Oddly, while we had students that needed extra practice, after the class started, I never had a single student not complete the class. I would doubt that people today get the same level of training going thru OW, AOW and rescue. I find that that somewhat sad.

When I saw the snorkle comment, I'm not sure I would have not flunked the "dive master" out of the course, because I expect a dive master to be a leader, and leader's have to be above panic, and above confusion.

scubaculture
12-19-2007, 07:58
as I was not concerned about making money, or how fast I turned out students

Thats my philosophy as well, sadly working at a few shops they had vastly different ideas. Going independent was the only way for me


Oddly, while we had students that needed extra practice, after the class started, I never had a single student not complete the class. I would doubt that people today get the same level of training going thru OW, AOW and rescue. I find that that somewhat sad.

Fully agree with you there.

Puffer Fish
12-19-2007, 09:27
as I was not concerned about making money, or how fast I turned out students

Thats my philosophy as well, sadly working at a few shops they had vastly different ideas. Going independent was the only way for me


Oddly, while we had students that needed extra practice, after the class started, I never had a single student not complete the class. I would doubt that people today get the same level of training going thru OW, AOW and rescue. I find that that somewhat sad.

Fully agree with you there.


In all the rescue's, near misses and emergencies I have been thru, not one ever involved a student or someone that had been a student... Not one DCS hit... maybe that was luck...but as I dove a lot more with friends than new people, I would think numbers would be stacked in the other direction.

I wonder how many instuctors today view their job as producing competent, safe divers? I hope all of them, but not sure.