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dlawrence
02-18-2008, 21:46
I just finished my PADI Open Water course in late January and unfortunately because of being first busy, then sick, haven't gone since. I'm wondering how many dives I should log before attempting an Advanced Open Water course.

The book says I can do it right away, but I wanted to get the boards opinion.

Kingpatzer
02-18-2008, 22:31
It's up to you, really, there is no right or wrong answer.

I can see doing AOW to get more instructor time being the right answer for some people, and wrong for others.

I can see not doing AOW for various reasons being right for some and not for others as well.

I personally had about 35 dives and 2 specialties before I did AOW. I personally liked the path I took, but that was me.

Ryanh1801
02-18-2008, 22:32
I know with NAUI AOW is designed to be taken right after OW.

texdiveguy
02-18-2008, 22:43
I have always felt that a new diver having just completed an O/W class should get a bit of actual dive experience under their wt. belt prior to taking AOW. Its a good time to work towards the mastering of the basic skills and a time to get more comfortable in the scuba environment.

dlawrence
02-18-2008, 22:52
Thanks for your responses. In this vein, how many of the PADI specialty courses are really useful. I've heard the "Put Another Dollar In" acronym kicked around a little.

I think I definitely want to take the advanced open water course at some point, but I'm unsure about some of the other ones. Is a Peak Performance Buoyancy course going to be really helpful, or is it more about gaining experience and getting dives under my belt?

Similarly, is a night diving class necessary, or is it ok to just go night diving with a group of people who are experienced?

Obviously, I'm a fan of training for an activity where my life is one the line, just wondering how much training is necessary and how much is just money in PADI's pockets.

UCFKnightDiver
02-18-2008, 23:06
peak preformance buoyancy is a specialty you could take during aow or just on its own, I am going to take it for mine coming up. Though I havent taken it, some things to ask yourself i think might be are you using the correct amount of weight for sure? is your trim good?(as in can you stay horizontal in the water with no effort) Is your buoyancy good do you have to think about it? Also you might want to try doing your skills mid level of the water column and see if once your done w/ mask removeal and regulator sweep etc if you have risen or fallen significantly. These are all things that i am currently working on and maybe I am perfecting it more than most, but I am striving to be a better diver all the time.

As for some of the specialties like drift diver or boat diver I think these are silly but im from florida where i do boat and drift diving quite a bit.

As for the night diving course some people get vertigo like me which i got over, and some people get disoriented, when night diving everything becomes a bit more complicated so to have your skills down pat makes it all the more enjoyable, I went with a group of expirienced people but it certainly would not hurt to have an instructors help.

I think the better courses might be nav, search and recovery, night, peak preformance buoyancy, and well i suppose you have to do deep. Just something to think about, keep in mind though I havent taken it yet so... take what i say with a grain of salt I am taking it on march 13th thru march 14th oh and to the amount of dives, I have 27 now but I would not be suprised if I reach 30 by then.

texdiveguy
02-18-2008, 23:11
Thanks for your responses. In this vein, how many of the PADI specialty courses are really useful. I've heard the "Put Another Dollar In" acronym kicked around a little.

I think I definitely want to take the advanced open water course at some point, but I'm unsure about some of the other ones. Is a Peak Performance Buoyancy course going to be really helpful, or is it more about gaining experience and getting dives under my belt?

Similarly, is a night diving class necessary, or is it ok to just go night diving with a group of people who are experienced?

Obviously, I'm a fan of training for an activity where my life is one the line, just wondering how much training is necessary and how much is just money in PADI's pockets.

The PADI AOW consists of 5 Adventure dives....Deep and Nav. being required with 3 optional (you/shop/instrc pick). I recommend for most divers to look at PPB and S&R and Night as your 3 additional dives....this gives you skill training that is functional.

I get so tired of hearing this BS about PADI and putting in the dollar--lol. Many of PADI's specialty classes are well formated and if tough well offer the diver a good bases for core skill and training in that area....it allows you to shorten the learning curve.

Don't put a lot of wt. in what 'others' say in terms of your diving career choices......research from the source and make educated picks on continuing ed classes as you feel best for you!

I can tell you this having completed PADI's O/W through Divemaster courses that done were a waste of money or time....much of what I gained I have put into use each time I dive.

Good luck in your scuba fun. :)

terrillja
02-18-2008, 23:12
Thanks for your responses. In this vein, how many of the PADI specialty courses are really useful. I've heard the "Put Another Dollar In" acronym kicked around a little.

I think I definitely want to take the advanced open water course at some point, but I'm unsure about some of the other ones. Is a Peak Performance Buoyancy course going to be really helpful, or is it more about gaining experience and getting dives under my belt?

Similarly, is a night diving class necessary, or is it ok to just go night diving with a group of people who are experienced?

Obviously, I'm a fan of training for an activity where my life is one the line, just wondering how much training is necessary and how much is just money in PADI's pockets.
Depends on the specialty.
Boat- Seriously? You get on and off. You should have these skills down by your 2nd boat dive.
U/W Nav- Good to have IMO, lots of practice and someone makes sure you are doing your compass nav properly
Peak Perform Buoy- Depends on the instructor, can be good or bad. This is one that you can get over time but an instructor can accelerate your learning.
Search+recovery- this in some ways overlaps UW Nav, but also does lift procedures, I'm considering this class
Dry suit-If you have an experienced friend who dives dry, you can do this on your own, otherwise an instructor can cut the learning curve.
Nitrox- Everyone should have this, I believe it should be part of OW.
DPV- Rent one and try it out. Press trigger to go. Done.
Wreck- teaches limited penetration and mapping, I enjoyed this course.
Ice- Was supposed to take this but the ice was too thin. If you go under, you better be trained to do it.
Night- teaches night signals, not really all that involved.
Fish ID- Get a card and a slate. Done.
Deep- Good to have, a lot of dive ops require it for deeper dives.


Others may disagree, and I left some out, but these are the ones that come to mind.

Clanggedin
02-19-2008, 16:21
I did my AOW classwork before my final OW dive for class. I was also able to put in do 3 AOW Dives (Deep and Altitude) after I finished my OW dive.

I would only suggest doing it my way if you feel very comfortable with your dive skills.

Brandon Belew
02-19-2008, 16:29
People frown on me trying to go Open water -> Divemaster in two years without getting in alot of dives in between :P

I'm the type of person that just likes to keep learning, I don't see anything wrong with going one to the other.

UCFKnightDiver
02-19-2008, 16:33
when you are a dive master people look up to you, rely on your skills, and trust in you. Learning in a book and even in class cant teach you everything, you still need expirience to fill in the gaps, and it brings quite a few added benefits and learning.

thats just the way I see things its alright to take things slow in order to gain the expirience that is desperately needed.

terrillja
02-19-2008, 16:38
when you are a dive master people look up to you, rely on your skills, and trust in you. Learning in a book and even in class cant teach you everything, you still need expirience to fill in the gaps, and it brings quite a few added benefits and learning.

thats just the way I see things its alright to take things slow in order to gain the expirience that is desperately needed.
I'd agree, if you come out of OW with no control over buoyancy, taking PPB is going to be helpful, but less so than if you had pretty good buoyancy control and used the course to get exact buoyancy control.

UCFKnightDiver
02-19-2008, 16:43
thats exactly what im saying and is going to be what im using it for.

SkuaSeptember
02-19-2008, 17:04
Thanks for your responses. In this vein, how many of the PADI specialty courses are really useful. I've heard the "Put Another Dollar In" acronym kicked around a little.

I think I definitely want to take the advanced open water course at some point, but I'm unsure about some of the other ones. Is a Peak Performance Buoyancy course going to be really helpful, or is it more about gaining experience and getting dives under my belt?

Similarly, is a night diving class necessary, or is it ok to just go night diving with a group of people who are experienced?

Obviously, I'm a fan of training for an activity where my life is one the line, just wondering how much training is necessary and how much is just money in PADI's pockets.
The objective of the specialties and of AOW is to give you knowledge,skills and best practices that you can immediately apply to your diving and to allow you to further explore interests in a safe, structured enviroment without a lot of trial and error.
If you have a wealth of experienced, knowledgeable buddies who are willing to take the time and responsiblity to mentor you; a: you are very lucky; b:go for it ; and c: you'd better be buying lunch

Dive-aholic
02-20-2008, 15:38
Thanks for your responses. In this vein, how many of the PADI specialty courses are really useful. I've heard the "Put Another Dollar In" acronym kicked around a little.

I think I definitely want to take the advanced open water course at some point, but I'm unsure about some of the other ones. Is a Peak Performance Buoyancy course going to be really helpful, or is it more about gaining experience and getting dives under my belt?

Similarly, is a night diving class necessary, or is it ok to just go night diving with a group of people who are experienced?

Obviously, I'm a fan of training for an activity where my life is one the line, just wondering how much training is necessary and how much is just money in PADI's pockets.

It's been said before, but I'll say it again - it all depends on the instructor. I have heard of an AOW course that took about 4 hours to complete. That's 4 hours for all 5 dives! That course wasn't worth a penny. The instructor would take his students down for 20 minutes, then to the surface for 10 minutes. 70 minutes for day 1 and 50 minutes for day 2. The other 2 hours were set up and tear down each day.

To be honest with you, PADI gets some of the course money, but not all of it. Much of the course fee goes to pay for the instructor's tank fills and time spent diving with you. Considering all US instructors must carry professional liability insurance (which isn't cheap) and pay annual instructor fees, we don't end up making a whole lot of money, especially if we teach more than a 4 hour course.

Peak Performance Buoyancy can be an excellent course if taught well. I like to combine it with the AOW course I teach and use all 6 dives to work with students on their buoyancy and get things fine-tuned. The Deep course can give you some experience at depth and teach you about proper gas management, if you haven't already been taught that, as well as teach you specific things about deeper diving. Search & Recovery can be a fun useful course. Navigation is a great course if you have problems getting around underwater. Night specialty can be really fun and help you get used to diving in the dark. A photography specialty, if taught well, can be a fun class. You just need to make sure you not only get the underwater portion, but the topside editing portion as well. Wreck and Cavern are both excellent courses, again, if taught by good instructors. I took a wreck course in NJ even though I lived in AZ at the time. I just wanted to take a wreck course from a wreck diver. Cavern instructors are required to be cave divers, so that's not an issue, but I'd take it from someone that lives in Florida and dives caves regularly.

There are a few other good specialty courses out there, but I think that's enough to get an idea. Most of the PADI specialty courses require 2 dives. Some of them like Night and Navigation are 3 dives. Others like Cavern, Wreck, Deep are 4 dives and require 2 days to complete. But all of them should include some surface instruction, not just the dives.

UCFKnightDiver
02-20-2008, 16:03
what all does the padi wreck course cover dive-aholic?

terrillja
02-20-2008, 16:05
what all does the padi wreck course cover dive-aholic?
The full specialty covers mapping and laying line, then the last dive is a penetration dive. The AOW course is about how to navigate around a wreck and watch for hazards pretty much.

UCFKnightDiver
02-20-2008, 16:06
hmmmmm what hazards could there be besides monofilament?

terrillja
02-20-2008, 16:09
hmmmmm what hazards could there be besides monofilament?
Off the coast of mass there are gill nets, trawl nets, 1/2"-1" lobster pot line, lots of stuff to get tangled on. And cutting the lobster pot line can take a bit, even w/ a sharp serrated knife.

SkuaSeptember
02-20-2008, 17:32
hmmmmm what hazards could there be besides monofilament?
Off the coast of mass there are gill nets, trawl nets, 1/2"-1" lobster pot line, lots of stuff to get tangled on. And cutting the lobster pot line can take a bit, even w/ a sharp serrated knife.
Not to mention steel leaders, fishing hooks, sharp rusty edges, unstable structures, unexploded ordinance, strong currents and deep, dark,cold water.

terrillja
02-20-2008, 17:34
hmmmmm what hazards could there be besides monofilament?
Off the coast of mass there are gill nets, trawl nets, 1/2"-1" lobster pot line, lots of stuff to get tangled on. And cutting the lobster pot line can take a bit, even w/ a sharp serrated knife.
Not to mention steel leaders, fishing hooks, sharp rusty edges, unstable structures, unexploded ordinance, strong currents and deep, dark,cold water.
You forgot the torpedo rays. The one in folly cove, cape ann scared the s**t out of me the first time I saw it.

SkuaSeptember
02-20-2008, 19:06
hmmmmm what hazards could there be besides monofilament?
Off the coast of mass there are gill nets, trawl nets, 1/2"-1" lobster pot line, lots of stuff to get tangled on. And cutting the lobster pot line can take a bit, even w/ a sharp serrated knife.
Not to mention steel leaders, fishing hooks, sharp rusty edges, unstable structures, unexploded ordinance, strong currents and deep, dark,cold water.
You forgot the torpedo rays. The one in folly cove, cape ann scared the s**t out of me the first time I saw it.
I must be the only diver in New England who can't find that fish!

terrillja
02-20-2008, 19:15
hmmmmm what hazards could there be besides monofilament?
Off the coast of mass there are gill nets, trawl nets, 1/2"-1" lobster pot line, lots of stuff to get tangled on. And cutting the lobster pot line can take a bit, even w/ a sharp serrated knife.
Not to mention steel leaders, fishing hooks, sharp rusty edges, unstable structures, unexploded ordinance, strong currents and deep, dark,cold water.
You forgot the torpedo rays. The one in folly cove, cape ann scared the s**t out of me the first time I saw it.
I must be the only diver in New England who can't find that fish!
Probably a good thing, it's something like 220-240V. More than enough to shock you and pop the reg out of your mouth.

UCFKnightDiver
02-20-2008, 19:21
dude wtf thats a high powered outlet

terrillja
02-20-2008, 19:24
dude wtf thats a high powered outlet
"Up to 220V"

Torpedo nobiliana, Atlantic torpedo: (http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=2553)

That'll wake you up..

SkuaSeptember
02-20-2008, 19:44
dude wtf thats a high powered outlet
"Up to 220V"

Torpedo nobiliana, Atlantic torpedo: (http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=2553)

That'll wake you up..
Warning! Don't pet the Torpedo Rays.
Of course, that would be part of Underwater Naturalist.

Griff
02-21-2008, 09:32
I took my AOW (NAUI) relatively soon after my OW (SDI) certification, and for me, it was a good decision. The dives were basic introductions to the specialties and we spent a fair amount of time on peak bouyancy. I'd suggest being very comfortable with your skills before tackling one of the more intense specialties or Rescue, but AOW soon after OW is a sound idea. Just one guys opinion, but AOW adds 'polish' and 'comfort' to your new OW skills.

Dive-aholic
02-21-2008, 10:03
what all does the padi wreck course cover dive-aholic?

It depends on the instructor. The course I could have taken offered through my old LDS in AZ didn't require students to have reels and lift bags and didn't offer penetration during the last dive. It was a very basic recreational course. This is why I did mine in New Jersey.

The course I offer covers assessing a wreck (becoming familiar with it, navigating it, mapping it and evaluating it for penetration), reel work (dry and wet), different techniques in lift bag deployment, fin kicks appropriate for wreck diving, proper planning of a wreck dive to include gas management, and a limited penetration during the last dive.

rfreddo
02-21-2008, 22:22
I put in 5 or 6 dives post OW before AOW. This gave me an opportunity to buy my own gear and get used to it and, more important to me, gave me a few dives to figure out what my real lead needs were with various gear configurations. On the latter point, I found that I needed less than 50% of the lead my OW instructor had me using. I guess from an OW instructors perspective it's probably better to have the students glued to the bottom than floating away and risking dcs.

Any way, my AOW instructor treated us all as divers, not students, and it was good to have a little bit of confidence from several dives without an instructor's hand holding.

MLenyo
02-21-2008, 23:28
I put in 5 or 6 dives post OW before AOW. This gave me an opportunity to buy my own gear and get used to it and, more important to me, gave me a few dives to figure out what my real lead needs were with various gear configurations. On the latter point, I found that I needed less than 50% of the lead my OW instructor had me using. I guess from an OW instructors perspective it's probably better to have the students glued to the bottom than floating away and risking dcs.

Any way, my AOW instructor treated us all as divers, not students, and it was good to have a little bit of confidence from several dives without an instructor's hand holding.

i was weighted pretty heavily as well. i believe i've read that it's common in OW for students to be weighted heavy.

cmburch
02-21-2008, 23:47
I got my NAUI first then about a month later I completed the PADI AOW on a 4 day boat dive at the Channel Islands. In between I did a few easy 30' dives in Monterey Bay, but I would have preferred to have the experience and knowledge I got from the PADI AOW first. It has been so long that I had forgotten about it and how much it has helped me in diving. Some things that have really helped me:
Navigation - I can get back to shore near where I came in and do not have to surface outside of the kelp line with a stringer of bleeding fish to spot my entry point and adjust my compass.
Night - I like fishing at night especially Halibut. Knowing limits and safety. Being sure of how to get back to the shore entry point. What if your lantern/spot light or the lights of the building or house you where using to get back in to shore go out while your underwater -that sucks. It could make for a long swim or hike.
Drift- very important with the currents and tides. It could make for a very hard swim or pull, and having to assist weaker divers.
Deep - I like going to 80-85' feet where the big fish are, but I am a near shore diver. Where I go the deepest I would get in my kayak or inflatable is 65', if I am lucky. 45-50' or so swimming from shore, if I am lucky.
Peak Performance Buoyancy - I just do it now and don't think about it.