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Thread: NASDS Certification Equivalency

  1. #1

    NASDS Certification Equivalency

    Hi,

    I'm about to go on a Spring Break dive trip with my son. I've been diving for about 31years, but most of my dives have been local or with shops that I know.

    I have never been restricted on my dive trips until recently, when a shop in Florida refused to allow me to make a "deep" dive (105') because my card, which is held together by packing tape, was not "AOW", but NASDS OWII.

    Open Water II included U/W navigation (triangle courses), rescue (tows and CPR), night diving, deep diving, simulated decompression, a free ascent from 40' (the instructor would reach over, turn off your air, and the student would "stop, drop, blow and go"). While I'll admit that was long time ago, and training techniques have changed, to me, it seems equivalent to AOW.

    Of course, now that I need to replace my aging card, I've been given the choice of "taking AOW", ordering a replacement "basic" card (expensive) or taking a NITROX class (which apparently will limit my diving due to it not being AOW.)

    I don't mind taking more classes, but I do find it a bit annoying to be told I'm not qualified to make certain dives. I have about 1000 logged dives (many missing years of no logs) and many of those dives are to depths below 100', some well below that depth.

    Is the old NASDS OWII certification only Basic? Is there any way to get an AOW type certification based on my logs? I'm worried, as I'm about to go on a nice trip and I don't want to be kept off a dive I'm qualified to do.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Rockhound76; 02-13-2008 at 08:18.

  2. #2
    Shark Founding Member
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    Unfortunatly, I think you might be stuck. I also have a NASDS certification (although mine doesn't say OWII just "THIS QUALIFIED SCUBA DIVER HAS COMPLETED THE NASDS DIVING COURSE). But there is no mention of OW, or OWII. Nor do I remember there being offered any other classes except for people that wanted to become instructors. Did you take 2 classes back then?

    In our class, we also did rescue, but not navigation or the free ascent. When my son was certified, I thought "Is this all there is to it?" I remember years ago they said that we'd be granfathered into AOW based on what we did in our classes. But that didn't happen. You might get in touch with an SSI shop & see what you can do since SSI bought NASDS. I ended up taking the courses to be AOW for SSI.
    "Human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the reason we're as crazy as we are." - Desdemona

    You don't know Desdemona? . . . "She runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown."
    - Jimmy Buffett

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    i had the same problem took the AOW with PDIC replacement card was like 50 doolors throught ssi they took over nasds .the new class is nothing compred to what we went through when getting certed. mine was 6 weeks 3 nights a week

  4. #4
    Mine, too...6 weeks, 3nights a week for basic, which included 4 OW dives. The OWII was an additional 2 or 3 weeks of night classes, plus two OW trips (one for the deep dives and free ascents and one for the navigation and rescue training). It purportedly qualified us for more advanced dives. At the time, NASDS did not offer an AOW course.

    I felt it was very thorough and from what I've witnessed, comparable or better than what is currently taught (excluding changes in equipment and theory).

    Looks like I'll be limited on our next trip, as I don't have time for AOW. I think the local shop has a Nitrox class this weekend, so maybe I'll sign up for that, just to get a "readable" card.

    My NASDS card is a mess and the photo is from when I was 18. I'm 50 now. I don't look like that anymore (I'm now much better looking. Hehehe).

  5. #5
    Grouper Damselfish's Avatar
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    Where are you going? - you might not be limited. Yes, there are shops that will do that, but plenty that don't. I think lots of shops in vacation areas don't worry about it, and if they do they may even state "AOW or x logged dives of a certain depth." Or after they see you dive they may decide they don't need to worry about you.

    I'd take the old card along, maybe laminate the remains in some plastic, someone might have a clue what your old card means. And take along logs. Getting the Nitrox card does make sense in any event.

  6. #6
    Shark Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockhound76 View Post
    Mine, too...6 weeks, 3nights a week for basic, which included 4 OW dives. The OWII was an additional 2 or 3 weeks of night classes, plus two OW trips (one for the deep dives and free ascents and one for the navigation and rescue training). It purportedly qualified us for more advanced dives. At the time, NASDS did not offer an AOW course.

    I felt it was very thorough and from what I've witnessed, comparable or better than what is currently taught (excluding changes in equipment and theory).

    Looks like I'll be limited on our next trip, as I don't have time for AOW. I think the local shop has a Nitrox class this weekend, so maybe I'll sign up for that, just to get a "readable" card.

    My NASDS card is a mess and the photo is from when I was 18. I'm 50 now. I don't look like that anymore (I'm now much better looking. Hehehe).
    Wow, mine doesn't have a photo. And it has several cracks in it, but I keep it just for old times sake. But even my replacement card I got in the mid 90's doesn't look at that much like me now. Guys in their 50's have it made. Not near as much hair to worry about in my case My instructor was Doug McNeese who later became the owner of NASDS. He combined with SSI several years ago, but if you have any hope of getting your AOW from SSI, you might try & get in contact with him at SSI headquarters. Just out of curiousity, when did you take your OWII class?
    "Human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the reason we're as crazy as we are." - Desdemona

    You don't know Desdemona? . . . "She runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown."
    - Jimmy Buffett

  7. #7
    BSea,
    Thanks for the PM. I'll check into that...as for the photo, it was part of a "complete" dive card program, which even included a tiny microfiche chip in the upper right corner of the card. With a magnifying glass, you can still read the data (medical info, etc.). On the back of the card was my photo.

    I was certified in Columbus, GA in '76. We had no money, so it was my High School graduation present to myself (I was going away to study marine biology in college.) I still remember hiding the gear I bought from my mom. I was paying for college to, and I think she would have thought I was "wasting my money".

    I didn't. The Marine Biology fantasy died when I ran out of the money about the time I had to decide on graduate school.

    But, I still love diving and I plan to keep on doing it.

  8. #8
    TadPole
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    OK, I'll risk kicking the proverbial hornet's nest, but why do I get the feeling that I can guess the certification affiliation of the shop that refused to honor the card...

  9. #9
    TadPole
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    Read all your posts and are very informative. I too had taken the NASDS Open Water Course (equivalent to PADI's Advanced Diver Cert) back in 1978.
    Yes, NASDS did offer these as well as the OWII (which covered many of the same tests as the OW). My question would be, would PAD or NAUI accept the OW cert to be their equivalent of Advance Diver, etc and issue a card as such ?

  10. #10
    Shark Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoanShark View Post
    Read all your posts and are very informative. I too had taken the NASDS Open Water Course (equivalent to PADI's Advanced Diver Cert) back in 1978.
    Yes, NASDS did offer these as well as the OWII (which covered many of the same tests as the OW). My question would be, would PAD or NAUI accept the OW cert to be their equivalent of Advance Diver, etc and issue a card as such ?
    I doubt PADI or NAUI would accept it. But you might be able to get a SSI shop to accept it, and get a new SSI AOW card. Then you'd be good to go. I don't know where you are, but if it would help, I'll contact my LDS & see if that would be an option. Just let me know.
    "Human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the reason we're as crazy as we are." - Desdemona

    You don't know Desdemona? . . . "She runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown."
    - Jimmy Buffett

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