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#94
Advanced Open Water Training: SDI or PADI
cahostetler - 3/01/2017 7:34 PM
Category: Training
Replies: 16

I am interested in furthering my scuba diving training. I did my Open Water Certification with an SDI shop but am considering changing to PADI for my AOW certification and training. I know SDI requires 4 specialty courses and 25 logged dives and PADI requires 5 specialty courses and only 5 logged dives. That isn’t really a consideration for me. I am really just interested in knowing which courses and corresponding learning materials are the better quality/comprehensive. I would appreciate hearing your feedback.
Thanks,
Chris
#5507
Eric_R - 24 days 2 hours ago.
I agree with DiverfromBaskingRidge, The instructor is a huge asset in your development. They can give you insight to things that only experience can provide. I see a few agency’s offer a 4 week course to go from a Open water to a master. The card will look great but the level of master is still what your abilities and experiences are. Dive dive dive!
#1103
FtMyersTom - 23 days 2 hours ago.
No it doesn’t matter which agency, as mentioned if your comfortable with a particular instructor that’s what matters to you. Also what anyone else tells you what matters to you doesn’t matter at all. With anything we do what matters to you is exactly how you feel about what matters to you not what they think should matter to you.
#1833
DiverfromBaskingRidge - 23 days ago.
Lol - so what you said about "if your comfortable with a particular instructor that’s what matters to you." Should not matter? :-)
#1103
FtMyersTom - 22 days 21 hours ago.
If it makes you happy that’s all that matters ;-)
#4003
BillParker - 22 days 20 hours ago.
Highly unlikely you’ll ever need more than OW. If you want to learn read the books and JUST DO IT. You don’t need the extra certs they are scams.
#297
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MasterBlaster - 22 days 18 hours ago.
From BillParker: Highly unlikely you’ll ever need more than OW.

I thought the same thing after OW, then after advanced, then after rescue. By the time I earned divemaster I realized there was so much more to learn.

Additional certs aren’t scams. They are a way to expand your diving experience and often introduce you to new aspects of diving you didn’t know existed.
#1371
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ELLOCODIABLO - 22 days 17 hours ago.
From BillParker: Highly unlikely you’ll ever need more than OW. If you want to learn read the books and JUST DO IT. You don’t need the extra certs they are scams.

Yep.Trimix.Wreck Penetration.Cave.Decompression procedures. Rebreather. ....all scams just read the books and give it a whirl.. what’s the worst that can happen
#124
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halfjacket - 22 days 17 hours ago.
I don’t think Bill was meaning that Trimix, wreck diving and Cave diving classes are scams. Sounds like "advanced diver" or "master Diver" is what he meant. I agree that you don’t need to be called an advanced diver or master diver. Has never helped me one bit. If you want to be a Trimix diver, go learn form the shop to be a TriMix diver. If you want to become rebreath certified, then go take rebreather. But "advanced diver", yea that’s a scam.
#297
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MasterBlaster - 22 days 17 hours ago.
Like others have said, the instructor is important. It is an incredibly difficult task to evaluate this without taking classes from both of them. One consideration might be finding out what specialties each instructor is authorized to teach and find out who has more that match your interests. This may be something to consider even between instructors from the same agency.
Some agencies give instructors a lot of freedom to do their own thing and this can be a good thing if you have a great instructor or a bad thing if you have a not so great instructor. I don’t know where SDI falls in this regard but I can tell you PADI has a fairly regimented program. That means all instructors need to generally follow the same program and teach the same material to the same standard. That standard has recently been increased to teaching skills neutrally buoyant rather than kneeling on the bottom. PADI standards translate into a fairly consistent result as opposed to wide variation you can find when instructors are given more freedom. It is obviously a pretty good system because for the 19th consecutive year, PADI has been awarded the prestigious TAUCHEN Award for Best Diver Training Organization.

I can’t speak to the prerequisites for SDI but AOW for PADI is intended to follow OW and gives divers a lot of choice in the type of diving they want to do. PADI is super flexible on AOW. You choose 5 specialties of your choice to try out. If you run out of time or maybe you only have interest in 3 areas, you can stop at 3 dives and earn the adventure diver cert. You can go back any time and finish up. Some people will say this doesn’t make you what they consider an "advanced" diver. You will be advanced past open water and that is the point. PADI allows you to baby step your way through OW & AOW if you want or need to.

AOW is not a scam. It gets you additional diving experience under the supervision of an instructor. It gives you exposure to different types of diving you did not experience in your open water course and introduces task loading.

I am not saying SDI is bad and I swear I didn’t drink the PADI kool-aid. I just know the PADI program and I think it is tough to beat.
#1371
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ELLOCODIABLO - 22 days 16 hours ago.
Reread his post cuz that certainly how i read it. I certainly wouldnt advise a newer diver to just wing it . agree most certs are scams. The training agencys had to come up with a way to stay in biz.
#124
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halfjacket - 22 days 16 hours ago.
No sir, I would never tell any diver to just wing it. Bad advise. I guess I read his post differently than you.
#1371
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ELLOCODIABLO - 22 days 16 hours ago.
if you check into it most advanced dive classes (tech,cave,ect)require AOW to advance. Dove caves for years before I got certed. The card certainly gets access to sites. Its all a $$$$$ scam. Pay to play
#1371
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ELLOCODIABLO - 22 days 16 hours ago.
While i had some great precave and post cave mentors i wouldnt go tryin rebreather or trimix without an instructor there to guide me.
#1103
FtMyersTom - 22 days 5 hours ago.
Without AOW you won’t get on a charter for wrecks deeper than 70ft anywhere I have been, especially in the keys. Dive Key West inspects your log book before taking you to the Vandenberg. They, as most reputable dive charters, require a 70ft+ dive in the last 12 months or you don’t go, with good reason.
I have never been on a charter that required the wreck specialty cert to do a recreational limit AOW wreck dive either.

I wouldn’t call any of it a "ripoff". It’s your choice to gain knowledge and experience any way you want. Knowledge and training in the sport of diving is never a bad thing. Is all of it necessary ,no, but if it’s what you want that’s all that matters. Besides it your money and how you spend it is entirely your business. I am horrible at navigation and I keep wanting to take a class, not to collect the cards, but to improve my skills and be a safer and better diver.

If you or your buddy owns a boat worthy of the sea and you want to moor up to the Spiegel Grove, cert or no cert that’s also your choice. The coast guard pulls bodies out all the time. Arrogance and elitism seems to be the common denominator with dive accidents in the keys....not specialty certs.

In the case of the Coral Restoration Diver 1 specialty cert, I paid $80 for a full day of class, lunch at a restaurant on the water and a half day diving to put what we learned in classroom to practical use in the water, all in Key Largo. We provide a vital service to our reefs and sport and the money paid goes 100% to the foundation. PADI was gracious enough to provide the cert card at no cost. Each dive I do with CRF the cost also goes 100% to CRF and I make an extra donation to the foundation each dive. I’m sorry if you think that’s a rip off, all of us don’t!