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How do you find a buddy you can trust?
ScubaGirlKris - 3/09/2007 12:03 PM
Category: General
Replies: 18

I`m a SWF in California with almost NO dive buddies and am a new inexperienced diver. I`m calm underwater and communicate well - and feel that I dive conservatively and safely. I just need a good, safe, diver to help me get the experience I need. How do you put your life in the hands of a stranger underwater? How can I feel safe with someone I met online? How will I know, without taking the plunge, if they are a safe diver? Any suggestions?
sambolino44 - 3/09/2007 6:28 PM
Thanks for your post. I have not been keeping up with it lately, but I`m glad to see it still generates interest. It kills me how somebody can take something as mellow and non-competitive as diving and screw it up with their macho attitude. All I can say is, I`m just trying to build my skills so I can be as independent as possible, even if I never go solo. It`s always hard for someone who is not very confident and assertive to get the blowhards to slow down, listen, and try to cooperate so that the fun can be shared by all. And I have been led into dangerous situations (not in diving, but other things) by charismatic individuals, or by the "gang". As far as an answer to your question, it`s kind of like finding a doctor you trust: ask around as much as you can, but ultimately you have to just plunge in and try each one to see what it`s like. Good Luck!
TColJeep - 3/09/2007 9:52 PM
Fist off, welcome to the site. As far as finding dive buddies, like anything else, you need to be selective. I dive alot with a regular dive buddy. We met a few years ago in a dive class and hit it off. But when I`m alone on a trip and get "set up" with a buddy I watch how that person prepares for thwe dive. Are they familiar with setting up their equipment? Are they willing to give a hand to other divers? Are they paying attention during the dive briefing or BSing? Are they willing to discuss a dive plan or even have a clue what one is... All these things give me an idea as to what to expect when we are in the water, and then I prepare for the unexpected. Good luck in your search.
DalelynnSims - 3/10/2007 1:48 AM
Trust is built between divers over time but communication between you and your buddy is paramount. It’s easy to get complacent and not communicate enough but that’s another story. I have had my share of tag along divers looking for buddies to dive with, it`s pays to ask their experience level, their last dive, have they been down in the expected site before and any other questions that cross your mind. I will also say that even as a dive professional I have gone to the local dive shop and ask them to recommend a divemaster that knew the area I was looking to dive. During a trip to Seattle I did this and after the first meeting, a two tank trip in the Puget Sound, we dove again and this time as just buddies. The first time cost me $30 but was well worth it as he knew the area, conditions and the best spots therefore the dive was more enjoyable. Don’t forget your local professionals are there to make your dive a pleasure. Use us and you may find a lasting buddy relationship!
bushwacker4u - 3/10/2007 11:49 PM
Well you really never know, all I can say is get a pony bottle and take a big knife.
ScubaGirlKris - 3/11/2007 1:22 AM
*LOL* Thanks for the advice! So, I`ve been trying to do some research on pony bottles, any suggestions? (I think I can pick out a good knife!)
ScubaGirlKris - 3/11/2007 1:24 AM
I like your comparison to finding a doctor. I`m glad to see that others have felt the same thing that I do when trying to find a buddy. Like you, I want to become experienced and as self-reliant as possible. But, I also want to become the person everyone wants to dive with as well. Safe, calm, and reliable. Thank you for your response!
ScubaGirlKris - 3/11/2007 1:25 AM
Thanks Dalelynn - Networking here has actually been helping as well. I appreciate the advice - very much so!
Greg - 3/12/2007 9:22 AM
I would suggest that you ask a bunch of questions. If you see other buddies on their buddy list, contact them also to ask questions. Get a phone number and talk over the phone for a while. Then when you`re in a public place at first...bring another friend along that you already know of course...and see what the new buddy is like. After all should be able to get a good feeling about the person.

Then just do an easy dive at first to test the waters. Agree to practice on some basic skills together. Watch their performance. If they aren`t up to par with a buddy you are looking for, be honest with them and tell them you`re looking for someone more qualified. Provide positive comments to them about how they can improve. I also agree with a prior post, which is to bring your own pony bottle or spare air. I do that even with a buddy I completely trust. Good luck! Greg Davis - DiveBuddy Member #1
ScubaGirlKris - 3/12/2007 5:38 PM
Thanks Greg! Definitely good advice... I`m glad that others have given this topic some thought prior to my question. I love this site!
mtbikeaz - 3/15/2007 11:28 AM
Dive with a divemaster from a reputable dive center. Beware of all the guys who are willing to offer their diving experience, just to get a date! :o)
Greg - 3/15/2007 6:59 PM
But what if it`s a dive master that wants to get a date?
ScubaGirlKris - 3/15/2007 10:31 PM
*giggling* Wait! Who wants a date? I actually went on a recent dive trip with a date - interesting coincidence actually - a blind date that happened to be good friends with the dive shop owner here in town. We considered the fact that coincidentally our 2nd date was a dive trip. We figured, that if we could tolerate each other in the "dive" environment, then we were good to go. In his words "It`s kind of gross!" Between everything from the stuff that happens when you clear your mask to peeing in your wetsuit - its not a real clean cut thing to do on a date! Well, the dive was great, we had fun, but no match. But again, for me, diving was the priority. If more becomes of it, that would be awesome - but in the dive environment - creating romance would have to be in a very unique way - don`t ya think? So, this scubagirl is looking for adventure first - and should a buddy end up being more than just a scuba buddy - so be it. I`m open to the experience!
ScubaGirlKris - 3/15/2007 10:33 PM
The more I think about this - a prospective date would almost have to be a diver - because I would take a dive trip over an overpriced dinner date ANYDAY! If given the choice, I would HAVE to dive!
Dorkfish - 3/16/2007 8:57 AM
You simply have to ask the pertinent questions to see if there appear to be any issues or conflicts within the answers given. (I know it`s psych eval, but hey it`s your safety too)

You could build some experience by locating more experienced divers who do not have that paranoid issue of diving with "newbies". As an instructor, I feel it is partially my responsibility to dive with some less experienced divers, because a lot of others will not. Personally, I use the "I lead/You lead" so that a less experienced diver can have the control role of the dive, provided he/she is comfortable with that.

I always tell my students to feel free to hit me up for some diving. You simply can not work on being a good dive buddy if at least one of you isn`t already, and that first dive will say a lot!

You were brave to go on a dive date. That truly is a trust builder since each of you is responsible for the other`s life (so to speak).
mjarens - 3/17/2007 6:53 PM
Take A Liveaboard Dive Vacation! I got certified in March 06, and immediately signed up for a week on a liveaboard in June. You meet likeminded people, all scuba divers. You are in a total "diving" enviroment all week. There are certified divemasters and instructors onboard and on every dive. You can do each dive as the divemaster`s buddy if you really want to. You can try out several different divers as a "buddy" for one dive or more. Safety First is a big issue with the company I signed on with. They will take your inexperience into consideration and be especially helpful. You can also take Advanced Open Water training, or many other courses they offer including Nitrox, Night Diver, etc. So your week becomes a learning vacation. The biggest advantage for me on that first week was the ability to really work on and dial in my buoyancy control. Mine was vastly improved after 25 dives in 5 days!
megteeth97 - 3/20/2007 11:49 PM
Once you find a "prospect" (buddy), if the 2 of you took a rescue diver course,then the both of you would get to see how they would react in a PANIC situation. The rescue course will alow 2-buddies to bond and mature together. Until you get to that point its kind of a crapshoot,been on many dives where I have been "set up" on the boat cause I showed up alone and they would not allow solo diving,sometimes you can tell by there gear and how smotth they are up until its time to plop over boad but then its too late.Good luck! know how you feel, we are in the same boat (LOL@ the dumb pun)
ScubaGirlKris - 3/21/2007 11:52 PM
Hey, the rescue course is a great idea! I`m sure SOON I should be able to find a couple of dive buddies I can trust - it`s just SUCH a process you know? Something SO fun and exhilarating - but with serious consequences if not done safely and properly. Thanks!
NWKatShark - 5/02/2007 6:58 PM
And I thought sharing a good pee in wetsuits was the ultimate way to say........well, anyway. What about the lds gang. Typically, thay have "fun dives" and the organizers can hook you up with more experienced divers in the crowd. They should also be able to clue you into who are the "hitters" so you can prep yourself. My next suggestion would mirror a previous response. Carry a big knife. Hell, carry 3 or 4 just to make `em nervious. Pony bottles. A lot of controversey depending on who you talk to. Personally, I have a 30cf. I like a COMPLETELY SEPERATE back-up system.