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Please help explain diver Experience levels
Greg - 6/30/2016 12:15 PM
Category: Web Site Help
Replies: 15

Members of DiveBuddy can list their Experience level from the Edit Profile page. The choices are: Novice, Proficient, Advanced and Expert

It has come to my attention that some members may not be choosing the correct option as it relates to their scuba experience level. This may be due to a lack of understanding of what each option represents.

Please help me define what each level means and I’ll create a topic that helps new members pick the correct experience level.

Novice - Newly certified divers that have completed an entry level course. Between 4 and 50 logged dives.
Proficient - Divers with a little more experience that have taken 3 or more additional dive courses. Between 50 and 100 logged dives.
Advanced - Divers that are comfortable in the water, know their gear inside and out, and have taken 5 or more additional dive courses. Between 100 and 500 logged dives.
Expert - Professional divers, dive masters, assistant instructors, instructors, etc. Know their gear and lots of other gear inside and out. Over 500 logged dives.

Please provide your own definition for each level that will help divers pick the correct experience level.
tenball - 6/30/2016 12:30 PM
I am an open water diver.I have approximately a 100 dives .Done a lot of diving on controlled dives in carribean.I mostly paddle around in local lakes and even jump in my pool for a quick scuba fix.
Greg - 6/30/2016 3:40 PM
From tenball: I am an open water diver.I have approximately a 100 dives .Done a lot of diving on controlled dives in carribean.I mostly paddle around in local lakes and even jump in my pool for a quick scuba fix.

So what Experience level would you say you are? What about the other Experience levels? What experience/number of dives would you need at each of the 4 levels I mentioned?
Eric_R - 6/30/2016 8:13 PM
Don’t worry so much about it. Pick one that you feel fits your diving abilities and just dive. I dive with a lot of newer divers and enjoy it a lot. I love the excitement that they have when they have done or saw something new.
Agojo - 7/01/2016 12:45 PM
Agree with Airworks except Expert wouldn’t have to be a profesional. I know a few professionals that have limited experiences, i.e. No open salt water experience and/or not competent! It’s all about different experiences and what you take from them!
Airworks - 7/01/2016 12:54 PM
Very good point
M-i-k-e - 7/01/2016 9:43 PM
I like Airworks leveling....he obviously put some thought into it!
tenball - 7/03/2016 1:44 PM
I am a novice.
tenball - 7/04/2016 3:10 PM
I would never try to classify divers .I would not believe any of them anyway.I make my own personal judgments when I dive with them.
Gaucho223 - 7/05/2016 5:16 PM
while I could classify myself as expert, I would do so with the following caveat: continually learning and/or adapting to various dive environments/conditions.

not all dives are sunny, warm and full of self made videos. But if there are large pelagics around, then high waves, algae blooms, vomit, or rainy days will not hold me back (most of the time

I hope this helps...
diverray - 7/05/2016 7:49 PM
Agree with Airworks. It all depends on the experience. We have to be honest with ourselves, and our buddies. A diver can have the experience of 100 different dives, or the same dive 100 times. Those are two completely different experience levels.
todd999 - 7/18/2016 5:35 PM
I think the "Certs" section of the profile is helpful it would also be nice to have a "number of dives" like scubaboard does on the profile.

Then the label is less of an issue..
1877SCUBAUSA - 7/21/2016 12:09 AM
In the book "Diver Down" there is a chapter with phrase. "Beware of the inexperienced Expert", So true.
When I first started diving and had 20 or so dives the Advanced cert. I thought of myself as a Diver. When I logged my 100th dive, I really thought that I was hot stuff. About a thousand dives after that. In dawned on me that I was such and idiot back then. 500 dives after that there is still so much more to learn.
My advice to new divers these days is. Take some classes, get as much bottom time as you can and like the book says "Beware of the Inexperienced Expert". Find a buddy or an instructor who has learned from their mistakes.
ibJones - 4/06/2017 12:57 AM
All irrelevant IMO.

I’ve dived with some "seasoned" divers that have 500 dives and were dumb as dirt. Larry runs out of air on every dive and has to swim around bumming air from all the other divers on the hang line at the safety stop so he can surface properly. He finally pissed off all the regulars so now no one will buddy with him. Now he knows to target the new guys and the tourists. They don’t know Larry is a smuck and putting both of thems lives in danger. But he’s got hundreds of dives.

Then I’ve dived with some instabuddies that got certified last month and this was their 4th dive but they paid attention to detail and had some common sense.

I wouldn’t rate any diver on how easily he could memorize test questions. And because you’ve done it wrong for 500 dives and never drowned yet doesn’t make you a "proficient" diver. It makes you a lucky diver.