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New- Younger diver to be certified?
Diving4Fun - 11/04/2009 11:00 AM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 5

My younger cousin has taken to wanting to become certified as ‘junior diver’ (She is 13 at the moment.) I am certified through SSI and not sure what direction to send her in. A somewhat local dive shop offers PADI, and the local dive shop is SSI. She is a smart cookie, but as with any kid has to be taught on her level. Can anyone offer or comment (with experience) as to which agency is ‘better’ for educating children? I have taken her on a few SASY trips, and can’t get over what amazement and interest she shows when in the water. The other concern is cost, her budget is somewhat limited, but I can’t see a younger want to be diver not becoming certified.

HatchLake - 11/04/2009 12:21 PM
I’m PADI certified, Rescue Diver. The only advice i can give it’s really the instructor that makes the difference. I’ve had a few different ones with the levels i have gone through. There was one instructor that i did not care for and asked dive shop classes with that particular instructor were not scheduled for me. I would observe an instructor at a discover scuba course and see if you think she will get along with them and how they teach the class. The right person will excite your new diver, the wrong one not. Good luck.
malibu - 11/09/2009 2:44 PM
Hatchlake is right! It is the instructor that is the most important. SSI, PADI, The YMCA (for a very short time left) NAUI..... are all good. As long as the instructor teaches the students how to be a safe diver!
Tiara_270 - 11/12/2009 1:47 AM
My son just completed his Advance Open Water and we went with PADI, I agree with the others, I do not think it is so much which certified program she goes through as the instructor that teaches it. I have been very happy with the instructors with PADI so far. Hope she gets to go, my 13 yr old son loves it!!
Padidiver88 - 11/16/2009 3:24 AM

I agree that the Instructor is the most important thing and they are both good agencies but my advice would be to go with Padi, especially if you think that she will want to continue her level of certifiation beyond Jr Open Water Diver or even Open Water Diver. I am an SSI DiveCon ( assistant instructor) and also a Padi Open Water Instructor so I am familiar with both programs. Although they both offer good initial programs that don’t differ much beyond some bouyancy control techniques that the Padi program teaches ( the fin pivot and the hover) which really does help a novice diver learn good bouyancy control and most kids think that it’s really fun. Padi has many more options for training beyond the basic open water program such as the Adventure Diver program. Also you can order any Padi educational materials you may need yourself if you would like as apposed to SSI who will only let you purchase through a dive shop.

So to make a long story short as far as teaching kids the instructor and the amount of time that he is willing to spend is the most important thing not the agency but I really do believe that Padi has the best overall program by far, especially for continuing education.