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Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by VintageGt, Aug 31, 2017.
Ha ha he's 13 , you can buy him some jet fins !
There's a great rumor about a Croatian diver from a certain agency who made insoles from roofing lead so he didn't have to use ankle weights.
He'd like that !
I heard some horror stories about uncontrolled, upside down ascents due to dry suit boots filling with air. I'm sure that's very rare but something which lead me to seriously consider paying PADI another 100 quid for the course!
Still no reply from the BSAC club I emailed so that may be my only option if I want to dive through Oct, Nov before considering options for how I proceed in spring (PADI AOW or BSAC sports)
Really wouldn't worry too much about an uncontrolled feet first ascent.
Even I've not done it and I'm shite!
Some clubs do take hassling. Do the BSAC club not have a phone number?
Often the link to a club be that phone or email goes to the same person and if he's away a reply might take time.
Depends if they have one, but always worth going onto a club facebook and if the settings let you, post there.
This has the advantage of being read by all in the same group and as they'll know if the main guy is away etc,
someone else will reply
Thanks Tel, that's exactly what I've done. Found them on Facebook and I'll ask the question there as I'm yet to get a response to the email.
Open Water finished now and all passed so onwards and upwards! (or downwards and deeper in this case!)
You don't know anyone in Tyneside114 do you by any chance?
Not any more
Emailed twice now over the last 3 weeks and still nothing. Don't know if that's a sign they're too busy or they're just not taking new members.
Just looking to discuss options with a local BSAC outfit but it's proving a little more challenging than I thought it would be
Got a response. Hows that for timing!?
Happy days - I hope they come through for you
Thank you. Me too.
Lucky you, I've been chasing the BSAC club that I'm now a member of for three weeks without response.
Don't they ever meet @JohnL?
Mine, and others in the area,meet weekly.
Hope you get somewhere soon!
A club can be massive and very active or the committee that you see on the website is the entire club.
My advice is to ALWAYS do your homework before joining and look past the hype to what they actually
do. Ask to see a schedule or club diary and what dives they've done recently. Ask what level these dives
are pitched at and what proportion are for you.
If you've had issues contacting the club, then on first meet get more phone numbers or personal emails.
Don't go on what the Diving officer says, contact the Training Officer for when further training will happen
and again get his/her email/phone.
Clubs will push the hype and a website is easy to fabricate, so it's important to make sure they do what
they say on the tin and if they are slow or thin with the answers that should red flag that this is maybe
not the best club to join.
I'd say what Tel has said there is the best advice anyone can give. Having encountered what I've seen in my very short time so far in diving, I'd say some clubs are fly by night and that's a real shame for the sport/activity as a whole as it can put new people off before they've really got started.
I guess while you're still in training it can be very difficult as all you really have is the facebook and google reviews on line, a flash website and some word of mouth from other club members. Beyond that its hard to get access to what the club is really like without parting with cash to join or to begin a course of some kind, or joining them on the regular pub/social night where you'll hear nothing but praise from their own club anyway. Once you've done that you're 'in for a penny' so to speak as getting money back for a part completed course, or the refund of a year's subs, would likely not be easy and the resulting headaches from all of that could leave you thinking 'this diving lark ain't no fun after all' despite it being the club at fault and not the entire shooting match.
The issue I'm having now is the very limited kit most BSAC clubs have to offer for use during training. I fully understand why that is and am not aiming that at them as a criticism but, it does create an issue for 'new divers' like me as we simply can't afford to buy 2 almost full sets of kit for me and my Mrs straight out of the gate so we either stick with PADI clubs (they don't seem to have an issue with this. Again, I understand why) OR we wait months while we put together full kits for us both and then begin the task of seeking out a good club. Having said that it seems PADI are all about 'get them in, train them up and churn them out quick' whereas by all accounts, BSAC training is a far better deal in the long run but again, IF you can find the right club which is a task in itself.
I know its better to buy your own kit and I'm not far off a full set now but to do that and double everything for 2 of us is a very expensive proposition for us. That's proving a sticking point now as it'll likely be early summer before we get a full set of kit for my Mrs (it has to all be colour coordinated of course!...**rolls eyes**) and then set about finding a decent BSAC club, bearing in mind they aren't quick at replying. You can see where I'm going with this. I could go to my local PADI club and start a course this weekend with full kit hire included.
I know the quality of the training should be paramount but you can see why PADI set ups are popular even though its very much style over substance in my experience.
What to do?
Not all PADI outfits are like the one you've had experience of. Some are really quite active and go diving a lot -- and not just in quarries!
They are more commercial, but that can be a benefit as well as a drawback. For example, as you've said, they tend to have the kit available for hire. Although the myriad "speciality" courses does get tiresome -- someone mentioned a "using an SMB" course once!
My experience with PADI has been fine within the constraints of what they do best: getting people diving as recreational divers. On the whole they don't do tech which is where my friction came from.
My experience with UK PADI outfits has been a lot better than the 'pile-em-high' holiday operators -- for example the extensions to the Rescue Diver course to include boat diving and sea rescues. TBH I don't know how you could do a Rescue Diver course purely in a quarry/lake.
So it might be worth widening the net to include PADI 'clubs' in your quest for a suitable dive outfit.