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<font color='#0000FF'>At present im PADI OWD with only 40 dives.
I already have the student pack for AOWD and intend progressing to rescue diver ASAP.

My question is:- Do I stay with PADI or do a cross over to BSAC then onto Sports diver?

My dilemas are:

PADI AOWD £125, RESCUE £150, No ties or politics with clubs.

V

BSAC Membership = £130 (Crossover and Sport Diver TRG) with regular weekly turnouts expected for meetings and lectures.

From what I have said above, I can see only one obvious choice, but any pointers or guidance would be appreciated.

P.S. If I X-over to BSAC, Do I have to inform my DO everytime I want a splash??

TIA
 

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If you cross-over to BSAC sports then you'll be able to do deco stops, which you might find useful as you progress...
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]If you cross-over to BSAC sports then you'll be able to do deco stops, which you might find useful as you progress...
The "PADI" stylee diving I do just now is "recreational" no deco diving but I always stick a 1 min stop in at 10m and the normal 3 min safety stop at 5/6m.

Do BSAC add more stops in than this?
 

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BSAC allows full-on deco diving.

I'm not a big fan of spending ages doing deco stops, but at least it means you don't have to panic too much about "Oh no, we're one minute over our bottom time!" dives..
 
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The time to "panic" Dominic is 1 minute before you reach your NDL not 1 minute after - Argos do a great Casio watch for £6!

Frogman I'd be happy to take you through your AOW but not at Stoney - too far away. I'm based on the NE coast so if I can be of any help to you send me a PM.

ATB,

Kev
 

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There's never a good time to panic
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]If you cross-over to BSAC sports then you'll be able to do deco stops, which you might find useful as you progress...
So what stops you doing deco stops if you don't cross over?

Really, all BSAC do is teach you BSAC 88 tables.  If you can hold a stop (which is no different to holding a PADI "safety" stop) then that 1 min isn't a problem, as long as you have planned it, or have the tables with you, or want to follow deco on a computer?  Or am I missing something here?

Not that I am advocating randomly doing deco diving for inexperienced divers in any way.......
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Frogman @ Jan. 13 2004,09:24)]P.S. If I X-over to BSAC, Do I have to inform my DO everytime I want a splash??
As a courtesy it's kind of expected you let him/her know your plans, as PADI OW or AOW you'd be considered entry level BSAC (Ocean diver) and most branches/DOs would prefer you to buddy a Dive Leader or similar, purely for your own safety. As BSAC Sports Diver you'd be "entitled" to dive with anyone of same or higher qualification, so a courtesy call/e-mail/text should be more than sufficient, with the understanding that you agree to follow BSAC Safe Diving Practices SDP

I've never yet met my DO (really!) it's a kind of virtual branch, I just let him know roughly what I'm doing and he knows I try to adhere to the SDPs as much as possible, though with YD gigs things tend to be more ad-hoc and it's not feasible to get everyone to go along with this.

One way in which I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised with the BSAC way is the mass of Skill Development Courses which are run basically "at cost". SDC's

One drawback to the BSAC is (what I see as ) it's traditional semi-military style of doing things, which doesn't really go down with everyone these days, but as you've said you've been in the forces I don't suppose that'd be such a big deal to you.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]So what stops you doing deco stops if you don't cross over?
Nothing, unless you happen to be one of those people who likes diving within their agency guidelines...
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ Jan. 13 2004,10:37)]Really, all BSAC do is teach you BSAC 88 tables.  
I feel there's more to it than just the difference in tables.
Ignoring the stops and deco issues, and emphasising not turning this into the stereotypical 'them and us' ruck,  I've found there's a big difference in emphasis between these two agencies as what they consider to be "must know" knowledge.

For example BSAC tends to emphasise safety, rescue and gas management issues from the very beginning, PADI seem to assume you're going to be diving with a DM and IMO, don't emphasise as  much self-suffiency from earlier stages. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.
 

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Frogman,

This is really no more than the usual BSAC vs PADI debate that most people refuse to post about these days. There are web sites all over the place which summerise the differences and the pros/cons (someone with a link??).

A couple of points though. BSAC will teach you rescue skills, something I personally think is essential in diving today. Within a BSAC club too there is always a pool of people who will help you along the way, and will not expect payment in return (reasonable expenses are sometimes politely requested - or a pint). I personally like the club environment a BSAC club offers.

As regards your question about DOs. This again could be argued for days on end. The DO has to sanction all trips arranged using the clubs equipment or name. Other trips, it is up to you. Personally, as a former DO, I liked my members to tell me out of courtesy if they were planning dives outside the club. I would only intervene if I thought something was too dangerous, and even then it would be in the form of advice.

HTH

Paul

EDIT: Steve has said some of the same things, but I think my points are worth leaving up
 

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I'm PADI trained up to RD + a few specialities (one away from being a masterbate ... er, sorry master scuba diver - already one of the those). Then did the TDI adv EANx & DECO and now regularly do planned deco dives.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. You only really need to change over now if you join a BSAC only club, otherwise, stay with PADI. PADI will get you the quals quicker BUT it is up to you to back that up with the experience required before progressing. Just because you have the badge does not mean you are the mutts nuts at it. Example, on hols in Tenerife a German guy training for his Dive Master was still at 25 mtrs with deco showing on his computer and only 50 bar in his cylinder and still happily following other divers around - good job there was a drop cylinder over the side of the rib.

Ref doing deco - that is more a question of do you need/want to do it and do you have the kit (redundancy) to do it. Oh yes, experience to.

The one thing I would recommend is to join a club (where people go diving and don't just talk about it) and get out there and build up the experience. You will learn a lot from your fellow divers + it helps if there are some techies there - if that is the way you want to progress + they may show you that is not the way you want your diving to progress.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I have dived with various buddies from both BSAC & PADI at varying levels and have learned/took on board what advice and skills they had to offer, like how to deploy a DSMB and perform an unconcious diver lift.

IMHO these are basic skills that should be learnt from the beginning regardless of agency. I want to know that if for some reason I black out at depth, my buddy knows exactly what to do to get me to the surface. When performing the lift, I was amazed how easy it was not!

These skills are not taught until rescue diver with PADI, a whole two skill levels above the basic OW course.

All this aside, I like the the freedom that PADI offers yet the structure and training that BSAC offers.

Can we start a new agency that incorportate these such as BSAD  


A day where you learn nothing is a day wasted!

So where are all these instructors prepared to help me advance?
 

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Steve

I was only talking about the "but BSAC do deco" stuff.  Personally I think you can (and should?) get away happily doing non-deco until the time that you really want to get into serious, planned, deco dives.  Having tables taught to you to cope with the "oops, I've slipped over my time" scenario doesn't seem to be a huge advantage to me.

By the time you have done RD (which is what was proposed) apart from the deco part i think that PADI and BSAC have roughly equalised in syllabus.  If you then want to progress into more advanced diving the better plan, IMHO, is to find the specialist trainers in the areas which interest you.

As for wanting to dive within agency guidelines, of course you do - as far as is practical.  If I slip over on a PADI table they give me extra time on my safety stop - or I could follow a different table and do the stops suitable from that.  Which is better?  Does every BSAC diver dive BSAC 88 tables, or do they use their experience and freedom of thought to branch out into other tables or algorithms?

Starting over again I would consider BSAC.  When I started I actually didn't know about BSAC in any detail.  However the only reason I would do this is the access to what could be a bunch of people to dive with, who might have a RIB, and who, if you are lucky, you could have the debates we have on here with.  It wouldn't be for the "deco training".

Cheers

Lou
 

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I have to confess to being a PADI RD, but I have also had the opportunity to read the BSAC Sports Diver Manuals. To be honest there is not much difference between the two. Some of the BSAC bits are missing (such as decompression) but some of the rescue skills go a little beyond Sports Diver and onto the Rescue Skill dev syllabus AFAIK. At the end of the day it is the instructor not the organisation that determines what you truly get out of a training course.

BSAC train for rescue from early on, PADI teach only basic rescue components at OW (air sharing, towing etc) but delay the CBL etc until a divers personal skills are a bit higher. Contrary to Steve's opinion you are taught dive planning etc and are expected to dive independantly, although I wouldn't say the average OW should go straight out and dive in the UK with a buddy.

The more important question is whether you want to try a club envirnoment and if so do you want the BSAC style club or the looser PADI clubs out there. In terms of access to training, equipment etc you won't do better than BSAC, but some (and I'll stress some) BSAC clubs can be arrogant or unwelcoming to PADI divers (but I guess those are the clubs you wouldn't want to join). The thing you want to avoid is joining a club and then discovering that you don't want to dive or train with them. So whether its PADI or BSAC I would go along to a couple of clubs and figure out which one suits.

For me, I looked at the local BSAC club, they seemed like nice guys, but had no pool access and wanted me to join BSAC etc before I could see what they were like in the water etc...that seemed a lot of money (especially if I was to turn up and discover I didn't want to dive with them).

I have ended up joining the local PADI club (£35), which offers discount in the LDS for sales, hire and training and free access to a pool for practising skills as well as free food at the meetings.

Horses for Courses.
 

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<font color='#000080'>Have you tried in the buddy needed thread in planned trips? There's a list of people looking for someone to dive with, and the AOW is little more than 5 supervised dives. You couls realistically do 3 in a day at Stoney, but it doesn't have to be the same instructor for the whole course, and once dives are signed off, I know of very few instructors who would question it.

As for whether to go BSAC or PADI, I'm going with the "they're only as good as the instructor" argument. I've seen bad instructors on both sides of the coin now, and I think your best approach is if you've got a mate in a local club, or know of a good club that gets training done, go for it. If not, I'd do a lot of research before you just jump into a club, or you may be better with PADI if you can't get the info you need. I've seen so many people jin our club dead keen and just never get trained because they didn't shout loud enough. Not good enough in my opinion, which is a problem we're trying to rectify. In short, get a bad club and it'll take you months, and you'll be diving every now and again; get a good one and you'll be there in weeks, diving regularly, and getting loads from it.

So, it's all in which club, and which instructor, if you ask me.

And I wouldn't worry about deco a lot. You can learn that through self-study and diving with a few deco divers, and if you overrun it was an accident, and you know how to deal with it. Simulated deco should be enough to cope with the 2 or 3 mins you might encounter as a result of overstaying your welcome on a site.
 

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I asked a similar question a few months back, got the same sort of replies, and decided to go the BSAC route.

HOWEVER - I've since changed my mind - for a reason nobody's mentioned yet, unless I missed it.

Although there is debate about it (try searching the BSAC forums for the relevant thread), BSAC qualifications are only valid while you are a paid-up member of BSAC. So technically, you need to pay the yearly membership to keep on diving with the qualification you get. It may or may not be a big deal (e.g. dive centres probably aren't going to check your membership status) but I wasn't comfortable with the idea, so it's something you should know before you make the decision.

I've ended up joining the SAA - similar setup and training programme to BSAC from what I can see, but you get the certification for life even if you leave the SAA (or so I am told by my club!).

Tom
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] There's a list of people looking for someone to dive with, and the AOW is little more than 5 supervised dives. You couls realistically do 3 in a day at Stoney, but it doesn't have to be the same instructor for the whole course, and once dives are signed off, I know of very few instructors who would question it.
Eh, wot, who, where?

I thought the AOW involved deep (30m) & nav plus 3 others, which is slightly more than 5 supervised dives!
Who in their right mind would want to spend a YD meet training someone and risk their instructor status by deviating from the training syllabus?

I'm game if they are
 
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