It WAS harder then, but I am not sure it was better...

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Posted by Wayne on November 07, 2000 at 14:21:04:

In Reply to: Huh? To everybody posted by seahunt on November 07, 2000 at 12:17:33:

I remember swimming laps every night before class started while our wanna-be drill instructor shouted encouragement. This was at Dive & Surf in Redondo Beach. I'll bet it is different there now.

I think Seahunt nailed it, though. The students entering diving then were different than now. Now it is a sport that is open to nearly everyone,and casual divers are not discouraged from getting certified.

Back then you had to really want to dive or you would not put up with the BS.

The instruction took longer, but I remember lots of cool photos of lobsters in toilet bowl reef and things like that. So more hours, but I think the number of subjects covered was similar. Teh books are more friendly now -- less macho crap and more interesting data in some cases. The tables are easier now compared to the old USN ones. We now do a CESA, we then did a drop of the weight belt in 30 feet and rocketed to the surface.

But I think the biggest difference is the student. Not that we were all macho hardcore types and today's are not. I think the same number of hardcore divers are taking entry level courses, but they are joined by many others who have no desire to excell at diving and who may be marginal on their watermanship.

The teaching methods have adjusted to match the needs of all divers-in-training. The instructors I have played with are first rate and nobody gets a C-Card unless they can pass the muster. I know that there are horror stories out there, but my experiences are of a professional dive industry that is responsive to the needs of the students.

I miss the good old days for a different reason, though. Mike Nelson showed us just how awsome a diver was. We basked in his light and took the admiration in stride. Now, almost everybody dives and too many know that it is an easy sport that provides a fun time for the whole family.

Oh the good old days....

BTW good posts Frank and Seahunt!


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