Posted by Bill Johnson on July 17, 2001 at 10:26:02:
"This crap about having the students snokel from the steps to the mooring, pull themselves down the line and then sitting in the sand in a circle completeing a few meaningless skills and then passing the student is a God d*mn joke..."
You bring up a great point regarding students using a line. PADI requires an ascent line be used in open water training, which is CRAP.
Open water training is supposed to be the final test to make sure students can dive in the conditions that will exist after class ends. I don't recall EVER seeing operators deploying buoys and lines, for certified divers, before the divers jumped in. Using descent lines in open water training does NOT simulate real diving; it is just what you said, it is CRAP!
As an SSI instructor, I have the option to use an ascent line or not. My take on it is that if a student can't demonstrate enough buoyancy control to do ascents and descents without a line, they don't pass. Therefore, I don't use a buoy line.
I think the reason instructors use these lines is because their classes are not long enough for students to learn proper buoyancy control. It takes multiple exposures and practice over a period of time (which is more than days or a couple of weeks) to learn this stuff. Last night was the sixth week of training for my current open water class, and finally even my worst student demonstrated the buoyancy control required to do proper ascents and descents. Buoy lines are agencies crutch for abbreviated minimal courses that shops can sell for $100. As you witnessed, Mike, descent lines are the way to get minimally trained students to the bottom to watch some skills for a c-card.
Contrary to what some believe, SCUBA is NOT a welfare recipient's sport! If the student can't afford to buy some gear and pay the instructor for propper training, DON'T TEACH THEM! PADI instructors, pay attention: STOP SELLING THESE SHORT, CHEAP, CRAPPY COURSES! They are a dis-service to you and your students. Who do you want to train? Someone who wants a c-card or someone who wants to be a diver?
I teach divers.