Posted by brianc on October 10, 2001 at 10:37:14:
In Reply to: this may sound like an obvious question.... posted by msblucow on October 10, 2001 at 10:06:02:
Put all the wars that are going on down south aside for now. You have a long way to go before you need to concern yourself with with "technical" diving. Right now, you need to complete your BASIC dive education and get experience. The "Advanced" in the AOW class is really just an unfortunate marketing term. AOW is just more varied experience under supervision. You should plan on your basic education lasting at least through a Rescue class. A nitrox class would also be a good idea. Plan on reading all that you can and diving as much as you can. Practice scuba skills with your girlfriend/dive buddy regularly as part of the beginning or end of your dives. Also find some more expereicned divers with a club or other group who you can dive with.
Your education should be on-going throughout your diving career, but you should not be in a hurry to go to the next "level". The skills that you learn need to be practiced often so that they become second nature. Going a month without practicing skills is too long, concentrate on what you have already learned before running off to learn new skills.
If you have an opportunity to participate in the demos and classes that some on this board advocate, you should consider that a good educational opportunity. You will not be shot if you don't agree with everything said (but you may be called names).
And a disclosure statement, in the interest of honesty:
I'm a PADI DM, which some here will say (and believe) makes me an evil person. Where I live, up north, it's really the only game going. I've never attended any DIR events or even seen a DIR diver - that just doesn't exist where I live. I don't like the style that some proponents of DIR have used to communicate. I have made some very helpful changes to my gear configuration and approach to diving based on what I have read from some DIR proponents though. I just (finally!!!) got the DIR Fundamentals book by mail on Saturday. I've only gone over the first few chapters. It does look valuable, but I do find that it takes an effort to separate out some of the negative attitudes that I've seen here from what I am reading. It is worthwhile, though, to make the effort to put aside all of the ugliness posted here to find the valuable information.
Also try to remember that while lots of sharp verbal barbs get thrown around here, I don't think that it's ever actually come to spearguns being shot at each other - so far...
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