Top 10 Reasons Why The Fundamentals Of DIR Class Is A Real AOW Class

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Posted by msblucow on October 29, 2001 at 13:28:31:

This past weekend I had the great fortune to take GUE's "Fundamentals of DIR" class with John Walker. It was, by far, the most informative, practical and challenging dive class I've ever taken. I would recommend this class over any other AOW class you could take.

For those of you who haven't followed my posts over the last 19 months or so, a little history before I continue; I was certified in May of 99. Since then, I've logged 100+ dives (almost all being here in SoCal), been AOW and Rescued certified through PADI, joined the Long Beach Aquarium as a volunteer diver and am currently a PADI Divemaster candidate. Gradually, over the last 2 years, I have purchased equipment piece by piece and have ended up with a setup I would describe as 90% DIR. Above and beyond all that, I would describe myself as strictly a RECREATIONAL diver and have no desire to go "tech" beyond a Nitrox certification.

I decided that I wanted to take the DIR Fundamentals class not because I wanted to progress to wreck diving or technical diving, but because I wanted to be a safer, more self-sufficient, more proficient diver. I got that in spades. When I was done, I came away from the class thinking that THIS should be the AOW class PADI (or any of the training agencies) should teach - not the supervised 'tours' that are currently offered. This class teaches you to be situationally aware, how to keep trim and balanced so you can efficiently move through the water and maintain bouyancy, it task loads you to teach you how to work through stress, and it introduces techniques and safety drills that you can practice on every dive you make. And never once did I feel like DIR was being pushed on me just because it was DIR. I would recommend this class to ANY diver, DIR or not, wether you have 20 logged dives or 200. So here, in no particular order, are the top 10 reasons why:

10) You'll be less likely call the dive because of ill-maintained or shoddy equipment, or be forced to abort a dive early because of a problem that could have been solved on the boat or on the surface.

9) You'll be won't be out of luck because your computer died on a multi-day dive trip, because even if you use a computer, you will not blindly rely on it to keep track of your profiles.

8) You'll have a better understanding of decompression theories, how these theories are developed, and how these theories apply (or don't apply) to the individual diver.

7) If you're a photographer, you'll learn how to maintain position in the water without stirring up the bottom, bumping into wildlife or frightening your subjects.

6) If you're a hunter, you'll learn how to get the most out of your bottom times, maintain your position in the water, and move effeciently.

5) You'll save money when you learn how to evaluate equipment that's right for your needs instead of falling for the latest gimmick.

4) If you dive in kelp, you'll be less likely to get snagged.

3) You'll be less likely to dive with a 'same ocean, same day' buddy.

2) You'll communicate in the water much more efficiently because you and your buddy will be using the same, standardized hand signals.

1) In an emergency, you'll be less likely to panic, or be injured, because you've learned and practiced safety drills with a buddy you trust.

I'm sure I've left stuff out, but in a nutshell that's what I got out of the class. And notice that none of this had to do with penetrating a wreck or going down 300 feet. Again, if you're someone who wants to learn or who wants to be a safer diver, do yourself a favor, take this class.

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