Posted by Karl S. on July 18, 2003 at 08:24:27:
In Reply to: Re: Interesting posted by tecdiver on July 17, 2003 at 11:50:10:
PADI students always need to seriously consider immediate enrollment into an advanced open water course upon completion of their basic open water course. The PADI instructors are trained to promote the AOW course from the start of OW1.
If the students do that, then they get 9 dives in their first two courses, and they learn basic scuba, basic navigation, basic night diving, basic boat diving, and basic beach diving (here in California) about as good as in any NAUI or YMCA basic open water course. They are just paying more, then, even though they think they are getting a cheaper faster C-Card when in reality they are not.
When the students do take both the PADI OW1 and PADI AOW, then they do not suffer from "lower standards." Rather they are just "Putting Another Dollar In" as they learn basic diving. Here in Central-Northern California, the PADI OW1 course runs about $200 and the PADI AOW course runs about $150. So their tuition for 9 dives becomes $350 in most stores.
A comparable NAUI or YMCA basic course would run about $250 and in most cases the students would get two weekends of diving, which amounts to 7 or 8 dives, together with somewhat longer classroom time. The only major difference is in the pricing.
Gear sales are where most of the stores compete, and that is mostly a battle between ScubaPro & Mares & Zeagle & (now) Halcyon & (I shutter to say it:) Oceanic. The stores do not really care whether they are affiliates of either agency, for the most part. I have seen NAUI stores become PADI stores and I have heard of PADI stores becoming NAUI stores.
There are not many YMCA stores left, if any. But the YMCA scuba program is going strong in the YMCA swim centers and the YMCA scuba clubs.
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