What to Consider as a New Student to Diving

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What to Consider as a New Student to Diving

Postby lloyd_borrett » Sun, 11 Mar 2007 6:32 pm

The following is an illustration to a new student as to what they should expect to see from an instructor who is looking out for their well being as students and as a customer.

First the need to feel comfortable.
It is important that a new student feel comfortable with whom they are ready to take scuba lessons from. The instructor is preparing you for a fun activity in a world that is for the most part foreign to us. If you have a instructor that concentrates solely on the fun side of the sport, then I say start looking again. A good instructor will talk about the fun stuff and will also be able to explain the risks related to scuba diving. Not in a negative way, but in a way that will be understood, illustrating the importance of taking lessons. Scuba diving is a sport that truly, the more you know, the more fun it is.

Second telling it like it is.
Right up front the instructor should show a willingness to listen to your expectations and explain how the class will be conducted with this in mind. A instructor or a dive shop that appears to be wanting to rush you along, may not be interested in any thing other than handing out certification cards. A good instructor and dive shop will explain to you the need for additional classes, if required, and any additional costs thus related, should you approach the preset maximum training time frames. Believe it or not, that is good for you, and yes, good for their business. They will discuss any equipment requirements you'll be expected to have for taking the classes. All I can say here is diving is not a cheap sport. Scuba diving is a sport that if you do not have the right equipment, you will not enjoy it as much as you could. Shop wisely and be prepared to drop down some cash.

Third, The paperwork!
Ah yes, how we all hate this part. As boring as it may be it is to your best interest to make certain your instructor covers all the meanings of what these forms are indicating. The forms protect you and the instructor should something go wrong. An instructor that ensures all the forms are completed and signed, is showing their attention to detail. You are required to have a current diving medical certifiacte in order to take a scuba course. Instructors and dive shops will know of doctors who are also divers. Ask if you have any doubts, because not all doctors understand the risks associated with scuba diving and are qualified to give a diving medical. Don't be afraid to ask the instructor to see a copy of their certification cards and log book and their proof of liability coverage and teaching status.

Fourth, The Knowledge and Skills.
Don't assume that your instructor is the know all and end all of diving knowledge. A good instructor will learn right along with you. They will seek out answers to your questions or find out who knows. Make certain the instructor takes the time to answer your questions. I do need to point out that you may need to be patient to others in the class if they don't grasp the concepts as easily as you may, every student is different and a good instructor will keep you challenged and entertained even while dealing with those who need a little bit more attention.

Watch the instructor in the pool and at the dive sites as well as in the classroom. Does the instructor walk the talk, by setting a good example. Don't be afraid to assess the instructor. A good instructor will be open to constructive criticism, just as you are. They want to improve how they do their classes and it is your feed back that helps. Besides it is by word of mouth that a good instructor gets new students.

Fifth, The Freebee Goodies. These are the extras that you may expect from your instructors and/or dive shop. They may include membership into a dive club, DAN student insurance, a limited Subscription to a dive magazine. The list goes on and on. Ask what goodies your instructor may include.

In short select your instructor and dive shop with care, interview them, make certain you're comfortable with them and understand fully what to expect from them, and they from you. Have fun, good luck and safe diving.

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