Advanced Course - are some better than others?

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Advanced Course - are some better than others?

Postby GoatFish » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:46 pm

Hi all - i am pretty new to diving (only 11 logged so far) but love it a lot.

My question is are there certain dive trainers that are better than others? Myself and some friends are keen to progress from Open Water into our Advanced and as you can imagine have a plethora of options available to us regarding who can facilitate these courses.

I'm interested in hearing personal experiences but am also hoping that this doesn't cause a slinging match i.e my dive provider is better than yours.

FYI - I am PADI certified.
Last edited by GoatFish on Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better that others?

Postby ChuckyBob » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:02 pm

Yes. Certain instructors are light years ahead of others.

Some are so crap that it is a total waste of $$ doing any sort of course with them.

Which are which? Let us know where you are from and maybe we can point you in the direction of a goodun. Of course my definition of a goodun may be way different that that of some one else's.
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better that others?

Postby MikeS » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:17 pm

Hi GoatFish
I'd say avoid the cheap ones - from what I can make out they are often nasty as well, as the old saying goes.
Paying a good instructor a good course fee is an investment into yourself. He/she can't go the extra miles with you if he's charging a pittance. Less one on one time, less pool time, and unexciting open water dives. You run the risk of being production-lined through.
A good instructor will set a high bar in terms of skills, and will spur you on in this awesome sport that you are already getting a passion for. So don't sell yourself short.
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better that others?

Postby ChuckyBob » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:24 pm

Sorry Mike but I totally disagree.


Just because you pay more does not mean you will get more.
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better that others?

Postby Andy » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:19 am

GoatFish - I would certainly suggest you look around and spend the time talking to prospective instructors. If you have an idea of what you are hoping to get from an Advanced coures, then you can determine which is going to be the best match for you.

The reality of the situation is that all AOW courses are equal, but some are more equal that others. Price, as suggest by MikeS, can be a good indication but it is not the only one. Sometimes the deciding factor can be personality, you just click with a particular instructor - they aren't necessarily any "better" than any other instructor, they just suit you.
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better that others?

Postby GoatFish » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:50 am

Thanks for the feedback guys - I really appreciate it.

I have found that most of the providers offer the AOW at the same price (between $550 and $600), and I have spoken to one or two but to be perfectly honest nothing in depth. I'm an Auckland lad and don't mind travelling - so far I have looked at the Dive Centre, DiveHQ Paihia, Dive! Tutukaka etc. as these all seem to be well established businesses with what appears to be a good bredth of experience.
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better that others?

Postby nessak » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:03 am

Having just done my AOW - admittedly not in NZ - all i can say is get an instructor who is enthusiastic about what they are doing and you will have a great time. If they're only there for a job or the money then it'll be the usual in/out and sign off your log book.

The best piece of advice I got was to ask the instructor what they like to do and base your choice of AOW dives around this - if they're enjoying themselves, then so will you :lol: Ours loved the environment and wildlife, so we did the fish ID/boat/PPB and had a great time :D

If you're in a club or with other divers then ask around to see who they recommend. I've been very lucky to have my hand held (sometimes literally ! :oops: ) by some great divers and I've found them all to be really supportive in helping out us newbies in gaining experience. I have now been very lucky in finding the best instructor and will be using him for as long as he'll put up with me !

I know most of them read this website, so thanks guys you've given me some great memories 8)
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better than others?

Postby SpaceMonkey » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:46 pm

I certainly wouldn't say that the big, professional looking places will necessarily be the best. I did my advanced in Sydney a while back with one of the major dive shops there and found the course very rushed, and they'd obviously geared it towards funnelling as many of their OW students straight into the advanced course as quickly as possible and churning them through. At the time I'd done maybe 30-25 dives, and was by far the most experienced diver on the course, and to be honest I really didn't feel like I got much at all out of the diving, apart from the peak performance bouyancy and underwater navigation bits. The guys who'd come straight out of the OW course probably got more out of it, although IMO some of them would have got more out of just doing a bit more diving and getting comfortable with it (ie one girl freaked out on the deep dive and had to be escorted back to the surface by the instructor after about 7 minutes).
Have a talk to the instructors, and get a feel for whether they're REALLY interested in helping YOU become a better diver, as opposed to just getting your course fees!
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Re: Advanced Course - are some better than others?

Postby Jason » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:21 pm

Find an Instructor that has much 'varied' experience and not just 10,000 dives of just a local shore dive or bay.
Find an Instructor that is worth his weight in gold, but affordable as those that charge over the top have definately lost that 'loving feeling'.
Find an Instructor that enjoys going by the book and will throw as m....

damn it - the wife is calling :roll:
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
Currently I'm reading : The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.
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