PADI Deep Specialty

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PADI Deep Specialty

Postby GoatFish » Tue May 11, 2010 9:49 am

Hello all...

I've recently completed my Adv. OW (PADI) - while having a nosey around a dive shop one of the resident instructors suggested that as a continuation I should look at doing the Deep Specialty course.... I've had a read on the PADI website about this but am interested to hear feedback from anyone that has done this specific course......
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 10:53 am

Disclaimer: I am obviously biased when it comes to this discussion - take that bias into account, and listen to other people as well!!!


The PADI Deep course can either be a complete waste of time and money, or it can be one of the best courses you will ever do. It just depends on how it is delivered, which depends very much on the instructor and facility.

Probably the most important question is why would you want to do it? Are you happy diving in the <30m range for a while, or do you really want to do some dives that little bit deeper? What is there down there that you want to see? IMHO, it needs a really good reason to do any dive deeper than 30m.... your bottom times are so short, unless you can multilevel, that it could be rather frustrating!

If you have no real aspiration for deeper diving, then you have to ask whether the course is a good match for you? If it isn't, you'll probably get more out of doing a Rescue course (something IMHO that every diver should do) or a specialty course that excites you and helps you do something that you want to do. There is very little reason to ever do a course for the sake of it.

If you decided that you did want to do the Deep course, I would suggest sitting down before the course and thinking about "what is it that I want to learn doing this?" and talk about that with the instructor before the course starts (and probably before you pay for it). There have been a few people on SDNZ who have done a course like this with completely different expectations of what they wanted to learn than the instructor gave during the course. Again, my personal opinion is that if you can't produce that list of what you want to learn - then you should probably ask yourself whether this is the right course for you, at this time.

The "minimum standards" for the PADI Deep course are woefully inadequate - you look at some colours, compare some depth gauges, see some objects squish under pressure and do an emergency decompression stop. I would personally feel a bit aggrieved if I'd paid $300 or so for that. There is so much that can (and should!) be taught in a Deep course that rarely is - gas management, decompression theory and so on. It's those things that I think add value to the student and make the course worthwhile. Some people will teach those things, other people won't.... choose wisely!

<start blatant sales pitch>

There are alternatives to the Deep course. Strictly speaking, the Deep course is a non-deco course - so if you do a 40m dive, you are literally doing 8-10 minutes of bottom time as a maximum. For the things that I want to do at those depths, that just isn't long enough. So you could look at the choices of decompression courses available. The TDI courses we teach don't have a Deep pre-requisite and at the end of it a typical dive would be 30 minutes at 40m (rather than 10 minutes!).

If you're not interested in deco, then also have a look at the SRD course that I teach - by choice I would teach this over a Deep course. It is a better course, contains all the skills from the Deep course that have value plus a whole bunch more that would help you grow as a diver.

<end blatant sales pitch>


Whatever you decide to do, you should make sure it is the right choice for you. I find that thinking ahead to "what is it that I want to achieve?" then working backwards is useful...is the course you are thinking about a useful stepping stone to get you to your end goal? That gives you a really good measuring stick to decide whether any instructor (including me!) is giving you useful advice.
Last edited by Andy on Tue May 11, 2010 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby binklebonk » Tue May 11, 2010 11:23 am

Well said Andy, I started to post a reply but figured you'd be along shortly with a much more diplomatic approach that I could never manage.. :wink:
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 11:28 am

binklebonk wrote:Well said Andy, I started to post a reply but figured you'd be along shortly with a much more diplomatic approach that I could never manage.. :wink:


I do seem to have "the knack"..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlJsPa6UwcM
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby GoatFish » Tue May 11, 2010 11:44 am

Thanks for the reply Andy (you to Binklebonk).... That is exactly the kind of feedback/opinion I needed..

I am interested in getting beyond 30m for the simple point of wanting to be confident in diving some of the deeper wrecks, but I shall definately evaluate 'why' and what I actually want to learn....

Thanks again!
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby binklebonk » Tue May 11, 2010 12:09 pm

Andy wrote:
binklebonk wrote:Well said Andy, I started to post a reply but figured you'd be along shortly with a much more diplomatic approach that I could never manage.. :wink:


I do seem to have "the knack"..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlJsPa6UwcM


Ha ha ha haa..

I got the social ineptitude but seem to be lacking the electrical "knack" side to my character.... :lol:
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 12:12 pm

GoatFish wrote:I am interested in getting beyond 30m for the simple point of wanting to be confident in diving some of the deeper wrecks, but I shall definately evaluate 'why' and what I actually want to learn....



You might find the wreck course more appropriate, then. It's often glossed over ("deeper wrecks require deep diver training"), but it's no biggie to actually integrate what you need to know about deeper diving into a wreck course, and learn it (to a certain extent) by osmosis. Things like how long your gas supply will last are right up there in terms of importance when planning a wreck dive... is your (penetration) mission feasible given your no-deco time and gas supply limits and so on.


<start blatant sales pitch>

We do a lot more discussion of these things in our basic wreck course than most other people do, but the place we really go into detail is our Advanced Wreck Course. If you are in to wrecks then this is a must-do course!

<end blatant sales pitch>
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue May 11, 2010 3:15 pm

I did a SSI deep course awhile back. What a waste of time and $$. They hardly torched on what I would have considered important ( then and now). And that is gas planning, redundancy and understanding narcosis.
The bullshit they teach about loss of colour and effects of pressure on sealed soft drink bottles was meaningless.

The way I see it, if you are happy doing 30 meter dives and you know how to calculate your SAC rate and gas requirements for dives and you are not put off by the narcosis then you should be fine doing 40 meter dives. Personally I dont like doing 30meter + dives without some sort of redundant gas supply. This could be twined tanks or a sling or a short rope tied to my buddy. This is of course a last resort as I prefer to be totally self sufficient on all the dives I do.

If it was me I'd skip the deep speciality and go directly to TDI decompression procedures. Its only a extra 5 meters ( 45meter max) but you will learn alot more. In particular the fact that recreational diving does not have to end when your NDL's does.
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Drip » Tue May 11, 2010 3:45 pm

Well said Andy and Chucks. I too am Adv-Ow (nitrox) hopeing to move on to DM this year after I buy a few more toys.

binklebonk wrote:Well said Andy, I started to post a reply but figured you'd be along shortly with a much more diplomatic approach that I could never manage..

:lol:

Am I to believe then, that with the Recreational system - just do Rescue and DM ...ignore the Specialties. BUT, do the Specialties via Tech Diving agencys (rather than PADI/SSI/etc) if I want a more thorough education for my money - thats if the specialties are similar in price :?:
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 3:59 pm

Drip wrote:Am I to believe then, that with the Recreational system - just do Rescue and DM ...ignore the Specialties. BUT, do the Specialties via Tech Diving agencys (rather than PADI/SSI/etc) if I want a more thorough education for my money - thats if the specialties are similar in price :?:


Thing is, Jase, there is just no magic formula. You have to do what is right for you - and sometimes that is even no courses at all!

My personal opinion is that DM, for example, is a complete waste of time unless you are intended to work somehow in the dive industry - so many people think that it will improve their diving skills, and in some cases it may.... but mostly it is learning about how to manage other people's dives, not your own. The first thing I do when someone wants to do a DM course is try and convince them out of it.....

Specialties/technical.... well, it depends on what you want. If you don't want to do deeper/longer dives.... well tech training isn't cheap, and neither is the gear. So if you don't want it, why bother with the expense? Some specialties can be a lot of fun and you can learn heaps - just take a poll of anyone who has done our Cavern, Wreck or SRD courses, for example. But even things like photgraphy courses can be great.... but if you don't want to take photos, why take a course?
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 4:02 pm

As a slight aside, it's surprising how many people get caught up in the "which course" or "should I buy this or do that course" dilemma.

Bottom line for me, and I think it's good advice for everyone, is simply this:


Which one is going to get you doing more of the diving you want to do?



That's what it is all about, really. Just diving. :D
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue May 11, 2010 4:33 pm

Andy wrote:.... well tech training isn't cheap, and neither is the gear.



Northland dive do deco procedures for $425 including 4 dives. Compare this with Padi deep that Goat fish got quoted $300 for ( unsure if this included boat fees etc) and I am sure you would agree the extra $125 isnt all that much compared to all the extra you would learn.

Even if you have no intention of doing deco dives there is nothing wrong with having done the course and having that knowledge tucked away just in case.
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 4:52 pm

ChuckyBob wrote:Northland dive do deco procedures for $425 including 4 dives. Compare this with Padi deep that Goat fish got quoted $300 for ( unsure if this included boat fees etc) and I am sure you would agree the extra $125 isnt all that much compared to all the extra you would learn.



I think I pulled the $300 figure out of my backside, wasn't part of the original post.

I certainly don't disagree with your statement, but I do disagree with the principle of teaching deco courses to divers in single tanks. Personally, I won't do it - so deco procedures does become a bit more expensive/time consuming when you look at it in that way.
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue May 11, 2010 5:15 pm

Ah my bad, I thought it was in the original post.
How much does a Deep course go for these days?

I would also disagree with doing it with a single tank although I think TDI standards allow it.
But there is no reason you couldnt do it with a sling tank ( unless you intended to deco on O2 or EAN).

AFAIK Northland Dive has sling tanks and I am sure they dont cost that much to hire.


As a matter of interest what depths do you feel comfortable diving to on a single tank?

For me its 30 meters so regardless if its a PADI deep or TDI deco course I would want a sling/ twins. I actually used a 3 L pony on my deep course much to the amusement of my instructor.
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Re: PADI Deep Specialty

Postby Andy » Tue May 11, 2010 5:46 pm

ChuckyBob wrote:How much does a Deep course go for these days?


Somewhere between $250 and $500.... so $300 was a best guess.


I would also disagree with doing it with a single tank although I think TDI standards allow it.
But there is no reason you couldnt do it with a sling tank ( unless you intended to deco on O2 or EAN).


Yeah, the standards allow it.... but just because you can, doesn't mean you should!! :lol:


As a matter of interest what depths do you feel comfortable diving to on a single tank?

For me its 30 meters so regardless if its a PADI deep or TDI deco course I would want a sling/ twins. I actually used a 3 L pony on my deep course much to the amusement of my instructor.


Much the same, though "it depends" is the real answer.

With some people I will do a 35-40m dive on singles (and no pony) because I know they won't leave me if the fan is hit.... but that is rare, and normally time at max depth is very small. 30m is around where I would prefer to be on twins or have a decent sized sling - I generally use my 30 cu ft (4.5L) for most single tanks dives deeper than 18m.
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