Saturday 3 September 2016

PADI Open Water Course- Reviewing the new stuff!

padi logo. Blue world, red diver

We have been teaching the revised PADI Open Water Course at Scuba Tech for approximately 2 years now, which I think is plenty of time to get to grips with the changes and how to adapt it to different types of student, which means it is a great time to do a review of the changes.

What changed in the PADI Open Water Course?

diver showing buoyancy and trimThe main difference in the whole course is the focus on Buoyancy and Trim and taking more
responsibility for yourself underwater.

While the older course saw most divers kneeling on the bottom of the pool for the majority of the skill exercises, the new course aims to have divers completing the skills mid-water, which, let's face it, is where we usually have to do them when we are actually scuba diving.

So, although we still begin teaching the skills with a solid base below us, throughout the training, we look to bring divers up so they can demonstrate mastery while hovering off the bottom.

More attention is paid to making divers responsible for their own dives. Checking air supply regularly and being aware of how much air you have remaining at any given time and how much air you are using throughout the dives alongside all the pre-dive planning are all aspects of diving that were not really compulsory for the old course. This meant divers out in the real world with no real idea of how to plan their dives besides using the RDP.

recreational dive planner

The idea of training Open Water Divers using computers is a nice addition, as we have also seen plenty of divers out here that have bought their own computers and yet have no idea how to use them. However, I also like to teach them in conjunction with the Dive Tables because I feel that the tables give the students a better picture of what is happening with no-decompression times and pressure groups.

I think the whole course has shifted to try and create thinking divers rather than just a diver that can follow a guide.

However, I still feel that Open Water Divers would do well to dive with other more qualified divers for the first few dives after certification until they have a little more experience and are a bit more comfortable in the water.

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