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September 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Is PADI Diver Training Adequate?

thereís more to diving than simply getting a C-card

from the September, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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I had been a very busy Advanced Instructor for the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) for more than a decade when, in 1992, I pursued a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) certification. While the BSAC instructor course had been, in my opinion, unnecessarily harsh (I'd seen grown men break down in tears), I was surprised to discover the PADI course was more about delivering the PADI product correctly than extending one's knowledge of diving.

I'd seen a warrant officer in the feared Special Air Services regiment of the British Army fail the BSAC instructor standards due to lack of an all-round knowledge of diving. Yet the night before the PADI Instructor exam, I found myself explaining to another candidate the significance of and method of using the PADI Recreational Dive Planner, the agency's no-stop decompression table, because he really didn't understand what it was for. The following day he was a qualified OWSI.

More recently, I had to explain how buoyancy and displacement worked to another PADI Instructor candidate. He had no idea, yet the next day he successfully qualified, too. When discussing this with another young instructor, I was interested to hear that she thought you needed a BC because as you went deeper, the increasing weight of the water "pushed you down." (Of course, the reason is because the pressure of depth compresses the integral bubbles in the neoprene of your wetsuit, so that you displace less water and become less buoyant.)...

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