There is not a simple answer to this question. If you ask the internet, the answers to this
are all over the place from positive to negative: “It’s a great way to learn”, to “It’s a waste
of money and you can learn it yourself”, (more on this in a future post) and everything in
Which Way to Go?
As an instructor, you’d think I’d come down hard on the side that you should take all the
classes that you can. I mean, the more classes you take the more the shop/instructor
makes, but it comes down to more than that, as do most things. When I am talking to a
prospective student I try and find out the why of what they are wanting to do.
Ask the Hard Questions
Do they have an honest desire to increase their skills?
Do they just want to collect certification cards?
Once I learn more about what they want I can advise them as to what classes to work on.
I look at continuing education as you’re paying for an experienced person to spend time and impart their experience to you, using a curriculum that has been proved to be effective. The goal being that the instructor will set you up with an initial set of skills and the start of muscle memory so that you can carry forward in a safe manor with practice. Another goal of having an instructor is to reduce stress. Think about the increased stress you felt learning any new skill. You won’t know everything, hell I never met an instructor or any diver that knew it all, but it is a start.
The key or secret to diving 😅
Then comes practice, just like anything you need to practice those skills you just learned. Dive and then dive some more. If you take a class and then wait a year to use those skills, you’re going to suck at it.
Why did you learn to dive?
Do you want to keep that initial thrill you had when you first learned to dive? I’ve found that divers that continue to take classes tend to stick with it, have more excitement and looking long term will stay with our favorite activity.
My Favorite Classes
What are my favorite classes, other than Open Water, that I like to teach?
1. Wreck Diver
2. Drysuit Diver (a must for most of where I dive)
3. Night Diver
4. Deep Diver
5. Search and Recovery Diver
6. Underwater Navigator (another one that is really important)
7. Enriched Air Diver
8. Rescue Diver
9. Peak Performance Buoyancy
And of course Dive Master
Of course there are more that I can teach, so go here for more information.
All of them have their place, for instance, Boat Diver. For someone that lives near the
coast and has almost enough hours on boats to get their Captain’s license, you may not
need this one, but if you live land-locked and have never been on a boat it might be
a bit scary, so it might be worthwhile to reduce the stress you may feel on that first boat dive.
I think, in the coming months, I’ll post on each of the above specialties and why I like to
teach them. Also, I want this site to be somewhat interactive, I value your input – ask
your questions and I’ll try and answer them.