Join Date: Apr 2006
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"Then you could buy or rent gear"
Not so cheap these days. At least on the east coast, rentals are high. Fills are $6-10 for air, and often ask you to leave the tank for what turns into a week (and two trips of course). Then there are the blasted inspections, no one wants to do a simple annual VIP they want to do a a VIP Plus or something else and turn a $10 job into a $40 annual dog and pony show. Plus the $40-50 hydro every fifth year. (Oh, and leave it for another week or two.)
Casual diving in the northeast can be a pita unless you live within a mile of a shop where the owner hasn't soured on the business yet.
Makes renting a full tank for the casual user into a better idea than owning one. (And I'm afraid to ask what tank rentals are up to.)
Cam, I can only speak for the few folks I know personally who were certified through PADI courses. A step up from "resort" day courses, but the way PADI feeds "nuggets" are certifications for everything individually, makes a lot of us laugh at them. You know, here's a PADI Basic Diving Course, a PADI Swimming Pool Diving Course, a PADI Beach Diving Course, Boat Diving Course, Freshwater Boat Diving Course, Night Diving Course, Compass Diving Course, Handspear/Spearfishing Course, Diving After Lunch Course, Diving Before Lunch Course....
I can see the point of breaking things up into nuggets, I'm just not sure that's a good way to teach a sport where there will be larger issues, and people will "wander" into areas where they have zero knowledge, because it would have meant another course.
I hope the folks I know had untypically poor instruction, or that PADI has grown since those days. I'd be happier to see the whole industry go back to using panic sessions and other ways of screening out folks who simply should't be diving--no matter how profitable the travel pacakages may be.