Is PADI/NAUI training useless for freedivers? Or even dangerous? | DeeperBlue.com Forums
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Is PADI/NAUI training useless for freedivers? Or even dangerous?

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Cabo Kid

New Member
Sep 4, 2001
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I think the whole compulsory scuba school establishment thing sucks, frankly, but to each his own. But so many beginning freedivers are doing lame things because of stuff they learned in PADI courses.
I had a guy freak out on me the other day for rising faster than my bubbles. (I like to blow some bubbles at the bottom, zip up and goon out on the bubbles on the way up, try to catch them and stuff. I'm pretty childish out in the water, actually.) I could not convince him that that doesn't apply to diving without air tanks because some authoritative dive guru he paid big bucks to told him otherwise.
There are a lot of things they teach that are just plain dangerous, if you ask me. Like jumping into the water with your feet widely spread apart, for openers. I've got too much respect for my crotch contents to do anything that lame. Anybody else got anything to say on this?
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
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Bubbles

Hey Cabo Kid, I tend to be amazed at some of the stupidity myself. Rising bubbles don't have much to do with scuba diving either, at least not since somebody invented a depth guage. That's old stuff, teaching divers to not ascend faster than their bubbles! It was the least a diver could do in days past to do a reasonably slow ascent rate, or so they thought- bubbles come up awfully fast, especially in the top 10 metres.
As usual, what it comes down to is the teacher, and the ability of the student to stay with the knowledge they were taught. I am a PADI instructor; not too active the last couple of years, but I like to think that I teach much more than PADI requires. Whoever taught that "diver" you met may be at fault, or maybe that diver picked up some old info somewheree and it stuck
What's with all you freedivers being Writers, anyway(I checked the profiles)? Snorklebum, Freediver 48, and you are all writers, and you all live in great places to dive.....I think I'll be a writer, too....well, maybe just being a reader is enough for now.
Tell us what you guys write, and sell some books; I'd certainly have a look.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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My writing experience...

Well, you asked... :D

My background started as a photojournalist (12+ years now) - first as a freelancer (including a stringer for the Associated Press), than staffer for several small to medium sized newspapers. I became a sports/feature writer/photographer for a small bi-weekly and then moved to becoming photo editor for a couple of magazine publications and now write and shoot photo's as a freelancer (again).

I am currently working on an eBook (does that count?) and still write articles here at deeperblue and elsewhere.

No official books written but several regional photojournalism awards while working in newspaper.

Will that do???
 
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Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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I started thinking about some of the stuff I was taught thru PADI and to be honest, it does seem pretty lame.

But the things that have stuck with me the most, especially while doing the academics for my divemaster was the physics and physiology portions. Those two sections gave me a foundation to understanding the unseen stuff that goes on while diving (either tank or freediving)

I personally feel that PADI is the worst offender with pumping out divers (Get your cert card in 4 weeks), but what can I say - I don't make the rules... so I color outside the lines - I freedive now.
 

snorklebum

New Member
Aug 21, 2001
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Careful Erik, one of the big places writers end up living is a little place right outside of Poverty. I tell people, "I'm a writer so I can starve equally well anywhere."

Cabo Kid, you're my hero. Drop me a line about doing something for my under-construction free dive website. (No pay, of course) Yeah, I have had a hard-on against the scuba school establisment from the get go and have dealt with it by not bothering. I dive without tanks, though I did use a tank for awhile when I was on a boat with a compressor. I've got a couple of attitudes about this biz.
One, you can learn to scuba on your own. Somebody did, right? Just like somebody learned to fly planes before that got all controlled.
Two, to hell with anything where you have to pay a bunch of money and sit through a bunch of crap so you can BUY AIR.

As far as dangerous, oh yeh. People are always asking to go out with me or being referred to me to go do the reefs. I always ask if they are experienced underwater and are comfortable in an environment of waves breaking on rocks.
So many of them say, "Oh sure, I took a PADI course" or some such. I lose them--they have too much to unlearn and think they know it all.

One outstanding example I'd put forth of harmful teachings is walking around in fins. Not only hard on fins and awkward, but you can fall down, and backing up is not a particularly smart way to enter any situation. And you CAN'T TELL these morons not to put fins on until they're waist deep--even when you have to shuffle out a hundred yeads over sand to get there! Amazing.
 

welshmikey

New Member
Jul 18, 2006
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tho i may check out saltfree someday my opinion of organised freedive organisatiosn is:
"where did the penguins learn to dive? are they padi qualified?"

also humans have always free dived but only recently have they made organisations, tho it would be interesting to know what happens when you dive.
 

Shadowkiller

Digital Hunter
Jul 30, 2002
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snorklebum said:
One outstanding example I'd put forth of harmful teachings is walking around in fins. Not only hard on fins and awkward, but you can fall down, and backing up is not a particularly smart way to enter any situation. And you CAN'T TELL these morons not to put fins on until they're waist deep--even when you have to shuffle out a hundred yeads over sand to get there! Amazing.

Amen brother!

I tried telling this a guy I was taking out for a "snorkel" as he insisted on calling it. He put on my old set of Picasso fins on the rocks, upon which I asked he remove them and put them on in the water.

Got a blank stare in reply.

"You. Will. Snap. Them. Take. Them. Off."

Blank stare followed by "Ive been diving for over 5 years and have over 100 logged dives, I think I know when to put on fins".

I ended up pulling the fins by force and throwing them in the water... easiest solution. I'm a suprisingly violent person at times... hmmmm...

Don't think this guy will try freediving again... He got the shits because I "abandoned" him by being more than 5m away in the water... :ko

Welshy: Penguins have been barred from PADI due to their refusal to wear bright orange, pink or yellow dive gear. PADI offered to teach Leopard Seal avoidance as a specialty, but was rebuffed. Ungrateful Penguins...
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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Shadowkiller said:
Amen brother!

I tried telling this a guy I was taking out for a "snorkel" as he insisted on calling it. He put on my old set of Picasso fins on the rocks, upon which I asked he remove them and put them on in the water.

Got a blank stare in reply.

"You. Will. Snap. Them. Take. Them. Off."

Blank stare followed by "Ive been diving for over 5 years and have over 100 logged dives, I think I know when to put on fins".

I ended up pulling the fins by force and throwing them in the water... easiest solution. I'm a suprisingly violent person at times... hmmmm...

Don't think this guy will try freediving again... He got the shits because I "abandoned" him by being more than 5m away in the water... :ko

Welshy: Penguins have been barred from PADI due to their refusal to wear bright orange, pink or yellow dive gear. PADI offered to teach Leopard Seal avoidance as a specialty, but was rebuffed. Ungrateful Penguins...

As a side note: I'm currently doing my PADI divemaster - I don't trust a single DMC in that class as a safe dive partner right now. We did our 800 meter swim with gear and I showed up with my freedive setup for the swim - people looked at me with envy saying it wasn't fair I had my freedive fins to do the test - Instructor flat out told them there's nothing in the manual to say one can't use long blade fins.. long story short - swam 800 in 12:24 - for this instructor - almost a record for any of the students he has certified. ROFL.

And related to Penguins being barred - well, PADI America's website runs on a Windows server - I am sure it was a deal made with Redmond to ban any icon that represents Linux.. ROFL
 

fcallagy

Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2005
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hi cmas club diver and deep tank diver soon to be hopefuuly 2 star freediver courtesy of saltfree next month. I started scuba on my own and then got qualified as my life assurance would be null and void if i was diving and had not undergone any training. This forum has thought me a lot, the scuba club thought me a lot, deeperblue thought me a lot on the course, I expect i will learn a lot on the saltfree course next month. Other people have tried different things and I can learn from them. Some instructors are useless no doubt about that but so were half (or more) of my school teachers the other half were great. I am still glad I did those courses and will do more in the future. i have a responsibility to my family to learn safely and not thow caution to the wind too rashly. When I help with training I don,t always follow the exact protocol but try to get a message across like don,t let go of your reg when buddy breathing etc and don,t expect in a real situation for your buddy to calmy indicate to you that he has run out of air, hasn,t breathed for 30 secs trying to catch you and would gladly appreciate if he could have some of yours please. Training is good, some better than others but expect to be a lot more heavily policed if these organisations wern,t around
 

fcallagy

Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2005
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ps i still cringe when I hear newbies being thought to hyperventilate and voice my objections and have been heard and taken note of in my scuba club at least.
 

apnea-tex

New Member
Jun 27, 2006
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Well, I do teach scuba for various agencies and, yes, there is a certain level of ignorance on behalf of a "scuba" diver. PADI, NAUI, SSI and so on are all primarily "scuba" certifying agencies with little freediving input in their courses. It doesn't surprise me that people are ignorant concerning various aspects of freediving. However, instead of asking, "Why are these "scuba" divers so ignorant in what they think about freediving?", how about "How can I, as a freediver, correctly educate this person whose background is in scuba?". I think this would go much further toward promoting the sport of freediving. I have been educating the ignorant for 17 years now. Remember, ignorance isn't a bad thing, it's simply not knowing. It's the unwillingness to learn that I frown on.:)
 

Elvin

Caribbean Diver
Jun 22, 2006
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Oh! come on. This scuba Vs freediving thing sucks ! They are different experiences. They teach good things for everybody. For freediving you just need to Know an practice different things.Scuba atracts many novices to the sea. Freedivers tend to be persons with much more experience in the sea. Many "top" free divers / spearfishermans have died doing their sport. The freediving comunity needs to keep on organizing , making studies, certifiing instructors for making this sport more safe. Perhaps like scuba agencies have done!
 

demasoni

New Member
Feb 3, 2005
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As a freediver, I just finished my open water certification via SSI this weekend. I originally did it because it was free (I work PT for a dive shop) and because I wanted to know what "this SCUBA thing is all about."

Well, as much as I'd like to make fun of the SCUBA guys, I must say the 4 days of prep work (class and water skills), watching the DVD, reading the whole book, answering all the chapter questions and taking the 50 question test actually impressed me. "Its amazingly thorough" is what I kept thinking to myself, especially the parts on physiology.

Sure, I am more scared of SCUBA diving as I'm convinced there are a lot more ways to get injured or die compared to freediving, but still, having the academics and theory laid out in such a structured manner, and all the "homework" time I had to do, made me think twice. I initially thought it would be "cake" easy, which it really wasn't.

This entire process validates for me the need in the freediving world to have more structured training like those offered by PFD (which I've taken), Apnea Academy and so forth...I think too many freedivers "jump" into the sport with little or no training and then get into trouble. In the end though, to SCUBA is SCUBA and freediving is freediving, they are completely different diving experiences and to be enjoyed for their own merits and benefits - even though I will always be a freediver :inlove
 

sheepeck

Well-Known Member
Nov 20, 2005
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Hi.

Cabo Kid - I don't have any my own experience of it, but I know, that there are some people here on DB who had problems with too fast ascend - yes - normal decompresion problems WHILE FREEDIVE.
Well, I don't know at which depths are you usually playing, but even that scuba guy's freaking out seamed without sense to you, there is definitely something we should be aware of.

Petr
 
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lizardland

New Member
Mar 15, 2005
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fcallagy said:
ps i still cringe when I hear newbies being thought to hyperventilate and voice my objections and have been heard and taken note of in my scuba club at least.

Hyperventilation, diving with the snorkel in the mouth, blast clearing, no mention of resting between dives, no mention of not freediving after scuba that I can recall seeing, no mention of what to do if/when someone blacks out... all classics from the PADI "how to snorkel" sections in their manuals.

I've been teaching my girlfriend to freedive, I thought I'd copy some bits out the manuals to give her something to read before we started but when I actually read over it myself I was shocked at how bad the coverage of the subject is. I gave up teaching before I started freediving so I'd forgotten just how much bad technique is in it.
 
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