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advice required from any scubadiving enthusiasts....

Travel Forums General Talk advice required from any scubadiving enthusiasts....

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1. Posted by sgibbard (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

hi

i am planning on doing a PADI course so that i can dive whilst travelling. my current plan is to carry out the open water referral in the U.K before i go and then finish the course at my first destination which is Thailand. Would people recommend this or would it be cheaper / more beneficial to do the whole course out there?

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Greetings!

Either is actually fine. I did my complete training here in Illinois so the open water portion was conducted in a lake (made from an abandoned gravel pit). I found it useful getting the experience of minimal visibility out of the way - but that's all. My husband and I did our advanced open water training in the Caribbean. The price through the resort was almost the same as if we'd done the work here. And, the visibility was great. If you do the first part of your training in the UK, you will probably deal with heavier weight wetsuits (unless you only complete the pool section of the program there) and you'll appreciate using lighter weight suits or lycra diveskins once you reach Thailand.

Looking back, I would do the split training and finish up in Thailand. If possible, check online or through your travel agent for reputable dive operators located at your destination. You can also contact PADI (online, by phone or in writing) to ask for dive operator recommendations. They have always responded with good info.

Hope that helps.

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

I have heard from quite a few people who did their open water in the UK or before leaving and then appreciated doing any further diving more because the visibility was just so great. It also makes you focus a lot more on the technical side of things while you are learning the ropes.

Having said that... I did my open water in the Mauritius in perfect conditions and thought that was pretty great :) !

By the way, I am a little unclear about what part you want to do in the UK and what part overseas. If you do your open water in the UK, you already 'have your PADI' which will allow dives up to 18 metres. The next step is then advanced which you could of course do your dives for in Thailand. If you are referring to only the course book side of things, I would do that at the same time you are doing the diving since it makes much more sense then.

Although you can split your open water course probably, I don't think it makes that much sense since it will be dirt cheap to do it as a whole in Thailand and only takes 3/4 days in total....

But maybe I misunderstood something :)

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Just read Sam's reply and I'm sure he's correct about the cheaper pricing.

I forgot to mention one possible perk... We were the only ones doing the advanced open water course so we received very personalized attention. We did our thing while the rest of the dive group did theirs somewhere else. Also, most of the people who have been along on dive trips and doing their training, also received the same type of one-on-one service that we enjoyed. You're not doing everything with a bigger group.

5. Posted by sanquar (Full Member 63 posts) 11y

Hi, personally, I'd do my course in the UK. for several reasons.
You may well get to use a dry suit, which is a skill in itself.
You will probably do your first 4 (or 5) openwater dives in average conditions that will help hone your skills. I seen people who've done only clear water diving and clocked up many dives simply freak when they encounter bad vis or other conditions. Get the worst over and done with early and you are more at ease. I also recommend NOT doing your advanced open water straight after your open water. You will not get nearly as much out of it unless you have good bouyancy. It worries me that someone can have a creditation of Rescue Diver with only a hand full of dives and they still are over weighted, have bad bouyancy and are all arms and legs in the water. I'm not trying to put you off as I have a passion for diving, a guy I dive with regularily has over a thousand dives in many conditions and is still only open water certified. I just don't want you becomming a MUPPET (Most Useless Person Padi Ever Trained)...

Have a blast on your trip!!!

6. Posted by sanquar (Full Member 63 posts) 11y

just read my own post and realised I sounded like a prat!... Just go have fun!!!

either way will be good

7. Posted by sanquar (Full Member 63 posts) 11y

just read my own post and realised I sounded like a prat!... Just go have fun!!!

either way will be good

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting sanquar

I also recommend NOT doing your advanced open water straight after your open water. You will not get nearly as much out of it unless you have good bouyancy.

I'm not trying to put you off as I have a passion for diving, a guy I dive with regularily has over a thousand dives in many conditions and is still only open water certified.

I agree with gaining experience before moving on to the advanced open water training. I'd been just open water certified for 14 years when my husband decided he wanted to do his training. He did his final tests in Oct (in Wisconsin) with 48F water and 32F air temps. Three months later, we both did the advanced course in Jamaica. Though we both passed with little problem, my husband did make some mistakes that could only be attributed to his lack of experience. Definitely rack up some dive time in as many different conditions as possible. The more relaxed you are under water, the more comfortable you will be moving up.

9. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 11y

Hey, I agree with all of the comments above,

BUT...

I planned to do my open water in the UK but it worked out a whole lot cheaper in Malaysia (pretty much the same as Thailand) If you get the chance to hop over the border check out the Perinthian islands, beautiful and I'd say cleaner than the Thai islands

good luck

you'll love it

m:)

10. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

I agree, it's a hard call. Cheaper overseas but you get better fundamentals probably by doing it at home.

Another benefit of course to doing it at home is that you aren't cutting into your holiday time while you're doing the studying of the book :)