Skip Navigation

PADI or BSAC????

Travel Forums Off Topic PADI or BSAC????

1. Posted by chrisavfc (Full Member 104 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

im looking into starting a new hobby - Scuba Diving,

Some ppl have recommended PADI and others BSAC.

I don't know which one to go for!

Has anybody got any experienced advice??


2. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I read so much about diving before I managed to actually do the course, I was really obsessed with getting BSAC over PADI, here's the deal. BSAC is more comprehensive than PADI it's a slightly longer course and there's a bit more in it, however, it isn't that widely found and most places are now really offering PADI. PADI is still a good course to do and it is accepted most widely as a good diving qualification.

I ended up doing the PADI because it was what I found where I wanted to learn (Malaysia)

Good luck it's such a good thing to have and do so much fun!


3. Posted by evakan (Full Member 188 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey Chris, Scuba Diving is GREAT hobbie to have! Congrats on being brave enough to consider trying it! (you would be surprised at how many people wont go near the water)

I don't have any experience with BSAC, but I would recommend PADI as I have plenty of experience with it and as Mim said it is the most widely accepted form of SCUBA certification. I am PADI certified and I currently own a Schuba shop The Scuba School down here in south Florida (it was passed down to me through family) and I worked there for a few years in my early teens.

PADI certification involves a written test which must be passed in order to proceed in training. To prepare for the test there is around 3 to 4 hours of classroom work with a certified instructor and then most people take the books home and return a day or two later to take the test (keep in mind that you will most likely be ready to take the test strait out of the class, but some people choose to study for a day or so). The test itself takes about 15 minutes.

Then there are two dives in which the student must perform basic maneuvers (removing the mask under water then putting it back on, also basic safety maneuvers, etc.) satisfactorily in order to become certified. A BEACH dive and a BOAT dive (these take two days as each dive takes half a day and are generally done on a saturday and sunday mornings).

The first day (usually saturday) begins in the pool. The students learn everything about how to operate the equipment, and the safety menevers mentioned above. After all of the students in the class are comfortable (usually 4 or 5 students in a class, but no more than 6 students for each instructor) the instructor will then take all of the students across the street for the beach dive. All of the students (in full scuba gear) follow the instructor and everyone wades out into the water. Off of eastern Florida coast, there are three reefs which run parallel to the state and the entire the length of the state. The first reef is about 400 feet off shore and at that distance the water is only 12-15 feet deep. It is here that the students practice the meneuvers that they previously learned in the pool. Once everyone completes the dive satisfactorily it is out of the water and off to a restuarant to celebrate and toast everyones completion of day one.

The second day (Usually sunday) is the boat dive! Now this couldn't be more fun! It is the same as day one except everyone gets on a boat and goes a mile or two off shore where the water is about 50-70 feet deep. Once again, everyone in the water, follows the instructor to the bottom, performs their new skills, and then enjoys the reef for about 15-30 minutes (depending on everyone's air levels). After everyone returns safely to the boat - CONGRATULATIONS - everyone is certified and once again its off to dinner or to the 'watering hole' (depending on the age of the students) for celebration.

I would say go with PADI, but that's just my opinion. Sorry for writing a book and GOOD LUCK WITH THE DIVING. Whichever cerfication you choose you will have LOADS of fun.

Also, if anyone has any questions with diving / snorkeling in south Florida or the Florida Keys, let me know. I may be able to help.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey Chris!

Honestly, you can't lose by doing either training. One organization that is worth looking into: Scuba Schools International (SSI).

The training is equivilent to BSAC, but you will have a bit longer pool time - about 8 hours worth. The plus side - once you pass the certification test, you have the opportunity to receive SSI, PADI and NAUI C-cards. It's a one time offer at the end of your training, but you will have one from each organization. That's what I did. I hold Open Water Diver cards for all three and an Advanced Open Water from PADI.

The best upside to this for me - our dive shop that we use just switched from PADI to NAUI certification. Since I have a NAUI card, and I took the PADI Advanced course, I can just test out of the NAUI Advanced without having to redo the whole Advanced training again under NAUI. It is also an advantage having the multiple cards in case of loss or theft. If you lose one - you have 2 others to use as a back-up. (It also "wows" the dive operators when you show an SSI card. They don't see many.)

Any training that you decide to take will be very good. All the basic requirements are the same across the board. One organization will have more pool time, another more open water time, etc. But, any of them will train you well.

Just do it!!!!

5. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Thats pretty well organised Isa (or maybe just plain greedy ;) )!!

sound like a blo*dy good idea to me!


6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Quoting mim

Thats pretty well organised Isa (or maybe just plain greedy ;) )!!

sound like a blo*dy good idea to me!


Honestly, I signed up for the closest course to my home at the time, not knowing anything about the different organizations. All I wanted to do was dive. Only after we had passed the written exam, were we told about the multiple C-cards. Nothing organised about it from my end - but I was greedy and took all three cards!!! (Hey, who's going to say, "Oh no, I don't want any more than one card. Don't send them to me."? NOT ME!!!)