As kids, ideally, we are taught to become independent in many things at an early age so that we’ll remember it until we become adults. Some people pick it up early on; some learn it later in life. What’s important is it’s there.
This is the principle that we teach our instructor candidates to pass on to their students.
The PADI Open Water course teaches you to become an independent diver, independent of a dive professional to “take care” of you while you’re underwater. During the course you’ll do drills over and over until you’ve reached mastery. Some people pick it up easily; some take a while to get it.
Aside from getting a plastic card that says your level, here are things that you pick up from your instructor:
As a PADI Open Water diver, once you get certified, you’ll probably start going on dive trips in different places. This is why you are taught to steer clear of other people on the boat and underwater, why you should avoid leaving your equipment in the rinsing tub for someone else to hang and showing up on time for the day’s dive.
Equipment assembly and care
The two most exciting times in having dive equipment are when you buy it, and when you see pictures of yourself wearing it five or more years later. You are initially taught to assemble, disassemble, rinse, and store your equipment properly during the course for your sake. Don’t take it lightly. A cheap set that is well taken care of that would last more than five years is better than an expensive set that would only serve you for less than one.
Remember: “If you take care of it, it will take care of you”
Care for the environment
Learning proper buoyancy control lets you stay off of the bottom and avoiding unwanted damage toward yourself and the environment. The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course allows you to learn different techniques on how to stay off of the bottom with style.
But aside from staying off of the bottom, notice that your instructor might pick up pieces of trash while you’re on your dives.
Learning these things early on would greatly benefit not only your diving but also the environment.
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