Advanced Open Water Diver Class – What Is In It For Me?

Advanced Open Water Diver Class – What Is In It For Me?

Something sparked your interest and now you are a certified to go scuba diving anywhere in the world for the rest of your life.  The next step is to keep on diving, right?  Of course it is.  However, we reach a point with anything that we still need additional guidance to gain right experience in order to maintain a certain standard of safety and comfort underwater while scuba diving. This is where the advanced open water class becomes essential.

The preconceived notion with scuba divers, such as yourself, is that any training after the basic open water scuba class is not really necessary.  Some will think it is all about the money hungry scuba instructors.  Although some instructors are starving out there teaching scuba, but this is simply not the case.  Others will have their own reasons not continuing on with further classes or training.  This can cause you some trouble, possibly, forty-feet down below the surface. This can be prevented.

Typically, a parent would not let their kid in a driver’s education class to jump on the highway until they feel their kid is confident, comfortable and safe going down the side street and back.  There is a major difference of 70 MPH versus 20 MPH.  It is about the stepping-stones during the learning curve.

Scuba diving is no different.  The fact that you hold a scuba certification does not mean you are immortal underwater.  There is always an inherent risk when it comes to diving.  When you start moving outside of your comfort zone, it’s always easier to have someone who has been there before to show you the way.  Your scuba instructor will bring their experience and expertise to the table to assist you in gaining your own experience in a new environment.

The reality is, after four training dives, how much real experience do you have?  Maybe you went on vacation for a week and knocked out another twenty dives beyond your basic scuba training dives.  There will be a point that you feel the lack experience in certain areas when scuba diving. The advanced open water will bring you up to speed and lead you into certain diving specialties that may interest you as a diver.

Traditionally, there is more risk in going deeper or diving on shipwrecks.  Even if you have one hundred dives in your logbook, some places will not take you to a dive site without the advanced certification.  Why?  Increased liability risk for the resort, boat captain or divemaster.  Anyone can produce a logbook with one hundred, or even one thousand, logged dives.  Or maybe all one thousand dives are at thirty-five feet deep in the Caribbean versus a seventy-five foot dive on Lake Michigan, near Chicago, on the Straits of Mackinac shipwreck.  This dive will dramatically increase your stress due to task loading and you are going beyond your experience level, even with one thousand dives in your log book.*

The comfort and safety of a dive is very important to every scuba diver.  Comfort and safety increases while you are gaining experience.  One of the best way to gain experience in different areas of diving is by taking the advanced open water class; diving specialties.  Go learn a few knot-tying techniques in your search and recovery dive; increase the safety of all dives with the skills you learn on your deep dive; and take that extra time to really know and apply how to navigate underwater with a compass.  You will use these learned skills on every single dive you make after your advance open water class.  If you do not take the advanced open water class, maybe one day you will wish you did.

*One thousand dives is just an example to drive home a point.  Many with one thousand actual logged dives today, more than likely, have already been through the advanced open water and rescue diver classes.  Additional classes beyond the basic certification will dramatically help you achieve one thousand dives in a much more fun, comfortable and safe way.