Whether you are brand new to the Scuba world or you are seasoned diver and enthusiast who is on the search for a new school and instructor, finding the right person or people to guide you in your diving experience is a key component to safe and effective diving. The right type of instructor will guide you to success in the early basics of diving, and when you take on harder challenges in waters that are more treacherous. Below are some tips to consider when choosing a good scuba class.
Tip 1: Ask for Credentials and Certification
Any quality diving instructor will have credentials that they can produce to anyone who asks. You are paying for their knowledge and experience, and must rely on their expertise to assist you in your learning process. Requesting certification is not rude or unfair in any way. Remember that with strong credentials can often come higher prices, but when it comes to diving, you get what you pay for and peace of mind comes with more credentialed instructors. Also, remember to ask how long they have been working and how many hours of diving they possess. Many independent instructors who are highly qualified not only have credentials but also are affiliated with teaching programs at colleges or diving schools.
Tip 2: Ask What They Intend to Teach You
Not all diving instructors have the same teaching style. While some are more hands-on and wish to teach through very structured diving programs, others may have a more hand-off approach beyond the basics. It is always good to ask how involved the instructor will be, as well as know precisely what they will teach you in regards to specific programs. Not only will this give you an idea if the class is right for you, but you will also be able to assess whether or not the particular instructor is someone whom you can mesh well with.
Tip 3: Test Them on Their Knowledge
It is important to make sure your instructor or class instructors know how to deal with everything from the basics to first aid and rescue situations. Thus, it can be helpful to be prepared to question them on particular issues such as “the panic cycle” and “what if” scenarios. Remember to not look for overly precise answers, but rather gauge whether or not the teacher seems to have a plan for particular situations or scenarios. A good instructor should know basic answers to situations and likely also be malleable on how to approach each situation.
Tip 4: Other Considerations
Do not forget to ask about class size, so you know if you will receive personal attention. You can also ask about the general information such as gear type or preparation tactics of the instructors. Moreover, never forget to ask the instructor whether or not he/she is someone that dives often or simply instructs as a side job. Knowing as much as you can about your instructor can help you decide if their class is right for you.