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Old 23-01-2018, 11:21   #1
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cheap dive certification

Where can I find the least expensive courses in the keys ro get open water dive certified?
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Old 23-01-2018, 11:30   #2
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Re: cheap dive certification

That's like asking where you can buy the cheapest parachute. Are you SURE you want to do it that way?

I have seen many divers who were newly certified and either simply not taught basic safety, or taught incorrectly. And there are any number of diver deaths reported every year, where you will see the online discussions saying "Yeah, but why did that kill them? Why didn't they..." and the answer is, poor training.

On the first classsroom day of my training, the instructor made it very clear that it is very easy to kill yourself diving. For instance, if you are horizontal in the water, let's say just 30-40' under the surface, and you swing into an upright vertical position, depending on how you do that and how your lungs are built (which no one ever can tell) you can literally explode a lung from the pressure change. And in the ocean, that's probably going to be a fatal accident. So you make a note, just don't DO that.

But a cheap [read: fast] course might not clue you in to things like that. There are so many dive operators in the Keys, that your better bet is probably to go by location and reputation, for a long established shop that has had the same owners and instructors for a while. The prices won't be very much different from comparable shops that have been around for a while. And also, if you plan to buy gear, ask about that. Some will give you a good discount on gear if you are getting certified from the same shop.

You might also want to ask about what they call "Advanced Open Water". Not just basic certification, because "basic" these days is a quickie shortcut. What they call "advanced" used to be required in a basic diving course.
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Old 23-01-2018, 11:45   #3
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Re: cheap dive certification

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
For instance, if you are horizontal in the water, let's say just 30-40' under the surface, and you swing into an upright vertical position, depending on how you do that and how your lungs are built (which no one ever can tell) you can literally explode a lung from the pressure change.
No you can't.

What he meant to say or perhaps did say, was that ascending from depth whilst holding your breath is dangerous particularly in shallower water were the pressure change is greatest, see air embolism and spontaneous pneumothorax.

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There are so many dive operators in the Keys, that your better bet is probably to go by location and reputation, for a long established shop that has had the same owners and instructors for a while. The prices won't be very much different from comparable shops that have been around for a while. And also, if you plan to buy gear, ask about that. Some will give you a good discount on gear if you are getting certified from the same shop.
Good advice, now can someone local recommend an actually business?
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Old 23-01-2018, 12:00   #4
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Re: cheap dive certification

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That's like asking where you can buy the cheapest parachute. Are you SURE you want to do it that way?
You beat me to it. Some other equivalent questions...

Where can I find the least expensive fire extinguishers?
Where can I find the least expensive brakes for my car?
Where can I find the least expensive doctor to do my open-heart surgery?
Where can I find the least expensive ropes for mountain climbing?

The list could go on and on. I honestly don't wish to offend the OP with this, but SCUBA diving really is something where, if you aren't properly trained, you can KILL YOURSELF! Think about that. You can KILL YOURSELF!

Sure, you want good value for your money. I understand that. But you want a fair price for the best training you can get. Trying to find the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to get certified is really not a good idea.

Good luck.
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Old 23-01-2018, 12:03   #5
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Re: cheap dive certification

Why do you want to get certified in the Keys?

Is it to become a lifelong diver? Or just to see the marine life in the Keys?

If the later, just go on a snuba trip. No certification required.

If you want to become an actual diver there are some other things to consider. Which org. to use NAUI, PADI, SSI.

Diving in the Keys is a pretty competitive business, I don't think you are going to find huge differences in the cost. You will however find differences in the experience.

Your question will probably find better answers at scubaboard.com, then find the Florida forum. Good Luck.
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Old 23-01-2018, 12:05   #6
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Re: cheap dive certification

Just about all the dive shops in the Keys are going to be extremely competitive with one another. Most of them offer the PADI courses which are fine. Find one that has a convenient schedule for you and go for it.

The Advanced course is good. Many places you want to dive will be beyond the scope of Open Water Certification. Most shops will give a discount to get the extra dives required for the Advanced. And its all good experience.

I'd stick with buying just the basic gear (mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit as needed) and rent the other stuff. Some people like to have their own BCD because they can customize it to fit their needs.

Its nice to find a place that does the "Confined Water Dives" in a pool rather than just a shallow spot somewhere. May cost a little more for the course (its the Keys, EVERYTHING costs a little more) but it's nice to really be able to see what you're instructor is doing at first.

What's your comfort level ? Done any snorkeling ?
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Old 23-01-2018, 12:06   #7
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Re: cheap dive certification

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
That's like asking where you can buy the cheapest parachute. Are you SURE you want to do it that way?

I have seen many divers who were newly certified and either simply not taught basic safety, or taught incorrectly. And there are any number of diver deaths reported every year, where you will see the online discussions saying "Yeah, but why did that kill them? Why didn't they..." and the answer is, poor training.

On the first classsroom day of my training, the instructor made it very clear that it is very easy to kill yourself diving. For instance, if you are horizontal in the water, let's say just 30-40' under the surface, and you swing into an upright vertical position, depending on how you do that and how your lungs are built (which no one ever can tell) you can literally explode a lung from the pressure change. And in the ocean, that's probably going to be a fatal accident. So you make a note, just don't DO that.

But a cheap [read: fast] course might not clue you in to things like that. There are so many dive operators in the Keys, that your better bet is probably to go by location and reputation, for a long established shop that has had the same owners and instructors for a while. The prices won't be very much different from comparable shops that have been around for a while. And also, if you plan to buy gear, ask about that. Some will give you a good discount on gear if you are getting certified from the same shop.

You might also want to ask about what they call "Advanced Open Water". Not just basic certification, because "basic" these days is a quickie shortcut. What they call "advanced" used to be required in a basic diving course.
+1, cheapest can be the worst option.......
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Old 23-01-2018, 12:20   #8
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Re: cheap dive certification

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Where can I find the least expensive courses in the keys ro get open water dive certified?
I think everyone’s concerns with the form of your question are well founded, but we probably should ask – what are you planning to do with it. Although most folks don’t, you can hurt yourself, so the questions are not idle ones -- on the other hand, with discipline the basic certification is sufficient if all you are planning to do is change the zincs on your propeller-shaft. A gazillion years ago I was a PADI divemaster and back then the advanced open water course included night compass courses, deep offshore dives, cold-water thermocline dives and lots of rescue training… for the average recreational diver that might be overkill, but we dove wrecks, caves and underground rivers (long before all of today’s redundant rigs – or computers), so we hammered the buddy system hard and assumed half our gear would fail (thankfully they never did). Whatcha planning to do with the skill…
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:29   #9
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Re: cheap dive certification

Yes, Pete, you can. It is called pneumothorax. If you pivot about the waist or chest, you are fairly safe. But if you pivot about the ankles (i.e. ankles stay put and your body rises above them) the four or five foot pressure differential, if you are holding your breath, can be enough to blow out a weak spot on the lung. The pressure differential is bigger than lungs ever need to withstand on land.

Now, sure, you should never be holding your breath while diving. And pivoting that way IS unlikely. The point being--who would ever think that was possible AT ALL?

Our instructor was a USN frogman who helped ahead of the D-Day invasion. He had quite a credential list before he moved on to where he was teaching us. He learned to dive in a time and environment where divers being killed or crippled was quite normal and acceptable--and something they tried very much to avoid.

You can dive very safely knowing very little, but every year there are still hundreds of certified divers dying with no real excuse for it. If you read the statistics that DAN compiles, an incredible number of SCUBA deaths are entirely avoidable. And about half of them are just simple mistakes, divers who forgot to monitor their air and didn't know what to do when it ran out. IOW, bad training.
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Old 23-01-2018, 15:28   #10
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Re: cheap dive certification

1. In general, over expansion of the lungs causes an air embolism not a pneumothorax.

2. At 30 or 40 ft the pressure change from a 4 foot change is below what would cause an embolism. If the diver was in 4 to 5 ft of water an embolism would be possible. From Arterial Gas Embolism one can see it is a percent change in pressure required - 4 fsw or 1.22 m. or ascending from 170 feet or 51.82 m. to 120 feet or 36.58 m.


3. To the OP I know where you can buy a really inexpensive regulator to go with cheap lessons.
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Old 23-01-2018, 15:53   #11
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Re: cheap dive certification

OK, the man lied to us. You can kill yourself in five feet, instead of 35 feet. Well, that's certainly safer. (Ahem.)

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Old 23-01-2018, 16:57   #12
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Re: cheap dive certification

The sport of SCUBA is relatively safe but very unforgiving of mistakes. It is better to have accurate information out on the net. It doesn't take much of an embolism to cause paralysis or death.
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Old 23-01-2018, 17:31   #13
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Re: cheap dive certification

Donít know the least expensive but PADI will be the more expensive.
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Old 23-01-2018, 17:49   #14
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Re: cheap dive certification

Utila, Honduras = one of the cheapest places on the planet to get certified. Qualitatively, dont know.
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Old 23-01-2018, 19:45   #15
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Re: cheap dive certification

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Donít know the least expensive but PADI will be the more expensive.
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