I am naturally a little shy and I leant to dive in a large impersonal dive class and I was lost in the back of the class. Because of my age I was very nervous about diving which even more compounded the problem of learning to dive. In such a large class I had major problems in learning to dive.
When we opened Abyss Scuba Diving, this issue of the problems beginners have in large, impersonal classes was one of the key factors we used in designing our instructional program. This is why Abyss Scuba Diving has a maximum class size of four beginner divers for each of its PADI Open Water Instructors. Abyss aims to have 3 beginners for each of its instructors on the first day when the students are developing their skills and then go out to 4 students on the second day as divers develop their buddy skills.
The advantages of small dive classes include:
- Enables the instructor to work on a one on one basis with anyone who is nervous or is having difficulties.
- Enable you to personally to get to know your instructor so they can advise you on the things that meet you need best
- Means you don’t waste your valuable time watching other students learning how to clear their mask. This means that you:
- You have much more time to go diving and develop your skills under the watchful eye of your PADI instructor.
- You can finish the in water training in just 2 days while physically spending more time actually diving rather than having you time wanted by a large group.
- It is much safer as it is much easier for an instructor to keep his eye on all his students with a small group of divers than it is for a large group of say 8 to 12 divers.
It is important to remember that under the dive certification agency standards allow for a maximum class size of up to 12 students for each open water instructor.
So if you are thinking about doing your open water course, one of the key questions to ask is how many students are there for each of the instructors.