LEARNING TO SCUBA DIVE DIVE Politics Recreational SCUBA Politics
|"No Performance Requirement in SCUBA Diving is more poorly defined or less often achieved than__Buoyancy Control."|
|How do so many VIPs rise to the top of an activity without ever mastering the basic foundation skills?|
THIS IS ABOUT THE POLITICS WITHIN THE SPORT OF RECREATIONAL SCUBA DIVING
It's not about Republicans & Democrats or Conservative & Liberal Values....although evidence of any and all may emerge.
|DIVE Politics are more like office politics....about how "WHO YOU KNOW" is more important than "WHAT YOU KNOW"!
SCUBA & OFFICE POLITICS SHARE A COMMON DENOMINATOR....THEY PIT A CULTURE OF PATRONAGE*AGAINST INTEGRITY & MERIT!
* i.e. brown nosing, butt kissing and all other sorts of obsequious behavior in order to gain favor and status.....
[ anything except real talent & real fundamental SCUBA skills seems to be the preference ]
RECREATIONAL SCUBA DIVING IS A BUSINESS
( A business that does not really need to have "GOOD DIVERS"! )A business that only needs "CUSTOMERS" who can meet the "MINIMUM" Diving Performance Requirements....
Standards that have been designed & established by the purveyors to facilitate their pay day and to secure their control....
"Your chair got pulled away before the music even began!"
|THERE IS NO STANDARD FOR MEASURING THE DIVE SKILLS OF A RECREATIONAL SCUBA INSTRUCTOR*
Instructor Training is about "SALESMANSHIP"NO OTHER SPORT CAN BOAST OF MORE LEADERSHIP LEVEL PARTICIPANTS WITH SUBSTANDARD SKILLS.
.......about promoting the agency and the products and services of their retail partners.
|* SCUBA Instructors pass a multiple choice exam because it is "objective"
Judging motor skills is "subjective"....SO failing an Instructor Exam because of poor skills "ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS"
|NEVER: judge a "SCUBA Diving Professional" by how they look in a "Still PHOTO" or how they look in "PRINT"!
For lack of a better term, Recreational SCUBA Diving is an example of absolute dominion, over a service or business, by the "so called" private sector. The term "privatization" or "privatisation" , is familiar in current political debates but was coined by economists in the 1930s in reference to NAZI Germany and usually refers to a government agency that has been taken over by private interests. SCUBA Diving, in the United States, is not and has never been run by the government, because the equipment purveyors and salesmen were able to demonstrate that they could regulate the training, the sales and manufacturing, as well as, the liability insurance. In other words; they ( the training entities, the retailers and the manufacturers ) make all of the rules and set all of the standards for the equipment that they sell and the training that they provide to the general public. These rules have more to do with steering the "Recreational Diving BUSINESS" toward its' market goals than it does guiding aspirants toward becoming divers with measurable or remarkable dive skills.
While it is our intention to point out that the system favors the interests of the few over the interests of the many, we are not ready to suggest that the outcome would have been better had there been more government regulation. Our message is "BUYER BEWARE" and it is an opinion that was formed from the perspective of "an insider".
THAT THE SCUBA BUSINESS IS LIKE A CARTEL
and that collusion may be a better fit than competition!
The photo above is of a diver with horizontal trim and "no" dangling gear or giant hose halos or loose tank straps. Most pictures that are featured in DIVE Magazines, include all of the offenses listed above.
This diver is FROG KICKING!The location of the photo is Cozumel's C-53 Wreck Dive; named for: Felipe Xicotencatal
YOU REALLY SHOULDN'T TRY TO LOOK LIKE:
A DIVER FROM A DIVE MAGAZINE PHOTO.
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING THAT YOU READ
|GOOD DIVERS....LOOK GOOD UNDERWATER....BECAUSE OF GOOD FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
"EVERYTHING ELSE IS SECONDARY"
"NOBODY REALLY UNDERSTANDS!"
The DIVER who perfects his/her FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
"FIRST"is the "Elite Diver"
with "only" an open water C-Card in his/her pocket.
LEARNING TO BE A CUSTOMER
Is probably what you have been doing since you first got interested in SCUBA Diving. Being taught to be a customer! AND if you have "deep pockets", being aggressively taught to be a customer...."a cash cow". Just think about how perfect it is; the "expert" who is introducing you to your passion, is also outfitting you to participate in a very equipment intensive activity. Your coach is also your salesman! It's a "one stop" to learn and shop kind of place. BUT....are you learning to be a diver or a customer?
When the emphasis is on equipment, the result is usually an "over equipped" but "under skilled" person under water. Our graphic to the left is no joke. There are instructors, instructor trainers, tech divers and public safety divers who literally skipped over fundamental dive skills on their way to glory. In fact, they may very well be in the majority.
Nobody cares about their Buoyancy Control SKILLS....well "almost" nobody cares! Divers who have failed to acquire good fundamentals "FIRST" can't share that talent "that they didn't perfect". AND that's the "Status Quo"! Nobody cares if you have good skills as long as you are spending. Learning to be a "DIVER" is your responsibility. Touching first base is required! Keeping the cart behind the horse is your challenge!
"WHO YOU KNOW"
is better than
"WHAT YOU KNOW"
[ example  of SCUBA Diving Politics ]
His magazine enjoyed much of its' circulation because it exploited a celebrated feud between two cave divers. We knew both of the combatants well enough to have broken bread with each of them [on separate occasions of course] so we know that neither of them was either upset nor in much of a hurry for the coverage to end. It was sort of like the old the old cliché; "Mention my name, I don't care what you say about me, just mention my name!" In fact this is how many people, who would otherwise be unknown, achieve fame.
We know that cronyism or name recognition was the reason that this author was chosen because Buoyancy Control is what we know best and the article had nothing productive to add and nothing new to say! In fact, at the end, there was a list of the usual suspects , most of whom, so far, have failed to inspire any imagination about fundamental skills or to prioritize them.the
HERE ARE: two instructors who are SCUBA Diving with longer free diving fins. They both have good buoyancy & trim and we can see no danglies, hose halos or loose tank straps in this photo. The diver with the yellow fins is frog kicking.
VIDEO WOULD BE BETTERStill Photography only shows how good a diver looked for a fraction of a second. SO choosing a buoyancy clinic because of a still photo of BUDDHA HOVERING might have consequences.
When the promise is SCUBA Certification the instructor only needs to deliver a plastic card.
When the promise is noticeable and measurable SKILLS the instructor has no place to hide.
"Tap Dancing" only works if the promise is a C-CARD
|BUYER BEWARE: Be certain that you aren't just paying for a plastic card that is embossed with a training agency acronym!
"WHO YOU KNOW" is better than "WHAT YOU KNOW" example 
About ten years ago we submitted a specialty course outline to the training agency that we were affiliated with. Without going into all of the details and standards it may suffice to say that one element was breathing a primary regulator that was on a long hose which by its' very nature eliminates the wearing of a snorkel on the mask. We received a rejection notice: "nothing new here" was cited as one of the reasons. We framed that rejection notice [ we still have it]. What the agency did not know was that a nationally known DIVE Insurance Underwriter had read the outline and liked it well enough to show it to a well known SCUBA personality who had gained some recognition nationally as an "expert witness". That person also liked the outline and upon learning of the rejection, offered to shame some prominent friends, of his, [ at the agency] into reconsidering the specialty. We declined his offer because we wanted to know that the material stood on its' own merit. NOW after a decade, we see the same agency wandering into the same territory that they told us was not anything new. We saved the rejection notice & the e-mails from the experts who liked the outline. We know what you're thinking! BUT to sue this entity might require taking a number!
SO.....if what you learned from that was;"IF we hadn't been such Boy Scouts we might, today, enjoy better status"....
....you will probably be comfortable with SCUBA Diving's "Status Quo"
WHAT WE LEARNED: is that we would rather succeed for "WHAT WE KNOW" not "WHO WE KNOW".
WE KNOW: that BEING A GOOD FUNDAMENTAL DIVER will not get you to "first base" as an Instructor, a Technical Diver or a Public Safety Diver.....and that not ever touching "FIRST BASE" will not prohibit you from any of those goals.
THIS DIVER IS FROG KICKING
Usually still photos don't tell us much about how good a diver is or what is really happening. VIDEO is better for the assessment of dive skills because still photography is able to "only" record a fraction of a second. A trained eye may be able to detect a turn by looking carefully at the diver's fins.... ABOVE.
"NO SPLIT FINS!"
Split Fins are an example of how DIVE Industry Fads and "so called" STATE of the ART equipment can actually retard fundamental skill development.
Are a diver's "true credentials".
THE MANUFACTURER'S SALES REP
"The King of the Salesmen"
Chances are pretty good that you learned to dive from a salesman. Salesmanship dominates SCUBA Instructor Training Programs. Failing to pass an Instructor Development Course because of substandard dive skills almost never happens. Participants who mention the agency's name the most times during oral presentations, go to the head of the class. When you see your instructor on the sales floor of your local dive shop, you are probably seeing him/her at their best.
The manufacturer's sales rep is the super salesman. Your local dive shop can't just pick and choose the items that they like or that they think you will like or even those items that they think are best. Here comes the Manufacturer's rep and with him comes pressure and incentives [perks] to convince the local dive shop owner, to carry that company's whole line of equipment, the junk, as well as, the few worthy items that the shop owner may have really wanted. So it is up to the customer to determine what is best because the salesman on the floor wants to move inventory. Special ordering items is only a nuisance for the salesman.
Split Fins provide the perfect example. Even if your local dive shop has a tech diver on staff and most tech divers recognize that split fins are not suited to challenging conditions, that instructor may have to "suck it up" and sell split fins on the sales floor because they are a part of the store's inventory that was included in the sales rep's order package. Do not underestimate the power of the Factory Sales Rep. in the Recreational Dive Business.
SPLIT FINS, JET FINS & FROG KICK
We have already made it clear that we consider split fins to be inferior to paddle type fins. We tried them once, long ago, when a pair arrived at the dive shop where we were teaching. That's all that was needed and we think we're being fair. We don't allow them in our workshops because we teach FROG KICK.
JET FINS are a different matter. A respectable frog kick is well within the scope of jet fins BUT they are not "the best" or "the only" fin to use for frog kick. This belief is the result of HYPE &....yes POLITICS!!!! Now that we have social media and message boards, the cyber divers can circulate their "well intentioned" myths and nonsense at will. Jet Fins were invented 50 years ago, at a time when divers knew little about buoyancy control and even less about frog kicking. Cave Divers gave jet fins a new lease on life because of their weight. The heavy rubber construction eliminates the need for ankle weights.
IF you think we are negative, which of course we are, some of the same people who began touting jet fins, were, and not that long ago, following other divers around and taking photos of their equipment and publishing the photos with black rectangles across the faces as if it were porno. That's right, they were actually militant. IF they didn't think your equipment configuration was correct they posted pictures, pointed fingers, named names and resorted to name calling! They openly mocked other divers and had a derogatory name for divers that they would not dive with.
We have two things that we tell people about Jet Fins; first that you can't do a good kick of any kind with your fins on your toes. IF you can't get most of your foot into the pocket, you need a different fin. The other is; don't get caught wearing Jet Fins "only" because you want to be mistaken for an "elite diver"
THE POPULARITY OF JET FINS is due to POLITICS.
FAD FINS: don't see action in the technical diving world. IF you decide to build a strong foundation of Fundamental Dive SKILLS, and all divers should do that "FIRST", then you should consider that paddle fins are the only type that Cave Divers and other technical divers wear. IF you are already a cave diver, you can set the bar higher by wearing a longer free diving type paddle fin in open water for frog kicking. When you go back to wearing a shorter stiffer fin for tech diving you will be amazed by how much better you do. Long fins are harder to control, in much the same way that long skis are harder to control.
GOOD FUNDAMENTAL SCUBA SKILLS are for all divers....not just tech divers. IF you hope to be an elite diver develope good buoyancy control and a good kick "FIRST"!
ARE WE JUST CYNICAL NAYSAYERS WHO ARE CAPABLE "ONLY" OF "SOUR GRAPES" & NEGATIVITY?
[A] We admit that we are opinionated and we are more than a little bit critical of the "Status Quo" of Recreational Diving.
[B] Our "Cart Before Horse Graphic" says it best: there are far to many success stories in diving that fail to include basic talent.
[C] We never name names, we include only our own photos & we allow you to decide if "the shoe fits" anyone that you know.
[D] Everything above [ and much more that we have not listed ] is from personal "hands on" experience that has been collected over thirty plus years as instructors
WE OFFER THIS INFORMATION AS "FOOD FOR THOUGHT"We know that it is unlikely that you would have ever made it to the bottom of this page unless you already had suspicions.
WE HAVE REFRAINED SOMEWHAT FROM PROMOTING WHERE WE FIT INTO THIS PICTURE ON THIS PAGEWe have plenty of information on our regular website pages.
In the terrestrial world we "usually" learn to crawl then to walk and finally to run....
BUT many or even most SCUBA Divers [ including many instructors, tech divers and public safety divers ] manage to achieve status and even fame without ever perfecting Buoyancy Control or other foundation skills that are needed to operate in an alien aquatic world. SCUBA SKILLS that correspond to those basic terrestrial skills that we learn "FIRST"
OUR MISSION: is "Cave Diver Quality Fundamentals" for all DIVERS!
|This is good advice in a DIVING EMERGENCY
AND good advice if you are seeking SCUBA Training!
|MAKE SURE THAT "YOUR DIVE MENTORS" ACHIEVED THEIR STATUS BY "WHAT THEY KNOW"!
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