I hear this question almost weekly when promoting speciality courses. "Why would I spend money on a course that doesn’t get me deeper or access to more dive sites?” A lot of divers that I have discussed specialty courses with feel like they are just a way for dive shops to make more money off of the student. Well, I do make a living as a full time scuba instructor and selling courses is beneficial to me and my family. So yes, one reason I teach these courses is so I can make money.
However, the primary reason that a diver should consider speciality training is for their personal development as a diver. Much like a fitness trainer can hone the way you work out, specialty courses are designed to help you improve your diving skills. For example, the advanced buoyancy course may not gain you access to deeper depths and you probably won’t ever get asked for that cert card on any dive, but the skill set you gain sets you apart and makes you a better diver.
I recently experienced this working out in the gym. I watched a bunch of youtube videos and read forums on how to work out to save the cost of hiring a personal trainer. The outcome was pretty bad. My form was off and I was not getting any of the results I wanted. I finally hired a trainer. It was amazing. In my first session he immediately pointed out bad habits that I was using and corrected them. I am much better off because of the experience. It was totally worth the money. This is completely applicable to specialty scuba courses. Its easy to pickup bad habits with scuba like overweighting, swimming with your hands, and being vertical in the water column just to name a few. While diving is the best sport ever, it is important to note that diving requires discipline and practice of many perishable skills sets to stay alive and well. It is not like riding a bicycle.
Specialty training with an instructor can help you in your development as a diver. We can point out bad habits and show you alternative ways to improve you. Specialty courses are an investment in yourself. As a scuba instructor, I am always seeking out instructors and mentors to make me better. I love learning and there is no youtube video, blog, or forum that can compare to time spent with a trainer. It could take years to master skills on your own that can be taught to you in just a few dives from a qualified instructor. Plus, I like making friends. I've meet some really amazing people in my career as a diver. In our fast pace culture it’s easy to go through long periods of time without meeting new people. I have seen many amazing friendships come out of diving courses right here at my shop. So during this dive season are you going to take time to invest in yourself? You never know where it may take you!
Check out some of these speciality courses that we offer.
Advanced Buoyancy Control
Advanced Nitrox Diver
Night/Limited Visibility Diver
Search and Recovery
Wreck Diver/ Wreck Penetration