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Thread: Scuba diving?

  1. #1
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    Default Scuba diving?

    I have seen on a few reviews recently that you now have to swim a 400m swim to do the one time dive is this true or just for some resorts? I was at CN last aug and that was not needed. I have no issue swimming that distance at all heck it could be 1000m or more and id be fine, but I am not sure my wife can swim non stop for 400m. My wife really had a awesome time doing scuba last trip and really wants to again on our return trip, so trying to figure out if she needs to start doing some serious training so she has no problem.

  2. #2

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    It's not a PADI prerequisite for a Discover Scuba, and honestly, CSA is the only place I have seen such a rigorous requirement. It kept a friend of ours from trying diving. I do believe it is just about the staff at CSA. If the same dive staff are there, then the front crawl swim will likely still be required. Hopefully someone who has done it recently will respond.

  3. #3
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    weewane, we just got back from CSA last week and was really looking forward to doing the resort dive but the swim test killed us. 1000m non stop front crawl can't touch ground? unless you're an olympic / marathon swimmer that's pretty darn good. I'm not exactly out of shape and consider myself a strong swimmer but 400m is not as easy as you think. They've changed the swim since we were there in 2011, back then it was 7 laps (now 8 laps), you could back stroke or tread water as long as you're moving and not stopped. Now it's ONLY front crawl, no stopping.

    The testing pool at CSA is front of the Palms restaurant, two laps of that pool is equivalent to 1 lap in the olympic swimming pool at the CSA fitness center. The instructor told me they have a almost 50% failure rate for the swim test. I have several friends who are PADI certified and they thought that swim test was a bit outrageous. Oh well, I'm thinking of getting certified here in our city next time. Heck, I want to go diving, not join the Olympic swim team LOL.

    p.s. My daughter is in her highschool swim team and she's a hell of a swimmer, she has to even take a break at 200m mark. Good Luck, I hope it works out for you!

  4. #4
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    haha no I am not a olympic swimmer but I did qualify for junior olympics when I was 12 up to age 15 when I really slowed down on the competitive swimming. When I was in Highschool I swam the 1650 about every other meet, I did 400m IM at every meet and did the 800m a few times so I deff know how far of a distance we are talking about. It has been ohh 21 yrs since I swam on a team but I swim a bunch of laps at my summer pool every summer, and every now and then at the ymca, so again the 400m test would be a breeze for me.
    We are booked to return to CN next year so was just trying to find out if it was a new couples policy or just some of the resorts, or staff that were requiring this. I dont think there was a real distance test at CN maybee a few laps across the small scuba training pool but thats it.

  5. #5
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    Im at the hotel now, and the palms pool is 17-19 meters long, I watched the swim test this morning and everyone passed. the instructor made them go up and back 4 times front crawl, it didnt look like it was timed. I'm going to try the the class on wednesday so i will update you weewane..

  6. #6

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    I'm good with the upfront physical challenge. I love to dive (we plan to dive every day), and I love to dive with other experienced divers. Nothing is worst when you are 80ft down with someone who is in over their head. This test is needed to weed out those who really don't want to dive or those who may impact the experience for others.

  7. #7
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    Hi Weewane, I just did the resort course at CSA Today, The palms pool is about 16-19 metres. They make you swim up and back four times front crawl, (it is not timed and they don't care if face is in the water or out the water) 8 persons were in the class and only one person failed the swim. He managed only one length.
    The resort course is not a PADI course, its a quick intro to scuba, its slightly more in depth than the Padi Discover scuba. It is governed by the Jamaican law of diving. I don't think Damenc is being honest, firstly he states 1000m in his first sentence, this then drops to 400m in the third sentence. He also states that in 2011 he did it and it was seven laps and you could tread water. He doesn't state how many laps he or his wife did? Did one quit and the other just followed suit? The same dive crew has been there for at least six years. Also if you did the same course with the same dive crew wouldn't they know that you have dived already??? I was very happy with the class and the dive team at csa were very professional, you will have a blast.

  8. #8
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    Germangirl please reread my first post we went to CN couples negril, not csa couple swept away. secondly I think your getting mixed up Damenc was asking me a question about my previous statement about I could swim a 1000m test if that was required. I said 1000m to just throw a distance out there to just say the distance no matter what it is would be no problem for me. Really my post was to give a little background on what my wife and I have done before. My one and only real question is about Couple Negril and scuba diving and weather the swim test is a long distance like 400m like others have posted. Now I understand that at CSA you have to do 8 links of the pool or 4 laps, but I want to know if something has changed in the requirement to do the one time scuba dive at CN since Aug 2,2012 when we last scuba dived at CN.

  9. #9
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    I think a bit has been "lost in translation" as far as pool length is... I did read damenc's comment and yes in fact 8 lengths of an "olympic" sized pool is 400m (8 x 50m). The problem is that the Palms pool is under 20m and the sports complex pool at CSA is 25m (olympic shaped, not olympic sized). Yes I did go on Google earth and used the little ruler to measure and it comes to 19m to be exact.

    So, 8 lengths of the Palms pool is in fact just under 160m... I'm looking forward to first trip, and a resort dive this upcoming November!

  10. #10

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    Diving is one of my passions. I love everything about it and can't imagine a life without it. However, even I would concede that the day I can't physically complete a continuous 400 meter crawl is the day I give up SCUBA entirely. Think of it as a very basic stress test. However, keep in mind there is practically no way to recreate on land the unique stressors diving puts on the human body. Diving is not hard and can be very relaxing with proper preparation but SCUBA is also a serious sport with serious implications. 50% of diving fatalities happen to divers with 20 dives or less. One of the biggest contributors to diving fatalities is a preexisting health condition. You don't want to be 30-60' under water in the early stages of developing your buoyancy skills when you realize your body isn't up to snuff.

    Alert Diver | The 2010 DAN Diving Fatalities Workshop

  11. #11
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    400 meters freestyle is only about 10-15 minutes at a leisurely pace. When I got PADI certified, that was approximately the distance requirement, IIRC. I would argue that 400 meters is really a minimal standard. Diving can be dangerous and you should have some minimal level of fitness.

    Assuming you have reasonable technique, you can build up endurance very quickly - 3 or 4 times a week for a couple of weeks will get many people to the point where they can easily swim 1000 meters in 30 minutes. What happens with many people is they huff and puff for a bit and then all of a sudden they break through and can swim fairly long distances without stopping.

    If your daughter takes a break after 200 meters then I would guess that is when she is doing an all out sprint. If she is on the swimteam then she can almost certainly swim thousands of meters without resting at less than full racing pace. I believe it is not unusual for swim team practices to be 8000 meters per day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Damenc View Post
    weewane, we just got back from CSA last week and was really looking forward to doing the resort dive but the swim test killed us. 1000m non stop front crawl can't touch ground? unless you're an olympic / marathon swimmer that's pretty darn good. I'm not exactly out of shape and consider myself a strong swimmer but 400m is not as easy as you think. They've changed the swim since we were there in 2011, back then it was 7 laps (now 8 laps), you could back stroke or tread water as long as you're moving and not stopped. Now it's ONLY front crawl, no stopping.

    The testing pool at CSA is front of the Palms restaurant, two laps of that pool is equivalent to 1 lap in the olympic swimming pool at the CSA fitness center. The instructor told me they have a almost 50% failure rate for the swim test. I have several friends who are PADI certified and they thought that swim test was a bit outrageous. Oh well, I'm thinking of getting certified here in our city next time. Heck, I want to go diving, not join the Olympic swim team LOL.

    p.s. My daughter is in her highschool swim team and she's a hell of a swimmer, she has to even take a break at 200m mark. Good Luck, I hope it works out for you!

  12. #12

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    Back to the original question...

    I would contact the resort prior to arriving to find out what the requirements are. I know I blew up the CSA dive shop's inbox and Facebook trying to make sure we had everything in order to finish our open water certification with them, and Anthony was always quick to respond. I know they had a lot of people in the pool doing swim tests for the Discovering Scuba course as well as a refresher for the certified divers that have an extended break from diving.

    We were just at CSA last week and I was very impressed with the dive team there. They are very safe and professional, and as a newly certified diver I was very appreciative this. I agree with Reeferhead, and would add that being in better shape will also help with air consumption. You (or your wife) don't want to be the one to hit 1000 PSI before the rest of your dive buddies :-)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuccillo View Post
    400 meters freestyle is only about 10-15 minutes at a leisurely pace. When I got PADI certified, that was approximately the distance requirement, IIRC. I would argue that 400 meters is really a minimal standard. Diving can be dangerous and you should have some minimal level of fitness.

    Assuming you have reasonable technique, you can build up endurance very quickly - 3 or 4 times a week for a couple of weeks will get many people to the point where they can easily swim 1000 meters in 30 minutes. What happens with many people is they huff and puff for a bit and then all of a sudden they break through and can swim fairly long distances without stopping.

    If your daughter takes a break after 200 meters then I would guess that is when she is doing an all out sprint. If she is on the swimteam then she can almost certainly swim thousands of meters without resting at less than full racing pace. I believe it is not unusual for swim team practices to be 8000 meters per day.
    If that is the case then I'm not understanding why their swim tests have almost a 50% failure rate, that's what the instructor told us. Also, my neighbours are full PADI certified and they agree that for a "resort" dive, that's an extreme. They didn't even have to do a test of this nature to get fully certified. Like I said, we are not out of shape and are strong swimmers, not marathon swimmers but strong.

    Also, I'm sorry but some of the divers we saw going out to the open water dives which are much deeper in their present "shape" I doubt they would pass the swim test, they could barely get into their dive equipment But as they say, once you're certified, it really doesn't matter what shape your in as long as you have your card. I've even met some of these divers and spent time with them at the resort, trust me, I can swim circles around them. Speaking one specific couple when we were there, they actually sign up for the full PADI certification there and because they were paying the full fee to get certified, they didn't even do the swim test and ended up getting their PADI certification at the resort. That made me a bit upset and amused. I also spoke to my friends boyfriend last weekend and he's a dive master at a hotel in Trinidad/Tobagos and he thought for a resort dive that was ridiculous so that just confirmed my thoughts.

    I don't argue you have to be able to swim but I think for the resort dive they should make it so "most" people can enjoy it. Of course it's not for everyone but I spent a lot of time with watersports and we can hold our own in the water.

  14. #14
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    My first dive was a "resort dive" and there wasn't a swimming requirement. After I went home, I took the PADI open water course (which did have a pool swim requirement plus tread water for 10 or 15 minutes) and was certified. After having gone through the PADI course, I have concerns about "resort courses" because they don't provide much opportunity to practice what I consider essential diving skills. I do understand the purpose of the "resort course" and you don't hear about too many diving accidents so perhaps they are OK.

    I am not surprised about a 50% failure rate for a swim test. If you don't have a reasonable freestyle technique and haven't swam laps in years (or ever) then 400 meters can be a challenge. I am surprised that you saw a couple earn their PADI certification without doing a swim test - I was under the impression that it was required by PADI. Perhaps the requirements are "flexible". After all, PADI does stand for "Put Another Dollar In" ;-)

    In my opinion, you should be able to swim 1000 meters in a pool. If you can swim 1000 meters then you are in pretty good shape. Actually, if you can swim 1000 meters then you can probably swim 2000 meters easily. This is not a very far distance when you consider that swimming in the ocean is more tiring than swimming in a pool. You can be in great shape but if you haven't swam in a while you will get tired very quickly because you will using muscles that you haven't used in some time.

    Be safe and be prepared.



    Quote Originally Posted by Damenc View Post
    If that is the case then I'm not understanding why their swim tests have almost a 50% failure rate, that's what the instructor told us. Also, my neighbours are full PADI certified and they agree that for a "resort" dive, that's an extreme. They didn't even have to do a test of this nature to get fully certified. Like I said, we are not out of shape and are strong swimmers, not marathon swimmers but strong.

    Also, I'm sorry but some of the divers we saw going out to the open water dives which are much deeper in their present "shape" I doubt they would pass the swim test, they could barely get into their dive equipment But as they say, once you're certified, it really doesn't matter what shape your in as long as you have your card. I've even met some of these divers and spent time with them at the resort, trust me, I can swim circles around them. Speaking one specific couple when we were there, they actually sign up for the full PADI certification there and because they were paying the full fee to get certified, they didn't even do the swim test and ended up getting their PADI certification at the resort. That made me a bit upset and amused. I also spoke to my friends boyfriend last weekend and he's a dive master at a hotel in Trinidad/Tobagos and he thought for a resort dive that was ridiculous so that just confirmed my thoughts.

    I don't argue you have to be able to swim but I think for the resort dive they should make it so "most" people can enjoy it. Of course it's not for everyone but I spent a lot of time with watersports and we can hold our own in the water.

  15. #15

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    tuccillo: And I thought PADI stood for "Pay Another Dollar Idiot"

    As a diver for the past 25 years...one thing I love about Couples Negril is how we dive at 9am and 1pm and the resort course and OW course participants dive at 11am. We don't have to worry about newbies dropping down on our heads. Well not until the Friday when they are now certified and can join the 1pn boat. LOL

    Betty
    Betty
    Couples Negril - September 2011, 2012, 2013 and have just booked 2014
    Scuba Club Cozumel - Jan, Apr & Nov 2012 and Jan & Nov 2013
    Cobalt Coast, Grand Cayman - May 2013
    Retiring & moving to Cozumel, Mexico in early 2014

  16. #16
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    The funniest thing about this thread is that none of these opinions of the test actually matter. If you want to try it, go try it. If you can't pass, oh well. You can try it again somewhere else.

    I think any experienced diver, including myself (certified for 22 years), will tell you that when you surface after a 40 min dive and the boat is 20+ yards up-current with 3-foot swells, you're going to be damn happy you could pass an 8-lap swim test. A 400m non-stop swim does sound a bit on the extreme side, but this is not a PADI requirement. My wife did the PADI DSD on our honeymoon and she didn't even have to prove she could swim. The resort is doing this to follow a Jamaican guideline, and it probably stems from decades of hungover, out-of-shape tourists trying something new and nearly drowning. I'm actually all for it. I would hate to have something happen to bring down our dive outings, because somebody couldn't swim very well at the end of a dive. I think people are overlooking the fact that fatigue is one of the most dangerous physical conditions for a diver.
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  17. #17
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    We had to do the test at CTI when we first tried it. We also had to pass the swim test when we got certified. The problem is that many people think they can swim when they only ever play in the water. Ask yourself before you sign up when was the last time I actually swam laps? If you really want to do it, practice. You wouldn't expect to just enter a 5K road race without training, so why expect to be able to go diving?

  18. #18
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    This is directly from PADI's website and I can verify as I was certified about a month ago.

    Waterskills: Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic waterskill comfort by having you:

    swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel). There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
    float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods that you want.
    About Physical Challenges: Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. Individuals with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk to your PADI Instructor at your local PADI Dive Shop or Resort for more information.

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