Why I chose SDI (Scuba Diving International)
When I was looking to do my rescue course, my instructor gave me two books. He told me, “take a look at both of these and let me know which one you want to use for your course.” Each book was essentially the same material. I could see that they both covered the basics of the rescue course, but there was also a clear difference. The first book I looked through was bright and colorful. It contained many different pictures and animated diagrams, with small explanations of what was happening in the diagrams. The other book was less flashy. It still had a few basic diagrams, but overall, more writing than pictures.
So I sat and read a few pages of each book, and then I made my choice.
My diving history
Let me tell you a little about my diving history. My diving adventures started at my university through NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors). I learned the basics of diving and a bit beyond those basics over the course of 3 months before finally receiving my open water certification. Fast forward 2 years later and I found myself looking to continue my diving education. As is quite common in many parts of the world, the dive shop near me happened to be PADI. So, I looked at the continuing education structure and moved forward through the PADI Advanced Open Water Course.
I kept diving. I wanted to learn more. So there I was, stuck looking at 2 books for my rescue course. One of them had a name I already knew, the other; this unknown SDI (Scuba Diving International) agency.
What made the difference for me though, wasn’t just a book. It was a book that was willing to sacrifice some of the aesthetic pictures to add more literary content. It was an instructor who gave me options, and who gave me information about both SDI and the alternatives, and what sets each apart from the other.
Ultimately, it is the quality of the instructor who makes any diving course great, regardless of the agency. This is clear to me, as someone who has learned from 3 different agencies throughout my diving education. But the agency has a part in all this too. I came back to do my dive master course with SDI because I can tell that the agency invests in it’s divers. SDI offers training tools and course books which tell you what to do, but more importantly WHY you should do it. The agency offers access to free online certification cards and courses cheaper than some other agencies. SDI works together with TDI (Technical Diving International), which means their courses have more of a technical structure.
I have taken courses with several agencies and am proud to have the certifications I earned from each. I am not discrediting any agency but for me, the choice to stick with SDI just made sense.
By Kayla SDI Divemaster
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