With so many dive specialty courses being offered nowadays, it is often confusing to a diver on whether or not taking a specialty course will help their diving or simply be a waste of time and money. There is no one single specialty where this rings truer than the decision of whether or not to take a drysuit training course. Most often our divers ask us if it’s worth it or not and exactly what they will learn from taking the drysuit specialty. The number of divers inquiring about this is what has spurred me on to write this article on the topic. So, let’s answer that all important question of whether or not we should take a drysuit course.
My Experience With A Drysuit Course
When I became a diver I couldn’t justify the expense of a drysuit with the amount of diving I was planning on doing. So I ended up shivering through my first couple hundred dives in a thick wetsuit and heavy weight belt. By the time I actually got a drysuit I already a semi experienced diver. With that(and the empty bank account from buying the suit), I skipped taking the drysuit course and just headed to the local quarry for some bottom time. All seemed to work out ok on a basic level, after a few dives and drills I was semi comfortable diving the suit. Fast forward a year later and the offer from an instructor and friend to tag along on a drysuit course he was teaching…for the bargain price of a steak dinner that night. Figuring it was a good opportunity to dive with a friend and eat steak, I took him up on the offer. While I didn’t learn much about actually diving a drysuit in the course, I did learn quite a bit about caring for my drysuit investment. That alone was worth the price of a New York Strip.
Should You Take A Drysuit Course?
The answer to that will lie with your personal dive experience and whether or not you have experienced drysuit divers who would be willing to mentor you every step of the way. While the investment of a new drysuit isn’t a small one, neither are the cost of charters/quarry entry/trips, air fills, gas, and time it may take you to learn how to proficiently dive your suit. There’s also the enjoyment and safety factor….will you really enjoy the dives and portion of the dive season consumed with your self directed learning? Will you be safe diving a drysuit being self taught? Or you can spend a little bit of money, take a day or two with an attentive instructor who will show you all about diving dry! Then, with the course completed you can begin your dive season equipped for drysuit diving and enjoyment of the entire season.
While my personal experience is a little “backwards”, I ended up seeing the value in taking a drysuit course. At the very least I came away from it with some valuable tips and tricks on how to take care of my suit. With that in mind, do you want to spend time during the short dive season learning how to dive dry? Or do you want to make a small investment of time and money to ensure your enjoyment of the entire dive season? To me the answer is a clear YES! spend a few bucks and learn how to dive a drysuit properly and safely.