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History

In the days following World War 2 recreational diving slowly began to gain in popularity. Training was more ad hoc and pioneering in make-up than the rigid training path it became in the mid 1960s onwards. Since the late 1970s the definative trend of recreational diver training takes two paths. Resort based diver training and club based diver training.

Resort Diver Training

The first and often considered the most popular path is the resort style diver training. This essentially is pay and purchase certification, failures do happen but very seldom. It is very suitable for people on a short holiday to charming and warm water dive sites. Dive Resorts are located in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), The Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Asia.
A 'Dive Resort' may range from being be a one-shack-wonder to a massive complex housing bungalows, classrooms, workshops, gear rooms, restaurants, swimming pools and dive shops. Cruise ships may also have a dive instructor or two who train guests along the same lines as a Dive Resort but the space tends to be smaller. Dive Resort training is often quicker and it is an appealing way to enter the diving world for the first time. It has its drawbacks, namely that the training, good in that it covers the necessary aspects to dive safely, does not tend to be as in depth and detailed as Dive Club based training. Although an exceptional dive instructor may address this shortfall, it is the exception rather than the rule. It is however the fastest way to train in scuba diving. The training will be relentless day-after-day learning in the classroom, pool and finally the open water.
Most resort diving instructors will of learnt to scuba dive from a resort in this fashion. However they can be as good as Club Diving instructors with intimate knowledge on their local dive environment and surroundings. A certain type of zest and enthusiasm tends to radiate from Dive Resorts which adds to the appeal there. However the training does not tend to deliver the deeper impact of that which Club Diving delivers. A major benefit to training at a resort is the way a student diver is often pampered and looked after in a stress free environment. This is even more so in the case of learning to dive off a liveaboard vessel, the treatment here can be akin to royalty!

Pros: Shorter training time to become a certified diver. Dive Resort Images
  Typically a cushioned, customer-friendly atmosphere
  Versatile pay and purchase approach allows a wide variety of diving courses to undertaken and quickly.
Cons: Expensive.
  Some Dive Resorts are busy meaning crowded dive conditions and poor diving.
  Lacks the slow-but-sure detail and comprehensive approach.

 

Club Diver Training

A Dive Club is usually a tight knit group of divers who are all members of a Dive Club. Dive Clubs can be found all over the world although they are generally found away from resort areas and in towns and cities. What a Dive Resort has the Dive Club has also, although the building (s) tend to be smaller, and tank filling locations may be separate. Another trend is that Dive Clubs can be found inland and in 'less appealing' locales which include temperate climates and colder dive sites.

Training to be a diver with a Dive Club will mean that the training is much slower but more surer than The emphasis on lake diving and local underwater dive sites has benefits. It is in this way that divers here are drawn from the surrounding community that gives it a driving force and diving spirit which is firm and strongly motivated. Members usually meet up during the week to plan a dive and do so at week-ends. On the other hand the areas dived are usually nowhere near as placid, have easy access or good visibility as Resort Based dive sites. However this in turn promotes a strong degree of dive skill development as divers are faced with challenging dive conditions to overcome such as difficult access, low-visability and hazards. Boat handling duties such as assisting the coxwain and training to pilot a dive boat be it RIB or larger are usually encouraged. Conversely the dive sites are less 'fun' to dive in, examples being the lack of aquatic life and RIB launching, recovering and long distance travelling to dive sites.

The atmosphere of a Dive Club also differs to the 'Lets-get-diving!' style of the Dive Resorts. While Dive Clubs are by no means a grim place for divers to mix and carry out training they do tend to have a sombre and serious side to them. Some people either love or hate the Dive Club Atmosphere in which everyone knows everyone else. The training is generally longer, more drawn out yet this will be comprehensive as opposed to basic. Training will take place over many successive week-ends rather than the day after day approach.
Instructors are usually unpaid volunteers who choose diving for the betterment of sport diving rather than that for money. This also means they tend to have more experience in diving and training via the Club based approach. While lacking the lucrative tourist market enjoyed by many big Dive Resorts, Dive Clubs usually own at least a RIB or charter a dive boat to go diving off. More wealthy Dive Clubs can be as well equipped as a Dive Resort and often plan dive holidays overseas.

Pros:

Comprehensive training Club Diver Advanced
  Overall its cheaper than training through Resort Diving.
  Very good skill development and expedition opportunites:
  Dive Club atmosphere
Cons: Dive Club atmosphere
  The in-depth Training can be a lot longer than a Dive Resort. Some will find this off-putting.
  Often considered an unglamorous diving environment.

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