When are the Open Water (beginner) pool sessions?
- I hold my pool sessions on Sundays from 5-10 pm. I do not hold them every week. I work around the schedules of my students and find a Sunday that works for everyone. For 2 or more people I will arrange a pool session on a Sunday that works for you. For one person I need to find a class for you to join. If you would like lessons during the week please contact my friends at Gotham Divers.
- Yes, you do need to purchase personal gear. Please see the Open Water (Beginner) page for an explanation. Any shop that tells you otherwise is going to tell you that you do in fact need to purchase the basic gear when you actually arrive in person to the store.
- Beware of cheap $110 mask/fins/snorkel combos. They are just that and a shop that quotes you this is most likely going to pull a bait and switch on you anyway. I get a lot of questions as to why I don’t sell gear that’s going to fall apart during the dive. It’s downright dangerous to battle a current on short snorkeling fins with heavy scuba gear on or to gulp water into your lungs through a crappy cheap snorkel. Your life is worth more than a small discount.
Why is scuba training so expensive?
- I get this question a lot. This is a gear intensive sport. You are breathing air underwater that is delivered through expensive equipment. I buy good quality, top of the line Hollis equipment for my students to learn on. This means the regulators breathe easily and comfortably and the Buoyancy Compensator wing will work. All of these are inspected and serviced annually. I also provide tanks and weights. The tanks must be filled with compressed air or nitrox that needs a big compressor to fill them. The compressor needs to be serviced and takes up a chunk of Manhattan real estate. The tanks also have to be visually inspected annually and sometimes tumbled to clean them.
- Your instructor has invested a lot of time and money to learn how to be your instructor. I’m not teaching you how to fold napkins. I’m teaching you how to stay alive under water and fix your problems in a calm manner underwater. I’m also technically trained and regularly do technical diving (rebreather, sidemount and double tanks certified to dive to 330 ft on trimix). This means even at the Beginner level I will teach you things such as streamlining, trim (proper form in the water), not sculling your hands and neutral buoyancy that are not taught by most solely recreational instructors. I’ll show you a series of memes to easily explain what an Urban Manta student looks like and what most other schools teach. The difference is very noticeable and you will learn how to not break the coral, damage your gear, kick up sand or silt and make your air last longer so you can dive longer.
I bought a PADI or NAUI book. Can I take your class?
- Yes you can. But I’m affiliated with SDI and TDI and in order for me to teach you, you need to have done the eLearning or Chapter Review questions provided by TDI/SDI. All the material covered by these agencies is the same and conforms to international standards but each of them provide their own learning materials. I have taken training with all of the above agencies but I like working with TDI/SDI and their materials are top notch.