If you share our passion for creating better, more environmentally responsible divers and for making buoyancy control a habit and not a “skill,” then you probably wouldn’t mind having a few memes you can post on Facebook so that you can share these sentiments with your fellow divers and instructors. Well, we just made it easy for you.
Here are 23 of the most popular diver training memes we’ve created over the past four years. Take a look at them, read the explanations behind them and decide which ones you’d like to share on your Facebook timeline. At the end of this article, we’ll tell you how you can easily download these images for upload to your own Facebook page.
Our most popular meme ever
After just one week on Facebook, this image has been shared over 100 times and seen by thousands of people around the world. Interestingly enough, no one has yet to come to the defense of the bargain-basement scuba course.
…and the best response ever
After seeing the previous image, a woman in Australia related how, when a competitor started advertising Half Price Scuba Lessons, she came back with an ad campaign based on this question. Her business increased as a result.
No, this is not staged…
We can all appreciate a young person who is desperate to dive but short on funds. There is a point, however, where saving money on gear isn’t worth the risk. This kid’s first clue should have been the fact the gear he is diving is at least ten years older than he is.
The worst possible habit
Instructors will generally go out of their way to disabuse students of poor habits such as putting masks on foreheads and leaving tanks standing upright, unattended. Yet, the way most instructors teach reinforces one of the worst possible habits, which is constantly being in contact with the bottom. You are better off enforcing the rule that, any time students’ heads are under water, knees, feet and butts cannot be anywhere close to the bottom. If they absolutely must make contact with the bottom, it needs to be with fin tips and fingertips only — all while maintaining horizontal body position.
Teaching scuba is supposed to be fun
Unfortunately, it often isn’t — and it may be your training agency that is taking all the fun out of it.
- Training standards are supposed to guarantee quality. What they are not supposed to do is make things complicated or actually prevent you from teaching the best course possible.
- Remember when student kits cost less than $40? Now they can easily constitute a third or more of the overall cost of the course. If your training organization is getting more money from your students than you are, perhaps it is time to consider another agency.
- Perhaps the best metric of all is, is teaching scuba fun? Because, if it isn’t, something is definitely wrong.
What if advertisers had to tell the truth about their products?
Here are some brutally honest tag lines we’d like to see. Of course, GASP and FADE are not real diver training organizations. And any similarity between them and your diver training agency is, we’re sure, entirely coincidental.
Stuck in the past
How much has diver training changed in the past four decades? A lot less than some people think. About the only real change we see is that too many instructors continue to use the same, ineffective teaching techniques in an even more compressed time frame.
The need to dive with an oversized adult toy strapped to your mask largely disappeared with the demise of the horse collar BC more than 30 years ago. Yet, according to most training agencies, you can’t dive unless you have one of these ridiculous contraptions strapped to your mask, instead of folded up in your pocket where it belongs.
Seriously, if these things were all that important, why do you almost never see experienced divers wearing them?
“If you want to look like this diver, it’s important you enroll in our Ultimate Buoyancy Control Specialty Diver course. Because, as everybody knows, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to master buoyancy control in a beginning scuba course.”
This is Monica. Monica is not a graduate of a buoyancy control specialty course. She’s not even a certified diver. If fact, she is not even enrolled in an Open Water Diver course. Monica is taking part in an introductory scuba experience. This is her first time under water on scuba. All it took to make her look like this was:
- Getting her in balanced equipment so that her feet weren’t constantly sinking.
- Giving her just enough weight to be neutral in shallow water.
- Providing her with the opportunity to see how breathing affects her ability to maintain control over depth.
- Reminding her that, any time her head is under water, her knees, feet and butt should never touch bottom.
Bear in mind, this is all without ever touching a BC. We’ve been doing this with our students since the early 1990s. Not only does it make learning to use a BC a lot easier later on, it affords students the opportunity to master all core skills while maintaining control over buoyancy and trim.
Of course, if everybody got to learn this way, the training agencies wouldn’t make any money off of buoyancy control specialty courses. (I guess we can’t let that happen, can we?)
Defy the Matrix
To be fair, the agency we most often associate with the slogan, “The Way the World Learns…” has now gotten on board with the concept of teaching students while horizontal and neutral. (Now if only their instructors would get the message.)
We have to give credit here to John Wall of Buddy Dive’s Digital Photo Center for first calling to our attention the fact that buoyancy control needs to become a habit for students, like breathing continuously is — and not a “skill” that students practice only sporadically, while spending the majority of their time standing, sitting or kneeling on the bottom.
Being a horse’s ass
If you spend time on the various bulletin boards and forums, you will see the the most vociferous of posters are those who feel their newly minted instrutor status automatically makes them an expert. Bear in mind, you can get an instructor card from most agencies with only 100 dives under your belt, and less than 40 hours under water. That’s not a lot of actual experience.
If someone’s “opinion” is based solely on what it says in their instructor manual, and not on first-hand knowledge and experience, it most likely ain’t worth shit.
This drives us nuts
A prominent dive educator couldn’t understand why we took issue with a photo she posted of students standing and sitting on the bottom like those on the left. It stems from nearly ten years spent captaining and crewing dive boats in the Caribbean, Florida and Hawaii, where we see scenes like the one on the right all too often.
It’s the students who are allowed to get in the habit of constantly standing, sitting or kneeling on the bottom who end up looking like the divers on the right. Remember: It’s easier to form good habits from the start than to have to break bad habits and learn new ones later on.
Why we do what we do
This photo doesn’t have anything to do with teaching scuba per se. It does, however, help explain one of the many reasons we do what we do.
We were getting ready to exit the water after filming cave students at Ginnie Spring, when we looked up to see the last of the sunset silhouetted by the trees. The view from most folks’ offices doesn’t look anything like this.
Caught in the Act
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t spend our time skulking around after instructors, hoping to catch them in an embarrassing moment. However, if we are there filming something else, and your students insist on plopping themselves down in front of us and doing something that others can learn from…well, they’re gonna get their picture took.
That having been said, we never identify instructors or dive centers by name. After all, every one of us from time to time finds ourselves stuck with the Students from Hell. Despite our best efforts, that could as easily be us in the picture.
Nevertheless, the greater good must be served. And, if others can learn from your students failings…well, we’ll try out best not to out you in the process.
“You can’t trust nobody no more”
In the old days, cave divers made it a habit to never take an O2 bottle deeper than it could be safely used for deco. Then bottles started going missing. Now we have to hide them in the cave.
“He’s making a list…”
…and checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who is neutral and nice (and who isn’t). Sidemount Santa’s coming to town.
Neutral you must be…
…when dive skills you practice. Wisdom this is.
No good deed goes unpunished
PADI deserves credit for encouraging refresher training and trying to get inactive divers back into the sport with their Re-Activate program. Unfortunately, they made one mistake. By putting what appears to be an expiration date on students’ cards, they created a situation in which dive operators unfamiliar with the program might turn away customers because their card had “expired” — despite the fact these folks may have been diving actively since.
What kind of habits are you instilling in students?
You wouldn’t let students get in the habit of putting masks on foreheads or leaving tanks standing upright. So why allow students to get in the habit of constantly being on the bottom? After all, we only have so many coral reefs left.
Time with students is precious. Don’t waste it.
Today’s students are willing to spend little enough time with us as it is. Don’t use eLearning to make your courses any shorter than they already are. Use the time eLearning saves you to either spend more time in the water, if possible, or to talk about equipment, continuing education or dive travel.
Be your own boss. Teach scuba.
The pay is high and the benefits phenomenal. And you get to make your own schedule.
We were only half kidding with this one
Most dive instructors really want to do better…at least when starting out. Unfortunately, the way most new instructors are told they “must” teach scuba just continues to perpetuate the creation of substandard divers. We all need to fundamentally change the way people learn to dive.
“Yeah…what he said”
After watching a special on Muhammad Ali (“float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”), Clint Seeley of Unique Scuba thought up this catch phrase. This should be etched on every student’s brain.
Every cave and tech diver knows that so-called “suicide” snaps are something to be avoided. They have a high failure rate and can easily trap guidelines. This particular arrangement is doubly bad because, if the snap sticks in the closed position, you can’t cut the light away. This is why using several wraps of guideline, tied with a square knot, is preferable.
Grab these images for yourself
As you may have discovered, you can’t simply right-click or control-click on an image or drag it to your desktop to save it. You can, however, you can click on this link to download a zip filed with all 23 memes (1.7 MB).
All of the images are optimally sized and proportioned for Facebook posts. The only restriction on their use is that you cannot alter or add to them in any way. Other than that, knock yourself out.