A very special thanks to Joshua Howard for providing the beautiful photography featured.
A Few Points...
can i just Pay for a certification?
Air Hogs SCUBA is NOT a certification mill. We have spent years developing the skills needed to teach SCUBA, and will not simply print certification cards out for everyone.
A Note about our training methods
If you have ever been to some of our local dive spots on a summer weekend, you have most likely noticed that large groups (10+ individuals) will stampede towards the water entry at any given point. While the standards set by the RSTC may allow for this type of student to instructor ratio, our team here at AHS refuse to train students this way. Here are some of the things that may happen when large groups train together (outside of public safety):
- If there is one instructor with one assistant, how exactly are they going to successfully keep track of up to twelve students in low visibility situations?
- A student becomes lost in the crowd and will ultimately just become a number.
- A student may find it more intimidating to ask what they may consider to be silly questions.
Pay Per Day Training Model
It is a fact that some folks will simply learn more quickly than others. At Air Hogs SCUBA, we have trained students who have lived in and around water their entire life. Our team has also trained / worked with individuals who have never stepped one foot in the water. With that, there is no way to tell how long the training will be. This is especially true when it comes to our Open Water SCUBA Diver course and many of the Technical Diving courses. For this reason, we have broken away from the one payment model and moved to a pay per day. With courses varying in requirements and equipment, the price per day may also change depending on the course being taught.
What this does for you as a customer is ensure you that your instructor is not just trying to meet some sort of quota. With set daily prices combined with more private classes, there is no reason to avoid taking more time with the student, and it avoids anyone trying to be "rushed through" just to meet some sort of a time requirement given by a dive shop. This model also allows students to really take control of their training. If someone wants to go to the pool for a few hours and only work on one skill over and over and over, that is just fine. There is no longer any type of arbitrary schedule of events that must be followed due tothe, "that is just how everyone does it" attitude.
Cancellation / No Show Policy
Our team understands that sometimes life gets in the way. However, if you fail to cancel more than 24hrs BEFORE the scheduled event, you will not be refunded for that day. ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE. There are a few emergency situations that will qualify for a "free" reschedule. An example of this would be a death in the close family. Car trouble will no longer qualify as a last minute emergency. Unfortunately, this excuse has been used many times in the past, only to find out that the student simply overslept.
showing up late
Everyone runs a little bit late from time to time. We simply ask that you contact the Instructor and let them know. We expect our Instructors to stick around for 30 minutes after the agreed upon meeting time. After that, it is up to the Instructor if a reschedule will be needed. Keep in mind that just because you call the Instructor or Dive Shop, it does not mean that they will automatically agree to wait longer for you to show up. At that point, another training day will need to be purchased.
what is a "day"
In simple terms, we will spend up to five hours at the pool per day with you. In open water (at the quarry for instance), we will spend up to three hours in the water, but up to five hours at the quarry all told.
Essentially, we will just take the entire morning or afternoon to work with you. While we are not going to stand by the clock and count the minutes as they tick by, we also expect you to work hard as a student to reach your goals. We are there to help and coach, but only you can perform the skills.
As a student, you must understand that sometimes the instructor's standard for mastering a skill, and your own standard for mastering a skill may differ. If you can demonstrate that you are comfortable and confident in the water, you will be just fine. However, if you find that you are barely making it through a skill successfully, we will likely ask you to come back for more training days.
perfection you say
There are some people making claims that the only way to make a new open water diver is to take their students to the pool for no less than six or seven training sessions before ever even thinking about going to open water. While we applaud anyone for striving for perfection, we do not believe in wasting time on repetitive skills when it is unnecessary. Our team believes that your goal should be just like ours; be perfect in the water and have some fun. While that is our goal, the outcome may differ a bit. No one is perfect and we are shining examples of that fact. If you are an Accountant, we are confident that it took some time to get better and better at your craft. SCUBA diving is no different. If you have perfect trim and buoyancy from day one, you are far ahead of the game. The dive professionals you encounter simply have one thing that you do not; experience in the water. Over time, you will find what works best for you. Try not to worry about the internet perfectionists and staged videos showing just how amazing some people believe they are. If you go under the water and stay there for thirty minutes or an hour, you have accomplished something that humans should not be able to do. We think that is pretty amazing in and of itself. If you had some fun while doing it.... BONUS!!
this should be a fun experience
SCUBA diving is supposed to be fun and exciting. Some people do it to challenge themselves and go further into a cave system. Some do it to see how deep they can go. The majority of individuals, it seems, just want to dive to have some fun and find something that they can do in their spare time. It certainly makes vacation options more exciting. Another advantage of paying per day is that you can try it out and may realize that this is just not going to be something you want to do in the long run. Then you do not have to worry about how a refund is going to work and stress over any of that. Air Hogs SCUBA is here to support and encourage you to complete your certification. However, if you just finish the course and never go diving again, what was the point? If you find that you are just not enjoying the sport as much as you believe you should, then we would encourage you to give us a chance to change things up and see if anything imporves. If not, then there is nothing wrong in stopping.
There are a few items that you must own, at a minimum, in order to take courses here at Air Hogs SCUBA:
- Mask - Be sure it fits and it is comfortable. Click for Advice
- Fins (Boots) - Full foot fins or open heel. We recommend Open Heel with a boot.
- Snorkel - Good to have one and there are some required skills with it during Open Water.
All of these items can be found in our online shop. Feel free to order online and just pick up in the store. We will have everything waiting for you.
If there is one thing that will slow or stop your training, it is having missing paperwork. There are a few standard forms that must be filled out, and in some cases medical clearance must be obtained PRIOR TO GETTING IN THE WATER with us. This includes entering the pool.