How Do I Choose Which Scuba Agency to Train With?
What kind of diving are you planning on doing?
Where in the world will you be diving?
Will you be diving in warm, shallow tropical waters with easy boat rides and calm seas? Or will you be somewhere where the water is colder that requires more gear? Or where there’s bigger waves, stronger currents and longer boat rides? It’s important to remember that a tropical environment doesn’t always mean easy conditions. For example, diving in the Komodo National Park can be beautiful and warm, however the currents can be very challenging, even for advanced divers.
Will you need to be an advanced diver or have a specific specialty? Will you be getting up super early for long days on the boat, or staying in a beach bungalow that’s walking distance from the dive shop?
Once you know what kind of diving you want to do, then you’ll want to find out what certifications you’ll need. From here, you can look into which agencies deliver the certifications for the type of diving you want to do, as well as which agencies are available to you where you want to go diving.
Once you have done your homework and found a few diving centers that operate where you will be doing your diving (who are run under the scuba agencies that you are looking for), it is time to pick one!
How do I choose which shop to dive with?
Why choosing your instructor is most important and how to go about it
Having an instructor that’s a good fit is the most important thing that you need to find at the end of the day.
If you have to choose between two dive shops belonging to two different agencies, your choice should come down to the instructor – not the agency. If it’s possible, the best way to go about it is to meet them in person and chat with different instructors to see who you feel most comfortable with.
Diving with different agencies
Again the answer is almost always: you can switch, you’re not stuck!
What’s more important is finding an instructor you like, feel comfortable, and get along with. It’s also important to be diving in an environment with conditions you feel comfortable in. Don’t worry so much about what agency they are, or what agency you’ve learned with in the past. Just make sure that whichever agency they teach with, that your dive insurance will accept it!