Why choose MadisonScuba?
So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into Scuba Diving (literally and figuratively). Now you have to decide which Dive Shop to sign up with for your learning. What questions should you be asking and how do you make a decision on which Dive Shop is right for you? Here are some helpful tips from MadisonScuba.
Teachers – What kind of staffing do you have?
As a future student, the first question you should be asking is about the shop’s staffing qualifications and quantity. How many staff will be in the water with you, especially during your open water check-out dives? If you are going out with one instructor and five other students, who is watching you when the instructor is checking off skills with student #2. If one student has a problem, for example equalizing their ears and they can’t descend, who takes care of that student? Or who is taking care of the rest of you for that matter?
MadisonScuba has a low Dive Pro to student ratio. Even lower than PADI requirements. In addition to the Instructor, we typically assign one Divemaster to every student buddy team. There is always someone there to watch you, no matter what. This is especially important with the limited visibility in our lakes during mid-summer.
Don’t allow yourself to be left unattended. PADI doesn’t allow this; neither do we.
Dive Equipment – What kind of Dive Gear do you use?
The second question you should be asking is “What kind of dive gear I will be using and how old is it?” Too many times we have seen students struggling with weight belts or in gear and wetsuits held together by duct tape. Hmm, not a good picture. Our lakes are not the warm Caribbean, so make sure if you are doing your check-out dives in early summer or late fall, you will be supplied with hoods and gloves.
All of MadisonScuba’s rental BCD’s, regulators, wetsuits, hoods, and gloves are less than one year old. Wetsuits degrade and compress overtime providing less warmth. Our weight-integrated Cressi BCD’s and NeoSport wetsuits offer you the best in comfort, convenience and warmth. Just ask anyone who has had to strap on chunks of hard lead around their waist and hips.
There are some dive shops that may not require you to buy any of your own gear. MadisonScuba requires that all students need to buy only their own mask and snorkel. There is a very good reason for that. Everyone’s face has a different size and shape. If you have ever tried on a scuba mask, you know that one size does not fit all. We have over 25 different models of masks in our shop for that reason. Wide faces, narrow faces, children, adults … we have the mask to fit you. After all, you are down there to see something, right? A mask that constantly floods makes for a very long and frustrating dive (no fun either). Masks and snorkels are personal items. Ask any diver – no matter where they go, the first piece of gear they pack is their own mask and snorkel.
A Friendly Atmosphere – what do you see and hear at the shop?
Talk with the Instructor or staff. Ask them about the fun they have working with students. In this way, you can gauge if they are teaching because they love it, or because it is just another revenue stream. At MadisonScuba we can’t wait for our students to become fully certified so they can come diving with us. That’s right … your MadisonScuba instructor and dive staff are out diving with you every Tuesday night during the summer, weekend day trips and really anytime you might want to dive. We don’t just teach you and send you on your way. We want you to keep diving. Come to a place where you will have a built-in dive buddy. Well actually, lots of them!
Thank you for considering MadisonScuba for your scuba instruction. We wish to end with one very important answer to the question “Why MadisonScuba?” The short answer is: We want to work with you and help you achieve your goal of becoming an Open Water diver. There is a difference between providing service and being passionate about providing service. At MadisonScuba, we are passionate about diving and want to share that passion with you.