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There are many dive centers and scuba clubs. Choosing the right one is vital to safely enjoy this sport, improve your knowledge as a diver, or live unique experiences.
What aspects should we consider when choosing one of the many dive centers and scuba clubs? Let’s see!
Difference Between Scuba Clubs and Dive Centers
The main difference between scuba clubs and dive centers is that the latter are businesses, while dive clubs are non-profit organizations. In them, diving lovers associate to have access to the offered services more cheaply.
In the diving centers, the relationship ends once the contracted activities end. Meanwhile, with the scuba clubs, the relationship is usually annual. This is the time covered by the renewable fee.
Whether you are going to choose a diving center to enjoy your vacations or a scuba club, there are some common aspects that must be considered. We review them below.
1. Scuba Clubs’ Atmosphere
Regardless of thinking the facilities are beautiful, the most important thing is that they are clean and tidy. It is also interesting to see how many divers visit them. If we are talking about scuba clubs, knowing the number of members is significant because that will mean more resources for the club.
Regarding diving centers, a nourished number of divers mean that they can make groups with similar levels. However, notice that the organization has to be meticulous to give good service to all without suffering collapses.
2. Scuba Clubs’ Offer
Ask if they do dive courses and with which agency. The most known certifying agencies are PADI, SSI, CMAS, BSAC although there are more. Pay attention to which agencies have the highest standards, are the most recognized, and those that have more services internationally. Yes, you will be able to dive anywhere in the world with any of these certifications. Nonetheless, it is interesting that the dive center can check your level if you forget your card, as is possible with the PADI certification check service.
Neither should you forget to ask about the training and experience of the instructors and dive guides. Make sure that the number of divers per guide does not exceed 8. If you travel abroad, at the dive centers, also ask if they speak your language.
All activities must be meticulously prepared, whether they are trips, excursions, or simple dives. We should not forget that getting briefing information about each dive is as vital in centers as in scuba clubs. Thanks to them, we will be prepared, and we will not have to improvise. In this way, all the divers handle the same information and can be clear-headed. It increases security.
4. Scuba Clubs’ equipment
Another important aspect is the equipment. Analyze how scuba clubs take care of the material, check if everything is in good condition, ask about the disinfection protocol they follow and what products they use, especially for the disinfection of the regulators and wetsuits. These items work in the mouth and touch the skin. So, it is crucial to use products that do not leave toxic residues, as Dressel Divers does, using Sanosil.
You should also take into account the proper revisions of the scuba cylinders. Inquire about the kind of gas mixtures available and their prices. For example: at Dressel Divers, we offer Nitrox for free in most of our dive centers.
Boats and onboard equipment are also a critical point. Usually, boats are much humbler in scuba dive clubs than in dive centers. Nevertheless, a dive boat should be big enough and powerful enough to allow short trips to the nearest dive sites. It must be well cared for and clean, have a well-trained crew, and carry first aid material and an oxygen kit. If it also has spare equipment, much the better still.
5. Value for Money
Both in the centers and in the scuba clubs there are activities, outings, excursions, courses, and trips. It is imperative to make a quality-price analysis. Watch out! We are not talking about choosing the cheapest, but paying attention to quality at a competitive price. In diving as in most things, “you get what you pay for”, remember that your comfort and safety are at stake.
As a general rule, scuba clubs have significant offers for their members in different activities. Check that it is so, remember that the cost of the activity must be added to the percentage corresponding to the membership fee.
6. Scuba Clubs’ Reviews
If to buy a scarf you need to check reviews on internet, how are you going to choose among the many centers and scuba clubs without taking them into account? Reading other divers´ reviews can help you make the best decision. Tripadvisor, or Google Maps, can help you in this task.
7. Respect for the environment
We divers are nature lovers by definition. So, putting the focus on those scuba clubs which respect the environment is a must.
This aspect defines the diving policy of Dressel Divers. Do you know our Go Green project? Click on the link to find out more about it.
If you consider these seven tips before booking in a dive center or enroll in a scuba club, you will hardly make a mistake. However, tell us, what do you look at to choose a scuba club? Share your comment with us on Facebook.