If the thought of exploring submerged wrecks in tropical oceans is exciting or you want to see what’s beneath the waves offthe coast of Scotland, diving is probably the hobby for you. Diving is a fabulous sport, but it’s also dangerous if the correct procedures are not followed, so some level of training will be necessary. But if you are new to diving, you may be wondering how best to continue your dive training, so should you stick with PADI training clubs, or would joining a BSAC club be a better bet?
What is PADI?
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is a commercial organization founded in 1966. There are PADI clubs and training centers all over the world and their primary objective is to teach people how to dive. PADI is probably the best-known diver training organizations. You can train for your certification at PADI training centers, dive resorts, or with PADI professional diving instructors in many countries around the world, which makes it a popular choice for lots of people.
What is BSAC?
The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) is less of a commercial training institution and more of a club for like-minded people to get together and dive. There is a network of BSAC clubs in operation all over the UK and overseas If you join BSAC, you can go diving with other club members, take part in organized events, or continue your diver training.
What are the Advantages of Joining PADI?
PADI offers diver training from the most basic Open Water Certification course through to advanced level and specialty courses You can even go on to train to be a PADI dive instructor if you choose. Becoming a PADI member allows you to take advantage of members only events all over the world and enjoy savings on dive gear, classes and even diving holidays You can even do your bit for conservation through associated organizations.
What are the Advantages of Joining BSAC?
Although BSAC is primarily the UK’s leading dive club, it also offers training opportunities for divers of all levels, so irrespective of what qualifications you currently hold, PADI or otherwise, you can join BSAC and continue your training. However, the main advantage of joining a BSAC club and training with them is that you can take advantage of the social aspect. BSAC members enjoy a great social life. They dive and have fun together, which if you are diving as a hobby as opposed to training for your job, is the perfect combination.
Which Is Better?
There are pros and cons to both organizations, so you may have to give the matter some thought before you make a final decision. Most people start off their diving career by gaining their Open Water Certification via PADI or another professional body. They then realize that diving is enormous fun and want to continue. Once you have the basic qualification in your pocket, you can continue your diving by joining a PADI club or a BSAC one.
A lot of people join a BSAC club because they want to meet others with the same interest. Training is offered, but BSAC is more about having fun. If you are a BSAC club member, you will always have a wide selection of diving buddies to call upon for diving trips and most clubs have a busy program of organized dives every year. You can dive and learn when it suits you. The other main advantage of joining a BSAC club is that you have access to training for free because other, more experienced members, will be happy to teach you along the way, although learning this way will obviously take a lot longer than if you signed up for a commercial training course. That said, BSAC clubs do offer paid training courses as well.
PADI is more of a commercial organization, so this is the one to join if you are keen to work your way through the various training routes as fast as possible. PADI courses are of a very high standard and are internationally recognized, so if you take your diving seriously, you may prefer to join a PADI club and train with them.
There is a big crossover between PADI and BSAC, so there is no reason why you can’t start off with one and then switch to the other to suit. But whatever you choose to do, always make sure you dive safely.