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where did DIR go
08-25-2004, 12:16 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-25-2004, 01:07 PM by jasondbaker.)
Re:where did DIR go
Okay, time to reign this discussion back in. I won't let this forum get personal. Employer and ex-employee issues don't belong here. Watching Jon and Keith hash this out may be entertaining, but it does not advance any sort of educational discussion. Guys, please take your discussion offline -- preferably over a couple beers.

I used my editorial privilege to remove and edit some of the posts. Let's stay on topic.
08-25-2004, 12:35 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-25-2004, 12:36 PM by jasondbaker.)
Re:where did DIR go...

Ethan, I found this quote interesting. Can you expand on that?

My believe is that a truly DIR diver is a good diver. That diver has passed fairly rigourous training, uses high quality gear, and follows very safe practices. Now, I believe that many non-DIR divers are good divers as well. It isn't an exclusive club.

08-25-2004, 01:22 PM,
Re:Being a DIR diver/ Being a good diver

This is true with a lot of things. Money doesn't buy experience. I think that GUE has done a pretty good job of preventing this from getting past DIR-F. I have only taken the fundies class, so somebody feel free to jump in if I'm wrong, but if you can nail the skills stressed in that course, you are well on your way to being a hell of a good diver. They also have c-cards that expire, and minimum dives at certain levels that need to be made to continue with the next level course. No divemaster at 60 dives or whatever else. I think to truly see what it is all about, everyone should take the fundies class. I agree that there are some very good divers out there who haven't taken any GUE classes, but I really think GUE has taken a step in the right direction with diving and diving skills. Lets get this back on track.
08-25-2004, 01:37 PM,
Re:where did DIR go...

Ethan, I found this quote interesting. Can you expand on that?

My believe is that a truly DIR diver is a good diver. That diver has passed fairly rigourous training, uses high quality gear, and follows very safe practices. Now, I believe that non-DIR divers can be good divers as well. It isn't an exclusive club.


I'd be happy to expand on it, but please note that you didn't quote me in context. The full sentence that you excerpted said: (emphasis added)

I just wanted to clear that up, because the first part is crucial to my meaning. I will agree that the "truely DIR divers", who have gone through the GUE courses or have picked it up on their own, tend to be very good divers. As I write this, I'm specifically thinking of Gert - I've dove with him (once) and could immediately see that he's an excellent diver (far better than me, I'll admit). A few years ago, the vast majority of people who spoke positively of DIR were such experienced DIR divers, and being "DIR" was probably a reliable (though not sure-fire) indicator of a good diver (though there of course many excellent non-DIR divers).

However, now that DIR is becoming more popular, you've got many "casual DIR divers" (I know that is supposed to be a contradiction) or "beginning" DIR divers. When I wrote this sentence I was referring more to those individuals who have a DIR-like setup and/or talk about DIR all the time, but don't have the incredible technique and skill that you get through years of experience (or natural talent).

I should've known better than to make a statistical statement based on a small set of anecdotal evidence. I've seen very few DIR divers in Wisconsin - with all the inter-shop animosity I haven't had much of a chance to dive with the Deep Blue crowd. Of the DIR folks I've seen, some have "appeared" good, some have appeared so-so, and some pretty lousy. I'm mostly basing this on occasional sightings at Wazee and Milwaukee wrecks (and you, Paul! ;D ). On the other hand, I've dived with quite a few extremely good divers who are not DIR (and I'll specifically mention Tami Thomsen here).

So perhaps I could say that my observation was biased by the company I keep. But in retrospect I think I went a bit overboard because I was annoyed by the whole conversation - all this ridiculous sniping really gets to me. So I think I'll just retract what I said (I'm allowed to do that, right?) and admit that I overgeneralized. Instead I'll just limit it to "there are good and not-so-good divers on both sides - being DIR isn't a reliable indicator of a good diver, and there are many excellent non-DIR divers."

08-25-2004, 01:42 PM,
Re:where did DIR go
Ok, here is a question for you DIR folks. Is DIR able to certify a diver...for anything? I personally do not know all of their connections.

I know that they have a series of classes that one can take to improve skills etc, but can they certify a diver?
08-25-2004, 02:12 PM,
Re:where did DIR go
DIR is a diving technique, some say a philosophy. GUE is a training agency that teaches DIR. GUE provides certification classes for technical diving -- mixed gases, cave diving, etc.
08-25-2004, 02:29 PM,
Re:where did DIR go
I'm too lazy to edit out the part of Ethan's post I want, so I'll cut and paste it instead. Ethan wrote: being DIR isn't a reliable indicator of a good diver.

If you are TRUELY a DIR diver, not wearing the badge, not necessarily covered in Hs from head to toe, but truly DIR. (I really think that GUE is an important part of this for their training philosophy, style, and rules) I think it is a very reliable indicator of a good diver. I think I'm an OK diver, and those GUE guys made me look like a goober comparing my skills with theirs. I'm not saying that there aren't other good agencies, but you best be REALLY squared away before you go around boasting how good you are in a GUE classroom. They'll wreck you. (Ethan I don't mean you specifically Smile) The problem becomes sorting out the chest thumping, gear buying wannabes from the people who actually have their shit together.
08-25-2004, 02:31 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-25-2004, 02:34 PM by jasondbaker.)
Re:Being a DIR diver/ Being a good diver

Paul, I think you're close but not exactly on target. I believe that:

-- DIR is the most fully documented system of technical diving
-- DIR priciples may be easily applied to recreational diving
-- The proponents of DIR were the first to really take advantage of training (some call it promotion) via the internet

I remember how I stumbled onto DIR a couple years ago. I was struggling with a basic gear problem. My octo kept coming out of the octo holder during dives. It was driving me nuts. Everytime I went into a dive shop they just recommended I try a different holder. Then one day I came across a posting on scubaboard describing the bungee backup. It worked perfectly. Since I was using the bungee backup I decided to change the hose lengths. Then the conversion process snowballed. I got rid of the console and retractor. I switched to a backplate. All of the little gear issues I had went away.

DIR provided a very simple, well documented set of rules to follow. I didn't have to become a trimix diver to learn and apply these rules. I didn't have to visit half-a-dozen dive shops to pick up this knowledge. Almost everything was available online or via a book. The next step is to take the fundamentals training from GUE to really get squared away.

I believe there are probably bad DIR divers just like there are probably bad cave divers. I think anyone willing to pursue this type of training has a greater potential to become a good diver.

08-25-2004, 03:54 PM,
Re:where did DIR go

lok what you have started...
08-25-2004, 03:55 PM,
Re:where did DIR go
Guys, now I would be happy to pick up the conversation, I can't be on the internet all the time though, I gotta work to keep the payments up Wink.

I agree with Chris H. on pretty much everything that he said so far. Just a couple of points that I would like to make.

There are more of us (DIR divers) out there, I just don't think they all have time, or are always willing to put up with the abuse that the more vocal proponents such as myself and Jon have to take to get the word out.

I myself, searched for a "system" for my diving for several years, before being exposed to DIR during my cave training. I firmly believe that it IS a better system for diving, provided you look at it in a holistic manner, (the way that is supposed to be taken by the way)

I have never seen anyone who really understands the entire system and has integrated it into their diving, that hasn't been an excellent diver. In fact, most have said that the concepts dramatically improved their diving.

I also want to state unequivocally that DIR is not halcyon. Ask anyone that has sat through any of the classes that we have held at Deep Blue, the name never even comes up!!!!

Halycon equipment does fit well into the sytem, as that is what it is designed to do. Originally no one wanted to make the stuff to their specs, so they created a company that would. Now just look at how much equpment is beginning to look exactly like what they make. I bet that isn't a coincidence.

Is someone who doesn't follow that DIR phylosophy automatically a bad diver? Possibly, possibly not, I do know that every diver that I have come across that really follows the system has dramatically improved their diving.

Would I never dive with someone that wasn't "DIR"? As an instructor, I really don't have an option, but I can tell you that there are a lot of dives that I wouldn't dream of doing without a diver that practiced the system. That is a personal choice that I make.

Have I in the past dove in situations that I shouldn't have with people that I perhaps on reflection should not have? Yes, all I can say now is that I have a different perspective when I look at my 5 year old and my wife and I promise them that I am coming back and that I will be careful. DIR is, for me, a central part of that promise.

As anyone that knows me will attest, I have always believed in a "kinder gentler DIR". After all, the old saying is true, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

I dive that way and I encourage all of my students to move in that direction. I know very few 100% DIR divers, but I know many divers that are moving that direction, to the betterment of their diving might I add. In the spirit of the holistic nature of DIR, understand that it is a destination that few will ever completely get to, but I strongly believe that the closer I get, the better a diver I become. I am sure that not everyone will agree with me, but for what it is worth, there it is.

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