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  1. #1

    Default Does UTD have a presence in Florida?

    Hello guys,

    I would like to know if there is a big UTD community in Florida. I was going to sign up with a UTD cave course but I was told that UTD does not have a very large presence in FL and they do most of their cave dives in Mexico. Unless you want to dive overseas UTD may not have the biggest network of instructors / dive buddies in FL.

    Comments?


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUB ZERO View Post
    Hello guys,

    I would like to know if there is a big UTD community in Florida. I was going to sign up with a UTD cave course but I was told that UTD does not have a very large presence in FL and they do most of their cave dives in Mexico. Unless you want to dive overseas UTD may not have the biggest network of instructors / dive buddies in FL.

    Comments?
    I would say that is a fair assessment.

    Forrest Wilson (with 2 Rs)
    Any opinions are personal.
    Sump Divers

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    Panama City Beach, Fl.
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    Default

    Why? If for sidemount I wouldn't waste the money. For the team diving concept I would go GUE.


  4. #4

    Default

    There are a few reasons I am inclined towards UTD over GUE.

    1. There is a UTD facility near where I live and I like the instructor. His mental approach to diving is similar to my own. The closest GUE instructor is 5 hours away.

    2. UTD courses are slightly cheaper.

    3. UTD tends to be more inclusive with side mount and stuff. There are no re-evaluation fees in case you do not do the required number of dives etc.

    Both are great organizations.


  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SUB ZERO View Post
    There are a few reasons I am inclined towards UTD over GUE.

    1. There is a UTD facility near where I live and I like the instructor. His mental approach to diving is similar to my own. The closest GUE instructor is 5 hours away.

    2. UTD courses are slightly cheaper.

    3. UTD tends to be more inclusive with side mount and stuff. There are no re-evaluation fees in case you do not do the required number of dives etc.

    Both are great organizations.
    Things to consider
    1) In overhead diving where your skill set is your life support, cheaper and closer isn't always best. Find an instructor that is very active teaching in a location you plan to dive. Yeah, you may pay more,but quality instruction, plus the extra bit of advice from a "local" person is worth the money you pay.
    2) Some cave systems, for example Diepolder , used to require certain agencies inorder to be able to dive. Can't speak for UTD.

    "Not all change is improvement...but all improvement is change" Donald Berwick

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Jessop View Post
    Things to consider
    1) In overhead diving where your skill set is your life support, cheaper and closer isn't always best.
    but isn't necessarily worse which seems to be the implication here (just how it reads, Kelly. I'm not suggesting you're knocking anyone or anything).
    The very first reason that Sub Zero gave was:
    "There is a UTD facility near where I live and I like the instructor. His mental approach to diving is similar to my own."

    Being closer and having better access to someone you like, respect, and are comfortable with are very valid reasons to choose an instructor IMHO. It isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's cheaper.
    And while it's great to choose an instructor local to a location one plans to dive, how many of us actually usually dive where we learned? I learned in the Cook Islands. I did my full cave in Mexico but most of my diving was Florida. I don't think the suggestion really applies in real-life diving since probably somewhere on the order of 0% end up with the majority of their diving most of the time in the same place they learned.

    @Eric, while you may go GUE, I think it's fair to say that we usually tell new people to pick an instructor, not an agency. I'm sure you've seen this all over the forum and we do it over and over and over again. Now a guy choses an instructor and we're telling him to go to another agency. Other than the big "N," why would we contradict ourselves? You know I respect your opinion and would be interested in the reasoning for choosing the agency in this case. I think it's ok to bash UTD on this forum (I will double-check the ok-to-bash-this-agency-but-not-this-one-on-cdf list) in case this turns into UTD-slamming (not you, just in general).

    I know if I were new-ish looking for information and read statements like "Go Blue!" or "pick the red team!" I'd really wonder why, especially without any supporting info.
    Guys he only asked about the FL presence. If you take it upon yourselves to contradict his choice (even though that's got nothing to do with his question), at least give some supporting info.

    @Sub Zero, there's not a huge UTD group in FL, it's true. There are a few in southern FL. If you are interested in the opinions of those who are commenting, drop them a PM to find out why. Some of the GUE team are really great - top notch. I've also met UTD divers and instructors that seem to be excellent. This is all 150% subjective and I for one have never done a course with either.

    ----
    Cave Mann

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whodunit68 View Post
    but isn't necessarily worse which seems to be the implication here (just how it reads, Kelly. I'm not suggesting you're knocking anyone or anything).
    .
    I am not knocking this organization at all. It is great being closer and having confidence in someone,but since he lists his location as Northern Virginia, you have to ask the question how active is this instructor in teaching cave diving. What I am saying is if you plan to dive Mexico or North Florida, it is worthwhile to find the most active instructor in that area, and use them. I use the surgery analogy. Would you want someone to operate on you that does that procedure once a month, or someone that does it several times a week. I have also found local instructor in the area where you plan to dive can give you a lot of insight into certain caves, shops, and random wisdom that can have value and help with making the area more accessible.

    "Not all change is improvement...but all improvement is change" Donald Berwick

  8. #8
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    St Petersburg, FL
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whodunit68 View Post
    but isn't necessarily worse which seems to be the implication here (just how it reads, Kelly. I'm not suggesting you're knocking anyone or anything).
    The very first reason that Sub Zero gave was:
    "There is a UTD facility near where I live and I like the instructor. His mental approach to diving is similar to my own."

    Being closer and having better access to someone you like, respect, and are comfortable with are very valid reasons to choose an instructor IMHO. It isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's cheaper.
    And while it's great to choose an instructor local to a location one plans to dive, how many of us actually usually dive where we learned? I learned in the Cook Islands. I did my full cave in Mexico but most of my diving was Florida. I don't think the suggestion really applies in real-life diving since probably somewhere on the order of 0% end up with the majority of their diving most of the time in the same place they learned.

    @Eric, while you may go GUE, I think it's fair to say that we usually tell new people to pick an instructor, not an agency. I'm sure you've seen this all over the forum and we do it over and over and over again. Now a guy choses an instructor and we're telling him to go to another agency. Other than the big "N," why would we contradict ourselves? You know I respect your opinion and would be interested in the reasoning for choosing the agency in this case. I think it's ok to bash UTD on this forum (I will double-check the ok-to-bash-this-agency-but-not-this-one-on-cdf list) in case this turns into UTD-slamming (not you, just in general).

    I know if I were new-ish looking for information and read statements like "Go Blue!" or "pick the red team!" I'd really wonder why, especially without any supporting info.
    Guys he only asked about the FL presence. If you take it upon yourselves to contradict his choice (even though that's got nothing to do with his question), at least give some supporting info.

    @Sub Zero, there's not a huge UTD group in FL, it's true. There are a few in southern FL. If you are interested in the opinions of those who are commenting, drop them a PM to find out why. Some of the GUE team are really great - top notch. I've also met UTD divers and instructors that seem to be excellent. This is all 150% subjective and I for one have never done a course with either.
    I suspect it's because the guy was looking at utd which has a mildly similar core value as gue. But in reality have you seen a crappy gue instructor in our area? I think in general it's fairly safe to break that rule and recommend any local gue instructor.


  9. #9

    Default

    At the tech/cave level, to me an idea instructor is one that:

    I can respect and like at a personal level (because I'm a stubborn learner if I don't respect you or what you believe... that's just me)
    One that has in depth knowledge, skills, experience and professionalism and ability to ensure that I am challenged to grow and become an competent, aware, self thinking diver
    One that I can make work from a logistics and cost perspective. Some flexibility should be given here but obviously there are limits.

    One final consideration is that ideally taking a class from a given instructor should give you some meaningful introduction into a social network of similarly trained divers who are actively doing the dives that you want to do. Additionally you should like and respect the divers in this network as it reflects on the overall culture of the community and you will be relying on them for safe, fun times. Otherwise it might be kind of pointless to take the training because it will be difficult to put it to good use and grow your experience doing what you love.


  10. #10

    Default

    I'm under the mindset of picking an instructor based on HIS/HER skillset, ability, experience, etc. not their affiliated agencies. I use agencies, plural, because a lot of experienced instructors teach for multiple agencies- I know mine does anyway. This means they have the knowledge and reasoning from more than one viewpoint, and even if they don't necessarily blend the "good" material from each, they'll at least inform you of agency XYZ teaches this content this way, which may actually suit you better, specifically. I haven't paid attention to the name on my cards yet, as I haven't got into cave yet. There's been no reason for me to care which agency I chose because I trust my instructor. I trust the skills I've learned. I still don't know much about the agency, because it hasn't made a difference at this point. Am I going to start hating the same guy if he switched agencies? Bill and Fred are no longer friends because he leaves Chevy and goes and works for Ford?

    As far as location goes, I guess I belong to that "0%". In 15 years, I've solely trained in Northern Florida and almost exclusively dived in Northern Florida, aside from a trip to Hawaii. I don't like to ocean dive. I like cave diving. My job allows me a few days off each week and most weekends off, which makes traveling and diving to Northern Florida convenient.



 

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