Everything’s Better Down Where It’s Wetter: The Differences Between PADI and SSI Diving Courses
Diving is one hell of a past time. Exploring the deep, blue sea with just the air on your back. It is, however, a dangerous hobby and one which you need to learn properly. There are thousands of courses out there. The two most famed courses are provided by PADI and SSI. In this article we’ll explore the differences between PADI and SSI diving courses. Whether you’re diving on Koh Tao or maybe Koh Phangan, it’s best to dive in with some prior knowledge. Let’s begin!
Maybe you’ve had a go at a fun dive or you’re looking to really get into diving through a course. If you’re keen to become a proficient diver then you’ll need to achieve proper certification. This means you’ll be able to tackle dive sites across the entire world. On your search for a certificate you will have come across the two major agencies PADI and SSI. Depending on your preferences and style one might suit you better than the other; read on the learn the differences between PADI and SSI diving courses.
What’s in a name?
People love to throw acronyms around without really knowing what they mean. In this instance, PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors and SSI stands for Scuba Schools International. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
SSI or PADI – which is better?
Straight to the point, which one is better? The key point to remember is that both PADI and SSI have to follow the framework and guidelines laid out by the World Recreational Scuba Diving Council. Therefore, both of the courses will teach you the same core skills that every diver needs to know.
That said, there are naturally slight differences between every agency in terms of the amount of theory you are required to learn, the overall cost of the course, the approach that the staff take and what requirements they have of you.
If you plan ahead you can save yourself some money and valuable time whilst on your trip. PADI and SSI can offer you the opportunity to complete the theory section online. This means you can complete it before your trip, allowing more time to get into the water. Their pricing structures are varied. PADI charge roughly $150-200 for their course but include all of the course materials, whereas SSI offers their online learning course for free, but then charge for the course materials. You’ll need to check each website and do some math to see which is more expensive at the time.
Our recommendation is to stick with one provider so you don’t end up paying for the same thing twice. That means if you complete the theory with PADI then you should attempt to do a PADI open water diving course.
If you’re staying at Bodega Phuket, give our reception a shout and we can help arrange your open water diving certification!
Seeing as there are many similarities between the two courses, the key differing factor will likely be down to the instructor. Go ahead and meet them first, see if you get on together and then commit to a course. After all you’re going to be placing a lot of trust in them and will be spending a lot of time with them too.
Diving Tips from Experienced Alcoholics…
Book in advance. The best courses will book up well in advance. Therefore, if you can skip meeting the instructor and go ahead, based on a friend’s recommendation perhaps, then you’ll be able to guarantee your place.