Jul 12

The Scuba Snobs’ Tip of the Week: Tip #2: When to Give Advice

By Divemaster Dennis Writer

Dennis Jacobson is a full-time lawyer and part-time divemaster who lives in Colorado but escapes to the tropics for diving whenever he can. He and his wife Debbie, who has been diving for ten years herself, are the authors of The Scuba Snobs Guide to Diving Etiquette, and The Scuba Snobs Guide to Diving Etiquette BOOK 2. Both are available in paperback or as an e-book on amazon.com and many other on-line book sellers. Dennis is a popular blogger on scubaboard.com, and has written articles for several scuba publications in addition to the two books he and his wife have published.

This week’s dive etiquette tip answers the important question, “When should you give advice?”   This week’s tip is:  Only give advice when you are asked for it, and if you are competent to give the advice requested.  No one enjoys someone coming up to them and telling them that they are doing something wrong, or how they can do it better.  They do not want a stranger or even a friend telling them why their equipment is no good and they should get some other stuff. Unsolicited advice is usually ignored, and should be.   But when you are asked for advice, from equipment selection, to diving techniques, to places to go diving, feel free to respond, if you are competent to do so.  And phrase your response to indicate the scope of your competence.

For example, if another diver asks you what qualities you look for in a regulator, they are asking your opinion and anyone can offer their opinion freely, as an opinion..  If they ask you what regulator is the best and you have owned and used exactly one regulator in your dive lifetime, you are not competent to answer unless you limit your answer to saying, “ I have only ever used an XYZ regulator, but I have been very happy with it.” Similarly, if someone asks your opinion as to the best sites to dive in Grand Cayman, and you have dove their extensively, you can respond appropriately as to what sites you enjoyed and why.  But if the only sites you dove were Stingray City and Eden Rock during a one day excursion from a cruise ship, don’t respond by saying that those are the best two dive sites on Grand Cayman. Share what you know and what you don’t.    I have had divers who never dove at a particular island tell me what sites were best.  How do they know?   Remember the second part of the rule, only answer if you are competent to answer.

There is one exception to this rule on giving advice, and it is an important exception. If you see someone doing something that creates a danger to themselves or others, take the initiative to correct them without waiting for a question.  It’s ok to tell someone their weight belt is falling off, their air is not turned on, their regulator hose is looped over the ladder pole, or to point out an equipment malfunction or damaged gear.  But other than that, don’t give unsolicited advice. Don’t tell people how to enter or exit the water,  or how to dive, or why the colors they have on their wet suit and fins are wrong, or how they should get different fins altogether.   Be nice, be helpful, but don’t be a jabbering know-it-all.    Only give advice when you are asked for it, and if you are competent to give the advice requested.

Happy Diving, everyone!

The Scuba Snobs

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Latest entries
Jul 24

The Mindful Diver: Part III

Relaxing on the beach

In this 3-part series, we’ll delve into scuba diving’s relationship with mindfulness, and how to use the practice to become a better diver. In the previous installment of this 3-part... Read More

Jul 23

Diving the Conestoga River

Horse Farm in Lancaster PA with brook in foreground and blue sky

The hills of Lancaster, Pennsylvania hold untold treasures for divers By Terry Papavasilis Among the rolling hills and lush green countryside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania lies a secret, hidden in the... Read More

Jul 22

Please Don’t Feed The Fish: How To Overcome Seasickness

Woman getting seasick on boat

By Juanita Pienaar As a diver, you’ll generally spend more time on boats than you will exploring the underwater world. Feeding the fish, mal de mer, seasickness — call it... Read More

Jul 21

Just How Smart Is The Smart Console?

smart console

  How many times have you tried and failed to get your buddy’s attention underwater? Most of the time it’s just to point out something of interest that they missed,... Read More

Jul 20

Scuba Cartoon: Longer Dives

July1

Ever grow a beard while underwater?  This is the 43rd of our scuba cartoon series by Jerry King. Let us know what you think and submit your own if you... Read More

Jul 19

Top Dive Spots For Big Animal Encounters

whale

There are many places in the world where divers can see specific large marine animals, but only a few locations offer the opportunity to see many different kinds of animals... Read More

Jul 18

The Dangers of Ghost Nets

ghost net

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned by fishermen or lost in the ocean, and they’re a big, yet relatively unknown, problem for marine life. The Olive Ridley Project was... Read More

Jul 17

Secret Spot: Saint Helena

island of St Helena

by Mark Stevenson Where in the world is Saint Helena? So apt a question was this that it became a marketing slogan for the tiny island in the South Atlantic off... Read More

Jul 16

Kalinga Ornata Nudibranch

featuredimage

by Dustin Adamson   The Kalinga Ornata Nudibranch is one of the rarest nudibranchs to ever be seen. One will most likely go an entire diving career without seeing this... Read More

Jul 15

My Favorite Dive: Temple of Doom, Yucatán, Mexico

temple of doom

By C. David Conner It took more than an hour to drive from the hotel in Cancun to the Abyss Dive Center near Playa del Carmen. After securing our gear,... Read More