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.

thumbnail3.jpg
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

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.
New stuff
Aliwal Shoal

Diving Aliwal Shoal

Crystal Divers South Africa and the Blue Marlin Hotel offer divers the perfect launch pad from which to dive Aliwal Shoal.
by Nadia Aly
Drinks for Divers

Drinks for Divers: Blue Ocean Spritzer

For those times when we just can’t submerge, divers need a little something to remind them of the sea. Check out this recipe for a refreshing spritzer to get you through the dry days.
by Gretchen M. Ashton
Shark diving in the bahamas

Shark Diving in the Bahamas

Whether or not the shark-diving industry is a good thing for shark conservation efforts continues to be a controversial topic.
by Guest Author
BCD

Maximizing Your BCD’s Real Estate

Now that you’ve bought that new BCD, it’s time to figure out where to put all those accessories.
by Guest Author