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Female voice: Diving Divas (Part 2)

In part one of this diving divas piece we explored some misconceptions associated with females and diving. Lets explore some more subtle differences between the sexes shall we? Who makes the better student? Who makes the better diver? Who makes the better instructor? Women or Men?

Diving Students:

Females and diving

Generally I have found female students listen more attentively

I have been teaching for ten years now, and I have found that there is a distinction between male and female students. Better is not a word that I enjoy, for both have their own merits and weaknesses. Generally I have found female students listen more attentively. Girls think everything through whereas guys like to figure things out on their own. Some guys also think that they know more than their instructor, especially if they are female and younger than them – regardless of how many thousands of dives she has logged. That can be a bit frustrating.
Another thing that affects the quality of the student is the reason why they want to become a certified scuba diver in the first place. Unfortunately I have met far too many women who sign up for the open water course because their boyfriend wants them to. It is a great idea to share the passion for scuba diving with a loved one, but don’t push too hard. A student who does not enroll of their own accord will be unenthusiastic about the whole learning process, and interrelationship pressure will only make the situation worse, regardless of gender. . Girls, who start diving to try something out of the ordinary, get more excited about taking the big step than those who simply take the class to be with their boyfriends.

Certified Divers:

Diving

Girls get more excited about their success

Once certified I have found that girls get more excited about their success. They are so proud to become a certified open water diver that they are bursting with their experiences. Guys like to maintain more of a “stiff upper lip” and treat their certificate like a license to drive a car. This probably comes from the fact that women are in the minority when it comes to certifications; it is a rarer feet, and therefore something to dance about. Go ahead ladies– dance away, you have earned it!!
I have also noticed that women like to plan more, mapping out their dive more thoroughly than men who prefer to just get stuck in and figure it out as they go. As a PADI instructor, I try to instill the importance of “plan your dive, dive your plan” but once I release my students into the wild it is up to them.

Men are generally more competitive than women. Diving is not a team sport, but it is not an individual one either. We dive as a team, a unit that will hopefully end the dive together if all goes to plan. One area that male divers love to compare is air consumption, and I’m sorry lads, but we ladies will beat you every time. We are smaller, have lower muscle mass and are more efficient at our carbon dioxide elimination = we breathe less and our cylinders will last us longer. Does this make us better? That is a matter of opinion. I may take longer to get to the dive site than Johnny Bravo, but I can stay in the water and enjoy a much longer dive. I know what I would choose if I had the option. How about you?

The buddy system is our safety net. Sorry guys, but again, in my experience I think Gals make the better buddy. When girls agree to dive together they actually do stay together. They frequently check on each other in ways that are sadly lacking in male dive buddies. The “macho” gene kicks in and two blokes who agree to dive together may as well be saying “lets dive in the same ocean”, leaving too much of a distance between them to be safe in an out-of-air emergency.

Diving Instructors:

Diving

The increase in female instructors makes me happy

The increase in female divers makes me happy. The increase in female instructors makes me happier. I find women instructors to typically be more patient and attentive to students than male instructors. They have the ability to “put themselves in the students’ shoes”. Women who may have been scared themselves during their own open water course remember the fear and can better relate to a new divers apprehension. This opens more of a dialog that enriches the learning experience and makes the instructor more approachable. These are great plusses in my book.

So there you have it. The ratios are improving, we girls are growing in numbers in the scuba world and it is great. I hope this article does not offend, for this was not my intention. I simply wanted to talk about my experiences as a female diver in a male diver’s world. Our voices may resonate at a slightly higher pitch, but we deserve to be heard because diving is so delicious!

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