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London School Of Diving
Which is the one true God? Jesus? Allah? Jehovah? Buddha? That blue one? The one with all the arms? Believe it or not, this was once a controversial question, even spawning a debate that raged for days if not weeks. Fortunately, it's a question that is now satisfactorily resolved and humanity is left free to ponder the truly great question that haunts it: which is best; PADI or BSAC?

The ancient Greeks tried to solve this problem using rational thought and logical deduction from empirical observation: this is because they were backwards and didn't even have TV. In later times, empires rose and fell according to the issue. Captain Nero, famous for fiddling with himself whilst Rome crashed out of the European Cup (as the Champions League was known during antiquity), blamed all his woes on an obscure doctrinal dispute regarding the use of SMBs. By medieval times, however, it was assumed to be a matter of faith. Scholars maintained that the answer was inherently unknowable and this is a belief that remains popular with many people today. Fools.

As luck would have it, you hold here in your tiny, girly hands, the final, er, solution. After literally minutes of painstaking research, using all the most advanced methods available to science: quantum lepidoptery; atomic hydronanoparticulation; statistical discombobulation; and leeches, I am able to categorically state which is the one true path to enlightenment, and which is the one true path to a stint in chokey and rumours of sexual impropriety. And just to prove how overwhelmingly science-laden this is, I've broken it down into bite-sized easily digestible chunks, like pellet-meals from the future. In space.


Everything in BSAC is free. Free training, free pool time, free equipment, free water, free love, free willy. It's all as free as the air you breathe. With PADI, the air you breathe is $174 per tank. Plus, you will be charged $1 per word emitted from the instructor's mouth, with certain buzz words like "cool", "OK", "guys", "awesome" and "fun" ringing in at up to $5 each. This means that the average PADI course will cost you, on average, a staggering $84,798.
Winner: Draw


Before being allowed anywhere near scuba equipment, BSAC courses demand you spend six and a half years snorkelling in partially frozen lakes, wearing just your pants and a 35 kilogram weightbelt whilst being shot at with live ammunition. PADI courses, on the other hand, present their students with a picture of a snorkel and the following multiple-choice question: "What is this? A) a snorkel, B) Keighley, West Yorkshire". The student is given just two chances to get this right.
Winner: Draw


PADI instructors are beautiful, suntanned, prancing types who snap easily when beaten and have similar moral standards and depth of character as rodents. BSAC instructors, on the other hand, are unhinged Nazis in the last stages of syphilitic dementia. Consequently, it's not uncommon for them to wake you up at 3am by screaming hysterically at you in German, demanding you immediately don your swimwear. Sometimes this will be for diving purposes.
Winner: Draw


When you join a BSAC club, your friends become BSAC's friends (by statutory law) and your enemies (whilst they survive) become BSAC's enemies. And vice versa. Join a BSAC club and you'll find yourself immersed in an ocean of new pals, queuing up to hold your hand, listen to your deepest problems and look after your kids; whilst on some weekends you will be required to participate in mass protests, strikes and the occasional suicide bombing. Conversely, PADI will treat every human interaction as a financial exchange. Upon certification, you will be violently removed from the premises unless you buy some equipment, book a course, or promise to go on holiday with them.
Winner: Draw


Due to a genetic anomaly, BSAC divers love metal: and particularly wrecks. This is why coral is outlawed in the British Isles (except in bits of Cornwall where being a PADI diver was recently legalised). This same genetic sequence causes all BSAC divers to be hairy-arsed, unlike the famously smooth-bottomed PADI aquanaut. PADI divers, however, melt when they come into contact with cold water and will also go into anaphylactic shock when confronted with waves, a current, an SMB or visibility under 40 metres. BSAC divers go into shock when you confiscate their industrial cutting equipment and 60 kilograms of spare weight from them before a dive.
Winner: Draw

The Decider

It's all square so far, which means it's all down to the last issue to categorically decide which training agency is best. And the final criterion is: Which agency did I train with? Answer: PADI.

Winner: PADI

Halcyon Eclipse Infinity
So there you have it, another controversial issue finally laid to rest. And whilst the streets will for some time be filled with PADI supporters, victoriously and habitually waving their genitals in the face of the BSAC, there will be a time when people will look back on the old days of uncertainty with a nostalgic air, as they wistfully remember the fingers, teeth and organs they lost, fighting to defend their agency. But don't thank me; thank science (and me).

Next issue: Destiny vs free will. Rob decides.

H2O Dive

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