Freediving New Zealand Depth Nationals 2018

The stage is set for the Freediving New Zealand Depth Nationals being held this Thursday 15th March to Saturday 18th March.

The competition, which will be held over three days, will include all AIDA depth competition disciplines – Constant Weight (CWT), Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) and Free Immersion (FIM).

Each day will be made of three sessions, where competitors will nominate their discipline and make their dive. Disciplines may be repeated however only their best result in each discipline will go towards their final ranking.

Lake Taupo, where the competition will be held, is a 186m deep caldera in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. Visibility is generally around 15 metres and the water temperature is usually around 19 degrees – but thermoclines do come into play.

PADI are thrilled to be a teaming up with Freediving New Zealand as a sponsor of the Freediving New Zealand Depth Nationals 2018.

Speaking of the partnership, competition organiser Nick Rhodes said:

“Freediving is an exhilarating sport but there are inherent risks involved. As such, training and technique play such an important role.

Freediving New Zealand is thrilled to be working with PADI to highlight these crucial aspects of the sport and to further expand the freediving community in New Zealand and beyond”

Stay up to date with the latest by visiting the Freediving New Zealand Facebook Page and check out the PADI Instagram channel over the course of the weekend for updates from Lake Taupo.

Want to become a PADI Freediver Centre? Speak to your Regional Manager Today.


Dive for Cancer Raises Record Funds

It’s a devastating fact that 1 in 2 people in Australia will be diagnosed with cancer before their 85th birthday (source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). So it’s only natural to want to raise much needed funds for research into this widespread disease.

In 2013, PADI Divemaster and Cancer Council Ambassador Mark Tozer created Dive for Cancer, a unique scuba diving fund raising event. Since then, Dive for Cancer has grown into a non-profit organisation that brings together divers all over Australia and beyond to raise much needed funds for cancer research.

This year, there have been three Dive for Cancer events hosted in Queensland, South Australia and, for the first time, New Zealand.

Speaking about the event in South Australia, Mark Tozer said:

“This year the weather favoured our sell-out event, enabling 150 divers to dig deep in our underwater passion and joint goal in the fight toward a future without cancer.

Year on year we have seen our event grow and the generosity and donations increase. We are overwhelmed to say that together we’ve raised $29,388.86 at this year’s event.”

Despite the weather in New Zealand trying to keep divers away (roads were closed following a cyclone) it was a great day there too with 14 dedicated divers raising an awesome $1,315NZD.

It’s always incredible to see the diving community come together to support a cause and Dive for Cancer is no exception.

Congratulations to Mark, the Dive for Cancer team and everyone who got involved in this year’s events.

Updates for PADI Freediver Instructors and Trainers

We have some great news for PADI Freediver Instructors and Trainers we wanted to share with you.

First, as you have probably read already in the First Quarter 2018 Training Bulletin, you can now teach several PADI Standardised Specialties to your Freediver students. Additionally, you can also write your own Distinctive Specialties that PADI does currently not offer, such as Monofin, Safety Diver, Surf Survival or Mermaid Diver. Please see the relevant Training Bulletin for more information.

Secondly, we have also scheduled a PADI Freediver Update Webinar for current PADI Freediver Instructors and PADI Freediver Instructor Trainers! This webinar will provide you with the latest information in regards to the PADI Freediver program, current trends and PADI marketing efforts to support the program and our members.

The webinar is scheduled for Monday 26 March 2018 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM AEST. Please click below to register.

Register attendance

Last but least, we are pleased to announce the 2018 PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Course, scheduled from 21 May 2018 – 25 May 2018 in Cebu, Philippines. If you are interested in this course, please start the procedure by downloading the PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Course Fact Sheet. This will give you an idea of the requirements and procedures involved and will help answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

To apply for the course, download the PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Course Application Form. The application form should be submitted electronically to

The deadline for submitting your application is 4 April 2018.

2017 Freediver Instructor Trainer Course Graduates


PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty & Women’s Dive Day

Written by John Kinsella

It’s five thirty on a Costa Rican morning and Georgia King is talking to me about the PADI® Adaptive Techniques Specialty. It’s quiet, she says, before the rest of the family wakes. I can almost hear the tropical dawn chorus. Georgia is a PADI Platinum Course Director in Costa Rica and her time is precious, but she’s absolutely committed to helping people with disabilities benefit from diving and happy to share her wisdom. Georgia was an advisor during course development and has extensive experience and expertise. In fact, before we finish, Georgia has made another significant time and energy commitment: She’s decided to run an adaptive techniques workshop for PADI Women’s Dive Day.

Georgia’s commitment is such that since the program launched she has run two Adaptive Techniques Specialty courses right after two IDCs. It was a natural fit. “I think it’s fantastic to be able to incorporate the training with the IDC,” she says quietly. “It makes sense to integrate it naturally with the various course elements. New instructors coming out of the IDC are super excited because we’ve been talking about it. It inspires them to take that next step.”

I ask what she’d say to PADI Pros with no prior experience, who may never have thought of taking or teaching the Adaptive Techniques Specialty.

“Get involved,” she advises, pointing out that one of the major benefits, even if you are not immediately going out and teaching people with disabilities, is that it will open your mind to various teaching techniques and ways to approach all PADI programs. This can completely change the way you teach. “It really does open your eyes to a whole world of possibilities,” Georgia says. “Even in something as simple as demonstrating a skill in the skill circuit, you really just think differently. You are not set in one way of doing something. A lot of people think, ‘You have to do it this way.’ You know? You don’t.”

Georgia feels that a lot of people may be apprehensive about getting involved and offers this encouragement: “It’s kind of like the EFR® program when people worry about helping others. They don’t think they’ll be able to manage it. But everybody who has done the Adaptive Techniques Specialty is absolutely blown away and amazed by it. There’s more to it than people realize. Sure, it’s helping someone in a wheelchair, but that’s just a tiny part of it. The program talks about the attitudes, and how you treat people.”

And the confidence that insight brings opens up the most significant benefit of the Adaptive Techniques Specialty: It’s so rewarding for everyone. “Just giving people the opportunity, that’s one of the biggest things,” Georgia believes. “In any teaching there’s opportunity for reward, but sometimes I find more so with this. I shed tears after my first Discover Scuba® Diving experience with a guy who was born without legs. It completely amazed him how he felt underwater. He came up and just cried. I was so overwhelmed. It’s an amazing thing.”

Interview with Two PADI IDC Resorts Working With, Not Against Each Other

Sometimes working together instead of against each other yields huge benefits. A great example of this is Atmosphere Resort and Liquid Dive Dumaguete in the Philippines who are two very similar, but still very different dive resorts working constructively together.

Atmosphere, winner of the “Luxury Resort Award” in 2017, is a PADI 5 Star IDC Resort with numerous, similar accomplishments. Liquid Dive Dumaguete, also a PADI 5 Star IDC Resort, focuses on a different clientele and during the last couple of years have managed to build a big name within the dive industry.

What these two business have done is combined forces when it comes to their PADI Instructor Development Courses by creating ‘Instructor Development Philippines’ (IDP). Together they currently have 4 PADI Course Directors on staff as well as multiple PADI Master Instructors working in both resorts making sure that each and every one of their students gets the attention they need and require.

PADI Regional Manager Conny Jeppson contacted Gabrielle Holder (Owner/Course Director at Atmosphere Resort) and Tim Latimer (Owner/Course Director at Liquid Dive Dumaguete) to ask them a few question about how and why they decided to join forces.

Why did you make the decision to work together when conducting IDC programs?

GH/TL: We felt that there was a hole in the IDC market in the Philippines and we believed that by working together we could have a bigger impact by bringing in the expertise and knowledge from our different backgrounds. This combined with our separate marketing efforts and students being taught in the different dive centres also increases the combined reach.

Your program includes a unique ‘Learn to Teach’ element. Can you tell us a bit about that?

GH/TL: Our candidates have the opportunity to teach in two separate dive resorts which focus on separate markets and clientele. Candidates often do not know where they are heading after becoming an instructor. We wanted to offer two different venues through which they could conduct their first courses. This teaches them how to apply varying teaching styles to suit the student, and candidates work closely with our instructor teams to gain experience and teach a variety of PADI courses.

What else is unique about the program you offer?

GH/TL: We have four Course Directors in house at all times, with two being the owners of the resorts and Instructor Development Philippines. This means at any time we have the staff to give candidates individual attention whenever necessary. All candidates are signed up for IDC Online Study and they have individual tablets fully loaded with PADI materials during their IDC, ensuring they are well aware of how to function as a PADI Instructor in today’s digitalized world. We are also keen advocates of the environment, operating Project AWARE monthly clean-ups (Dive Against Debris) and a general environmental thinking throughout both resorts.

Do you have any memorable moments from the program thus far?

GH/TL: Every IDC is unique in its own way, but the main highlights are seeing candidates succeed in the future. We stay in touch with our candidate and we have seen them find their dream jobs and open their own dive centres, which is just fantastic.

How has coming together to run a joint IDC benefited your dive shop?

GH/TL: Working together has lead to benefits for both dive shops by growing our IDC reputation, including our ‘learn to teach programme’, as well as the reputation and brand awareness of both dive centres in general within the area.

What’s in store for the program going forward (e.g. growing, continuing to run etc.)

GH/TL: A venue purely for DM to IDC training to make us the ultimate experience in professional training; not just in the Philippines but also globally.

What advice do you have for any dive shop owner thinking about joining together for an IDC program?

GH/TL: It is very simple really. You need to offer something unique and find someone you are willing to work together with who has the same goals as you.

Thank you to both Tim and Gabrielle for taking the time to answer these questions and I hope that you, the reader, have some good ideas of how you and your neighbouring dive centers can start a similar cooperation be it in IDC’s, Freediving, TecRec or even normal courses working with different referral systems.

Conny Jeppson
PADI Regional Manager for the Philippines

March Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

In 2018 the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management team has been bringing you tips from PADI staff in the field on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. This month we heard from PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Territory Director, Rich Somerset.

“We are blessed with a career that puts us in contact with the ocean – and the ocean demands our respect. Treat her with respect and she will give you a lifetime of adventures, but underestimate her at your peril. Remember: be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.” – Rich Somerset

The Ocean is indeed a truly awesome place – the energy it holds, the life it creates, the life it supports, and the life it consumes. We are lucky enough to connect with it every time we enter the water. Even a simple swim can bring perspective to your day and put a running mind at ease. But like Rich says – the Ocean demands our respect.

A good dive instructor will know their limits and will stay well within them. This means having an even-handed grasp on the abilities of your students too. Good judgement must be applied in regards to water conditions, temperature, visibility, water movement, entries and exits, ability of participants, certified assistants available, your and your assistant’s personal limitations, and ratios etc.

You must ask yourself questions like:

  • “Am I familiar with this dive site?”
  • “Can I expect bad visibility or perhaps strong currents?”
  • “Can I provide adequate assistance to all divers in the group?”

With all things considered, you as the dive professional have the ultimate responsibility of making the go/no-go decision. If an incident occurs on the dive, the question will always be raised – “Should the divers have been in the water at that time, in that environment, in those conditions, with their experience?” If something goes wrong and it is shown that the diver should not have been in the water in the first place then you won’t have much chance of defending your decision to dive.

Rich couldn’t be more right when he says be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.” – This is the Quality Management department’s favourite part from Rich’s quote and we urge all PADI Members to live by this rule.

Until next time, we wish happy and safe diving for all.

Donny McFadden
Quality Management Consultant
PADI Asia Pacific

PADI Instructor Examinations for February, 2018

03 Feb | Cairns, Australia

06 Feb | Gold Coast, Australia

10 Feb | Jeju Island, South Korea

10 Feb | Perth, Australia

13 Feb | Anda, Philippines

13 Feb | Bohol, Philippines

13 Feb | Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

14 Feb | Ao Nang, Thailand

16 Feb | Moalboal, Philippines

16 Feb | Semporna, Malaysia

17 Feb | Papeete, French Polynesia

17 Feb | Phuket, Thailand

19 Feb | Malapascua, Philippines

20 Feb | Koh Tao, Thailand

23 Feb | Manado, Indonesia

24 Feb | Singapore, Singapore