PADI Rescue Diver Workshop on the Gold Coast

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On Sunday 27th May 2018, PADI held a Rescue Diver Workshop on the Gold Coast open to all divers regardless of their certification level or training organisation. The purpose of the workshop was to stimulate interest in continuing education at all levels, practicing known rescue skills and to gain insights into additional rescue skills and qualifications that could be earned in the future.

As part of the workshop, attendees were able to practice and refresh their rescue skills under the mentorship of our highly qualified PADI Course Directors and Instructors. All attendees were able to learn rescue skills relevant to their certification including self/buddy rescue techniques, core skills and what their responsibilities are as divers. This was followed by each group learning what rescue skills are required and ultimately, what to expect when completing their next diving course certification.

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Speaking about the event, PADI Instructor Development Manager, Colin Melrose said:

“It was a very successful day with divers of all certifications and experience levels, joining in to enhance their skills and knowledge. Particularly gratifying was we had equal numbers of male and female divers, as well as all ages; from 12 to 60 plus, with everybody learning something new. Few divers practice rescue skills regularly so opportunities like the PADI Rescue Workshop are really valuable.”

For information about future events, keep an eye on the PADI Blog or speak with your Regional Manager.

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Maximise Your Potential

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Mark Wastall.

One of the beauties with the PADI System of diver education is how flexible it can be, how easily adapted it’s timeline is, how it can cater for a variety of diving styles, how much it has moved with the times and how much potential there is to keep divers learning.

This style of training means that we, as Instructors, have the ability to be able to add to our students experience and add to the revenue generated from the course. The latter should be great news if you own or run your own dive centre, if you are a freelance Instructor paid by the course or an independent Instructor looking to maximise earning potential.

It is very easy to become blinkered into only teaching the course that is in front of you. ‘The student has asked for a PADI Open Water Course, that’s what I’ll teach them’ is a mindset that a lot of Instructors develop. We can sometimes miss the glaring opportunities that we are presented with. How many times have you told an Open Water student that they cannot take a camera on the training dives as it’s ‘against standards’ but were you aware that you can, in fact, link the PADI Open Water Course with PADI Digital Underwater Photographer LVL1? The knowledge development can be done at any time during the course. The Level 1 Photo dive can be done in confined after confined dive 3 or in the open water as part of the tour potion of dive 4. With 1 more dive after the PADI Open Water Course and the student has Level 2. As simple as that, you have just earned 2 certifications from 1 student, extra revenue for yourself or your dive center and you now have a student who can happily and comfortably take photos underwater. This could also lead to retail potential on top if you are a centre that has the opportunity to sell equipment.

With just a quick look at the PADI Instructor Manual, General Standards and Procedures, you can see how our courses can be linked together and how students can easily earn credit towards the next level of their diving. With this knowledge, you can help increase your Con-Ed ratios. A great help if you are working towards PADI Master Instructor or PADI Course Director.

Another easy course to link with any of the core courses is PADI Enriched Air Diver Course. The theory can be combined during the PADI Open Water Course for example and goes hand in hand when explaining No Decompression Limits. The practical application exercise can be conducted at any time during the course, maybe at the pool during equipment setup. As an enriched air dive is not required, this course can be run with very little overheads but again is 2 certifications and extra revenue.

These extra dives can also count towards a student’s PADI Advanced Open Water Course if the knowledge reviews have been completed or again, why not combine an Enriched Air tank on a deep dive of the PADI Advanced Open Water.

It doesn’t need to stop there either, adding PADI O2 Provider to the PADI Rescue Course is another way to upsell a course with very little extra time or outlay. The training structure can be your friend. Look for the opportunities, maximise your potential.

For further advice please don’t hesitate to contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant on training-sales@padi.com.au.

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 freediver@padi.com.au.

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.”

New Zealand’s First PADI Freediver Depth Camp

Freediving is an extremely fast growing sport. More and more people are now choosing to enter the water using breath-hold techniques. That said we need to ensure divers are diving safely and following safe dive practices to avoid unnecessary incidents. This is where PADI Freediver training comes in.

Promotion to customers and students of professional training will benefit both the industry and your business. A great example of this in New Zealand is Bryan Bailey and the marketing strategy he has chosen to increase this area of the Dive Centre.

Bryan is a PADI Master Instructor at Blenheim Dive Centre and recently hosted New Zealand’s first Freediver Depth Camp in the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. This camp was a huge success and reading the feedback from attendees the first of many to come.

Situated in the beautiful calm and deep waters of the Queen Charlotte Sounds, students from around the country assembled for 8 days of freediving. Their main focus was to work on advanced equalising techniques, relaxation at depth and the glide phase of the dive.

Happy Campers

Students worked towards gaining their PADI Advanced and Master Freediver certifications with the goal to progress further in the future to become PADI Freediver Instructors.

Bryan stated that “It was amazing to watch each individual diver develop and overcome challenges that they faced, it showed us that by diving over several consecutive days in a safe and controlled environment divers are able to build a solid foundation to become safe and knowledgeable Freedivers to pass on their passion”.

Camp attendees had this to say:

Ryan Hansen | PADI Master Freediver & Freediver Instructor:

“The experience I had at the depth camp in the Marlborough sounds was exactly what I needed to take my freediving to the next level. With a relaxed atmosphere and a good crew, it was easy to find the head space I needed to get the most from the course. Bryan’s instruction was tailored to each individual diver, their own abilities and goals. His experience and knowledge base was evident. The dive sites were located in idyllic bays with calm conditions, even when a storm passed over us we were able to find good diving conditions. We were visited by a pod of dolphins, explored a wreck and met some very friendly blue cod. I left the course with a new confidence, having comfortably completed several personal best dives and eager to use the skills that I learned to continue to improve”. 

Ryan and Rene

Gina Watts | PADI Advanced Freediver:

While flying up to the depth camp there were many things going through my head:  20m seems insanely deep, 10m seemed deep in basic… Will my body even allow me to do this? After leaving the depth camp with a new personal best of 29m my thinking has changed… a  lot.  

A pleasant 24 degrees on the surface; the Marlborough sounds made for the perfect training location.  Made even better with a few dozen bottlenose dolphins coming to show us how it was done after our first open water session.  Not only did we just have a deep site for training we were surrounded by native bush with a constant cicada hum, we dived down to explore wrecks and the water offered up an array of non venomous moon jellyfish to gaze upon during our relaxation breath ups.  

The week started with the voice inside my head telling me it’s time to breathe along with my body giving involuntary contractions, all normal things for freedivers.  Learning to relax through them and listen to what my body was saying; feeling different urges to breathe, relaxing every muscle are all things that allowed me to glide down to new depths.  

In the first few days of open water training the personal best depths were jumping in rather large increments, 4 meters for example; it was going past my personal best depths that the concentration of gliding, equalizing and relaxing through the contractions really came into play. During these phases depths became constant and comfortable but the depth jumps were smaller only a metre or so at a time.  

Diving to depth is the most relaxing part of my dive it is ascending to the surface when I have to concentrate differently, it is during this phase where you can really feel the contractions.  Once you are in the zone of relaxation, the ascent became just as enjoyable as the dive down.  There is no better feeling than finishing recovery breathing and knowing that it was a great dive, it’s a feeling that is hard to forget.

The last thing I can say is that after 8 consecutive days in the water training, I wanted to stay and do more training.  One spectacular week of self discovery and development.  Cheers to you Bryan!  

PB's all round!

For further information on PADI’s Freediver training visit PADI.com.

Be a Better Person

Written by John Kinsella

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty program really just makes a good thing better. It builds on the foundational traits of inclusiveness and adaptability, common to all PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors and Divemasters. It has detailed insights into considerations and techniques that apply specifically when training and guiding divers with disabilities and generally when working with any diver.

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty helps PADI Pros become more aware and mindful of individual considerations when introducing people with disabilities to diving. It covers adaptive techniques that apply while supervising and training divers with disabilities in PADI courses and programs. It teaches how to properly counsel and direct student divers, based on their abilities, toward certification, experience programs, or toward a disabilities-dedicated diving organisation for limited certification options.

I believe this course will get PADI Members thinking outside the box when it comes to skills and get them looking at different ways to teach skills” says Fraser Bathgate, Advisor Adaptive Techniques PADI Worldwide. “Teaching divers with disabilities is a very enabling and rewarding experience and it will help open up a new client base to divemasters, instructors, dive centres and resorts. It kick starts a new way for PADI Members to fulfill more people’s dreams.”

The Adaptive Techniques Specialty course helps PADI Pros learn additional techniques to motivate and encourage not just divers with mental or physical challenges, but all divers. There’s also an associated subcourse, the PADI Adaptive Support Diver, which helps interested divers, from Open Water Diver on up, learn how to be better buddies to divers with physical or mental challenges.

The course looks at techniques that will help PADI Pros build confidence in their divers through a holistic approach that focuses on improving self image, building trust, setting goals, managing stress and having fun while solving problems. It emphasizes bringing the diver personally into the solution and looks at specific equipment adaptations and helpful confined and open water considerations.

Confined water workshops let dive pros demonstrate and practice skills to assist divers with disabilities, both in training and non-training situations. They build confidence before the open water workshops where dive pros apply the skills learned with an emphasis on assisting divers in/out of water, trim and comfort in the first workshop, and through scenario-based skills practice in the second.

But the real value of the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty must be that, in some small way, it’s the distilled essence of the skill, experience and goodwill of an international advisory team who has collectively brought diving to thousands of people with disabilities and witnessed first hand the powerful and often life changing results. Now that experience and good will is ready to spread. Find out how you can help by contacting your PADI Regional Manager.

“My Sidemount Experience” by PADI Regional Manager, Neil Richards

Written by PADI Regional Manager for East Thailand, Neil Richards.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Stepping outside of your comfort zone, and trying new things, is the best way to grow.

Most of my friends in the diving industry (and myself included) started out as young travellers looking for new experiences and adventures. Maybe you did the same.

Do you remember when you made that decision to pack your ruck sack and go? With your new bag on your back stuffed with first aid kits, shoes for all occasions and a bar of soap, off you set not really knowing what to expect.

The excitement you felt getting on an overnight train in a completely different country. The new tastes, sounds and smells, experiencing a complete ‘culture shock’. You arrive at the jetty after a long journey to take your first look at the island you will be calling home for the next few months. It was such a change from your normal, comfortable life. However, after some time, the excitement of being in new territory subsided and life started to get comfortable again, some of the excitement was not there anymore. You still loved your new life, but something was missing.

I had a similar feeling when I started diving. Trying something completely new and out of my comfort zone was exciting and challenging. It was so awesome I decided that going home was no longer an option and I went on to become a PADI Instructor. 13 years later, after thousands of dives and a myriad of experience, I started to feel the itch to try something new. I wanted to get back that excitement that I had when I first started diving – I needed a new challenge. So I decided to take the PADI Sidemount course.

I have always had a desire to become a technical diver. This yearning came after some awe inspiring dives in the cenote caves in Mexico. They were some of the most amazing and adventurous dives I have ever experienced. I noticed two other divers had two of their tanks beside them instead of on their backs. They continued into the cave system and were soon out of sight. I became really curious and wanted to follow them but with a single cylinder on my back, and no specialised training, of course this was not an option. I later learned that this configuration is known as “Sidemount”.

The last few years for me have been very busy so only recently did I manage to get the time and opportunity to take my PADI Sidemount Specialty course. Even with all my years of experience, I felt completely out of my comfort zone and I was having a diving culture shock. It felt like the first time I went travelling again. Everything was new and unfamiliar. I had to start thinking about buoyancy again. I was unaccustomed to the trim and equipment configuration. Equipment set up was completely different. As for the in water skills, I almost felt like a complete beginner. Taking cylinders off and pushing them ahead of me whilst I tried to stay streamlined and neutrally buoyant must have looked almost comical, however after a bit of practice it became much easier. It was one of the most challenging and exciting courses I have taken.

The PADI Sidemount Specialty is not just for divers wanting to explore the more technical side of diving. It has become increasingly popular with recreational divers, some of whom find the configuration of having cylinders on the sides instead of on the back, more comfortable and easier to access.

Sidemount has now opened up a whole new avenue into diving I didn’t know existed. Be it technical or recreational, or whether experienced or new to diving, the PADI Sidemount Specialty is definitely for those who love a new adventure.