Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Robin Bylund.
It’s important that you never stop your own personal professional development. Learning something new helps you stay sharp and the more you learn, the more you can share with your students, friends and guests.
Have you ever looked at a technical diver gearing up for a dive and started pondering if you could do it? I’m sure most of you have seen this at some point while preparing for your own dive or course. What was going through your mind at that point? Maybe it looked very complicated or that there was so much equipment.
I’m sure you have thought to yourself, could I manage technical diving or what’s my next step to further my professional dive skills and course offerings?
It is true technical diving is not for everybody. There is however other options which will give you an insight of some of the procedures and build your confidence to one day take on technical diving through the PADI TecRec program if it appeals to you.
If you’re not ready to take the full step into the PADI TecRec program right now but are curious about giving it a try one day, the courses below are for you. These courses will get you started with some of the equipment and procedures similar to those used technical diving that are still within the recreational scope of PADI programs. Completing these courses will give you an idea of more complex equipment and procedures which will build your overall confidence as a dive professional.
The PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty course can be completed and taught in conjunction with the PADI Open Water Diver Course or at any stage after entry level certification.
What do you learn and how does this relate to technical diving and building your confidence? In sidemount you start using equipment that is more closely related to technical diving such as dual tanks with standalone first stages, regulators and long hoses for gas sharing. The gas management also becomes more important as you will be switching your air consumption between two tanks throughout the entire dive. Furthermore some of the ‘out of air’ situations are primarily managed by you as you have two air supplies. You also learn how to setup and adjust a proper sidemount rig, ‘dual tanks’ or ‘monkey style’.
All these new procedures and equipment configurations take you one step closer to technical diving. Even though you may consider yourself an experienced and confident diver, learning something new will keep sharp as a PADI Professional.
Initially sidemount diving came from cave diving where you need to streamline your equipment and yourself for maximum efficiency. Today it is also a recreational course and a style of diving that suits many type of divers.
The next course which would take you another step closer to technical diving would be PADI Self-Reliant Diver course.
What is this course all about? This Distinctive Specialty course is a great way to build confidence for PADI Professionals. During the course you will be looking at the mindset of a person who is diving alone or is put in a situation where they find themselves alone and how to adjust procedures and equipment needed to be prepared for this.
And this is what is covered and practiced during the course. Skills such as calculating gas consumption and basing dives on this. Other important aspects are redundancy and having back up gas, back up computer, back up knife, back up DSMBs ,etc., so in case the primary equipment fails during a dive, there is a back up to rely on. Last but not least, dive planning which is an essential part of the course is covered to limit risk.
Why is this course important for dive professionals? How many times have you say found yourself taking photos on a fun dive and found yourself a bit away from your buddy and thought to yourself “If something went wrong now who would come to my assistance?” This is why knowing how to look after yourself and be ‘self-reliant’ can be important.
Both of the courses mentioned will boost your confidence and help you stay sharp as a PADI Professional. So take the next step and never stop learning.
If you have any questions please contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PADI Regional Training Consultant, Robin Bylund