Challenge yourself!

When was the last time you challenged yourself, within diving or within in your daily life.

We as humans have an urge to explore and challenge. We can look back at some of the great explorers, who discovered new parts of the world, and at scientist who invent new drugs. It is everything from great accomplishments to smaller thing in our daily lives. I can look at family members and friends, who utters statements such as: “I will refrain from eating candy for a month” or “I have to lose 10 pounds”. And I meet friends in the diving community, who wants to beat their own personal limit: “I want to do a dive to 100 + meters” or “this summer I am taking a Cave speciality”.challenged-yourself-msd

Do we have a need to do these things? Not necessarily, some of it benefits us all while other things are just for the pleasure and satisfaction of the individual. So who sets these boundaries for what we must or must not do? It should basically be up to the individual to set the limits.

During my more than 20 years in the diving industry I have sometimes experienced, that some instructors and Divecenter owners have set the boundaries for what students and customers should or should not do. It might be a conscious or unconscious act. For instance when a customer asks about specialities, then the reply has been: “What do you want that for” or “You don’t need that”. I did the same when side mount became mainstream and people started diving with it in open water. Here the response was: “You don’t need that in open water, side mount is intended for narrow passages and caves.” But who was I to decide, whether somebody should take a side mount course or not? The truth is, that we as recreational divers do not have to jump in the water, we do it for the fun of it and to challenge ourselves.

One could pose the argument that it is possible to learn it on your own. But then again just like one, who has driven his car with a small trailer for many years, still needs a certificate when he wants to use a bigger trailer, it does make sense to educate yourself when you broaden you horizon. And I for one think, that there are many reasons for taking a speciality. Some people do it because the divebuddy does it, others do it to try out new equipment, some people do it for the social part of it and some do it to challenge themselves. I personally took my specialities to challenge myself, and this also continued after I became an instructor, where I took Tech courses, courses directed towards buoyancy and Rebreather courses. Perhaps I could have taught myself a part of the curriculum that we went through on the courses, but there is something special about being challenged by others and furthermore getting the background for why we do as we do.

This might be worth taking into consideration, when customers ask about a speciality, regardless of whether it is a Dry Suit speciality, a Boat speciality or something else. Then we as instructors and Divecenter owners should not act as a barrier for students and customers, but rather support each of them in their curiosity and desire to explore.challenged-yourself

When was the last time You challenged yourself?

It’s Not Too Late for Sharks and Rays at CITES CoP17

CITES appeal

Threatened by unregulated international trade, nine species of devil rays, three species of thresher sharks and the silky shark are proposed for listings under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Project AWARE and partner NGOs are on the ground at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24th to October 5th to help these species receive the protections they deserve.

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

“Sadly, the possibility that one day there could essentially be no sharks or rays left in the ocean is plausible if things do not change. PADI is proud to support Project AWARE’s shark and ray conservation efforts at CITES and beyond with a $20,000 match*. Please show your support for this important cause.” Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Support shark and ray conservation with Project AWARE by making a Single Donation or better yet, elevate your commitment by making a Monthly Gift and your donation will be matched* dollar-for-dollar by PADI.

* PADI Match Giving offer valid until 7th October 2016 up to a maximum of US$20,000

Silent Auction Launches on World Tourism Day

Bidding for the annual Project AWARE silent auction is NOW OPEN! 

Project AWARE Silent Auction Prizes 2016

Launching on World Tourism Day, September 27 and running until October 22, Project AWARE is using this international celebration of tourism to raise funds for its critical ocean conservation work and remind the dive community of the importance of ecotourism and responsible travel practices.

Funds raised through the auction will go a long way toward engaging scuba divers in environmental programs and activities such as Project AWARE’s citizen science program, Dive Against Debris™, to support a return to a clean and healthy ocean. The winning bidders will be announced at the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony by adventurers, explorers and keen Project AWARE supporters Monty Halls and Andy Torbet.

Want to attend the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony? Grab your ticket today and visit http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/ProjectAWAREAuction2016  to see all the amazing prizes, scuba goodies, holidays & much more to win.

Wherever you are in the world, happy bidding and remember to make a difference for ocean protection every time you dive, travel and more!

ReMember: Support Ocean Protection with your PADI Member Renewal

ReMember Ocean Protection with your PADI Member Renewal 2017The diving community, especially PADI® Professional Members play a critical role in leading ocean protection.

There are so many significant problems facing mankind, but as divers this is truly our cause. If scuba divers do not take an active role in preserving the aquatic realm, who will? – John Cronin, PADI Co-Founder

Your renewed commitment to ocean protection with your PADI Member Renewal continues to give the ocean a voice, help secure important policy advancements to keep shark and ray populations healthy and protect marine life from the onslaught of marine debris.

Project AWARE®, PADI’s environmental partner, is dedicated to providing PADI Pros like you with the tools and resources to take action, advancing the health of the ocean for future generations. Your donation supports hands-on citizen science, education and local marine conservation actions tailored for the dive community across the globe.

Go to the PADI Pros’ Site to update your credit or debit card details and add your donation* to support Project AWARE’s critical conservation work today!

* Gifts of €15/£15/20CHF or more received during PADI Member Renewals will receive a new limited edition Project AWARE silky shark mask strap pad as a special thank you for your renewed support.

Open Water Touch Affiliation Links Available in More Languages

Add links to your website and automatically affiliate Touch or eLearning students with your store so you generate revenue around the clock. Use the link below and plug in your store number along with the corresponding course ID.

Affiliation links are now available for Open Water Diver Touch in these additional languages: Spanish, Polish, Korean, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Dutch, Japanese and Portuguese.

For Touch, Certification Paks and eLearning use:

https://www.padi.com/elearning-scuba-registration/default.aspx?irra=StoreNumber&courseid=CourseID

For ReActivate use:

http://apps.padi.com/scuba-diving/shopping-cart/product/productAffiliation?ProductId=B4956EA2-9985-4356-A9DA-42BEF212D8D8&StoreNumber=StoreNumber

Here’s the full list of available affiliation links:

Make sure you check your Courses Offered preferences under the My Account section in the PADI Pros’ Site so you can use the corresponding affiliation links. If the proper courses are not set up in the Pros’ Site, your store will not be auto-affiliated.

PADI EMEA Vacancy: Quality Management Consultant

PADI staff

We have an opening for a Quality Management Consultant to join our expert Quality Management team located at PADI EMEA in Bristol, United Kingdom.

The Quality Management consultant will be the primary contact for quality management issues for PADI members, ensuring that PADI Members understand the importance of using PADI’s educational system and are aware of their responsibility to adhere to PADI standards.

The role will involve interacting with members and non-members with regard to quality management issues and reporting incidents, developing and delivering risk and quality management programmes, and maintaining PADI’s member recognition programmes.

Position Requirements:

• Experienced PADI IDC Staff Instructor or higher (Course Director preferred)
• Educated to A level standard or equivalent (degree level preferred)
• Fluent English and at least one other central European language is essential. French would be especially desirable and any other additional European languages would be an advantage.
• Highly analytical, with excellent communications skills, organisational skills and attention to detail.
• Ability to read and interpret complex documents such as incident reports, legislative reports, subpoenas and legal pleadings.
• Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.
• Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees.
• Ability to understand, organize, and prepare statistical analysis of complex, sensitive and confidential information.

This role is based at the PADI EMEA office in Bristol, United Kingdom; therefore, the successful applicant must have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom.

To apply for this position, please send your cv and covering letter to: Rachel Landregan, Human Resources, [email protected].

For an informal discussion or questions regarding this position, please contact Fiona Fishburne, Quality Management, [email protected].

Application closing date: 12 September 2016

PADI Miniseminars at DEMA Show 2016

DEMA16_SocialbannerDive professionals know it makes good sense to plan ahead; now’s the time to do just that for the 2016 DEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Start by securing early bird pricing of $106 US per night (plus tax, and subject to change) at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. The PADI Course Director Update, EFR Instructor Trainer, and the not-to-be-missed PADI Social will take place downstairs in the hotel convention center, so you’ll be staying in the center of the action. Contact the PADI Travel Network at 800 736 7021 (US and Canada), or +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2539 to reserve your room today.

WMiniseminar2016_PADIProductsith that taken care of, take a look at the extensive menu of PADI Miniseminars at the Las Vegas Convention Center. You probably want to start with PADI Products, Programs and Standards, and Risk Management 2016: Protect Your Divers and Yourself. These two perennial favorites are required (along with two other presentations) to regain Teaching status after a lapse of one to three years.

Pick and choose from the others as best fits your personal or business strategy, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand your reach with the cutting-edge and cost-effective marketing insights you’ll find in Modern Marketing Solutions, Dive it Forward With Course Linking, Extending the Customer Life Cycle Beyond Open Water Diver Certification, and Niche Market Mastery. Don’t forget to Engage with China for advice and tactics on how to serve the fastest growing tourism market in the world.

Miniseminar2016_ChinaOther PADI Miniseminars include 21st Century Customer Service, Integrating Digital Products, and the CDTC Q&A: What It Takes to Become a PADI Course Director (it’s never to early to plan for this ultimate goal). For those with the majority of a career under their belts, Retirement Planning 101 could be considered mandatory.

Grab your calendar, book your room and make your choices – plan now for a successful 2016 DEMA Show.

PADI 50th Anniversary Contest Winners

2016 marks PADI’s 50th anniversary. We’ve loved our time in the diving community and are proud to continue to serve PADI Members and divers as best we can. So to celebrate this milestone, we held a contest asking PADI Pros and divers alike to submit photos, videos, and stories to share what you love most about diving. We were delighted to receive nearly 6,000 entries from all over the world and loved seeing the ocean through so many of your eyes.

After weeks of going through all the entries, we were finally able to make the difficult decision of picking our top three winners in each category. We’ll start with our first place winners:

First Place Photo: The Pit by Tom St. George
This photo of the famous Mexican cenote is absolutely breathtaking. We love the silhouette of the diver against the unique backdrop of this freshwater pool. Tom wins a GoPro HERO4 package!

Photo Winner -Tom St George

First Place Video: Perhentian Islands by Alex Cheok
This video showcases the Perhentian Islands so well that it convinced a few of us to add this to our future dive vacation bucket list. And we can’t get enough of that clown fish! Congratulations to Alex who wins an Aqua Lung CORE regulator.

First Place Story: By Leda Monsma
Leda’s determination and courage shown in becoming a PADI diver inspired us and brought smiles to our faces. We’re proud to be associated with such strong divers, and are excited to share this story with our community, which wins Leda a Suunto D4i Novo dive computer.

Leda-Monsma-Story

Congratulations to our first place winners! Our second and third place finalists also had great submissions:

Photo Finalists

Second Place Photo: Photographing a Shark by Brian Burnett
Sharks are always a crowd favorite – and this one wins Brian an awesome PADI swag bag.

Photographing-a-Shark

Third Place Photo: Two Humpback Whales by Sergio Nogueira Jr
We can’t help but smile whenever we look at this photo – everyone loves whales! Sergio wins Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

photo-third-place

Video Finalists

Second Place Video: Turks and Caicos by K Ian Wells
We can’t get enough of these videos that showcase the area so well. Turks and Caicos is an amazing place, and Ian’s video captures it perfectly. Ian takes away a fantastic PADI swag bag.

Third Place Video: Lembongan by Kai Barlow.
Winning him a copy of Vivid-Pix photo editing software, Kai took this video to show off the spot where he did his Divemaster program. Sign us up!

Story Finalists

Second Place Story: by Amy Kendall

We can all relate to the feeling of being connected to other divers, regardless of the languages we speak. Amy wins some top PADI swag!

AmyKendall-story

Third Place Story: by Danielle Downe
This story of reconnecting with her mother through diving is so touching. We’re glad Danielle has found a way to be close to a lost loved one and wins Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

DanielleDowne-story-300x274 dive-logs

 

 

 

 

 

 

With thanks to our contest sponsors, Aqua Lung, GoPro, Suunto and Vivid-Pix:

sponsor-logos


Congratulations to all of our winners, and remember you can continue to celebrate PADI’s 50th Anniversary by ordering your very own Limited Edition 50th Anniversary replacement certification card from here.

ReActivate Divers to Benefit from the Healing Power of Scuba

ReActivate_header_Tropical_600x250

Divers know they love the water, especially being under it. Dive professionals know too – they know the rewards of introducing others to scuba, and witness firsthand the powerful transformative effects of diving and water. Dive pros also know there’s real substance underpinning the tremendous healing power of scuba; many have experienced it firsthand and there are regular, powerful stories featured in The Undersea Journal and at padi.com.

A couple of those stories bear repeating. There’s the remarkable tale of Cody Unser and nine wheelchair-bound divers told in the documentary Sea of Change. “What we saw in the water strongly suggests there is some scuba-facilitated restoration of neurological and psychological function in paraplegics,” said investigator Adam Kaplin M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins. His co-investigator, Daniel Becker, M.D., of Kennedy Krieger, agreed: “We saw dramatic changes in a matter of days. This is just a pilot study, but to see such a restoration of neurological function and significant improvement in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) over such a short time was unprecedented.”

USJ4Q11_Unser

Then there’s Wallace J. Nichols’ fascinating book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do. This work assembles data from electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other scientific inquiry techniques to lay a solid scientific foundation that helps explain what happens when your “mind is on water.” Nichols explains that when you’re in water, cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) levels go down, your breathing and heart rate go down and you relax. It’s a fascinating, relevant exploration and belongs in every dive professional’s library.

Sometimes in a busy world full of digital distractions and disparate demands, it takes a little push or an extra benefit to remind people of the benefits, and the importance, of getting up and going diving. The healing power of scuba could be just that extra benefit. Next time you’re reaching out to ReActivate your divers, consider letting them know about some of these amazing stories; it’s up to you to make sure they know everything they’re missing by not diving.

Implementing the Updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course

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There’s a lot to like about the revised and updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course: the obvious and necessary content updates, the new Thinking Like a Diver section, the cool new PADI Advanced Open Water Diver materials and, from an immediate implementation perspective, the fact that the new course is at once new and exciting yet still essentially familiar. Perhaps the neatest benefit and the greatest opportunity is the streamlined relationship between the Adventure Dives and PADI Specialties.

Now’s the perfect time to review the specialties you (and your staff) teach and seriously consider expanding what you offer. Evaluate the specialty dive opportunities in your area, and those you are particularly passionate about, which you couldn’t link to the previous Advanced Open Water Diver course. This is the perfect opportunity to create your own special course that reflects your unique area and benefits, and which excites divers.

Now, the first dives of all standardized PADI or AWARE Specialty Diver courses may be offered as Adventure Dives. You can offer these “new” Adventure Dives – for example, an Ice Dive or a Dive Against Debris™ Adventure Dive – if you’re certified as an instructor in the specialty, and the student diver meets the specialty prerequisites. (Also, while the PADI Rebreather Diver course is not a PADI Specialty Diver course, the first, task-intensive, confined water dive counts as an Adventure Dive.) There’s a complete list of the revised Adventure Dives and the standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, and a lot more information, in the 3Q2016 The Undersea Journal.

AOWDebris_Catalina_0416_033A few obsolete Adventure Dives are gone, but you can offer more than ever before. A great example is the Digital Underwater Imaging Adventure Dive, which replaces both the Underwater Photography and Underwater Videography Adventure Dives. This new dive focuses on modern cameras that shoot both stills and video, and develops basic skills and knowledge in both – though you and your student divers may favor one or the other. The dive still credits as the first dive in the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course, even though it differs from the specialty (which will be revised in the future).

The opportunities are nearly endless: Depending upon your location and market, you can get divers started in sidemount, ice, cavern, full face mask, delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB), diver propulsion vehicle (DPV), enriched air or any other standardized specialty using existing specialty materials.

Tie in the new Adventure Dives by having the PADI Specialty Instructor ratings for the new opportunities, and grab this unique moment to make your new Advanced Open Water Diver course truly special.