New Replacement Card Series Features Moments Only Divers Get to Experience

PADI has teamed up with underwater photographer David Valencia to create a stunning new series of certification cards. The Blue Water Series by David Valencia limited-edition replacement cards showcase three incredible interactions between divers and the planet’s most majestic creatures.

“Through these moments and images it is my hope that people may discover or rediscover our deep connection with the ocean,” says Valencia, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. “This connection is necessary in compelling those to preserve this important environment for generations to come.” Valencia shares the stories behind these photos.

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Humpback Whale and Diver, Roca Partida, Mexico Humpback whales arrive each winter in the waters of Baja and southern Mexico. At the isolated dive site of Roca Partida, an oceanic pinnacle of the Socorro Islands, humpback whale interactions have increased over the past few years. At the beginning of one of our dives, a female humpback dived down to us and rested in front of the group. She hovered there, motionless, except for her giant pectoral fins that sculled back and forth. Her giant eye watched us as we found a respectful distance. Observing a living being as large as a submarine underwater is an experience difficult to express in words. She stayed with us for about 25 minutes and then floated to the surface tail first, seemingly playing. She took a few breaths and dived back down to the group. The divers came up beaming – it was the most amazing experience of their lives.

Replacement Card blog 2Schooling Jacks, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, Mexico Cabo Pulmo is a National Marine Park located 112 kilometres/70 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Cabo Pulmo has become a source of pride for this small community, and all of Mexico. It wasn’t long ago that the community of Cabo Pulmo was a subsistence fishing village; the families had been fishing the area for generations. A few elders in the community began to notice fewer catches and smaller fish than in the past. There was a movement in the community to preserve the area, and in 1994 Cabo Pulmo became a national marine park. Now, the community works to conserve the area and the marine life that lives there. The community shares their special place with divers and other visitors from all over the world.

This giant school of jacks has become iconic in highlighting the success of the marine park. The size of the school is impressive – the school can fill an area as big as a basketball court, and from top to bottom is about 15 metres/50 feet in height. In this shot I was following my dive buddy, Adil, as he took video of the inside of the school. Finally he emerged from the middle of the school of jacks and there were two goliath groupers in front of him. The fish slowly separated and formed a nice frame around my friend and the groupers.

Replacement Card blog 3Giant Pacific Manta Ray and Diver, Isla San Benedicto, Mexico Giant Pacific mantas are graceful in every turn. It’s no wonder divers fly all over the world to see these gentle giants. However, mantas are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In certain parts of the world these mantas are becoming increasingly rare as they face persistent fishing pressure.

In Mexico’s Socorro Islands, located 400 kilometres/250 miles southeast of Cabo San Lucas, interactions with mantas are magnificent. It’s not just the sightings of mantas that can make dives with them special, but also the types of interaction. To the delight of divers, mantas enjoy bubbles on their bellies and they will soak up the bubbles as long as there are divers. It’s an amazing sight to see and it also provides divers with a unique insight into their behavior. During this dive, while we were playing with the mantas my dive buddy, Adil, happened to be filming as a black manta slowly squeezed between us. The large manta (four metres/16 feet from wingtip to wingtip) was gliding over me to get to my bubbles. As the manta soaked up the bubbles looked into its eye and could see it processing our interaction. This occurred nonstop for the entirety of our dive.

The Blue Water Series by David Valencia limited-edition replacement cards are now available for PADI Professionals and student divers through the PADI Online Processing Center on the PADI Pros’ Site.

New Online Processing Center Launching in August

The new Online Processing Center is launching in late August. The new center is being enhanced based on PADI Member feedback to ensure a more user friendly experience. It will also be responsive in design so that it can be easily accessed by your mobile or tablet.

Importantly, once the new Online Processing Center goes live in August, the old PIC Online application will be retired, and all online certifications will need to be processed via the revamped Online Processing Center.

Some of the exciting enhancements to the Online Processing Center are:

  • Reorganization and simplified navigation.
  • Mobile optimization of all screens.
  • Simplified language and wording throughout the portal.
  • Downloadable reports for digital products in each status.
  • Digital codes scoreboard for a quick reference of your available codes.
  • Integrated tooltips to provide descriptions of each section or application.
  • Improved filtering and sorting options of digital code data.
  • Drop-down menu of languages.

The revised Online Processing Center will launch in multiple languages including English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.

If you have any additional questions, please contact PADI Training or Customer Services.

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EVE Webinar Series: #4 – Opening EVE for the First Time

EVE is PADI’s preferred Customer Relationship Management software package designed to improve the efficiency of running your Dive Centre, increase your sales (courses, retail, servicing, rental and trips) and maximise your profits.

Whether you are an existing EVE user or a PADI Dive Centre owner looking to improve your Customer Relationship Management, our short webinars full of useful information and tips will be of use to help you integrate this tool and bring the power of a virtual employee into your business.

Here’s the fourth in this webinar series: Opening EVE for the First Time:

For more EVE Customer Relationship Management information and tips, contact your PADI Regional Manager for further assistance.

Skills Deconstructed: The “How-To” on Happy Hovering

Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa. Her next article shares advice on teaching the tricky skill of hovering to new students…


Good buoyancy control is one of the most important skills that a diver must master for two reasons: It keeps the diver in control throughout their dive and protects the marine environment at the same time.

Many students find hovering a tough skill to master. I know I did when I was an open water student, and that was over 20 years ago. I can still remember the frustration of not getting it right the first time. I can also remember the calm reassuring voice of my instructor.

So let’s see why students struggle sometimes.

Being overweighted: Take a lot of time with your guests when you first enter the water on day one. If a diver is overweighted, hovering is a nightmare. Take the extra time at the beginning and you will save time later.

Not thinking about how they are breathing: Try to emphasize that buoyancy should become a habit, and they should not just treat it as an isolated skill. Get them thinking about their breathing. Nothing more than that. Just make them aware from day one.

Getting Frustrated: Emphasize that hovering will take a little time, and because it is a skill that is controlled largely by the lungs, any changes to their rhythm of breathing will affect their success. If they get frustrated, their breathing will change, which will make it harder to control their buoyancy…. then they will get even more frustrated and the issue compounds itself.

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The Perfect Buddha Pose

So, what techniques can help you help your student?

#1 – Briefing

I like to tell my students the steps that I will go through before going into a hover. I ask them to kneel, stand or lie on the bottom, but I also emphasize the notion that, soon, contact with the floor will be eliminated altogether. I ask them to visualize their lungs once they get into the position that they would like to stay in for 30 seconds.

“Hovering requires control and it requires calmness” – This is my opening line when I start briefing them about this skill.

I keep this briefing for hovering only. I reassure them that they will be able to do it because they have already done multiple fin pivots and that hovering is almost the same – except this time ALL of their body will be off the bottom. I warn them that this is tricky because it is mostly about feeling the differences in their buoyancy as they inhale and exhale.

“As soon as you feel your body start to rise…. Exhale.

“As soon as you feel your body start to get deeper then inhale”

I repeat this several times. I show them how to signal this thought process underwater.

I find that keeping my voice to an almost yoga whisper keeps their nerves at bay. I keep repeating that they should stay calm, to have fun with this lesson and within a very short while they will never touch the bottom again if they don’t want to. I tell them that this is where the magic happens.

#2 Underwater

I find that this briefing is the key to success underwater. Students are prepared for the possibility that hovering will take time and therefore they give themselves the mental space to get their head around the physics of it.

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Success for Michelle Finlay, hovering like a Pro!

I demonstrate the exaggerated breathing hand gestures that we instructors have used since our IDC. I get my legs into position and inflate my BC in tiny bursts to get to that bouncy feeling, signifying that I am neutrally buoyant. I show them that I am inhaling, that I start to rise because of it and that I exhale just as I get to the mid-water position. I show them the signal for thinking. Thinking about how full my lungs are as I control my position in the water.

In my experience students get to the mid-water point quite easily, but they cannot help but try to balance themselves with their hands and fins. Let them do it for a few seconds before gently silencing the movement. You are looking for a calm face. Let them feel the movement of a slightly-too-deep inhalation – how they ascend a little too far as a result. Let them feel it – don’t correct them too early but also be ready to stop them if they go up too fast. It’s a fine line between trial and error. Keep them safe above all but give them some learning room.

It won’t be long before they’re hovering like a pro – and they will remember your methods long after they have completed their first logbook entry all the way to the day when they might be teaching their very own students to hover!


Don’t forget, once your students have completed their PADI Open Water Diver course, they can sign up to complete a PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course to further improve their diving skills. For more information on becoming a PADI Peak Performance Specialty Instructor, click here or contact the PADI Training department.

PADI EMEA Vacancy: Regional Manager, France

We have a vacancy for a Regional Manager to service our Retail and Resort Members in France.

The purpose of this role is to be a Business Advisor to PADI members in the assigned region and acting as a key representative of PADI in the field. The role involves delivering a high level of consulting service and support to our RRA Members, assisting Dive Centres to implement the PADI Strategies and exceeding prescribed sales goals.

We are looking for PADI professionals (preferably Course Directors) with a minimum of Master Instructor level, extensive dive store experience, sales background and who have a deep knowledge of the PADI Education philosophy as well as market tendencies. Language requirements are fluent French and English.

To apply for the full time Regional Manager position please send your CV by email to [email protected]

Closing date for applications July 17th, 2015.

Pascal Martinie Retires from role as PADI Regional Manager

Pascal.Pascal Martinie has decided to retire from his role as PADI Regional Manager.

Pascal worked as a PADI Regional Manager for 12 years and was a key figure in the local market. He was extremely popular with PADI Members in his region and was also highly respected by his colleagues at PADI. Pascal bought many skills into his role and both PADI and it’s Members have benefited greatly from this. We wish Pascal every success for the future.

Pierluigi Gagliardi will be looking after Pascal’s regions on a temporary basis. Please contact Pierluigi at [email protected] with any enquiries you may have.

Become a PADI Equipment Specialist Specialty Instructor

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Did you know?

The launch of the PADI Equipment Specialist Touch has meant that many instructors are interested in teaching the PADI Equipment Specialist specialty course with this revolutionary tool.

How to become a PADI Equipment Specialist Specialty Instructor

UntitledTo make a direct application to become a PADI Equipment Specialist Specialty Instructor, you must be a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, have issued 25 diving certifications and you must have proof of attendance at a manufacturer’s workshop.

However, if you complete your Specialty Instructor training with a PADI Course Director you not only benefit from their experience and advice in the conduct of the course, but you also won’t require 25 diving certifications or proof of attendance at a manufacturer’s workshop – making the process more approachable for those with less experience.

There’s good news for PADI Assistant Instructors too: If you complete training with a PADI Course Director, you can become a PADI Equipment Specialist Specialty Instructor too!

Why choose PADI Equipment Specialist Touch?

The PADI Equipment Specialist Touch is a fully interactive and comprehensive digital product that teaches students about scuba systems, cylinders, regulators, rebreathers, instruments and more. The immersive, interactive materials include 3D rotating images, videos and quizzes, giving students a realistic insight into how things work in a fun, easy-to-learn way.

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By introducing the PADI Equipment Touch to your student divers and teaching them how and why scuba equipment works, they will understand of the importance of maintaining, servicing and replacing gear when needed. It also helps them make more informed decisions when purchasing new kit – and informed purchases lead to happy customers!

Questions?

For more details on the application process or training requirements for PADI Equipment Specialist Specialty Instructor, contact the Training Department at [email protected] or by phone at +44 (0) 117 300 7234.

To find out more about or to purchase the PADI Equipment Specialist Touch product, contact your PADI Sales Consultant at [email protected] or by phone at +44 (0) 117 300 7234.

PADI Digital Product Webinar Available to Watch Online

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The recording from our recent webinar, How to Use PADI Digital Products, is now available to watch online and available to anyone who might have missed the live presentation earlier in June or those who simply want to watch it a second time.

The webinar explains:

  • How to use and promote the PADI Digital Product Suite
  • How to purchase and deliver the product to your students
  • How your students can use the materials
  • How you can process the associated PIC certification for the products

Click here to watch the webinar recording now!

If you have questions regarding this webinar please email [email protected]

PADI Online Business Service #5 – DiveChek™ Online

divechekYou may be familiar with the scenario where a diver comes to your Dive Center or Resort and asks to book onto their next PADI course, or simply enjoy the local diving on their holiday. But there’s a problem: they’ve lost or forgotten to bring their PADI certification card to prove their current rating.

The good news is that there’s a simple alternative. DiveChek™ Online is a useful, time-saving tool which enables you to search for your customer’s certification history and the dates they completed the training (and even which PADI Pro and Dive Center they trained with).

By locating and verifying the diver’s details directly via the PADI Pros’ Site, you’ll be able to get instant confirmation – 24/7 – of their PADI certification status. They won’t need to wait for a replacement card to arrive and you won’t need to spend time calling your local PADI office for verification – keeping your customers happy, and your business efficient.

Accessing the DiveChek™ Online tool is easy – just visit the PADI Pros’ Site and click on Online Services > DiveChek. Enter your customer’s full name and date of birth and click “Run Report” to view the results.divechek-example

Note: DiveChek™ Online will not check Professional level certifications. To verify the status of a PADI Professional, you can use the ProChek tool instead.


Win With PADI…

PADI is committed to the growth and prosperity of the scuba diving industry. Whether it’s through preserving the ocean we explore or ceating innovative ways to teach the sport, PADI’s main focus is its members. PADI develops, maintains and supplies our industry with the most advanced dive training materials found worldwide.

Specifically, the PADI Retail and Resort Association provides its members with techniques and solutions to staying competitive and successful in today’s marketplace. As a member of the PADI Retail and Resort Association you benefit from more than just the prestige of the PADI brand. You also get a comprehensive suite of benefits guaranteed to drive more divers through your doors.

Find out more in the PADI Retailer and Resort Association Benefits Guide – click here to download.

Together We’re #1 In Diving!