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?

PADI Freediver course in Sweden

 

Patrik H2O Lund

Patrik H2O Lund

H2O Lund, Sweden, is one of the first PADI fridykker Centers established throughout the world. They have already run tow free diving courses and instructor Patrik is very excited about the program.

Here are the first impressions of the course written by Patrick:

H2OLundFreediver 2

I have been fortunate enough to be able to teach the new PADI Freediver Course, the entry-level course in PADIs new Freediver-program. After completed two courses I must say it’s just great.

The student material, PADI Freediver Touch, is a truly professional product. It delivers the information in an active and fun way and students are excited to complete the knowledge development part. Freediver Touch covers all three programs, Freediver, Advanced Freediver and Master Freediver and all of my students so far have been studying the material from the other courses as well. The response to the product is fantastic.

To divide the Freediver program into three different courses makes a lot of sense  to me. This means that the entry-level course is accessible to all people interested in freediving and the performance requirements is, with practice, obtainable. The Advanced Freediver Course and Master Freediver raise the bar considerable, and I think it’s really good. This means that the program also includes those divers wanting a new challenge and are ready to take there diving to the next level.

The prerequisites to be able to teach these levels are also high. I see this as a great challenge to advance my own skills and I’m really enthusiastic to attend more courses myself and practice with my freediver friends.

Diving in Sweden is for sure an all year around activity thanks to drysuits, dry gloves and other proper equipment. However, freediving needs to be in a wetsuit and to be honest, there is “a few” months a year where teaching the Freediver-program in open water is just too cold. This is where the Basic Freediver course comes in. The Basic Freediver course covers the knowledge development and confined water part of the Freediver course making it ideal to teach during the winter. When summer is back again the divers have the possibility to complete the open water sessions earning the PADI Freediver rating.

My students all come from different backgrounds. So far I have trained staff from the dive centre, scuba divers, non-divers, young and old. This program has something for everyone. The bookings are great and I will have a busy and fun year ahead of me teaching freediving.

Patrik Jeppsson

Master Instructor 72779