Getting Back to Basics

Your very first experience as a Scuba Diver would have taken place in a swimming pool or confined Open Water Environment. It is here that you would have learnt the basic skills to give you the confidence to display to your instructor that you have mastered these skills in Open Water. But when last did your students practice these vital skills?

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Many people will do a lifetime of dives without ever experiencing any problems on their underwater adventures. Modern Scuba equipment is at the cutting edge of design and manufacturers have evolved their equipment over the years to make it more safe. But if you were to experience a problem with a free flowing regulator, a lost weight belt or an out of air emergency how would you react?

A great way to keep your customers skills refreshed and up to date is to invite them back to the swimming pool. Plan a safety and skills day at your swimming pool. Get your divemasters and Assistant instructors involved to help demonstrate skills and assist your divers perfecting skills they may have forgotten. You may even go over the basics of scuba equipment and pre and post dive care, Suggest them enrolling in a PADI Equipment Specialist course.

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Get them in the water practising those vital safety skills they learnt on their PADI Open Water course.  Include some of your scuba equipment suppliers to demo new equipment on the day for your customers to try out. Practice some self rescue skills and do some rescue demonstrations. If your customers haven’t dived in a while you may consider doing a PADI Reactivate program with them.

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The day in and around the pool will give you chance to interact with your former students and customers and is a great way to get them interested in PADI Rescue courses or purchasing new gear.

You will have happy, safer divers and in the event of a problem they will be more confident to react or help themselves.

 

Adopt a Dive Site this Earth Day

Adopt a Dive SiteOn Earth Day, April 22, Project AWARE® announces its latest initiative supporting the fight against marine debris: Adopt a Dive Site™. Harnessing the unique underwater skill set of the scuba diving community, Adopt a Dive Site urges scuba diving leaders around the globe – including dive instructors, dive centres and resorts – to engage in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our underwater playgrounds.

Adopt A Site MaterialsSeated within Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris™, Adopt a Dive Site is tailored to the global nonprofit organization’s most dedicated dive leaders: participants commit to carry-out monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, reporting types and quantities of marine debris found underwater each month from the same location. To support its community, Project AWARE will provide Adopt a Dive Site participants with a full suite of new survey tools to help implement their actions, a yearly report on the state of participants’ local dive sites and recognition tools for dive centers, resorts and leaders to share their stewardship with local customers and community.

Take your Dive Against Debris™ to the next level with Project AWARE’s new Adopt a Dive Site global campaign.  Read the full press release and Sign Up Today!

5 Tips for Pros: How to Maintain Your Scuba Gear Properly

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As a PADI Professional, your scuba gear is exposed to heavy use – much more than the average recreational diver. Three or five dives a day teaching students or guiding certified divers will quickly leave their mark, and you’ll notice your diving equipment ageing much quicker than usual.

Of course, you can help to counteract this wear and tear with proper maintenance of your dive equipment, allowing you to get the best results from your gear despite the high strain.

Above all you shouldn’t forget that you always have a role model function as a PADI Pro, and your scuba gear in particular should always be exemplary: clean, well maintained and fully functional. This way you show your students and other divers that you’re a conscientious diving professional, and demonstrate the importance of well-maintained diving gear.

Here are 5 tips on properly caring for your scuba equipment:

#1 – Rinse your diving equipment thoroughly after every dive

It doesn’t matter if you’re diving in fresh or salt water; clean your scuba gear with clean water after every dive. This will help to remove dirt and other contaminants like micro-organisms or stinging particles from coral or jellyfish. It also helps to prevent the unwanted formation of salt crystal build-up after open water dives in the ocean.

#2 – Dry your diving equipment after every dive

neoprene-careSure, it can difficult as a PADI Pro to do this if you use your diving equipment multiple times during the day. But in between your dives, try to dry out your gear as well as you can. When dive gear is kept damp (especially when stored), bacteria or fungi can quickly develop and spread, which not only damages your diving equipment but can also trigger infections and irritations to your skin.

To dry your scuba gear hang it up outside, ideally in a dry and breezy place but not directly in blazing sunshine. Sunlight can cause faster ageing of materials and can make neoprene and rubber parts brittle.

scuba-equipment#3 – Check any moving parts regularly for dirt and defects

At least once a day, you should make sure that all moving parts on your diving equipment (such as buckles on your BCD, inflator buttons, regulator purge buttons etc.) are clean and working properly. That way you’ll be reassured that there are no dirt, sand or salt crystals stuck in your diving gear that might cause a malfunction during a dive.

#4 – Deep-clean and maintain your diving equipment on a regular basis

In addition to rinsing your kit with clean fresh water after each dive, you should also wash your gear thoroughly at least once a week with a special cleaner designed for dive equipment. This applies not only for neoprene suits, but also for your BCD.

scuba-gear#5 – Store your diving equipment properly

Between dives – and especially if you’re taking some time away from teaching – you should ensure that your gear is stored properly to avoid damage and deformation of the material. Make sure it’s completely dry before packing it away (see #2), don’t stand your fins on the blade-end (as they’ll bend out of shape), and ensure the glass in your diving mask is protected from being scratched.

In addition to these 5 tips, you should always be very careful when carrying and using your diving equipment. Strong impact can easily damage your gear, especially the small components in your BCD and regulator.

PADI’s Equipment Specialist Touch is a great tool to help refresh your memory on maintenance techniques, even as a PADI Professional. It’s also a valuable teaching aid to use with your students to help them learn the importance of caring for their scuba equipment.


christian_huboThis article was written by guest blogger, Christian Hubo. A PADI diving instructor, Christian has enjoyed over 4,000 dives whilst travelling around the world. Above the surface, he’s hiked thousands of kilometers across the natural world. Christian is a freelance web and media designer, underwater photographer, social media and marketing consultant and freelance author. His magazine articles and blog, Feel4Nature, inspires people to follow an independent, individual and eco-conscious lifestyle.