PADI IDC, Delayed SMB Specialty Instructor, Platinum Course Director, Divemaster, IDC

The PADI Delayed SMB Specialty

Using a delayed SMB is a skill many dive professionals take for granted – as they have used them so often.  Many forget that first attempt at using one, which often doesn’t go as planned. Ask an instructor who teaches the Divemaster course regularly – they often see the struggles of that first try.  There are also many options for using one.  The chances are that if you ask ten dive professionals about their preferences for using/stowing a delayed SMB, you will get ten differing answers…

PADI IDC, Delayed SMB Specialty Instructor, Platinum Course Director, Divemaster, IDC

Firstly, let’s clear up the difference between an ‘SMB’ and a ‘dSMB’.  ‘SMB’ stands for surface marker buoy, also commonly known as ‘the safety sausage’.  The difference between the two is, basically, where they are inflated – an ‘SMB’ is inflated at the surface, or permanently inflated, whereas a ‘dSMB’ (delayed surface marker buoy) is inflated underwater towards the end of a dive.  An SMB can either be towed for the whole dive, or just used at the surface to signalling the boat if you are a little further away than you thought.

Personally, I much prefer to use a dSMB at the end of every dive.  I like to have a marker on the surface to keep boat traffic away as I ascend with my students, and am not fond of towing an SMB for the whole dive (I don’t dive in areas where this is required by law).

The PADI Delayed SMB Diver Distinctive Specialty is designed for instructors to teach their students how to safely master this skill.  The aim is for us to talk through the different options and try a few different techniques, and the student can decide which they prefer.  We can show them the different methods of inflation – alternate air source, oral, exhaled bubbles, LPI – and also the difference between a reel and a spool (and the different designs of both). We can also discuss and show the option for deploying a dSMB without a reel or line too, and the advantages of an orange line over a white one. I like to mark distances on my lines too so students can see their depth when reeling in and show them how that works. This is also useful in when teaching wreck or navigation dives/Specialties.

PADI IDC, Navigation Dive, Reel Spool, dSMB, Specialty Instructor

The students then get to practise this skill under controlled conditions with instructor supervision.  We talk them through the different options during the knowledge development first, and could even do a confined water dive to practise first too.  During the open water dives the students get to first try the skill in a stationary position, and then from mid-water on dive two.  The more different options they can try, the better.  Once deployed, the students then have to swim with the dSMB and make a controlled ascent, reeling the line in. After a safety stop, a final ascent to the surface is made, and the dSMB is stowed for the next dive once back on the boat.

PADI IDC, Delayed SMB, Specialty Instructor, Platinum Course Director Richard Reardon

The correct and safe use of a dSMB is an extremely valuable skill for every diver.  It’s a great course to teach, and students get great satisfaction when they master the skill. As a dSMB Specialty Instructor you can also offer dive one of the Specialty as an Adventure Dive during your Advanced Open Water Courses – another reason for obtaining this Specialty Instructor rating. I would recommend adding it on to your PADI IDC course, or including it in your MSDT Prep programme…

If you’d like more information about this, or any other, PADI Specialty, feel free to send me an email and ask for further details…

PADI IDC Thailand
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PADI IDC August 2017 in Thailand

PADI IDC, Phuket, Thailand, Dive Instructor Course, SCUBA

Become a PADI dive instructor in paradise…

 

Join our award-winning team for an IDC that goes above and beyond the minimum training requirements. Conducted by a Platinum PADI Course Director at a PADI CDC training facility – insist on the best !

 

Excellent facilities, including an on-site 4m deep training pool and comfortable a/c classroom with Wi-Fi. Accommodation is available with a/c, fridge, television, and private bathroom.

 

Includes three Specialty Instructor ratings:

  • Enriched Air Diver Instructor
  • Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor
  • Dive Against Debris Instructor

 

Email for further info – rich@go-pro-in-paradise.com

 

www.go-pro-in-paradise.com   |  www.phuket-idc.com

www.go-pro-in-paradise.com/padi-idc-thailand/pro-silver

 

If you are looking to gain your IDC Staff Instructor rating, or working towards becoming a PADI Course Director, please ask about the opportunities and programmes we offer to assist you in reaching your goals.

 

www.go-pro-in-paradise.com/padi-idc-staff-instructor

www.go-pro-in-paradise.com/padi-idc-staff-instructor/padi-idc-staffing-credit

www.go-pro-in-paradise.com/padi-idc-staff-instructor/padi-course-director-prep

PADI IDC, SCUBA Instructor Course, Dive, Diving, Go Pro

How To Choose Your PADI IDC

Choosing where to take your PADI IDC can prove a little daunting at first – there are many places offering the PADI Instructor Development Course, so how exactly do you choose your PADI IDC ? Here’s a few things to consider and questions to ask…

PADI IDC, SCUBA Instructor Course, Dive, Diving, Go Pro

Experience

One factor to consider is how experienced is the person who will be teaching your PADI IDC. But what is experience and how is it measured ?  For some people it’s just a case of asking ‘how long have you been a Course Director ?’. But really, it goes a little deeper than this.  Time is a consideration, but it’s also good to know in which locations the Course Director has worked before – have they only taught in one location, or do they have experience of conducting PADI courses and skills in different locations with different water conditions and logistics ?  Have they taught in cold and warm water ? Have they taught skills on wall dives, or just shallow sandy sites ? Do they have any experience teaching in strong currents ? It might also be worth checking if the Course Director will be teaching the whole course, or using less experienced IDC Staff Instructors to do the teaching, and if the Course Director advertised on the website is the same one that will be running the course.  You can also check if the Course Director has much recent experience teaching IDCs by having a look at the second quarter Undersea Journal for each year and seeing if their name is listed in the Frequent Trainer Awards as being a ‘Platinum’ Course Director.

Platinum Course Director, PADI CD, Richard Reardon, Best Course Director Thailand

Questions to ask:

How long has the Course Director been conducting PADI IDCs ?

When did the Course Director become a Divemaster and an Instructor ?

Does the Course Director have the ‘Platinum’ rating ?

Will the Course Director teach the whole IDC ?

Where has the Course Director worked before, both as a Course Director and as an Instructor ?

How many students has the Course Director certified – both at recreational and professional levels ? And can I see a copy of their Student Count report ?

PADI Elite 300 Instructor, PADI IDC Thailand

Facilities

It’s important to know what facilities the dive centre that you are considering has.  Do they have a comfortable, air-conditioned classroom ?  Tropical destinations are very popular for PADI IDCs, and you want to make sure you will be comfortable in the classroom as that’s where the majority of course time is spent.  You should also find out where the confined water and open water training will take place.  Does the centre have a pool, and how suitable for training is it ?  If for example the pool is too shallow it would be problematic to teach something like a hover, or 5 point descent without touching the bottom, where plenty of depth is required – a purpose built dive pool is ideal, with at least 4 metres depth. You should look for a PADI Career Development Centre (CDC) – this is the highest level dive centre can earn based on their facilities, number of professional certifications, and they must have two Course Directors on staff. PADI CDC training facilities also focus on professional level courses and have lots of experience running these higher level courses.

PADI IDC, CDC, Thailand, Phuket

Questions to ask:

Do you have an air-conditioned classroom ?

How big is the classroom and how many candidates do you usually have per IDC ?

Do you have an on-site pool ?

How deep is the pool ?

PADI IDC, CDC, Thailand, Phuket, Platinum CD,

Duration

Before you sign-up for an IDC, you should also make yourself aware of the time commitment required. In accordance with PADI standards, an IDC can be taught in as little as seven days. Many PADI IDC centres offer course over nine or ten days, however this usually translates to long days in the classroom – sometimes twelve hours.  There is a lot of information to take in during an IDC, plus you need to prepare for the next day after finishing.  It is possible to find extended, more relaxed PADI IDCs where your day will finish around 4pm – giving you plenty of time to prepare your presentations for the next day, eat a good meal and relax a little. A 12 – 14 day IDC programme is ideal – any longer and you are losing time that you could be certified and teaching your own students with.  After a relaxed 12 day IDC, you arrive at the Instructor Examination feeling relaxed and confident rather than stressed and tired.  These slightly longer IDC programmes typically include extra workshops and extra presentation practice, rather than just hitting the minimum training requirements set out by PADI. Ask to have a look at the schedule…

PADI IDC Thailand, Phuket, Platinum Course Director, Workshop, Confined Water
Search & Recovery Workshop

Questions to ask:

How long is the IDC programme ?

Are there any extra workshops ?

Are any Specialty Instructor ratings included ?

Do you conduct a ‘Mock I.E.’ ?

How many teaching presentations will I deliver ?

What time does each day start and finish ?

Location

The location is perhaps the least important of these factors to consider, but it’s still something to think about.  Most of an IDC is spent in the classroom, but it is nice to be able to go diving before or after the IDC to relax underwater with some mantas or sharks.  Also, after the IDC has finished, you will need to wait a week or so for your paperwork to be processed before you can start teaching.  This is the perfect time to take some Specialty Instructor Training and learn even more.  If this is something you’re considering, think about which Specialties you would like to teach.  If you want to become an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty Instructor, you need to be somewhere that offers current, if you want to teach the Wreck Diver Specialty, you would need a location with a wreck.  Also find out if the Course Director has written any Distinctive Specialities, or can offer any unique Specialty instructor training which will help your CV stand out when applying for jobs. Some places, such as Phuket, are very fortunate in that they can offer conditions and dive sites conducive for teaching most Specialties. And if you are looking to gain these extra qualifications, find out if the Course Director will be diving with you, or just asking a less experienced IDC Staff Instructor to do these dives instead.

Reef Shark Awareness Distinctive Specialty, PADI IDC, Thailand, Phuket, platinum CD
Reef Shark Awareness Distinctive Specialty

Questions to ask:

Do you offer any free diving before or after the IDC ?

What is the water temperature ?

Do you have wrecks ?

Which Specialty Instructor ratings can I do with your Course Director ?

If I take Specialty Instructor ratings, will the Course Director be in the water with us ?

 

If you need any further help deciding where to make the step up from PADI Divemaster to PADI Instructor, please feel free to email and ask…

We also offer career programmes so you can keep progressing after the IDC with IDC Staff Instructor Courses, Master Instructor Prep programmes, and even an internship designed to prepare you to attend the CDTC and become a PADI Course Director !

 

A Busy End To 2012…

Last month saw my first IDC with Lanta Diver on the beautiful island of Koh Lanta, and now I am already in the middle of the final IDC of the year back on Koh Phi Phi.

November’s IDC on Koh Lanta went extremely well.  After a great two weeks in the classroom at Lanta Diver the PADI Instructor Exams passed by without any problems – all five candidates recorded some very high scores and have all successfully become PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors

IMG_3883b
Happy PADI Instructors at the PADI IE in Koh Lanta…

 

After a celebratory night in Koh Lanta’s Irish Embassy and a day of recovery, it was time to take the short ferry ride across the Andaman Sea back to Koh Phi Phi.  December’s PADI IDC at Phi Phi Barakuda is now in full swing, and it will soon be time for the next PADI Instructor Exams to begin in Phuket.

With candidates from Spain, Sweden and Russia and PADI Master Instructor Isa on hand to help, this final IDC of the year has been great fun.

PADI IDC action from Bida Nok, Koh Phi Phi...
PADI IDC action from Bida Nok, Koh Phi Phi…

 

We are already at the half-way point of this IDC, and the candidates have all been doing very well with their presentations, scoring well in the classroom, Confined Water and in Open Water too.  We have also conducted some useful workshops designed to help the candidates teach DSDs and CESAs in the real world after their IE…

C.E.S.A. Workshop
C.E.S.A. Workshop

 

Following the next few days of fine-tuning, the candidates will be well prepared to face the Examiners at the IE in Phuket.  After the IE, it will be straight back to Phi Phi to start some Specialty Instructor training – beginning with Enriched Air Instructor…

After this it will be time for a short break over Christmas and New Year before the first PADI IDC of 2013 starts on January 4th at Phi Phi Barakuda.  We have plenty of IDCs planned for the west coast of Thailand for the rest of 2013 too – on both Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.  If you are interested in becoming a PADI instructor in Thailand, please view our schedule, and feel free to e-mail for further details on the courses…

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