PADI IDC & Divemaster courses, Koh Lanta, Thailand

Teaching Tips: Regulator recovery…

Most instructors, or PADI IDC candidates, have few worries regarding teaching the regulator recovery skill.  They have performed it many times, and most people would consider it to be one of the ‘easier’ skills to teach.  However, with the shift in teaching methodology more towards neutral buoyancy teaching, we just have to be a little careful of meeting the stated performance requirements for this skill when teaching in confined water:

PADI IDC & Divemaster Courses, Confined water teaching presentations.

To teach this skill correctly in confined water, we must ensure that the regulator has been recovered from ‘behind the shoulder‘.  With the old-style teaching, when the students were on their knees, this was quite easy to achieve with either the sweep  method or the reach method of recovery.  However, nowadays, when teaching the skill in a more horizontal position, we have to be careful that the recovery was deemed to be ‘from behind the shoulder‘.  In a horizontal ‘diving position’, the regulator will naturally fall below the shoulder, and if we just use the sweep method of recovery, our students will not meet the performance requirement.

In this horizontal position – on fin-tips or in mid-water – we must use the reach method of recovery, so that the hand reaches behind the shoulder to recover the regulator.  We can also teach the sweep method, so the students learn more and will know two different techniques for recovering their regulator, but the reach method is needed to meet the course performance requirements in confined water.

PADI IDC & Divemaster courses, Koh Lanta, Thailand

To teach this method in Confined Water Dive #1, we must first help the students attain neutral buoyancy and a horizontal position.  One way of doing this is to add little bits of air to their BCDs as you coax them into the correct breathing pattern for diving (read more about this in a previous blog – here).  Once in this horizontal/neutral state, we then continue with the skills from CW#1, including the regulator recovery skill.

During an Open Water Course, I would still teach the sweep method of recovery first, as it is perhaps a little easier.  With the confidence gained from this, we can then move on to the reach method of recovery too, and then we will meet the confined water performance requirements.  Later on in Confined Water Dive #5, we can then re-practise both methods during the mini-dive, whilst swimming around the pool neutrally buoyant.

PADI IDC & Divemaster Courses in Koh Lanta, Thailand.

When we then move to open water, our students can choose to recover the regulator by either method, as PADI Standards do not stipulate that the regulator must be recovered from behind the shoulder in open water (only in confined water).  Personally, I prefer to have the students complete this skill on Open Water Dive #1 whilst swimming along, as they did in Confined Water Dive #5.

Teaching this skill in this manner will help your students be better, more confident divers.  By employing this teaching technique, we have not only met the PADI performance requirements, but we have also taught two different recovery methods, and focused on maintaining and improving the buoyancy of our entry-level students –  make neutral buoyancy a habit, rather than a skill..

During our PADI IDCs on Koh Lanta, Thailand, we focus on neutral buoyancy teaching, and teaching our students to be good instructors, not just to pass an exam.  If you are looking to become a PADI Instructor soon, send us an email if you have any further questions about teaching neutrally buoyant skills.  Likewise, if you are already a PADI MSDT, you could join us for your PADI IDC Staff Course and also get an insight into joining the ranks of instructors who teach skills whilst neutrally buoyant…

PADI IDC, Divemaster, Thailand, Koh Lanta, Koh Tao, Phuket, Phi Phi

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Neutrally Buoyant PADI IDC

At Go Pro In Paradise we are trying to push more and more towards neutrally buoyant skills during our PADI IDC programmes.  We are trying to stay off the knees, and teaching more on fin-tips or in mid-water. The dive environment is becoming ever more fragile, and we need to train the future generation of divers to be even more environmentally aware, and with even better buoyancy skills than in the past.  There is no need to spend any time on the knees during diver training – we should promote proper weighting and positioning in the water right from the first moment new divers get their heads under the water.

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

It starts with Confined Water Dive #1 of the Open Water Course.  During our IDCs, the first time we take our IDC Candidates in the pool we conduct a CW Dive #1 workshop, and teach our candidates the importance of not over-weighting their future students, and how to get them neutrally buoyant before proceeding with the rest of the skills in CW Dive #1.  We achieve this by teaching the ‘Breathing Underwater’ skill as an introduction to the fin pivot (as described in a previous post).  All other skills in confined water can then be performed on fin-tips.

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

We also then conduct a neutrally buoyant skill circuit, with all skills demonstrated on fin-tips – staying off the knees.

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

After this skill circuit, we then conduct a Confined Water Dive #5 workshop, where we teach our IDC candidates how to help their Open Water students to make the transition from performing skills on their fin-tips to now performing them mid-water whilst swimming around the pool neutrally buoyant.  We also highlight the importance of correct weighting and the value of practising swimming in shallow water without touching the bottom or breaking the surface – demonstrating good trim and horizontal body position.

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

For the rest of the IDC, we then expect our candidates to perform all their teaching presentations in this manner.  Hopefully we can do our bit to inspire the next generation of PADI dive instructors to teach better buoyancy, trim, and environmental awareness in their future Open Water Courses…

PADI IDC Thailand, Neutrally Buoyant, Platinum Course Director

If you would like to know more about our PADI IDC programmes, please feel free to visit our website, or to send us an email

PADI IDC Thailand, IDC Staff Instructor, CDTC Prep, Divemaster Internships

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Teaching Tips: The most important skill…

PADI IDC Thaialnd, Confined Water, Go Pro, Scuba Instructor

Which skill do you think is the most important when teaching an Open Water Diver Course ? Mask clearing ? C.E.S.A. ? Neutral buoyancy ? No, for me it’s ‘breathing underwater’ from Confined Water Dive 1. Not only is it essential to stay alive, but it the basis of everything that happens underwater…

PADI IDC Bali, Indonesia, Confined Water, Teaching Diving, Scuba Instructor

Quite often on an Open Water course this skill gets brushed over and taught too quickly. But if you spend the time explaining the importance and the effect of breathing correctly underwater, you might find that your entire Open Water Course will flow more smoothly. As an instructor, do not be too quick to place extra weight on the student’s belt when they can’t descend at the start of Confined Water Dive 1. Instead, take the time to explain the correct breathing pattern, and the importance of emptying the lungs on exhalation. Once the student divers do this, they should descend more easily, and now right from the beginning, they have understood the correlation between breathing and buoyancy/depth control.  Their instinct now, should they start to rise in the water will be to exhale, rather than to reach for the deflate button.

PADI IDC Phuket, Thailand, Platinum Course Director, CDTC Prep

Sometimes at the beginning of an Open Water Course, the students are a little nervous, and this can affect their breathing pattern too. Once underwater, I then take the time to teach the correct breathing pattern before attempting mask clearing or regulator skills. I treat this skill underwater as an introduction to the fin pivot. I ask them to lie down from the first moment they go underwater – never on the knees –  practising equalising as they do so.  Then I ask them to watch my hand as I coax them into a relaxed, correct breathing pattern. As they do this, I add little amounts of air to their BCDs to get them neutrally buoyant, so they are essentially ‘fin pivoting‘, and I will let them continue with this for several minutes – just breathing. After they are relaxed with this, I can continue with the rest of the skills in this ‘diving’ position. If I find that I need to add a significant amount of air, then I will remove a weight from their belts, as they are over-weighted. Now the students will truly start to understand the importance of the correct breathing pattern underwater and the effect this has on buoyancy, depth, and position in the water, and your Open Water Course will be easier to teach, and more importantly, your students will be better divers…

To learn more tips about teaching PADI courses why not enrol in one of our PADI IDC or PADI IDC Staff Instructor courses – email for further details – rich@go-pro-in-paradise.com

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New year, new career ?

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket Phi Phi Lanta

Well, I hope everybody had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and that 2014 is a great year too !  2013 was a busy year for IDCs on Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, and some great times were had.  My IDC candidates’ 100% first time pass-rate is still in tact, and I hope some of you can come and help me extend that throughout the coming year too…

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket Phi Phi Lanta
Two happy new PADI Instructors !

 

Our next PADI IDC will be taking place on Koh Phi Phi at Phi Phi Barakuda, and will start on January 30th.  If there’s anyone contemplating becoming a PADI Instructor, there’s still time and spaces on this IDC.  Please e-mail me at rich@go-pro-in-paradise.com for further information.

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket Phi Phi Lanta
E-mail for info – rich@go-pro-in-paradise.com

 

We have plenty of other IDCs planned throughout 2014 too.  Why not take a look at our IDC schedule to see if there are any dates that would suit your plans.  If there’s anything you would like tom know about making the step to become a PADI Pro, either at Divemaster or Instructor level, please feel free to drop me an e-mail on rich@go-pro-in-paradise.com.

Have a great 2014 everybody !

PADI IDC Thailand
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July’s PADI IDC & IE In Thailand…

Happy new PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors…

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Following July’s PADI IDC on Koh Phi Phi and the Instructor Examinations in Phuket, we now have three new PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors and a new PADI IDC Staff Instructor !!  Sarah and Andy from England, and Miki from China all did very well during their course and passed the examination process with ease.  Nick, also from China, completed his IDC Staff Instructor course during this IDC too…

Sarah teaching in the classroom…

 

Miki practising rescues, as Nick watches on…

 

Andy demonstrating in Confined Water…

 

After a fun-filled IDC on Koh Phi Phi and lots of hard work from the candidates, the Instructor Exams in Phuket went swimmingly well.  The IE started with everyone’s favourite section – the Written Exams !  All the candidates were very happy to see the end of these exams, and were all smiling after passing this section with no problems.  The following day we headed off to the swimming pool in the morning for the Confined Water section.  Again, there were no problems here, with all candidates recording very high scores.  Following the Knowledge Development presentations that afternoon, we were just left with the Open Water presentations for the final day, and then it was time to celebrate…

One happy instructor…

 

And another one…

 

And a third !!!

 

And let’s not forgot Nick who did an excellent job throughout his PADI IDC Staff Instructor course

Nick evaluating in Confined Water…

 

If you too would like to follow in the footsteps and Andy, Sarah and Miki and change your life, then e-mail me for further details.  Also if you’d like to become a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, feel free to ask for more details…

 

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Shouting Out For Sharks…

Many species of shark are now on the brink of extinction, and they need our help.  During the month of April, Khao Lak Scuba Adventures will be making a huge effort to gain as many signatures as possible for Project AWARE’s Give Sharks A Chance petition

 

Project AWARE aim to gather as many signatures as possible to present at the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference being held in Pattaya, Thailand in March 2013.  Hopefully, if enough signatures can be presented the committee will listen and sharks can hope for better protection and a better future.

Sign it !!!

 

Also in April, PADI Course Director Richard Reardon will be teaching the PADI Reef Shark Awareness Distinctive Specialty Instructor course at Khao Lak Scuba Adventures during their Instructor Development Course (IDC).  This course will allow the new instructors to help spread the word about the plight of sharks and how people can help.  They will be qualified to teach this course to all their diving students in the future – teaching them all about the biology and behaviour of sharks as well as educating them on various shark conservation projects.

The Reef Shark Awareness Distinctive Specialty

 

If you’re in Khao Lak, pop into the Khao Lak Scuba Adventures shop and sign your name on the petition too.  If you’re not in Khao Lak, then you can still help.  You can also sign the petition online, by following this link – Give Sharks A Chance.

More signatures being added...

 

And a couple more...

 

You could also download the petition signing sheets yourself and begin collecting the signatures yourself.  If you have your own website, you can also add the petition widget to your website and help collect signatures that way too…

So, wherever you are there’s no excuse – give the sharks a big shout out in April, and spread the word…

Click on the image and sign the petition...

 

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It’s that time again… March’s PADI IDC is underway…

Yesterday saw the start of the PADI IDC Prep Course at Thresher Shark Divers for the second IDC of the year.  A fun-filled morning started us off, with paperwork being taken care of, followed by practise exams in Physics and Physiology !!  The candidates all loved the Physics exam especially….

Theory exams...
The best way to start the day...

 

Physics is fun...
Physics is fun...

 

Following the morning in the classroom, we then got geared up and headed out into Confined Water for a PADI Skill Circuit.  For some reason everybody seemed to enjoy being in the water a little more.  The skill demonstrations from everybody were of a very high standard, but we will continue to practise these over the next few days to make them even better…

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

 

Skill circuit...
Skill circuit - Mask Remove & Replace...

 

Skill circuit...
Skill circuit - No-Mask Swim...

 

Skill circuit - Hovering...

 

Today we have more exams to enjoy, and then we will be practising skills and rescues in Confined Water in the afternoon again…

Stay tuned for more news from this PADI IDC, or e-mail me if you would like any information about joining my next PADI IDC

 

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