2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day Global Video Contest Official Rules

Eligibility: PADI’s Women’s Dive Day Global Video Contest (“Contest”) is open to PADI Individual Members worldwide who are 18 years of age or older, and to and PADI Dive Centers/Resorts worldwide (“Entrant”) who are hosting a PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 event (“Event”). Individual Members include PADI Divemasters, Assistant Instructors, Open Water Scuba Instructors, Specialty Instructors, Master Scuba Diver Trainers, IDC Staff Instructors, Master Instructors, Course Directors, Freediver Instructors, Advanced Freediver Instructors, Master Freediver Instructors and Freediver Instructor Trainers. Entrants must be current Members in good standing with no open quality assurance issues. Employees, officers, directors and family members of employees of PADI Worldwide Corp. and all related and affiliated companies (collectively referred to as “PADI”), globally, are not eligible for the Contest. Contest is void in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) of Australia and anywhere restricted or otherwise prohibited by law.

General Rules and Conditions: By entering the Contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules. The winning entries will be used in a video montage to promote PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019.

How to Enter: Entrants can submit video footage from the 2018 Women’s Dive Day Event hosted by PADI in July 2018 (“Contest Submission”). Entries can be submitted by email to: josh.shave@padi.com. Videos must be sent using a file sharing service such as We Transfer or Dropbox. Contest Submissions should contain underwater and/or topside video footage of Entrants showcasing their 2018 Women’s Dive Day event. Submission should include Entrant’s name, PADI Member Number and contact information.

All video file types will be accepted, however the following parameters are preferred:

  • Video Codec: 264
  • Frame rate: Preferably 29.97, but 24 and 25 are accepted as well.
  • Field Order: Progressive
  • Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0)
  • Size and bitrate:
    1280×720 for 720p  HD video, 5Mbs – 10Mbs bitrate
    1920×1080 for 1080p HD video, 10Mbs – 20Mbs bitrate
  • Sound codec:AAC
  • Sound sample rate: 48 kHz

Multiple entries will be accepted per Entrant. Entries may be submitted beginning 21 July 2018, 9:00am PST and all entries must be received by 21 August 2018, 11:59pm PST.

Contest Submission Judging Criteria: At the conclusion of the Contest Submission Period the judges (three PADI staff) will review all eligible entries received and select the Winners based on inspiration, quality of footage, originality and/or best overall depiction of the Event. Contest Submissions should be a video that showcases women in diving. All underwater environments are allowed (pool, freshwater, ocean). The primary objective is to promote women in diving and the PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019 event, but the footage can also show all participants in the 2018 event regardless of age or gender. PADI Safe Diving Practices and other recognized, conservative dive techniques and circumstances should be reflected in the footage. Footage that shows any touching or damaging of marine life will not be considered. Video should be under two minutes in length. High resolution photos (minimum 1000 pixels) and/or event description and quotes welcomed, but video must be submitted to be considered. Video submissions should be a minimum 1080p.

Entrants warrant that the Contest Submissions they submit to the Contest are their own videos and/or photos. Each entrant gives PADI and/or its designee the legal unlimited rights to use any Contest Submission Entrant submitted for this Contest, whether it is a winning entry or not, without photo and/or video credit. Entrant warrants that all information provided is accurate and that Entrant personally took the video and/or photo(s) submitted for this Contest or has written permission from the videographer/photographer to submit the video and/or photo(s) for this Contest, and that Entrant has the legal right to use any Entry submitted by Entrant for this Contest. PADI’s use of Entrant’s Contest Submission will not violate any third party rights. All Entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless PADI and its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest, any Contest-related activities, and the acceptance and use, or misuse of any prize awarded hereunder. By entering a  Contest Submission each entrant  hereby grants PADI the non-exclusive royalty-free irrevocable rights, in its sole discretion, to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, sublicense, adapt, modify, create derivative works from and otherwise exploit the Contest Submission (in whole or in part) and to incorporate the Contest Submission in other works, in any and all markets and media, whether now known or hereafter developed, throughout the universe in perpetuity; these rights are granted to PADI whether or not the submission is a winning submission. Winner (“Winner”) will be required to sign and complete a Publicity Release & Affidavit of Eligibility and return it to PADI within 5 days of notification, otherwise the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate Entrant. Winner gives PADI unlimited rights to use Winner’s name, picture, Contest Submission and likeness, globally, in advertising and publicity for this Contest, and for any other PADI use, without further compensation, where permitted by local law. Such use may include but is not limited to PADI YouTube Channel and related scuba YouTube Channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.padi.com and press releases. No substitution of prize is permitted. PADI’s decision and selection of the Winners shall be final.

Contest Prize and Approximate Retail Value (ARV): There will be a total of six Contest winners. Each Winning Entrant will win the following prizes:

1-year 2019 PADI Membership renewal for Winning Entrant’s 2019 membership level (ARV varies based on membership level*)

*Note: The 2019 Member Renewal value is subject to the actual 2019 PADI Membership Renewal Fee for the relevant Member level once set for the 2019 Membership year.

All federal, state/provincial/territorial, and local taxes, fees and surcharges and taxes (whether foreign or domestic, and including income, sales, and import taxes) on prizes are the sole responsibility of the Winner.

Winner Selection: Winners will be chosen by 31 August 2018. Winners will be notified within 10 days of selection via the email address that they entered the Contest through. PADI is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail or email. PADI’s decision and selection of the Winner shall be final.

PADI or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain errors, without liability, at PADI’s sole discretion.

This Contest shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, exclusive of its choice of laws principles. The California State courts of Orange County or the United States District Court for the Southern District of California shall have exclusive jurisdiction and venue over any dispute arising out of or relating to this Contest.

Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of entries received, and the opinion of judges regarding the judging criteria.

Professional Liability Insurance Renewal Coming Soon

My painful insurance lesson.

I had the wonderful opportunity to work for an exclusive dive operation that catered to high-end customers. We were a team of four – two instructors and two divemasters. On one particular trip, the thing we all dread occurred – one of the divers was severely injured. John was participating in a specialty training dive with me as the instructor and Sally (also an instructor) was serving as a certified assistant. Divemaster Ben was with our group and Divemaster Owen was aboard the boat helping divers enter and exit the water.

As John was boarding the boat following the dive, the fingers of his dominant hand ended up between the ladder and the boat, resulting in one amputation and de-gloving of three other fingers. We were able to provide immediate first aid and John was transported to the nearest medical facility for treatment.

John was hospitalized for a couple weeks as he contracted a severe infection while in the hospital. In addition, there were months of physical therapy and it was unknown whether John, the father of four, would be able to return to the operating room. You see, John was a chief of neurosurgery at a large hospital.

Obviously, worry set in. While our team did everything we could, and our actions did not contribute to the severe infection, we were concerned. We talked openly with our insurance and risk management team and prepared for the worst.

John’s annual income was more than $600,000 US. And, he was the sole breadwinner for his family. Estimates were that if a suit were to be filed, the damages (loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, etc.,) would be well in excess of $1,000,000 US. However, with potentially at least four of us listed as defendants (not considering the boat, boat owner, tour booking company, etc. – you know the drill), we expected our collective insurance policies would place $4,000,000 US on the table. Being responsible, prudent dive pros, we had each purchased our own insurance coverage, paying the full premium, with a Certificate of Insurance and Declarations Page saying we each had $1,000,000 US in coverage. . . until you read the fine print.

We were told (and shown in black and white) that the policy language stated, regardless of the number of insureds (four of us), the most the policy would pay was $1,000,000 US for any one incident. WHAT?!?!?

So, what did we pay for? We were not insured under a group policy, but each submitted our application and our premium to the insurance team with the expectation that we would each have $1,000,000 in coverage.

As it turned out, John did not file a lawsuit. He acknowledged that he had some contribution to the incident, but he did suffer terribly and it was nearly a year before he was able to fully work again. During this time Sally, Ben, Owen and I also suffered – the emotional stress of not knowing if and when the axe will drop.

Lesson Learned

Read the fine print. If you don’t understand something – ask. Ask for a comparison of the insurance policies you are considering. Do your homework. Don’t just blindly buy the cheapest or the newest from the new guy on the block.

Note: In the above scenario, the PADI-endorsed program would provide $1,000,000 US in coverage for each dive pro, plus unlimited defense costs.*

*Subject to policy terms and conditions.

Insurance Renewal Coming Soon

PADI® Dive Centers and Resorts deserve the industry’s highest rated (A++ XV) and most affordable insurance available in the industry. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take the time to really understand their policies – regardless of the provider. Those who don’t fully consider their business needs can make the wrong choices and end up with sub-par coverage offered by other industry carriers. Take a moment to stay informed and avoid costly mistakes. You’ll thank yourself later!

Here’s a scenario that shows what can happen when a dive center owner did not take advantage of PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance:

“I have been the owner of ABC Dive Shop for five years, and like most dive stores I have never had a claim and never paid much attention to the coverage details of my property policy. Unfortunately one morning our compressor malfunctioned and started a small fire. This fire destroyed $50,000 worth of my property. Due to the coinsurance provision (one of the pesky coverage details I did not pay attention to), our claim payment was significantly less than the amount of the property I lost. Over the last five years my business has been growing, but during the renewal periods I always told my broker to use the same coverage limit for our Business Personal Property. I had a more rental equipment and a larger inventory of retail equipment. I had a coverage limit of $100,000 US, but the replacement cost of all my property was actually $200,000 US. I originally thought I was fully covered (less my $1,000 deductible) because the loss was “only” $50,000 US and I had a $100,000 US coverage limit. However, I quickly learned about the 80 percent coinsurance requirement and how much that was going to cost me. The 80 percent coinsurance requirement meant I was required to have a coverage limit of at least 80 percent ($160,000 US) of my total Business Personal Property replacement cost value. I was only insuring to 50 percent ($100,000 US) of my total property replacement cost value. Because of the coinsurance penalty being assessed, I only received a $30,500 US claim payment instead of the $49,000 US claim payment I expected. Not paying attention to, and not understanding, coinsurance cost me $18,500 US. I will make sure to purchase a property policy without a coinsurance requirement from now on.”

Stay protected and profitable by choosing PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance, which doesn’t have a coinsurance clause. The 2018-2019 policy details and applications will be sent to each PADI Retail and Resort Association Member prior to the renewal deadline of 30 June 2018.

PADI Women’s Dive Day Marketing Guide

Check out PADI Women’s Dive Day Event Marketing Guide that includes a timeline for planning and promoting your special event.

Make sure you list your event on the event locator,  so that you get in on the publicity about Women’s Dive Day through PADI’s Facebook/Instagram campaigns, email campaigns, digital remarketing and consumer press releases. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to celebrate diving and welcome new customers into your business.

Dealing With DCS

Identifying decompression sickness (DCS) as a dive professional can be tough. Is a student diver tired because of working really hard during the course or is the diver’s fatigue a symptom of DCS from the last deep dive? The good news is that DCS is exceptionally rare in well-managed certification courses of all levels, and the most serious types of DCS that require immediate response are often quite obvious.

Making a judgment call about what may or may not be DCS in the moment may be difficult, but you can improve your readiness by reviewing the signs and symptoms. Keep in mind that any sign or symptom that could indicate a decompression injury warrants a thorough examination by a healthcare professional. If there’s ever any question, a set of qualified eyes can only help the situation and the diver.

Type 1 DCS

Type 1 DCS is most typically characterized by musculoskeletal pain and/or mild skin symptoms. Common manifestations include itching and mild rashes (distinctly different from the pinkish blue mottled or marbled and raised skin – cutis marmorata – which may indicate more serious Type 2 DCS) and musculoskeletal pain, particularly in large joints. Less common symptoms include obstruction of the lymphatic system that can result in swelling and localized pain in the armpits or groin or behind the ears. Symptoms of Type 1 DCS can build in intensity. A diver who initially reports a mild joint ache may report serious pain shortly thereafter. Pain associated with DCS typically does not increase with movement, although immobilizing a painful joint can reduce discomfort.

Type 2 DCS

The symptoms of Type 2 DCS are considerably more serious and typically fall into one of three categories: neurological, inner ear and cardiopulmonary.

Neurological

  • Numbness
  • Paresthesia (a burning, tingling or prickling sensation typically felt in the extremities)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking/impaired gait
  • Problems with physical coordination or bladder control
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or impaired mental status
  • Hearing sounds that do not exist

Inner-ear

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness or vertigo (sensation of spinning)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired balance

Cardiopulmonary

  • “The Chokes” (dry cough and difficulty taking a breath)
  • Chest pain (particularly behind the sternum)
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)

Type 2 DCS can develop either slowly or rapidly, and progression is difficult to predict. Slowly building symptoms can obscure the seriousness of the situation and provide an opportunity for the diver to deny issues or the severity of injury. Fatigue and weakness are relatively common after diving, and if their onset is protracted they can be easily ignored. More serious symptoms such as difficulty walking, urinating, hearing or seeing can prompt more rapid recognition of injuries. Divers are frequently reluctant to report symptoms, which is vital for you to keep in mind. Students frequently fail to report, or underreport, symptoms for fear of judgment or “making a big deal out of nothing.”

If you suspect that you or a student has any symptoms that could potentially indicate DCS, get an evaluation by a medical professional as soon as possible. Treating a noninjury as if it were quite serious has minimal repercussions, but failing to respond appropriately to an acute case of DCS can cause serious long-term harm to an injured diver.

For more information about DCS and diving visit DAN.org/Health.

3 Reasons to Host a Conservation Event for Women’s Dive Day

Since its inception in 2015, PADI Women’s Dive Day has received worldwide media attention – including mentions from The New York Times, Huffington Post and The Boston Globe. In 2017, more than 884 events were held in 85 countries.

Hosting a PADI Women’s Dive Day event is a fun and fulfilling way to promote your business and build community.  If you’re looking for Women’s Dive Day event ideas, or just want to level-up your event from last year, consider hosting an event with a conservation component.

Any PADI Member can create an event and get listed on the official PADI Women’s Dive Day webpage, this includes dive centers, resorts and individual members. The benefits of including a conservation component to your Women’s Dive Day event are three-fold:

#1 Bring in new customers
A volunteer activity can help attract new customers who might not have scuba diving on their radar – especially those who are age 18-35 (millennials). According to the Washington Post, 70 percent of millennials like to volunteer and Forbes recently reported two-thirds of millennials are willing to spend more on a product from a company with eco-friendly practices.

– Connect with local volunteer groups, or use MeetUp to find people interested in community service projects.
– Use MeetUp to contact women’s hikinggroups, kayaking clubs, or even women’s fitness. As anyone who’s helped with a beach clean-up knows, cleaning up the environment can be a workout! 

#2 Environmental benefits with long-term lifestyle changes
A beach clean-up has both short and long-term benefits for your local ecosystem. Studies have shown, volunteers who collect trash not only improve the health of local waterways, they also adopt environmentally-friendly lifestyle changes. After collecting dozens of plastic straws on a beach, it only makes sense that someone would pledge to never use another plastic straw.

#3 Gain media coverage
A scuba diving event by itself might not be newsworthy, but Mamas for Mother Earth or Divas Diving Against Debris is another story. A group of women standing around a pile of trash looking victorious (wearing your dive shop t-shirt, of course) is an image worth sharing.

– Invite local news media or prominent bloggers to attend your event.
– Contact local news outlets after your event and send them your best pics and video.

Putting it All Together: Dive Against Debris + DSD
On women’s dive day, 21 July 2018, have your certified divers can collect and log marine debris  using the new Dive Against Debris app (available for Android and iOS) while topside volunteers collect rubbish on shore. 

– Take a group photo with the trash pile
–  Award prizes for the most trash collected or most unusual piece of trash collected.
– Offer a free Discover Scuba® Diving voucher to anyone who participates in the clean-up to encourage new people to try diving.
– Conclude the event with a picnic or other socialactivity so sand-side volunteers have the opportunity to mingle with divers.
– Post to social media using the hashtags #PADIWomen and #PADIWomensDiveDay – your image or video may be featured by PADI!

Additional resources to plan and promote your event are available on PADI’s website. Check out out How to Organize a Clean-up Event and Conducting an Underwater Clean-up Off a Boat or Pier, and don’t forget to register your 2018 Women’s Dive Day event.

The Adaptable Prevail

Drew Richardson staff shotPut “adaptive” and “PADI” together and it conjures images of people overcoming disabilities and challenges, and rightly so. Diving is one of those rare, rich experiences that can help heal the body, heart and soul, whether someone’s dealing with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), paraplegia, cerebral palsy, amputation – the list goes on, as you know. With its performance-based design focused on what people can do instead of what they can’t, the PADI® System’s adaptive approach has opened diving and the underwater world to thousands.

Thousands? I should say millions. The PADI System’s adaptability isn’t new, and it benefits 25 million of us and counting – that’s every single PADI Diver. It has made PADI the world’s dominating force in diving because we all have challenges, needs, interests, preferences and desires. Only a system that adapts to the infinite individuality of learning and teaching can address all of these distinct variables.

What makes the PADI System stand apart is its ability to fi t a standardized diving instructional system to so many people individually, in so many ways. It is international, cross-cultural, multilingual and transgenerational, so that beyond accommodating varied learning needs and preferences it builds a bridge that makes us one amid our differences. Take five PADI Divers from China, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Vietnam and put them on a boat for a day. They share a language even if they don’t, because they “speak” diving and the ocean, thanks to the PADI System you and your fellow PADI Professionals apply every day.

The PADI System succeeds because it stands on a solid, unshakeable but adaptable philosophical and instructional foundation that retains our core values while evolving as emerging technologies and social trends change how we meet individual needs, one student at a time. As the PADI family stands up for ocean health and marine animal protection, and champions the power of diving in community, and health and wellness, we need to recognize that, hand in hand with tenacity, this is where our strength lies. Overcoming challenges requires adapting what we do, whether it’s to help one person with an individual need or one planet with a social need.

The Chinese philosopher Lao-tsu said, “An army that cannot yield will be defeated. A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The hard and stiff will be broken; the soft and supple will prevail.” The PADI family has emerged as a force for good because we don’t try to live in someone’s idealized version of what the world should be. Rather, we are supple. We adapt and change to meet what the real world blows our way. Together, we always have, and I expect, always will.

Good luck, good teaching and good diving,

Drew Richardson Ed.D.
PADI President and CEO

My PADI Club™

The Portal to a World of Underwater Exploration and Discovery.

Written by Mohammad Dahdul, PADI Marketing Consultant

Sharing your passion for diving, the ocean and ocean conservation is what you do as a dive professional. You’re likely looking for innovative ways to make diving accessible and increase engagement for those who want to continue their dive journeys. My PADI Club™ was created to help you keep your ­customers diving for a lifetime.

MYPADICLUB_MiniMag_7x10.indd

Based on the extensive research ­provided by McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s leading research and business consulting firms, My PADI Club is designed to overcome the barriers people experience when learning to dive and help prevent divers from drifting away from diving. It provides what they need to stay active in the sport.

The barriers identified include dive planning being too difficult, trouble finding people to dive with, and reliable ratings of dive sites and dive businesses being unavailable. When it launches, My PADI Club will offer divers an online community for finding information about dive centers and sites globally, a dive buddy finder, custom dive notifications and trusted ratings. The platform’s tools work to not only make diving more accessible to the average ocean explorer, but to also increase repeat customers and drive business growth for PADI® Members in numerous ways.

Advertise Your Business

Advertising is imperative to grow your business and My PADI Club actually makes it easy. Publicizing what you offer and promoting your events is funda­mental to customer acquisition, and in building and maintaining customer loyalty. Think of My PADI Club as another marketing tool to drive customers to your store and participate in your events. The more you advertise and network, the larger, more loyal customer base you’ll build.

MyPADIClub_StoreProfile

There are various ways to use My PADI Club as an additional advertising tool. Upload promotion or event flyers to the activity feed, change your dive center display ad with monthly specials or tent sales, and directly interact with customers through “likes” and “comments.” By uploading a display ad and linking it to your website or event page, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your events. Reference the photo specs in the Settings section of My PADI Club to make sure your photo is the correct dimension and size.

Community_MyPADIClub_Display Ad

Although advertising’s main ­objective is typically to foster business growth, you can also use it to share your passion for conservation with your network. Use the platform as a way to highlight the conservation projects that you and your team are working on. Invite your My PADI Club connections to your Dive Against Debris® events and enlist them to help have a ­positive impact on ocean health.

The wide reach of advertising through My PADI Club gives you the opportunity to grow your business, build a community of like-minded individuals, and work toward PADI’s Pillars of Change.

Build Stronger Customer Relationships

People and Community is one of PADI’s Pillars of Change and is the heart of teaching the world to dive. Building a community of divers in your area is a crucial way to keep customers returning to your business.

In Entrepreneur’s 5 Ways to Build Killer Relationships with Customers, connecting and communicating are two of the most important actions to forging healthy customer relationships. Both interpersonal and online interactions have a direct effect on whether or not a customer returns a second time. The consistency of these interactions also plays a large role in keeping your business, and diving in general, at the top of a customer’s mind. In the technologically advanced world in which we live, maintaining constant contact with another person is as easy as tapping a button on your smartphone. My PADI Club can offer this consistent, and instant, interaction.

Use the convenience of My PADI Club to your advantage by connecting and interacting with your customers in several ways. Update your instructional team on your dive center profile so student divers can easily follow their dive mentors. Make sure you and your instructors follow your students’ profiles as well. Once you’re following them, comment and like their logged dives, photos and videos encouraging them to continue their dive adventures. Post interesting content that will prompt your customers to interact with you. Maintaining these relationships could lead to referrals to friends and family.

MyPADIClub_FollowDivers

Another way to prompt students to dive with you is by contributing to Go Dive Alerts™. As a PADI Pro, you are the local expert of the sites you frequently dive. Report conditions in My PADI Club for dive sites each day to alert divers of conditions that might pique their interest – for example, perfect water temperature and great visibility. My PADI Club users can customize notification triggers – Go Dive Alerts – for their favorite dive sites. As you report conditions, divers who chose to receive alerts for specific parameters at their favorite dive sites will be alerted to go dive. Prompting divers to dive reinforces their passion for scuba and gets them back into your dive center more often.

Having the ability to follow new and existing divers, other PADI Members, as well as share your passion and knowledge of diving within your community will make your voice and influence as strong, and global, as ever.

Grow Your Business

Using My PADI Club to advertise and build stronger customer relationships ultimately leads to business growth. By enabling your customers to become My PADI Club Premium members (coming later in 2018), you help them access exclusive savings on PADI continuing education courses and gear from some of the top dive brands. Leveraging these premium features is the best way to sell a Premium membership to both new and experienced divers.

What’s in it for you? Earn commissions for every new Premium membership sold. Commissions are paid on first-time Premium members only and the diver must remain a Premium member for at least 60 days. You will be paid in credit each month and also have the option to cash out credit via a check.

Encouraging your customers to join My PADI Club and upgrade to a Premium membership not only benefits them, but you as well. When customers seek out your dive services and products time and time again, you earn more revenue from each return visit. By bringing all your divers into the largest online dive community, you grow a robust dive tribe and expand your influence.

Set Up Your Profile

Now that you know there are many ways to leverage My PADI Club, it’s time to learn how to create and update your profile. Use these steps:

  • Step 1: Visit my.padi.com and log in using your PADI Pros’ Site or ScubaEarth username and password.
  • Step 2: Click on Profile to update your profile image, avatar, and general info. Connect with divers and share your photos.
  • Step 3: For Dive Centers and Resorts: Although some aspects of your profile can be updated directly on the My PADI Club dive center profile, information such as parking, transportation, services and courses must all be updated within the PADI Pros’ Site Premium listing section. To update these additional store details, go to PADI Pros’ Site (padi.com/mypadi). Log in using your Dive Center/Resort account, select the Account tab and then select Premium listing. Update your Premium Listing to improve your My PADI Club profile. This information will automatically populate into your My PADI Club ­profile within 24 hours.

Be sure to make your profile stand out. Add photos, videos and content that’s intriguing to your customers to make your profile distinctive. Remember, ­interaction and content are key in attaining the ­maximum benefits of My PADI Club.

MyPADI Club_1

Using the tools discussed throughout this article will help you leverage the My PADI Club platform. As mentioned, the best ways to fully benefit from My PADI Club is to be an exceedingly active member through consistent updates, constant interaction and communication with other users, and posting interesting content. Use your voice and influence as a dive mentor in My PADI Club to spread your passion for diving and encourage others to continue their exploration of the ocean, and to protect it while doing so.

Insider Tip: Writing a PADI Distinctive Specialty

diving the great lakes Photo: Courtesy of Kim Parker

By Tara Bradley Connell

scuba diving the great lakes
Photo: Thomas Rhoad

In order to share their love for diving the Great Lakes, PADI® Dive Instructors Kim Parker and her husband, Tom Rhoad, began training people out of their home. When they realized they needed more space, they opened up Aquatic Adventures of Michigan. For 17 years running, the husband-and-wife team has been catering to fellow divers in the Great Lakes area.

Wanting to give special attention to Michigan’s unique diving conditions, Parker noticed a need for some PADI Distinctive Specialties specific to the Great Lakes. And since nothing like that previously existed, she decided to write her own.

“We sometimes feel that the ‘Middle Coast’ gets forgotten when diving is discussed, and we want the diving community to recognize that there are wonderful diving opportunities in the Great Lakes,” Parker says. “If you enjoy diving shipwrecks, especially intact old wooden wrecks, there is no better place than the Great Lakes. The wrecks are preserved and protected as an important archeological resource by the surrounding communities.”

Requirements for each specialty include confined water training, finning techniques, reel work, rescue skills, and four dives on various shipwrecks specific to each lake. The mission: to empower divers by focusing on the wreck’s structure, local conditions and history.

“Each student is required to survey the wrecks, know the history of a wreck and cause of its sinking,” Parker says. “This is done by visiting local museums with dive buddies and the instructor to gather research information.”

diving the great lakes in michingan. Photo: Courtesy of Kim Parker
Photo: Thomas Rhoad

Research was also a key factor for Parker and her team when planning the structure of these specialties.

“A lot of research went into each of these specialties, and I can’t take all the credit for it,” Parker says. “Two of Aquatic Adventures of MI Instructors, Gary Flum and Thomas Rhoad, helped with the materials that created the specialties, too.”

Together, the group created a series of seven PADI Distinctive Specialties:

Lake Michigan Wreck Diver

Lake Huron Wreck Diver

Lake Superior Wreck Diver

Lake Erie Wreck Diver

Lake Ontario Wreck Diver

Great Lakes Invasive Species

Great Lakes Master Diver

In order to gain momentum among the dive community, Parker came up with the Great Lakes Master Dive program, making her the first person to be approved for a PADI Distinctive Master Scuba Diver™ certification.

“The concept behind the Great Lakes Master Diver was to provide diving goals to divers and expand their diving experience towards the Great Lakes,” Parker says. “These certifications give us the opportunity to educate and explore all five of the lakes and to understand what threatens them.”

From concept and research to training and certification, Parker notes that one of her biggest obstacles when writing these specialties was finding objectives to differentiate the unique aspects of each lake.

“Keep in mind what your students and your goals are,” Parker advises. “Figure out how can you challenge students to meet those goals while improving their dive skills. You want to be proud to have your instructor name on their certification card.”

But no matter what specialty Parker and her team are working on, the common goal is to promote diving in the Great Lakes.

diving the great lakes Photo: Courtesy of Kim Parker
Photo: Thomas Rhoad

“To keep people in the water, you have to challenge them,” Parker says. “What better way than to create a dive specialty that is challenging, fun and unique?”

Seven PADI Distinctive Specialties later and Parker has turned a passion for local diving into a PADI Great Lakes Master Diver Program that her dive community can be proud of.

If you’re interested in writing your own PADI Distinctive Specialty course, contact your Regional Training Consultant for more information.

PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Course – What You Need to Know

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Last year, PADI® launched a new pro-level specialty: The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course. This new program provides PADI Professionals with additional tools to help students of varied abilities meet course performance requirements. PADI’s Adaptive Techniques Specialty does not create a new set of standards for existing PADI programs. Instead, instructors learn how a simple technique change can allow many divers to meet performance requirements and earn a PADI certification.

PADI Course Director Jeff Currer was a member of the advisory group which developed the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course and he explains how every PADI Pro can benefit from learning adaptive techniques.

“We often get set in our teaching style over time, and the Adaptive Techniques Specialty course helps you see the standards in a fresh light. The course teaches how to adapt to the student, while still holding the line on performance requirements and expands the instructor’s tool box in ways that can be applied to all students.”

Brent George, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) and adaptive techniques course participant said, “Learning how a paraplegic might perform the confined water CESA successfully will definitely help me teach that skill to all divers.”

Jeremy Wilton, a PADI Instructor Development Course Staff Instructor and course participant said, “I will use what I learned in every class I teach, including pro-level courses.”

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Rob Currer, a PADI Master Instructor and PADI AmbassaDiver, was also part of the adaptive specialty advisory group. He notes: “According to the World Health Organization, there are around one billion people on the planet who are living with some sort of disability. So truthfully, most PADI Pros are already working with people who could benefit from adaptive techniques; they just don’t realize it.”

“Even people with a more typical ability range don’t all learn the same,” Rob continued. “Every diver is unique; they struggle with some skills and not with others. PADI’s Adaptive Techniques Specialty helps pros look at a PADI Standard and see the flexibility that already exists there. They learn how to easily implement techniques to capitalize on the strengths of their students and help each one overcome their unique challenges.”

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty includes exercises to help PADI Pros gain a greater understanding of the physical limitations some students face. Course participant Jeff Pettigrew, a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI), described how he came to understand the tired diver tow in a new way.

“We have a hemiplegic divemaster candidate who cannot use one of her arms and has limited use of one leg. When I tried to do the fin push tired diver tow as a hemiplegic, I had new found respect for the challenges she faces, and overcomes!” said Pettigrew.

Rob echoed Pettigrew’s sentiments regarding the abilities of those who are considered disabled. “There will be skills in which your student divers need more assistance, but these people are not really ‘disabled.’  In fact, these students are incredibly able, they just approach certain tasks differently from a typical diver. Most instructors are really surprised at just how capable their adaptive students are.”

Course participant Roger Shields, a PADI OWSI and medic in the United States Army, described how the course helped him recognize his inherent adaptive teaching skills. “I have my own physical and cognitive issues, but taking the adaptive techniques specialty helped me realize I was already adapting my style for myself! When we practiced adaptive techniques to accomplish some of the skills, I realized that I had a lot to offer others who could benefit from my experience,” he said.

For instructors and divemasters interested in working with disabled divers, but hesitant to take the next step, Rob says, “Dive on in!” He advises PADI Pros to earn the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course certification first – to build a solid base of skills and knowledge. Next, team teach with an experienced pro to help build confidence in your skills. Then, when you feel comfortable, start setting up your own programs.

“It can definitely be intimidating at first. What if there’s a problem?” Rob said. “Well, what do you do if any student has a problem? You help them fix it. It’s the same with adaptive teaching, you problem solve, and as a PADI Pro you are already a pro at that!”

Jeff Currer, who is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Patriots for Disabled Divers, shed some light on common misconceptions about working with individuals with disabilities. “In my experience, there are two common misconceptions: that there is more liability when working with those with disabilities, and that there is no business case for shops to provide the training.”

“Both are wrong,” Jeff said. “The liability does not change, you always have the duty to care. Training may take more pool time and require smaller classes, but there is no reason why you cannot cost the course appropriately. People will seek you out to get the experience and the opportunity to do something amazing. It will boost store credentials with the able-bodied community as well.”

There is enormous value for dive store staff as well. Jeremy Wilton, a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and course participant said, “I have a number of friends who are combat injured and this course opened my eyes on how to adapt my delivery and still meet standards. One of my friends is a paraplegic with limited arm strength, and the techniques we practiced to conduct the confined water CESA will definitely be applicable when I teach him! I cannot wait to get him in the water.”

For PADI Professionals who are already HSA Instructors, the two programs are very complimentary. Rob shared his perspective, “As both a PADI and HSA instructor, I can honestly say that carrying both ratings allows me to give the widest range of care to my adaptive divers. It allows me to have the flexibility to use the program that best meets a student diver’s individual needs.

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If a diver can meet PADI Standards and earn their PADI card, they can be certified under the most recognized brand in diving and freed from some of the additional limitations that an HSA certification might place on them. There are going to be divers, like many quadriplegics, who are not physically capable of meeting PADI Open Water Diver standards and thus need a program like HSA to earn a dive certification,” Rob said.

“PADI has always been supportive of divers with disabilities, and the adaptive techniques course is there to bring that home,” added Jeff Currer. “The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course provides PADI Professionals with the credentials to work with divers who never thought they would be able to dive and earn a certification from the best known and respected certification agency in the world, and the confidence to provide that training with the backing of PADI. Very powerful.”

Learn More or Enroll

PADI Divemasters or PADI Master Freedivers who have completed EFR Primary and Secondary Care course within 24 months are eligible to take the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course. Learn more about the PADI Adaptive Techniques specialty for PADI Professionals, or view Patriot Scuba’s course schedule.

For divers, PADI offers the Adaptive Support Diver Specialty course. This course helps certified divers learn how to better assist a certified buddy who may have some form of challenge explore the underwater world. View Patriot Scuba’s Adaptive Support Diver course schedule.

Divers, pros and dive shop owners can support the efforts of Patriots for Disabled Divers. Learn how you can work with disabled veterans, become an affiliate store, and other ways to support their work.