Turn Your Next Dive Trip into an Eco-Adventure

It’s not a “dive trip” it’s an Eco-Adventure
Green tourism now accounts for more than 20% of international travel and is one of the fastest-growing travel markets. Islands magazine recently devoted an entire issue to eco-vacations and a recent survey by the Travel Industry Association showed that 50% of respondents would prefer a trip that offered conservation opportunities.

“Green” is in, and Project AWARE makes it easy to turn your next dive trip into an eco-adventure. Here are a few ideas:

In pre-trip emails. Challenge divers to “Make Your Dives Count. Monitor Coral Reefs”
(Link to: http://www.projectaware.org/americas/english/coral-watch/)

Offer the AWARE Coral Reef specialty in conjunction with a pre-trip meeting. This non-diving specialty is a great way for all your travelers to get more from their experience. The Coral Reef CD-ROM (70809) includes slides and videos for the two-hour knowledge development. You can also distribute Coral Watch Cards for students to use on their trip (more on this later).

Encourage Open Water Divers to try an Eco-Advanced class. In addition to the Deep and Nav adventure dives, the student can pick from “eco-AWARE” adventure dives such as: Fish ID, Peak Performance Buoyancy, or Digital Underwater Photography. When you process the student’s PIC, opt for the Project AWARE certification card (a $5 upgrade).

Invite divers to participate in CoralWatch:
Getting divers involved in CoralWatch activities reinforces their responsibility as ambassadors to the underwater world and allows them to participate in important research.

During dives or snorkeling excursions, participants match the color of the coral with a corresponding color on the CoralWatch card. Next they record the color code along on coral type on a data sheet. The data collected goes into the CoralWatch database which is used by scientists to study coral bleaching and recovery patterns.

For more information or to register as a CoralWatch Dive Operator, just visit the CoralWatch page at the Project AWARE website.

PADI Diving Society Members who enroll in an AWARE specialty qualify for a free gift from PADI (pictured right). Students must submit a Specialty of the Month redemption form and a receipt showing proof of purchase (training and AWARE manual) from a PADI Dive Center or Resort.

Holiday promotional ideas

A 2006 survey of holiday shoppers by Advertising Magazine revealed:

75% of people do their holiday shopping before December 15th.

If you don’t have a holiday sales strategy, here are a few ideas you can put together in less than a day:

Create a holiday gift center – make a simple display by wrapping empty boxes in holiday paper and placing gift items on top or take an existing display and decorate with garland. Include products in a wide price range and don’t forget a sign promoting your gift certificates.

Make a holiday flyer – some shoppers need a helping hand when it comes to picking out gifts. Create a list of gift ideas under $20, under $50, and under $100. Add festive holiday images from clip art or google images, and you’re ready to go. On the back, promote an upcoming dive trip or a coupon such as, “spend $100 between 1-31 Dec and receive a free air fill card.” Remind your sales staff to offer a flyer to each customer and tuck one in every shopping bag.

Assemble holiday gift packs whether you put it all in a dive flag stocking or a plain old mesh bag, pre-packaged gift sets make holiday shopping a no-brainer for your customers. For divers: how about a “care and feeding” kit for their gear. For non-divers: a family first-aid package.

Secret weapons
PADI Diving Society has more than a dozen special offers you can pass on to your customers including: $100 back on a Sealife camera, $150 back from SCUBAPRO, free fins from Mares and more.

Try this, seriously: load up the “how tanks are made” video from our Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving Multimedia. Show this video to customers and I promise you will get takers. The tank video is the coolest (in my opinion) but there are more than 100 clips – four hours of video – on the disc. We’re also offering special pricing Encyclopedia Multimedia from now through the end of the year.


Encyclopedia Multimedia 2007 promotion

On 3 December 2007, PADI will roll out a holiday promotion for the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving – Multimedia. The coupon above will appear on padi.com alongside sample videos and product highlights.

Our special offer to the consumer:
Buy the Encyclopedia Multimedia for $49.95 (approx $20 off suggested retail). The coupon can be downloaded from the special offers page on padi.com.

Our special offer to the dive retailer:
Buy five or more Encyclopedias and get them at level seven pricing.

The best way to sell this product is show and tell. There are more than 100 video clips on this disc – including several on how dive equipment is made. If a customer is looking at a wetsuit or a tank, you can show them how these products are made (the tank video is the best).

It’s also a great item for Divemaster candidates and students taking the equipment speciality course. If you have a student who’s confused about the difference between balanced and unbalanced pistons – there’s a video explaining both. Someone struggling with Boyles’ Law? We have two videos on that one.

Other key selling points:

  • 100 video clips on everything from how tanks are made to showing how air moves through a regulator.
  • Includes the Diving Knowledge workbook
  • Learn about the history and evolution of scuba diving and dive equipment
  • Explains how dive computers work and decompression theory
  • Includes discussion of scuba equipment care and maintenance


Instructor Promo Pack

PADI’s Instructor Promo Pack: $125 – pick and choose your favorite items:

<– Pick one item from this list 82213 Laptop Backpack
82131 Pro Bag
82136 PADI Backpack

Pick two items from this list –>
60171 Boat Diver Crew-pak
60167 Diver Propulsion Vehicle Crew-pak
70092 Digital Underwater Photographer Crew-pak

<– Pick one item from this list: 82110 PADI Instructor Hat 82100 PADI Divemaster Hat 70028 eRDP

BONUS: free PADI Equipment Mat:
The mat is about 5.5 ft long and 3ft wide when fully open. Folded it’s about 1 foot long, by 9 inches tall, a couple inches thick. It also has a magazine pocket and a small, inflatable pillow.

This offer is good while supplies last or through 20 December 2007 (whichever comes first). To order, please call us at: 800 729 7234 ext. 2330. This promotion is not available online.

Free Digital Underwater Photographer hat

Digital Underwater Photographer hatDid you become a Digital Underwater Photo Instructor this year?

Time is running out to get your free instructor hat from PADI. Instructor applications must be turned in before 21 December, and redemption forms are due before the end of January 2008.

The hat (pictured left) is a Flexfit-style hat with the PADI logo on the front and “Digital U/W Photo Instructor” on the back. It’s free, just send in a redemption form with proof that you received the rating in 2007 (such as a copy of your specialty instructor card front and back).

Student divers who complete the Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty in 2007 are also eligible for a hat. PADI Diving Society membership is required, and they must show proof of purchase from a PADI Dive Center or Resort.

Complete details on how to get a the PADI DUP Instructor hat and the regular Digital Underwater Photographer hat are available on the PADI Diving Society benefits page.


In Memorial: Thomas “Buzz” Tomaskie

In Memorial: Thomas “Buzz” Tomaskie 1951 -2007
(excerpted from The Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

Buzz was born in Great Falls on Oct. 3, 1951, to John and Beverly (Krause) Tomaskie. He grew up in Helena across from Spring Meadow Lake at the Tomaskie farm. He graduated from Helena High in 1970. In 1972 Buzz graduated from the Helena Vo-Tech with an associate’s degree in electronics and machine shop.

In 1992 he discovered his life’s passion, scuba diving. Buzz became a master scuba instructor and had numerous students; he enjoyed teaching and sharing his experiences with them. He really enjoyed traveling the world scuba diving with his wife Kathy and friends. Over the years Buzz dove 998 times; just two shy of his 1,000 dive goal. With the help from his friends, Buzz was very thankful for his final dive in October of this year. Buzz belonged to Lewis & Clark Search and Rescue, Montana State Dive Association, the Helena Scuba Club and was a member of the Cory-Dullum VFW Post 10,010.

Buzz had a contagious belly laugh that filled the entire room. Family and friends will forever feel his absence.

Memorials may be sent to St. Peter’s Hospice and/or St. Peter’s Cancer Research Center, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT.59601; or to Lewis & Clark Search and Rescue, P .0. Box 473, Helena, MT 59624.

As of this writing, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle has no fewer than 21 tributes to Buzz posted online. Click the link to read more about Buzz’s life and some of the wonderful words folks have to say about him (click on “guest book).

PADI warehouse closure dates November 2007

PADI will be closed both Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving. I’ll be enjoying my leftover Tofurky. How about you?

If you need PADI materials before the holiday weekend and want to take advantage of PADI’s free ground shipping, here’s what I recommend:

AK, WA, OR, ID, MT, WY: Please place your order before Noon on Wednesday 14 Nov.
CA, NV, UT: Please place your order before Noon on Thursday 15 Nov.

Ground orders placed after the dates/times listed above may not arrive in time for the holiday weekend. Expedited shipping is available for an additional charge.

Please click on the calendar image for additional details.

In addition, the warehouse will not be shipping orders Thursday and Friday (29-30 Nov). Please place your order before Noon on Wednesday 28 Nov or it will not ship until Monday 3 December.

PADI warehouse statistics:

  • Each year the PADI warehouse
    ships 20,178 orders.
  • That comes out to 1.6 million+
    DVDs, crewpaks, slates, etc.

Best. Swimsuits. Ever.

I like to think of myself as a dive instructor with a “colorful” personality. I’ve got gear in every color imaginable – why should I settle for a boring swimsuit?

Oh sure I could get some kind of crazy bikini but, hello? It’s not comfortable under a 7 mil! I’m so glad there’s Splish.

Once a upon a time: a female tri-athlete got tired of boring one-piece suits offered by most swimsuit companies. So she started Splish – a company that makes quality one-piece swimsuits with a sense of fun.

I personally own the skeleton suit (pictured right). There are dozens more on her website:

Sorry guys: even though Splish offers men’s suits, the ladies get the best selection.

Please be advised: the suits are in athletic sizes. They’re sized by chest measurement instead of “normal” women’s sizing (6, 8, 10).


Offering eLearning as a first option

In talking to folks about eLearning, I’ve heard a lot of people say, “We like it, but we’ve only had one or two people sign up.” PADI plans to step up our marketing to non-divers in 2008, but in the meantime, here’s something to consider:

When you’re shopping for a new TV, they don’t show you the cheapest TV right out of the gate right? They show you the plasma screen. At the Apple store – what’s in their front window? The latest and greatest computers and iPods.

Not only is eLearning the “latest and greatest” in dive training, it’s the most profitable PADI crewpak. The average PADI Dive Center receives $50 for each eLearner – and there’s nothing to inventory.

So, the next time someone asks about learning to dive, why not ask, “Are you interested in doing your course work online?” Key features and benefits include:

* Learn at your own pace
* Save time and save gas
* Your instructor is just a phone call away
* Learn to dive in your bathrobe and bunny slippers!

If the student doesn’t want to pay an additional $120, “No problem. Here’s what our standard course includes . . .”

If you have any questions about eLearning, please don’t hesitate to call us. Tutorials are also available on the PADI Pros website. Use your IRRA login and scroll down the homepage until you find “… more in the eLearning toolbox.”


The Course Every Dive Shop Should Offer This Fall

When I took the Equipment Specialist course, I figured it’d be a fun afternoon of hanging out with my dive buddies and, heck, maybe I’d learn how to change an O-ring. By the time the class was over I had a two page wish list of things I just had to have.

I tracked down my instructor from back then (Scuba Steve of Aquatic Dreams) to find out what he said and did that made me want to drop half a paycheck on gizmos and wetsuit shampoo.

Scuba Steve’s tricks n’ tips for teaching the Equipment Specialist course:

When conducting the equipment specialty course, have plenty of gear on hand for students to touch and feel. Introduce them to the latest and greatest diving toys such as DPVs, Dive Computers, dive lights and BCDs. Talk about the difference between the high and low end dive equipment, and what to look for when purchasing new gear.

Keep the program interactive with hands-on workshops:
– wet suit repairs using neoprene scraps
– a trip to the equipment repair bench
– buoyancy comparisons of full and empty aluminum and steel cylinders in the pool, etc.

Use the videos found on the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving DVD-ROM to show students how tanks and wetsuits are made. Or use the new Equipment Specialist course material for Android and iOS tablets.

Include care and feeding for your diver’s equipment
. Dive equipment’s biggest enemy is lack of care. By showing students how to properly clean their BCDs, regulators, wet and dry suits, they’ll have fewer equipment errors and malfunctions and the gear will last longer.

Help each diver put together a personal custom save-a-dive kit. Stock up on o-rings, bass picks, fin and mask straps, water proof boxes, LP and HP port plugs and anything else students may want in a kit.

I have done many equipment courses over the years and many people say it’s was one of the most informative courses they have ever taken (and I sell lots of gear to boot). Not to mention you get to show off every piece of dive gear that you have hiding in your garage, truck, closet and dive center that is known to man. Have fun!


  • Teaching materials: Equipment Specialist instructor outline (70220) and Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving Multimedia (70833) or Equipment Specialist Touch (call your sales rep to order).
  • Recommended student materials: The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving or Equipment Specialist Touch (call your sales rep to order).
  • Stock up on products that you’ll be showcasing in class (Mirazyme, dive lights, spare parts kit, mutli-tools, gear clips, etc).
  • Create student handouts such as: an equipment maintenance log, equipment wish list, dive travel checklist, etc.

Invite new divers who have not yet purchased equipment.
Many divers are overwhelmed by the wide selection of dive gear on the market. The Equipment Specialist course gives you the chance to counsel them on a gear purchase and why they should buy from you and not their trusty computer at home.

Invite Divemaster candidates and aspiring Master Scuba Divers.
Divemasters should be familiar with the type of gear you carry and how to complete basic repairs. Taking the Equipment Specialist course is not required by PADI standards, but some dive shops require it as part of their Divemaster curriculum. Additionally, the Equipment Specialist course counts towards the Master Scuba Diver rating.