Wee Problem with Specialty Inst. Manual CD-ROM

There is a wee problem with the Enriched Air Instructor Guide in the new Specialty Instructor Manual Digital version.

As you can see in the image at the right, the key standards box has run amok.

Just shoot me an email you and I’ll send you a replacement file.

New PADI Products: DPV, Boat and Decals

Debuting at DEMA: two new specialty crewpaks: DPV and Boat Diver.

The new DPV Crewpak (PN 60167) includes the new DPV Manual (79309) and DPV DVD (70929). You can read more about the new DPV product in PADI’s Surface Interval article.

The Boat Diver Crewpak (PN 60171) includes the new Boat Manual (79170) and Boat Diver DVD (70930).

Suggested retail for both crewpaks (same price) is $53.20.

Available Now:
We also have new stickers for both PADI Pros and PADI Divers. They’re $.50 each and are available now. Click the link above for product shots.

PADI Diver (50029)
PADI Master Scuba Diver (50031)
PADI Divemaster (50038)
PADI Assistant Instructor (50041)
PADI Instructor (50043)
PADI Master Instructor (50048)
PADI Course Director (50050)


Add photos to your dive center listing online

PADI recently announced some enhancements to its online Dive Center and Resort Directory. To the left is a snapshot of search results for Key Largo – which listing does your eye go to first?

What’s pictured left is an example of the “Premium” web enhancement. There is also a “Basic”package.

Premium ($39.95/month) includes:
* Description up to 300 characters
* Three photos
* A highlighted border

Basic ($19.95 / month) includes:
* Description up to 300 characters
* One photo

To upgrade your listing, go to the PADI Web Connector located in the IRRA Toolbox. The online tool will take you through the setup and automatically resize any photos.

All PADI IRRA Members are entitled to a free web link on padi.com. If your link does not appear, or if the web address is not current, log on to PADI Pros, click on IRRA toolbox and select Add/Change Web Link.

Flip-flops and dry suit diving

October’s Specialty of the Month is Dry Suit Diver and our featured prize: PADI Flip-Flops. Okay, so flip-flops don’t necessarily go with dry suit diving, but they’re still pretty cool.

The flip-flops have the PADI logo “reverse embossed” in the sole so it imprints “PADI, PADI, PADI” down the sand. If you’ve seen the DAN flip-flops they’re the same idea, um, no comment on this surprising coincidence.

The sandals come in one size for men and one size for women. Students will need to submit a redemption form along with a store receipt and proof of membership in the PADI Diving Society. Additional details can be found on the Specialty of the Month webpage.

P.S. Don’t forget, PADI has a special offer going with DUI.

A-2-Z Scuba Diving Mt. Rainier

When Amy from A-2-Z Scuba called me up and said, “Guess where we went diving?” I could hardly believe it when she answered, “Lake Mowich, Mt. Rainier.”

“We did an Altitude Class,” she said, “and it was full.”

Amy and her staff promoted the trip by making call outs and posting the dive on online forums. As it turns out, students get pretty excited about trying an unusual* specialty. Being able to brag, “I dove on Mt. Rainier,” well, that’s pretty cool too.

The following Monday, A-2-Z’s trip was the hot topic on local dive forums. Guess where A-2-Z is diving this weekend? Mt Rainier. The second altitude class? It’s full.

There are all kinds of unusual specialties out there. If you can believe it, there’s even an Underwater Basket Weaving (Distinctive) Specialty. What unusual specialties can you offer students?

To see additional photos from the Mt. Rainier dive please stop by: A-2-Z’s photos from the Mt. Rainier dive.

* Okay, I know altitude diving isn’t a big deal for you Montana guys, but diving above 1,000 feet is bragging rights for coastal folk!

Promoting Advanced Open Water

As scuba instructors, we’re all quite familiar with the “barriers to entry” for the Open Water course.

“I don’t want to get eaten by a shark”
“I’m not a very good swimmer”
“I’m claustrophobic,”

Students may not be so open with their feelings about Advanced Open Water. Listed below are common reasons students don’t continue their diving education – and ideas on how you can knock down these barriers.

I’m not ready to be an Advanced Diver
“Advanced Open Water” sounds a little intimidating. Describe the course as a “specialty sampler” or invite students to get started with the three-course Adventures in Diving. Remind students that the Advanced course is an opportunity for them to gain dive experience under the supervision of a PADI Professional.

I don’t have time / I just spent $300 on this Open Water class
Students might not be ready to invest additional time or money immediately following Open Water. Allow them to complete the class one adventure dive at a time and/or allow them to make payments.

Companies such as Household Beneficial or The Associates can handle the financing for you. Since they don’t like to finance non-tangible items (such as “training”) you’ll need to create an equipment + training package.

An Adventure Diver Package might include: AOW course training and materials, two dive lights, a compass and any other equipment required for the class. Instead of paying $500 up front, students can pay for the class in $40 – $50 chunks each month. Once you have this relationship established, it’s a great tool for selling dry suits and Master Scuba Diver packages.

You can also invite students to “earn” their Advanced course by referring friends to become Open Water Divers. Offer an incentive such as a $50 credit for each referred friend who completes their Open Water certification with your store.

I want to sign up, but not right now
Create a sense of urgency by offering a discount, t-shirt or other incentive for any student who enrolls in the Advanced Open Water course within two weeks of completing their Open Water certification.

Got an idea you’d like to share? Let’s hear it! Leave us a comment below.

Activities to promote the Advanced course

AOW slates: Don’t Leave Home Without Them
Your Adventure in Diving slates are a great tool for selling continuing education.

The next time you’re taking students on a fun dive, hand out fish ID cards and brief the Fish ID Adventure dive (but don’t tell students that’s what you’re up to). When students finish the dive, debrief and let them know, “Guess what? You’re only four dives away from being an Advanced Open Water Diver and one dive away from your Fish ID specialty!”

This works well for other Adventure Dives such as Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigator or Boat Diver.

Adventures in Diving Olympics
Invite Open Water Divers back to the confined water for an Adventure in Diving event. This “advanced” confined water event could include, a night dive (if lights can be turned off), a navigation orientation (compass introduction and practice), buoyancy practice by swimming through various stations (hoops) and the use of lift bags, DPV;s and any other clever introduction to the Adventure in Diving Course. Then make certain you spend enough time “closing the sale” by showing the student materials (crew pack) and equipment required and pricing (and financing options). This confined water session allows students to enjoy participating in the sport together and get excited for additional opportunities and training.

Make the most of orientation sessions


By hosting multiple class orientations at one time you can get all your student paperwork taken care of and promote continuing education at the same time.

After introducing your instructor(s) and divemaster(s), have students introduce themselves from most experienced to least experienced. Master Scuba Divers and Rescue Divers will appreciate the acknowledgment and it gives new divers something to aspire to (you’d be amazed how effective this is).

Next, give a brief overview of each course (mainly for the benefit of your open water students). For example, you might describe Adventures in Diving as a “specialty sampler,” discuss the value of honing your dive skills, and close with a brief overview of the adventure dives.

Paperwork doesn’t have to be just boring release forms. It can also be a short survey asking divers about their interests in and out of the water: must-have information for teaching presentations. As your students finish up, invite them to add their names to a Master Scuba Diver progress chart.

Pretty Pictures
Bring the underwater world to your orientation by running a slideshow of underwater images on a laptop or muted television. Images from your favorite specialty dives will subtly sell continuing education, and don’t forget to include topside photos of smiling divers having fun and making friends.

Converting Open Water Divers into Master Scuba Divers

Summertime means lots of entry-level divers. This month we’ll feature tricks and tips on how to grow your Open Water Divers into Master Scuba Divers.

This article is the first in a series. Down the road we’ll cover other diver-retention techniques such as multi-level and concurrent training.

The Master Scuba Diver rating is often described as “The Black Belt of Scuba.” Unfortunately, while everyone knows what a karate black belt is, entry-level divers may not understand the prestige of the Master Scuba Diver rating.

Here are a just few ideas on raising awareness (and interest) in your Master Scuba Diver program.

  • Create a Wall of Fame in your store to recognize customers who have achieved their MSD
  • Publicly chart the progress of current Advanced and Rescue Divers to encourage friendly competition among students
  • Invite Master Scuba Divers to be guest speakers at your next course orientation
  • Award special recognition to your MSDs at a dive club meeting or store BBQ
  • Develop a specialized MSD program for your area such as a Project AWARE-focused “Eco-MSD” or a Cold Water MSD. You might even create a special logo for your program
  • Offer a dive trip for Master Scuba Divers ONLY

Have a great idea that’s working for you? Leave us a comment!