Advance Equipment Sales with the New Advanced Open Water Diver Course

USA Tour

There’s a lot to like about the new PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course but, from a business bottom line perspective, one of the most important benefits is that it opens up a plethora of potential new equipment sales. In fact, this revised program could well be the ultimate example of the interconnection between continuing education and equipment sales.

You’re doubtless already capitalizing not only on the sale of the associated PADI products but also on the “standard” Advanced Open Water Diver related equipment sales. While, ideally, Advanced Open Water Diver student divers are fully equipped with personal gear, many of them are still getting there, and it’s not uncommon for divers fresh from their Open Water Diver course to rent some of their basic equipment. For Advanced Open Water Diver, they’ll need knives, dive lights, DSMBs, compasses and so on that may not be available from the rental department. Not stocking and selling a selection of these essential items is akin to throwing money out the window.

In addition, think for a moment about some of the new opportunities you’ll have. Depending on your specific location and market, it’s possible to get divers started in sidemount, ice, cavern, full face mask, DPV or any other standardized specialty during the Advanced Open Water Diver course. PADI Members with the appropriate qualifications and relevant experience can use the new Advanced Open Water Diver course to introduce divers to these equipment intensive activities. (If you or your staff don’t have the qualifications, but do have the interest and enthusiasm, this would be an excellent time to remedy that with a little professional-level continuing education.)

full-face-mask-diverFocusing on just one of the many opportunities, the Full Face Mask Diver course really highlights the new sales potential. Originally the preserve of the commercial or public safety diver, full face masks are becoming increasingly relevant in a recreational context. Aside from just being plain fun, they have several advantages over standard masks, including the ability to add inwater communications and make diving in cold water more enjoyable. All it takes to get even experienced divers excited (and fill Full Face Mask Diver courses) is to display and promote some of the full face masks available from manufacturers such as Ocean Reef, Poseidon, Scubapro, Ocean Technology Systems (OTS) and Interspiro. Better yet, simply use full face masks during multiple-level training sessions in confined or open water and stand by for the tidal wave of interest.

Have a look – there’s a lot of detail in the 3rd Quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal – at the new list of Adventure Dives and standardized specialties associated with the new Advanced Open Water Diver course, and find a few new and existing equipment sales opportunities that your bottom line, and your divers, will thank you for.

Is Freediver Right for You?

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By now you’ve likely heard about the PADI Freediver™ program; there’s a bunch of information out there (especially in the first quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal® and, of course, on PADI.com). Some PADI Pros have taken to it like ducks to water, while others may be a bit hesitant about leaping in and still have questions.

For those in the latter camp, here are a couple of big reasons to consider, if not leaping, then at least sticking a toe into freediving waters.

First, it’s fun. You almost certainly already enjoy casual freediving and the freedom of diving without scuba. While you probably have above-average freediving skills, you may not be interested in intense competition or breaking records. Perfect. Taking the PADI Freediver course is an obvious first step and a great way to fine tune your skills while taking a good look at the program and its support materials from a professional’s perspective.

You can do just that, and a whole lot more, on 19 November at DEMA Show 2016. There’ll be a half-day special event covering the PADI Basic Freediver course with role-model knowledge development and confined water sessions. The course also includes PADI Freediver TouchTM and certification as a PADI Basic Freediver; you can complete the two open water sessions later to become a PADI Freediver. PADI staff will also answer any remaining questions you may have at the event. Sign up by 3 November so you have time to read through and study the learning materials. No special freediving equipment required – just regular fins, mask and snorkel.

Not able to make it to DEMA? You can do something similar at a PADI Freediver Center near you.

After the course you’ll be equipped to decide whether or not to upgrade your skills to the PADI Advanced Freediver or Master Freediver levels, and later become a PADI Freediver Instructor.

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Which brings up the second big reason to get serious about freediving: It’s one of the fastest-growing dive-industry segments and PADI Freediver courses provide you with new business opportunities and a pipeline to younger customers. If you have any doubts about this, take a moment to read some of the articles in this year’s issues of The Undersea Journal, in which PADI Members already in the freediving business share some of their unique insights.

There’s probably no need by now to mention any of the myriad other freediving benefits – such as personal fitness, the ease of just grabbing your gear and going or the fact that you can sneak right up on the shiest of aquatic animals. (But we went ahead and mentioned them anyway!) It’s time to hold your breath.