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!
COURSE PREPARATION CHECKLIST
- 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.