2017 PADI Race to Renew Winners

Congratulations to Emily Anderson, whose response was selected as the grand prize winner of the 2017 Race to Renew!

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“As a scientist, I want to bring awareness about our ocean’s health to the public,” she wrote. “As a PADI Professional, I am able to do so – reaching out to students, teaching them about the marine environment, and showing what we, as divers, can do to help our oceans.”

Emily won more than $1,200 worth of Cressi gear and one free year of PADI Professional membership.

 

In addition to Emily, nine other PADI Members were chosen to receive one free year of PADI membership*.

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Miguel Bogaert

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Marie Claire Van Wagner

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Dinorah Lizama Moguel

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Mario L Tosone

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Camille Trudelle

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Donald T. Johnson

  • Paul A Jomm
  • Marina L. Marinho Nunes
  • Anderson Batista De Mello

 

Congratulations to all the winners!

*Winners are eligible for the reimbursement of their 2018 PADI Membership dues pending the return of the liability release statement.

PADI Member Forums 2018

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While remaining committed to safe and responsible diver education, PADI® has deepened its commitment to the environment with the PADI Four Pillars of Change initiative, focused on making a significant impact on key issues facing the dive industry and the ocean planet.

Member Forum 2018 reviews PADI’s Pillars of Change and what you can do to help facilitate its objectives. In addition, we will review the globalization and revitalization of all digital products, as well as two new initiatives for 2018: the new PADI Club, and PADI Travel.

Member Forum

As always, your knowledge of PADI Standards will be tested, and you’ll gain insight into better risk management while reviewing dive-incident scenarios. Registration is free and recommended. Click the link below to register for an event near you!

United States – 2018 Member Forum Schedule 

Canada – 2018 Member Forum Schedule

Caribbean and Latin America – – 2018 Member Forum Schedule

*Dates and locations are subject to change.

If you are unable to attend a live event, click here to attend a Member Forum online.

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Take PADI Women’s Dive Day Into Your Own Hands This Year

Written by Candice Landau

PADI Members, do we have some news for you…

Wait for it (but don’t hold your breath!)…

The PADI Women’s Dive Day event calendar is now open to all PADI Members.

Now, for the first time, you can register your Women’s Dive Day event yourself. Although you’re still welcome to, you don’t have to go through your dive shop to register events. Now it’s all in your own hands, and it’s because you asked.

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PADI Women’s Dive Day was born of a desire to celebrate the incredible women in scuba diving and help close the unnecessary gender gap that still exists. To dive communities around the world, women are invaluable members. They are strong, nurturing and inclusive, the glue binding many groups. That’s cause for celebration, and a good reason to get many more women involved!

So why not get your own PADI Women’s Dive Day event going? It can be a group dive at a specific location, a Discover Scuba® Diving event, a picnic at the pool or something entirely of your own making, like SurfWalking™.

Last year, some of the great events included:

  • A scuba event followed by post-diving treats including a massage and manicure
  • Morning tea on the sea event
  • A weekend of water sports, picnics and yoga on the beach
  • Mermaid parties
  • Underwater clean-up events with free gear rental for women
  • PADI Specialty courses, like AWARE Shark Conservation
  • Free Discover Scuba® Diving sessions
  • Dive equipment demos with giveaways and awesome raffles

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Here’s how to register your 21 July 2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day event:

  1. First decide what type of event you’d like to host. The world is your oyster. You can pick one of the ideas we mentioned above or get creative and come up with your own. It’s entirely up to you.
  2. Register your event. To do this, visit the Host a PADI Women’s Dive Day event page, then fill in the required details including event name, description, contact information, event location and date. This also means your event shows up on the PADI Women’s Dive Day event locator so that people can find it.
  3. Promote your event. Share it via email, on social media platforms and, of course, through word of mouth. Make sure to tag any of your social media posts with #padiwomen, so that you’re looped into the global conversation surrounding PADI Women’s Dive Day.
  4. Post an event follow-up. Share photos, videos and a summary of the event (again, don’t forget to tag social posts with #padiwomen and #padiwomensdiveday). It’s a great way to encourage those taking part to stay engaged and to keep diving. Make sure to include links, email and a call-to-action providing a next step. Finally, share your success story and photos with the PADI marketing team.

To register your event, head on over to the all-new Host a PADI Women’s Dive Day event page.

Register Now

Dive in with Seiko Prospex

Seiko has pioneered several features in dive watches that set the global standard, including the accordion or corrugated style strap, the wide arrow shaped hands for extra legibility, and the two-piece case construction for added security. With half a century of history and innovation, With half a century of history and innovation, adventurers who face the world’s harshest environments consistently choose Seiko dive watches.

Now, Seiko would like to invite PADI® Dive Centers to become Authorized Seiko Prospex Retailers. As a valued retailer, your dive center will be featured on the Seiko Dealer Locator and highlighted as a Preferred Prospex Retailer. You will also receive earlier insight on Seiko Prospex watches with creative social and digital assets to support and drive traffic to your location. At the storefront, Seiko will provide an exclusive countertop display accompanied with engaging point-of-sale materials and promotions that will captivate visitors and students alike.

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For more information on how to become a Seiko Prospex retailer please email seikodive@seikousa.com.

The Midwest Great Instructor Challenge

In 2017, the inaugural PADI® Midwest Great Instructor Challenge had truly great participation throughout 10 US Midwest states. The top 10 challenge winners showed their dedication to diver education and the environment, and proved they are masters at keeping dives engaged. Like PADI Pros around the world, these individuals proudly share their joy of diving and eagerly invite others on underwater adventures, sometimes in water temperatures as low as 38°F/3°C.

This regional challenge was based on accumulating points for each PADI certification issued during the contest period. The top producing instructor crushed it by earning more than 300 points.

The top 10 instructors received PADI-branded merchandise along with great bragging rights. In addition, the top instructor won a dinner with the PADI Midwest Regional Staff.

Congratulations to these challenge winners

1 – Andy Silverman: 16-year member from Columbus Scuba in Ohio

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2 – Melissa Silverman: 3-year member from Columbus Scuba in Ohio

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3 – Jerry Otte: 21-year member from Aquatic Adventures Inc. in Wisconsin

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4 – Elmer Egman: 45-year member and independent instructor from Minnesota

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5 – John Holben: 9-year member from Scuba Emporium in Illinois

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6 – Andrew Berg: 5-year member from TD Scuba in Missouri

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7 – Martin Kelly: 3-year member from New Wave Snorkel and Columbus Scuba in Ohio

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8 – Jenny Otte: 8-year member from Aquatic Adventures Inc. in Wisconsin

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9 – Mark Poulos: 23-year member from Sentry Pool & Scuba in Illinois

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10 – Jessy Thompson: 2-year member from American Dive Zone in Michigan

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If you live in the midwest, watch for information about the next Midwest Instructor Challenge that’s launching in the spring of 2018.

Diving with Hazardous Marine Life

Written by DAN staff

Diving, swimming and even just going to the beach offers the opportunity to observe marine animals in their natural environment. Unfortunately, inappropriate or unintentional interactions with some marine life can lead to serious injuries. The good news is that most injuries are largely preventable with some forethought, knowledge and awareness. However, accidents do happen and each year a number of divers sustain marine life injuries. Below are best practices for dealing with some of the most common marine life injuries:

Urchins

Sea urchins are echinoderms, a phylum of marine animals shared with starfish, sand dollars and sea cucumbers. They are omnivorous, eating algae and decomposing animal matter, and have tubular feet that allow movement. Many urchins are covered in sharp, hollow spines that can easily puncture the skin and break off, and may penetrate a diver’s boots and wetsuit.

Urchin

Injuries caused by sea urchins are generally puncture wounds associated with redness and swelling. Pain and severity of the injury ranges from mild to severe, depending on the location of the injury and the compromised tissue, and life-threatening complications do occur but are extremely rare.

Divers can prevent sea urchin injuries by avoiding contact with good buoyancy control and being cautious of areas where sea urchins may exist, such as the rocky entry points while shore diving.

Treatment for sea urchin wounds is symptomatic and dependent on the type and location of injury. Application of heat to the area for 30 to 90 minutes may help. Sea urchin spines are very fragile, so any attempt to remove superficial spines should be done with caution. Wash the area first without forceful scrubbing to avoid causing additional damage if there are still spines embedded in the skin. Apply antibiotic ointment and seek medical evaluation to address any embedded spines or infection risk.

Stingrays

Stingrays are frequently considered dangerous, largely without cause. Stingrays are shy and peaceful fish that do not present a threat to divers unless stepped on or deliberately threatened. Stingrays can vary in size from less than 30 centimetres/one foot to greater than two metres/six feet in breadth, and reside in nearly every ocean.

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The majority of injuries occur in shallow waters where divers or swimmers accidently step on or come in contact with stingrays. Injuries from stingrays are rarely fatal but can be painful. They result from contact with a serrated barb at the end of a stingray’s tail, which has two venomous glands at its base. The barb can easily cut through wetsuit material and cause lacerations or puncture wounds. Deep lacerations can reach large arteries. If a barb breaks off in a wound, it may require surgical care. Wounds are prone to infections.

Injury treatment varies based on the type and location of the injury. Clean the wound thoroughly, control bleeding and immediately seek medical attention. Due to the nature of the stingray venom and the risk of serious infections, seek professional help for stingray wounds.

For more information on first aid and safe diving practices, visit DAN.org/Health

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Adaptive Techniques

Written by John Kinsella

It’s five thirty on a Costa Rican morning and Georgia King is talking to me about the PADI® Adaptive Techniques Specialty. It’s quiet, she says, before the rest of the family wakes. I can almost hear the tropical dawn chorus. Georgia is a PADI Platinum Course Director in Costa Rica and her time is precious, but she’s absolutely committed to helping people with disabilities benefit from diving and happy to share her wisdom. Georgia was an advisor during course development and has extensive experience and expertise. In fact, before we finish, Georgia has made another significant time and energy commitment: She’s decided to run an adaptive techniques workshop for PADI Women’s Dive Day.

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Georgia’s commitment is such that since the program launched she has run two Adaptive Techniques Specialty courses right after two IDCs. It was a natural fit. “I think it’s fantastic to be able to incorporate the training with the IDC,” she says quietly. “It makes sense to integrate it naturally with the various course elements. New instructors coming out of the IDC are super excited because we’ve been talking about it. It inspires them to take that next step.”

I ask what she’d say to PADI Pros with no prior experience, who may never have thought of taking or teaching the Adaptive Techniques Specialty.

“Get involved,” she advises, pointing out that one of the major benefits, even if you are not immediately going out and teaching people with disabilities, is that it will open your mind to various teaching techniques and ways to approach all PADI programs. This can completely change the way you teach. “It really does open your eyes to a whole world of possibilities,” Georgia says. “Even in something as simple as demonstrating a skill in the skill circuit, you really just think differently. You are not set in one way of doing something. A lot of people think, ‘You have to do it this way.’ You know? You don’t.”

Georgia feels that a lot of people may be apprehensive about getting involved and offers this encouragement: “It’s kind of like the EFR® program when people worry about helping others. They don’t think they’ll be able to manage it. But everybody who has done the Adaptive Techniques Specialty is absolutely blown away and amazed by it. There’s more to it than people realize. Sure, it’s helping someone in a wheelchair, but that’s just a tiny part of it. The program talks about the attitudes, and how you treat people.”

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And the confidence that insight brings opens up the most significant benefit of the Adaptive Techniques Specialty: It’s so rewarding for everyone. “Just giving people the opportunity, that’s one of the biggest things,” Georgia believes. “In any teaching there’s opportunity for reward, but sometimes I find more so with this. I shed tears after my first Discover Scuba® Diving experience with a guy who was born without legs. It completely amazed him how he felt underwater. He came up and just cried. I was so overwhelmed. It’s an amazing thing.”

 

How to Get the Divemaster Job of Your Dreams (Part 2)

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Put yourself in the Winning Seat

Your PADI Divemaster certification can open the door to a fun and rewarding career anywhere in the world, but landing a great job takes work. Last month, in Part 1, we highlighted different skills you can add to your CV to help you stand out from the crowd and put you in the winning seat.  Below are some more strategies to help you outmaneuver the competition and snatch up your dream job.

How Will You Bring in New Customers?
New customers are the key to the success for any business, and dive operations are no exception. If you have personal connections or new ideas to help the dive shop owner bring more people through their doors, you’ll have a leg up on other job applicants. Here are a few ideas to consider:

– Build relationships with the concierge at local hotels
– Suggest ways to bring lapsed divers back into the shop with PADI ReActivate™
(a program DMs can conduct)
– Pitch a kids scuba summer camp program

– Do outreach to local businesses who might want EFR training
(you can even become an EFR Instructor)

Take Advantage of Online Tools

Visit the employment board on the PADI Pros Site to learn what skills employers are looking for and how you stack up to other PADI Divemasters looking for work.

Promote your skills and passion for diving on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels. Take time to learn how using social media can boost your scuba career.

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Every Day is a Job Interview
The dive industry is small, and developing a bad reputation can quickly bring your scuba career to a halt. The diver next to you could be friends with a shop owner, and the server at a restaurant might work part-time on a dive boat. Always present yourself as a professional, trustworthy person online and in real life.

Your appearance can be an important factor in getting hired. Imagine two job applicants with equal qualifications: one who looks like they just washed up on shore and another who has clearly put time and effort into maintaining their hair and clothes – who do you think gets the job?

It’s also important to maintain physical fitness. A dive operation entrusts Divemasters with the safety of their customers. Do you have the strength to help someone back onto a boat? Could you egress someone during a shore dive?

Once you land that Divemaster dream job, act professionally and follow through on what you agreed to during your interview. If the job doesn’t work out, give as much notice as possible.

We hope the tips above help you take advantage of new opportunities in the New Year! For a list of dive operators looking to hire PADI Divemasters, visit the PADI Pros’ Site and choose Employment/Classifieds from the Online Services dropdown menu.

Top 7 Mistakes New Dive Center Owners Make

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As a new or aspiring dive center owner, here are some things to keep in mind before solidifying your game plan.

Choosing the Wrong Location
Finding the right balance between affordable rent and a location in a high-income area is a struggle for many new dive shop owners. Generally speaking, it’s better to pay a little more for a location in a high-income area near a reliable pool. Cheap rent is often a double-edged sword. If getting to the shop is inconvenient, customers may choose to pursue a different recreational activity.

Carrying Too Many Product Lines
By limiting the number of product lines, a shop owner shop can maximize their financial resources. Buying “deep and narrow” is a safer, more economical choice than carrying too many brands. This doesn’t mean signing an exclusivity contract, but it does mean saying, “no,” or “not right now” to manufacturer reps.

Not Understanding Business Strategy
“One of the biggest mistakes people make is not spending the time to make a decent business plan and get advice about costs, profits, turnover overhead, etc.,” notes PADI EMEA Regional Manager (RM) Matt Clements.

Christian Ambrosi, a PADI Americas RM echoes Clements’ sentiments, “Everyone should understand how to analyze an income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flow. Without this knowledge, you can’t measure the health of your company.”

Pricing is another common struggle, “Some dive centers price everything based upon what the dive centre down the road is charging rather than costs, or what the product is actually worth. Other dive shops mistakenly focus on having the greatest number of customers rather than being profitable.” said Tosh Tanner, Territory Director at PADI Asia Pacific.

Sporadic Business Hours
When a dive shop publishes its hours to Google, Facebook, etc. it’s important to adhere to the posted hours. Regional Manager Ambrosi asks, “How many times would you stop at a store with a sign that reads ‘be back in 30 min’ before you find a shop that provides that service when you want?”

Fernando Martins, RM for PADI Latin American notes, “I’ve seen excellent dive pros open a store that later fails because they have another job and try to run the shop too, so the business becomes like a hobby.”

Poor Hiring Choices
“Hire for personality, not skill set,” recommends RM Nick Jenny. “You can teach skills, but a million-watt personality is something you’re born with. The next time you’re shopping and someone goes out of their way to help you, or adds special something to the experience, consider whether this person might want to sell travel and adventure instead of clothing or electronics.”

Not hiring individuals with a sales-oriented mindset is another big mistake. “I repeatedly see instructors who are afraid to close a sale as they are afraid of being pushy. The people who work in your shop should be both eager to sell and provide great customer service,” said Clements.

Insufficient Marketing
The number one mistake new shop owners make is failing to invest in marketing efforts. “I’ve seen people open a shop thinking their personal dive associates will keep them in business,” said PADI Americas Regional Manager LeRoy Wickham.

“They overlook the fact that the majority of these friends already have most of their gear and only bring in small business like air fills and maybe some repairs. It’s not enough to keep the doors open,” Wickham explained.

Successful dive business owners spend as much time developing their web presence as they spend building out their physical location. A dive shop’s website is typically a new customer’s first impression of the business. It should be designed by a professional and feature inviting photos of smiling divers on a mobile-friendly platform.

For outdoor signage, a simple design with a dive flag and “Scuba and Snorkel” is an effective choice. As supplementary tactic, business owners should allocate capital to online search advertising such and Facebook ads targeting local users interested in scuba diving (not post boosting).

Not Asking for Help

If you’re interested in opening a dive business, involve your PADI Regional Manager early on. Your RM can help you choose a good location, conduct staff training, and take advantage of PADI’s marketing resources.
Attend PADI Business Academy to strengthen your business with pricing and fraud avoidance workshops plus hands-on experience with web and social media marketing tools.

Further Reading:
Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill
PADI Business Academy information and schedule
Does Your Business Project a Professional Image?

DEMA 2017: Passing the Torch

By Tara Bradley Connell

The DEMA Show 2017 kicked things off at the PADI Social with an inspirational speech by Dr. Drew Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer for PADI Worldwide.

And while discussing innovations in the dive industry and the importance of dive education is always a popular topic amongst the dive community, this year, Richardson took the message a little deeper.


Here’s a look at some of the takeaways from Richardson’s message:

THE POWER OF DIVING: STATS

  • PADI certifications to date – over 25 million
  • PADI professionals worldwide – 133,000
  • Median age for new divers – 29 years old

Richardson started things off by noting that every day members of the dive community are enabling others to fulfill their desire to explore.

“We are enablers of exploration of inner space,” he said. “Outer space exploration is selective for certain people but we together have the opportunity to explore and be part of the inner space mission.”

He then referred to a quote from English veteran broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough:

“I can mention many moments that were unforgettable and revelatory, but the most single revelatory three minutes was the first time I put on scuba gear and dived on a coral reef. It’s just the unbelievable fact that you can move in three dimensions.”

THE MISSION

Richardson then focused on the importance of PADI professionals as leaders who have the ability to create a global community of competent divers that are champions for the water planet.

“We are the leaders but with that comes responsibility,” he said. “We must teach divers to be ambassadors for the underwater planet. We have a responsibility to be good ancestors.”

With a focus on “divers are the doers,” Richardson then went on to discuss PADI’s Four Pillars of Change.

FOUR PILLARS OF CHANGE

Marine Animal Protection

By joining forces with organizations like Project AWARE, PADI is working to combat marine debris, protect sharks and rays, and instill the importance of sustainable fishing.

“With plastic, pollution, and overfishing, there are many issues to address, but it’s not too late,” Richardson said. “We can reverse some of the damage that has been done by working together to conserve and protect marine resources.”

Ocean Health

PADI has also solidified relationships with Mission Blue, founded by Sylvia Earle, by joining in her efforts toward the promotion of Hope Spots.

The purpose of Hope Spots is to set aside dedicated ocean areas with the hope that less stress on the environment will reverse negative human impact, promote productivity and prevent further damage.

In addition, PADI is working with Project AWARE to rescue entangled animals from debris, and remove and recycle ghost gear, lost and abandoned fishing gear that causes damage to marine life.

People and Community

Richardson then went on to address the PADI community and the PADI AmbassaDivers that have made an impact in their local areas.

Noted PADI AmbassaDivers included Jack Fishman, Ernst Van Der Pol, Edgardo Ochoa and Andre Miller.

“These folks are making an impact and we want to get these stories out,” Richardson said. “The point is to tell the world their stories and invite them in. We want to tell your story, too.”

Richardson then addressed PADI AmbassaDivers that have made a difference in the world of healing and wellness by discussing the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course.

Healing and Wellness

“So many are paying it forward by making diving more accessible and more tangible for more people. In doing so, they are transforming lives and making the impossible, possible,” he said.

To coincide with that message, a short video showcased some pioneers in the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course with appearances by Alana Nichols, Parker Timberland and Leo Morales.

Morales summed up the message perfectly by saying:

“The most important thing is to do what you like to do and have some passion. That’s what scuba diving is for me,” he said. “The ocean gave me back my life.”

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

As PADI continues to invest in the Four Pillars of Change, education is still the foundation for the future of diving.

By globalizing the education program, the courses will be even more consistent and available in no less than 25 languages across multiple devices. With that, PADI’s goal is to optimize the process for a streamlined experience with long-term success and minimal paperwork.

“We want the user to have a seamless end-to-end consumer journey,” Richardson said.

Before closing, Richardson turned again to the PADI AmbassaDivers in attendance while encouraging future AmbassaDivers to share their stories.

“If we leave a nice footprint as an ancestor, those that go after us will carry that flag toward a sense of self that supersedes what most humans have the opportunity to experience on this planet,” Richardson said.

And with that, the bar was open and the steel drum band played – igniting the perfect start to another successful DEMA Show and a newfound hope for the future.