As September begins, this marks the moment of change for Two Fish Divers with Lembongan being the first off the mark to introduce the New PADI Open Water Course. Bunaken and Lembeh will soon follow, so its time to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new! The 1st of September has been chosen as Two Fish’s change over from the ‘classic’ PADI Open Water Course to the ‘new’ PADI Open Water Course, so let’s have a a look at what has been changed, removed and updated by tackling the updates by sections.
New PADI Open Water Course
The Open Water course has three sections; Theory, Shallow Water Skill Practices and Open Water Dives. Each section has been restructured and some new skills added. While the main course structure has not changed, the course content and associated teaching material have evolved and its revision is the culmination of two years of analysis, planning and development to bring the new PADI Open Water Course into the future.
There are still 5 sections in the manual, 5 videos to watch and 5 knowledge reviews to complete but all the material has been revamped, dressed up pretty and updated to be more relevant for the divers of today. The full DVD has been re-filmed, the comic relief, scuba facts and 70s ‘porno’ music have all been dropped and replaced with a chic, clean and sexy motion picture. Some placement of material has been rearranged in the new colourful and detailed manual, to help with the flow of student divers understanding.
Shallow water skills practice
Some of you may remember disconnecting your low pressure inflator while in confined and some of you may remember how difficult it could be, while you were flying through the other skills just to run into a wall with this frustratingly tricky skill. This skill has now become flexible and can be done when ever in the shallow water section. This gives children and others who may have difficulty with this skill more time to master.
Some new skills have also been added:
- Loose tank band – this now gives students practical experience in overcoming the common problem of tank band slipping and becoming unsecure.
- Air management skill – student divers must now indicate remaining air supply within 20 bar without rechecking their SPG. This is to get divers understanding how much air they use during a dive to ultimitly create better air management skills and to low the risk of running out of air.
- The Minidive – this is part of confined water dive 5, and is where student divers plan and execute a ‘dive’ in the swimming pool, to practice skills and respond to situations that could happen on a real dive, like cramps, out of air, mask flooded etc. This is to get students thinking about planning there dives and dealing with problems without an instructor, like when they finish their course and are just out diving.
Open water dives
The biggest change is that dive one now has some skills that need to be completed which include; hand signal recognition, partially flooded mask clear and recover and clear a regulator. These used to be done on the other dives, and introducing them earlier means that it increases saftey.
There has also been some great safety skills added to the new open water dives. Some may think this is a given, but it has been proven that not all divers know these skills and because of this, some problems have occurred.
- Inflatable signal tube (SMB) use – student divers must learn how to deploy a SMB at the surface for signalling.
- audible signal – with this, an instructor now introduces and employs an audible underwater signal. Student divers must understand that upon hearing it, they must look for the instructor for directions.
- plan and execute own dive – dive #4 now has student buddy teams planning and executing their own dive and if all dive flexible skills are complete,the dive is free of staged skills and more of a realistic fun dive. Building on what students learnt in the pool mini-dive, the dive is planned based on the dive site and how the student buddy team dive. The plan is then followed while diving with direct supervision from their instructor. The goal is to give student divers first-hand experience in carrying out a dive and all that it entails while still under the watchful eyes of the instructor.
Most up-to-date course around
For those of you thinking of getting your Open Water certification, now is the chance to learn the most up-to-date entry level scuba certification around. For the ones that are already certified, we would love to hear your feedback about the new course and what you think of the changes.