PADI Instructors who have special scuba diving interests and expertise can write their own specialty diver courses. Some of the more popular distinctive specialty courses are described here, but your instructor may teach others that are specific to your local area. Be sure to check with a local PADI dive shop about what is available and unique to the location.
Free diving, or breath-hold diving, is gaining in popularity around the world. Learn about the physiological effects of free diving and techniques used for effective breath-hold dives. During one confined water and two open water dives, practice breathing techniques, effective diving and swimming underwater, and demonstrate rescue techniques for a free diver.
Although most scuba dives are made with a buddy, an experienced diver may want or need to make dives without a partner. During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you learn about potential risks of diving alone and the value of equipment redundancy and necessary back-up gear. During three scuba dives, you develop skills for self-reliance and independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.
Surface marker buoys (SMBs) allow scuba divers to mark boundaries for mapping or search and recovery, alert boat traffic, or provide a line as a visual reference for ascending divers. During two dives, learn the proper techniques and protocols for using surface marker buoys and delayed surface marker buoys (DSMBs) in the local area.
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