One of the interesting things to learn in the PADI system, are according to me the PADI Specialties. I love teaching them at student level but as a PADI Course Director I also get to teach a lot of them at Instructor level.
If you’re participating in one of these courses as a student, you’re bound to have a lot of fun and you learn some interesting facts about your favorite field or aspect of diving.
For an instructor it’s great to be able to teach something that you really enjoy teaching. Most likely you chose a certain Specialty to teach, since you’re interested in that field within diving.
As a diver you can choose currently out of 25 PADI Specialties to get certified in, and there’s an unlimited amount of so called Distinctive Specialties, more on these later.
Currently the most popular specialty is Enriched Air diver http://www.idcthailand.net/enriched.html and the one that is up and coming is the Digital Underwater Photography specialty http://www.idcthailand.net/dup.html
Most of these Specialties only require 2 dives, like Naturalist http://www.idcthailand.net/nat.html, AWARE Fish Identification http://www.idcthailand.net/fishid.html or Boat diver http://www.idcthailand.net/boatdiver.html.
A lot of fun is also the DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) Specialty or aka underwater scooter specialty http://www.idcthailand.net/dpv.html.
Other Specialties require 3 dives, likes Underwater Navigation http://www.idcthailand.net/navigation.html where you learn a lot more on how to use your compass.
Specialties with 4 dives include Deep http://www.idcthailand.net/deep.html and Search and Recovery http://www.idcthailand.net/searchandrec.html. Here you learn respectively how to execute safe Deep dives in a recreational setting with a max depth of 40 meters and in the Search and Recovery Specialty you learn how to use various search patterns and how to safely use a lift bag. The latter can be loads of fun since during your training dives I always go on the hunt for garbage in the water and bring it out.
The good thing about all these Specialty dives is that they also count as Adventure Dives http://www.idcthailand.net/advancedopenwater.html and you can get credit towards your PADI Adventure diver or PADI Advanced Open Water rating.
Let’s move on to a bit more information about the Distinctive Specialties.
These are Specialties that a PADI Instructor wrote and send in to PADI for approval. Once approved by PADI, he or she is the only one who can teach this specific Distinctive Specialty.
There are loads of Distinctive Specialties out and about that cover various aspects of Shark species, shark identification, Whale sharks and so on.
There are also Distinctive Specialties that deal with such diverse aspects as ‘muck’ diving, surf entry, Yoga and breathing related specialties (to have longer dives due to better breathing control) and golf ball recovery. Just to name a few.
I’d love to hear from you guys out there what you considered to be the funniest Distinctive Specialty you ever heard of, Golf ball recovery comes in pretty high!
You choose what you find most interesting, as long as you can find the instructor that goes along with the Distinctive Specialty who’s allowed to teach it.
That’s it for today, I’m still warming up to posting in my own blog, so feel free to comment and make suggestions about future topics.
Later this week my current IDC will finish and I’ll post some information about this course.