Manta Divers December 2009--SDI
As you know, Manta Divers opened in December of 2005 as Kenosha’s newest PADI dive shop, offering custom scuba instruction. As part of our ongoing mission to accommodate not only our student’s schedules, but also their learning styles, we are proud to now add that we are also a Scuba Diving International (SDI) dive center!
Like most dive instruction organizations, SDI is a member of the Recreational Scuba Training Council, (RSTC) and adheres to their guidelines. The mission of RSTC is to establish minimum standards at all levels of recreational scuba diving in order to promote public safety. The SDI diver education program was evaluated by RSTC and found to be sound and safe.
SDI was formed in 1999 and grew out of its sister company, Technical Diving International (TDI), the worlds largest and most advanced technical dive agency. TDI, a pioneer in instruction for the advanced, professional diver, applied their ground breaking educational innovations to recreational diving instruction. For example, SDI was the first scuba training organization to require that students learn with a diving computer. This was a very practical move. Remember learning to plan your dive with the dive charts? Having to remember to check the start and stop time of your dive and remember your max depth? Many divers give up on that as soon as they are certified and buy a dive computer. (Or worse, just wing it and try to just follow the dive master: not the safest option) In fact many resorts are now requiring that all divers use a dive computer for safety and liability reasons. So why spend all that time learning the charts? That was the motivation for this SDI requirement. New SDI Open Water students will learn to dive using a dive computer and spend classroom time on other topics, such as buoyancy control, streamlining, and air conservation.
Another feature of SDI’s program is their leadership in the field of e-learning. SDI was among the first organizations to offer online Open Water Scuba classes, and they continue to adapt more scuba classes, such as Enriched Air, Night and Navigation, Deep and Computer Diving, and even Divemaster, to the online format. This works to accommodate students with crazy schedules, as well as saving student-to-instructor time for practical application and technique coaching. These online modules are interactive enough to keep students engaged and enthused.
Having grown as an offshoot of a technical diving company, SDI’s training is very practical and natural. The skill demonstration for SDI students is less scripted and more something that the instructor observes during the check out dives. As an organization, SDI really looked at what exactly, the diver needs to know and demonstrate in order to be safe and environmentally responsible. SDI also requires a bit more of their Advanced Divers. Unlike some agencies that only require 4-5 dives after open water certification to earn an advanced rating, an SDI Advanced Diver at least has 25 logged dives and has successfully completed four SDI specialties.
One really exciting thing that we can offer as an SDI dive center is the Solo Diver Specialty. While it is undoubtedly more fun to dive with a buddy, there are times that it would be good to have the training and equipment to do a dive on your own. Solo Diver training prepares the diver to dive safely without a buddy. Look for classes in Solo Diving this summer.
It is my passion to share my love of diving with as many people as I can and adding an SDI instructor certification and making Manta Divers an SDITDI dive Center is just another way to accomplish it.
In Other News……
Remember we need deposits for the Grenada trip in April to guarantee the price. Don’t miss out on this great Team Manta event!
Get a FREE pair of Solomon Techamphibian 2 water shoes ($85 value) with the purchase of a Suunto Gekko dive computer.
Get $150 off Suunto Cobra, Cobra3, D4, D6 and D9 dive computers through Dec. 15.
Don’t get another tie, box of dusting powder or a bottle of aftershave this Christmas! Stop in and fill out a wishlist and get all the cool dive gear you want! Shoppers can now purchase diving gear on the Aqualung website and have gifts delivered to Manta Divers. Give us the “heads up” and we will even wrap it for you!
Have you had a great diving adventure? Why not share it with the Manta Divers dive community. Send in your story (with pictures, of course) and we’ll put it on our Trip Reports page.
Finally, in order to keep our newest dive instructors busy, we are offering $50 off dive classes through February. Give someone the gift of the ocean for Christmas this year!