Let’s continue to talk about the PADI New / Revised Open Water Diver Course. Last we had mentioned the changes in both Knowledge Development and Confined Water sections. This round let’s talk about the changes in the Open Water section.
There is only one new skill introduced in the Open Water section and that is to deploy an inflatable signal tube either at surface or under water. If you opt to do this skill underwater, make sure you don’t let your student diver go deeper than 40ft / 18m to perform this skill, and you have to be there to supervise this skill and evaluate your student diver’s performance on this skill, otherwise if this skill is performed at the surface, your certified assistant may evaluate this skill. Also please make sure your student diver know how to inflate the SMB or DSMB in the water. Personally I think it make more sence and will be easier to control if you ask your student diver to perform this skill at the surface. Let’s leave the DSMB skill to continue education courses such as drift diver or SMB diver at a later date. In fact I think this will be a perfect set up to tease your student diver come back and learn the DSMB skill later. You may also want to purchase the ‘PADI’ SMB pack (includes a PADI SMB and a PADI whistle) and include it in your student crew pack. Doug at PADI sales desk has an awesome package deal avaliable. By the way, this is a dive flexible skill in other word, you may introduce this skill in any of the 4 dives.
The enhanced skill in open water section includes the use of audiable signal and of course the air management skill too. Again your student divers need to know their remaining gas pressure anytime during the dive, same as the performance requirement during confined water training. Your student divers need to be aware while you are making the audible signal to gain their attention, and be able to look at you for further instruction.
There is some skills shifting around in the open water. Now Dive 1 will have skill performance requirement: this includes hand signal recognition, mask clear, regulator remove and clear, air management and buddy contact. Whereas in Dive 4, you will allow buddy team to plan and execute their dive, and you and/or your certified assistant will supervise though provide mininum guidance. You may have them to dive as a group or buddy team with you or your certified assistant. Ask your student divers to use the PADI Skill / Planning Slate. By the way, this slate WILL not come with any crew pack, and you have to order this slate separately. In fact it is not ‘required’ that your student diver to own this slate. In other word, you may order some stock and lend to your student diver when they are in the course. Again you may order this slate from Doug at PADI sales desk, and he also has a bundle package of the slate available. Any flexible skill you want your student divers to perform in this dive, it is recommended to perform at the beginning of the dive before the start of their planned dive. Of course with the exception of deploy SMB and safety stop. Talking about safety stop, in the new curriculum, all student divers need to perform a safety stop at 15ft / 5m during dive 4. Since this is remain as a flexible dive skill, you may ask your student diver to perform this skill and you evaluate their performance in other dive(s). But in any event they have to perform this skill again in Dive 4 even though they have already done it in Dive 2, or 3. However if you consider your student diver has master this skill and meet the performance requirement in previous dive of dive 4, you may have your certified assistant to surpervise and verify performance in water during dive 4.
Lastly, please don’t forget you have an option to perform the emergency weight drop skill during open water dive.
That is all about the PADI New / Revised Open Water Diver Course. Doug at PADI sales desk has packages avaliable for us instructor to update our teaching aid materials. These packages include bundle with CW and OW slate, DVD, manual and PLG. the new Prescriptive Lesson Guide is just awesome. Also the OW Touch will be available to purchase at a special rate when it is released.
See you next time 🙂