Whether to consider Padi or SSI for diver accreditation

There are two agencies which give certifications to divers. With accreditation from any one of them, you will be able to perform as a certified scuba diver in any place of the world. Both the agencies are good for giving certifications. And both train divers to perform as expert scuba divers. Now when you would not be able to decide whether to go for Padi or SSI for diver accreditation then you may get some ideas from the explanations below.

PADI and SSI

PADI is the acronym for Professional Association of diving instructors. SSI is the acronym for Scuba Schools International. Both are diving schools where they train people to become divers, and successful completion of training they are given certificates.

Both the schools have the same motto, and that is to create good divers. Both are reputed and valued all over the world. Hence, whichever school you choose, you would be getting the best diving education. Definitely styles would vary and the approach of instructors in both places would vary from person to person. But the overall result would be the same.

People who get trained from either one of these agencies get trained in scuba diving to such excellence that they can dive, and also give training to others. The choice of the agency is a personal preference.

Whether to choose SSI or PADI

Since both the agencies are internationally acclaimed, hence the decision of Padi or SSI for diver accreditation is a total personal choice, and should not be biased. In fact instead of looking at the agencies as per name, you should actually look for one that is close to you. The geographical closeness of the agency does matter.

Online training programs

Both the agencies have their online training programs for all the theory classes they offer definitely the practical classes have to be covered in person by students on site. But the online theory classes helps save time of many students for whom the distance from home to the class is huge. It’s good that both PADI and SSI offer this feature.

While pondering on Padi or SSI for diver accreditation, you must consider both have their advantages and disadvantages. While one offers the online training for free, another offers lifetime access to course materials and valuable information free. And in this way when you compare, you would see that both are at par. While comparing you must consider the cost of books and study materials from both.

Tips to Protect the Reef and Ocean

Air Bubbles looking up from under the sea

Today I wanted to share a post about what we can do to help preserve, conserve and save our precious reefs and under water havens. There was a great articles shared by the Ocean Service about steps we can take to reduce our impact so the following post is somewhat a re-iteration of that but also a few other things I consider and do myself!

Ways to Protect the Reef

Reduce your Water Consumption

By reducing your water use you reduce the amount of water that needs to be treated and eventually ends up in the waterways and oceans. What are some of the ways we can do this?

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn tap off when brushing teeth
  • Install water saving devices
  • Use a rain water tank
  • Only do washing when you have a full load
  • Use eco modes on the dishwasher or wash them in the sink
  • Plumb your home to use grey water on the garden
  • Opt for more plant based food in your diet – the meat industry is a huge water user

Dive and Snorkel Responsibly

When snorkeling and diving do not touch the reef and definitely don’t anchor your boat to the reef or nearby. The coral reef is delicate and extremely fragile so touching them can kill them. Look but don’t touch and if you see people standing on the reef please explain the damage they are causing.

Use Alternate Transport

Use your legs, bicycle or public transport to get to and from work etc, fossil fuels are directly linked to global warming and the rise in sea temperatures. This is leading to wide-spread, mass coral bleaching which is killing large portions of the reef.

Plant Trees

There are many great organizations including Plant a Billion who hope to plant a million trees! These guys are our lifeline -literally, without trees we can’t breathe. They also reduce the run off into the ocean of waste water so if you can, plant a tree near you!

Be Mindful of the Products Used While Gardening

Even if you don’t live anywhere near the beach fertilizers and other lawn care products will seep into the water table which eventually makes its way to the sea. These can be deadly to marine life and coral!

Dispose of Trash Correctly

Again this is applicable to anywhere you are but even more so when you are at the beach. Take all your rubbish with you- leave no trace. The reef and marine life is extremely fragile.

Support Local Organizations

Reef friendly businesses such as hostels, hotels, boat charters, aquariums, dive schools all have methods in place to help protect the reef. If you are aware of these people in your neighborhood then be sure to support their business so they can continue to do this kind of work.

Summary

These are a few keys things you can do to reduce your impact and any devastation caused to the reefs and oceans around the World. We should all be working towards minimizing our impact so the next generation and the generations to come can enjoy all the beautiful things we get to.

Wetsuits and Free Diving

Wetsuits and free diving go hand in hand. It gets quite cold the further down you dive and not only that but wetsuits are great for your buoyancy.

Reasons for Wearing a Wetsuit

Temperature

As I’ve shared in a previous post when it comes to holding your breath being relaxed is the secret. If you are freezing cold, tense and clenching your jaw because the water is cold, your breath isn’t going to last long. This is the main reason I wear a wetsuit while free diving, I prefer to be quite warm and toasty and it does wonders for my breath holding.

Read – The Best Snorkel Gear For Beginners – A Complete Buyers Guide

Buoyancy

The second aspect that is quite important to think about is controlling your buoyancy. The thicker your wetsuit the more buoyant you will be on the surface but the opposite is true at the bottom. The wetsuit compresses as a result of increased water pressure. So as a free diver you will determine ahead of time which depth you hope to achieve or where you become negatively buoyant and won’t need to swim down which is where you start to freefall.

The thinner your wetsuit the less buoyancy change there is but it does make it difficult to find the freefall point. If you are into deep diving then this your wetsuit thickness plays a huge part! For me personally I would say my free dive depth is around the 20m mark. Because of this I prefer to use thin wetsuits that offer me enough warmth to stay relaxed. The hydrodynamics of the suit don’t weigh me down too much.

How To Put on a Freediving Wetsuit

If you have tried to wear a wetsuit before you’ll understand the difficulties of putting on a suit. Well it’s a little more difficult to put on a well fitting free diving wetsuit.

Take Care

Open cell neoprene is super comfortable and super flexible but is actually quite fragile. Tearing the neoprene is a heart braking ordeal so be sure to take care when sliding into your suit.

Slide into it in the Water

For some putting it on or taking it off in the water is the best way to do it. Definitely not if the water is cold but if you like do so in the shower. Personally, I put it on and struggle on dry land but like to take it off in the water when I’m done. Much easier to slide out of!

Plastic Bags

This is kinda frowned upon because hey plastic and the ocean but put a plastic bag over your foot and sliding down into the leg of the wetsuit becomes a whole lot easier!

Soapy Water

A soapy water mix can make it exceptionally easy to slide into your wetsuit. Very little soap is needed but if you like then prepare a bottle and store it with your suit so you don’t forget! Make sure the soap is environmentally friendly!

 

Fitness and Diving

Fitness and Diving

For me there is a lot value in hitting the gym and getting stronger on many levels before going diving. I can take a lot of strength to carry a 50 pound tank if you are using one! Especially as we get older we start losing up to a half-pound of lean muscle tissue a year. That means less strength and likely more fat.

Although cardio is always important, for me home gym equipment is also very critical to my fitness.

My main exercises include:

  • Weight Bench or chest press where you lie on your back holding a barbell or dumbbells over your chest with arms extended. Then lowering the weights until your upper arms are even with your chest. Press back to the start.
  • Leg Press Machine  where you sit on the machine and push out your legs giving a great workout for your quads.
  • Rowing Machines where you are bent over seated pulling back a rowing cable like you are actually rowing. This I find can be very good for both my back and arm muscles but also for my cardio.

Of course there are many other ways you can get more strength and cardio than just from a home gym but personally they are my favorite. Especially in the off season and when I am not diving as there is nothing worse than being really unfit when the next diving season starts!

Read: A complete guide to buying a new kayak in 2018

The three machines I have listed above are just a small part of what can be bought for very competitive prices online. My favorite place to visit and get the latest buyer guides and information of fitness equipment is from Fitness Equipment Reviews.

I highly recommend you have a look at their reviews if you are thinking of getting some fitness equipment to stay in shape before you go diving next!