As PADI prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, the organization is expanding beyond scuba diving to offer training in one of the fastest growing dive industry segments – freediving. Continuing the core business practice of delivering high quality instructional courses, the PADI Freediver program will debut in November at DEMA Show 2015 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
“Many PADI Professionals are avid freedivers and enjoy sharing their passion for breathhold diving with others,” says James Morgan, PADI Americas vice president of training and customer service. “The number of self-authored PADI Distinctive Specialty courses involving freediving has grown over the past few years and the popularity of the PADI Free Diving Distinctive Specialty course released in 2014 is further evidence of this rapidly expanding market. As mainstream interest in the sport swells, freediving is a natural extension for dive education and the industry as a whole.”
The PADI Freediver program is complete with student materials and instructional tools that follow the PADI educational philosophy, which makes it easy for qualified PADI Professionals to quickly start teaching. Like all PADI courses, the program was bred from first-hand experience as industry experts and competitive freedivers played a critical role in its development. This key advisory group, including Jay Huang of Taiwan, Myoungho Noh of South Korea, Liz Parkinson of the Bahamas and Alejandro Lemus of Mexico, worked closely with the PADI organization to establish a freediving training curriculum that addresses technique, form and safety for nearly any experience level.
“The PADI Freediver program provides PADI Members with additional revenue generating opportunities by allowing them to expand their course offerings and reach a younger demographic,” says Bob Coleman, PADI Americas vice president of sales and field services. “PADI Freediver will also help PADI Retail and Resort members increase equipment sales.”
The PADI Freediver tiered course structure has participants build upon their skill sets and knowledge as they advance from PADI Freediver to PADI Advanced Freediver and, ultimately, PADI Master Freediver. The program provides three corresponding instructor levels (Freediver Instructor, Advanced Freediver Instructor and Master Freediver Instructor), as well as a Freediver Instructor Trainer rating. There is also a subset program called Basic Freediver where students earn a certification in confined water.
PADI Freediver will feature quality, tablet-based training materials so students can access PADI Freediver Touch from the convenience of their tablets with or without an internet connection. As with other PADI Touch products, PADI has employed the latest training techniques and leveraged the latest technology to create a cutting-edge program. Adobe, who produces the Digital Publishing Suite software upon which Touch products are built, recognized PADI for crafting a product that boasts the “entertainment factor of video with the rich content of a book for a truly immersive, effective training experience.”
PADI will unveil the program at DEMA Show from 4-7 November 2015. PADI Members can learn more about the program, find out how they can incorporate it into their course offerings and explore Freediver Touch at the show.