Dive Skills

DIVE SKILLS 

This content is for members only.
This content is for members only.

The PADI Open Water course has 24 different skills, the Rescue course has 10 skills, the Advanced course has…. I guess you get the picture. How do you demonstrate all these different skills and how can you break them up in small blocks so people can remember?

To help you, here we explain every skill in small steps and we also made short video demonstrations. This page will be updated regularly with new skills and with updated skills if PADI standards have changed.

Pre-dive Safety Check

(BWRAF)

B. BCD – Check inflate and deflate.

W. Weights, attached, right hand release / quick release.

R. Releases, all clips done up.

A. Check air is on.

F. Final ok, fins, mask, hoses streamlined.

Emphasize: buddies check each other.

Deep Water Entry

Giant Stride

Fins on, mask on and snorkel in place. Show “you watch me”. Show inflate BCD before stepping to the edge. Step (backwards or sideways) to the edge of the pool. Replace snorkel with regulator. Edge of toes should line up with the edge of the pool. Check if the water is clear. Right hand on regulator and mask. Left hand holding the weight belt in place. Look to the horizon. Step gently into the water. Once in the water, signal okay, remove regulator and replace with snorkel.

Buoyancy check at surface

Buoyancy check at surface

Show “you watch me”. Show BCD inflated. Show breathing in and out. Take a breath and signal that you are holding your breath by making a fist. Show that you are deflating your BCD. Show that you float at eye level.

*Optional, breathe out to demonstrate that you slowly sink.

NOTE: As Instructors or Divemasters, we are commonly over weighted, this is to help with stability (ours and our students) and of course to make the skills look “easy”. When you perform this skill you will need to STOP deflating your BCD once you are floating at eye level. It takes a little practice in order to get this right, so don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get the exact point.

Snorkel/Regulator exchange

Snorkel/Regulator exchange

Head in the water with students facing you. Show “you watch me”. Show that you are taking a breath in with your regulator, remove, show bubbles and replace with snorkel. Clear snorkel by exaggerating a forceful blow out. Demonstrate breathe in. Take snorkel out, show bubbles and change to regulator and demonstrate exaggerated clearing.

5 Point Descent

Sorted

S. Signal ok to go down

O. Orientate to beach/boat and check underwater

R. Regulator. Switch from snorkel

T. Check the time for dive planning

E. Elevate inflator hose to begin the descent

D. Descend

*Optional for E, mention equalizing ears.

Regulator Recovery and Clearing

Recovery and clearing

Show “you watch me” signal. Show signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. point to regulator and show you are going to remove it.) Demonstrate breathe in. Remove regulator and place behind right shoulder. Exaggerate lean to the right. With right hand reach down, touch leg, touch tank and sweep arm around. Regulator hose should be over right shoulder. Use the left hand to find the hose. Place regulator back in mouth and demonstrate exaggerated clearing, either by purging or by demonstrating a breath out. Demonstrate comfortable, breathe in.

Mask removal, replacement and clearing

Mask removal

Show “you watch me”, show signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. point to mask and show you are going to remove and replace). Use fingers to break the seal at the top of the mask. Show mask is fully flooded. Remove the strap and then the mask. Hold in your hands in front of you. Show not to drop the mask. Show that you tilt your head to the right to avoid bubbles in the nose. Use thumb to locate the nose pocket of the mask, show that this is how you make sure it is correctly aligned by pointing to your nose. Put mask and strap back in place. Demonstrate that there is no hair in the mask. Show breathe in. Hold the top of the mask to create a seal. Show breathe out through the nose. Show to look up. Finally show that the mask is clear.

NOTE: If you are assisting on an Open Water Course in Confined Water you will also need to remind students that they must breathe without the mask for 1 minute.

Air depletion exercise and alternate air source use (stationary)

You will need an assistant.

Show “you watch me”, show signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. a turning sign with your hand, followed by exaggerated out of air) ask your assistant to turn off your air. Show that you are breathing normally with your hands. Show students your SPG and let them watch the gauge move to zero as you breathe. At zero give the “out of air, share air” signal. Assistant should turn your air back on now. Turn to face your assistant and again give the “out of air, share air” signal. Assistant is pulling out his alternate air source and hands it with mouthpiece up to you. Once you grab it you need to demonstrate bringing the hose over the assistant’s right shoulder. Show that the regulator should be orientated the correct way. Change from primary to alternate. Show clearing. Show strong roman handshake. Signal “ok”, and “go up”, lift inflator hose up over left shoulder. At this point you can “cut” the skill, using the scissor sign.

Note: For Reactivate instead of cutting after signaling to go up, the divers must continue while swimming for 1 minute.

Alternate air source ascent

You will need an assistant.

Turn to face your assistant and again give the “out of air, share air” signal. Assistant is pulling out his alternate air source and hands it with mouthpiece up to you. Once you grab it you need to demonstrate bringing the hose over the assistant’s right shoulder. Show that the regulator should be orientated the correct way. Change from primary to alternate. Show clearing. Show strong roman handshake. Signal “ok”, and “go up”, lift inflator hose up over left shoulder. At this point, ascend. On the surface, demonstrate exaggerated oral inflation of the BCD. Assistant fully inflates BCD and supports you.

Free flowing regulator breathing

Show “you watch me” signal. Show signal you gave during briefing. (i.e. regulator broken). Show breathe in with your hand. Remove regulator and place the mouthpiece half in your mouth, tilt your head, show pushing the purge button, reinforce that the purge should be fully pushed in. Signal shallow breathing. Then show that you are holding the top of your mask to prevent water from entering. Continue to show shallow breathing.
NOTE: For Reactivate – Signal to watch and show 30 seconds to demonstrate that they need to breathe for 30 seconds.

Neutral Buoyancy Oral and LPI

Fin Pivot LPI

Show “you watch me”, demonstrate signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. use your arm to show a fin pivot and point to LPI).
Show deflate of BCD. Lay on the bottom of the pool, elbow on the floor. Show that your legs are shaped like a V and straight out behind you. Show a gentle push of the inflate button. Demonstrate breathing in with your hand. If you do not move, show that you need to add only a little more air. Then again show a breathe in and out. Keep adding air until when you breathe in, you rise up (show this with your thumbs/hands) and when you breathe out, you sink (again, show with your thumbs or hands). Make sure to show you only add a small amount of air at any time.
*Optional: demonstrate that students should not push themselves up off the bottom of the pool in order to get the upwards momentum.

Fin Pivot Oral

Show “you watch me”, demonstrate signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. use your arm to show a fin pivot and point to oral inflator).
Show deflate of BCD. Lay on the bottom of the pool, elbow on the floor. Show that your legs are shaped like a V and straight out behind you. Remove regulator from mouth, show bubbles, show pushing of oral inflator valve, blow into BCD, replace regulator and exaggerate clearing. Demonstrate breathing in with your hand. If you do not move, show that you need to add only a little more air. Then again remove regulator from mouth, show bubbles, show pushing of oral inflator valve, blow into BCD, replace regulator and exaggerate clearing . Show a breathe in and out. Keep adding air until when you breathe in, you rise up (show this with your thumbs/hands) and when you breathe out, you sink (again, show with your thumbs or hands). Make sure to show you only add a small amount of air at any time.
*Optional: demonstrate that students should not push themselves up off the bottom of the pool in order to get the upwards momentum.

NOTE: Only 1 of the above is required for the Skills Circuit, however both are required for Reactivate.

CESA

Show “you watch me”, demonstrate signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. big C). Start by emphasizing neutral buoyancy in fin pivot. Show that the inflator hose should be held up. Show that right hand should be out in front of you. Demonstrate that you take 3 breaths. On the last breath, start swimming, show you are making a continuous ahhhhh sound, that your airway is open and that you are looking up. Complete full 9m swim. Reinforce that they have to swim for at least 9m. (i.e. show you must swim from this side to that side.)

NOTE: For Reactivate, make sure that you emphasize all critical steps BEFORE you swim past your students.

Hover

Show “you watch me”, demonstrate signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. closed fist circling over open palm). Show adding small bits of air to the BCD until the knees rise up and fall with each breath (until your are neutrally buoyant). Gesture for breathe in and out. Once neutral, demonstrate a big breath to get off of the bottom of the pool and show small, shallow breaths. Demonstrate no sculling.

Alternatively start in the Buddha position and add small bits of air until you come off the bottom. Demonstrate small breaths and no sculling. Rest, same as above.

Note: For Reactivate point to watch and show 30 seconds to demonstrate that students should stay in the hover for at least 30 seconds without kicking or sculling.

Underwater swim without mask

Show “you watch me”, show signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. point to mask and show you are going to remove, swim and replace). Use fingers to break the seal at the top of the mask. Show mask is fully flooded. Remove the strap and then the mask. Hold in your hands in front of you, show not to drop the mask. Show adding a small amount of air to BCD. Begin to swim. Use hand on pool tiles as a guide. Swim 15 m. Return to students. Sit on knees and deflate BCD. Use thumb to find the nose pocket of the mask, show that this is how you make sure it is correctly aligned by pointing to your nose. Put mask and strap back on. Demonstrate that there is no hair in the mask. Show breathing in. Hold the top of the mask to create a seal. Show breathing out through the nose. Show to look up. Finally show that the mask is clear.

Remove and replace weight system underwater

Show “you watch me”, show signal you mentioned during briefing (i.e. opening and closing weight belt). Show that BCD should be all the way deflated. Show that the knees should be closed. Slowly undo belt buckle. Allow weight belt to fall onto the backs of the calves. Release both hands. Pick up belt. Show that the right hand should be close to the last weight. Lean forward and replace belt and secure buckle. Show that you make sure that the BCD is clear of entanglement.

NOTE: Be careful not to lean too far forward so that the students cannot see your buckle.

Remove and replace scuba unit underwater

Show “you watch me”, show signal you mentioned during briefing (point to BCD and show you will bring around to the front). Show that BCD should be all the way deflated. Use hand to find chest clip, unclip. Use hand to find waist clip, unclip. Loosen the left hand shoulder strap. Show not to loosen the right side. Show left hand coming through shoulder strap and removing BCD, bring around to the right. Remove right hand from shoulder strap. Stand BCD in front of you or put it on your leg. Show that you take a few breaths. Replace by putting your right arm through the right shoulder strap, use your hand to guide the tank onto your back. Put left hand back through shoulder strap. Tighten shoulder strap. Close cumber band. Close waist strap. Close chest strap. Show that inflator hose is clear and nothing is twisted.

Remove and replace scuba unit on the surface

You can talk through this skill. Same as under water. Lean back, start with top clip. Then undo waist clip. Undo cumber band. Then loosen both shoulder straps. Unclip left shoulder clip. Pull BCD around to the right. Once off, remember to re-clip shoulder strap. Push BCD down into the water and sit on the bottom where BCD touches tank, slip BOTH arms down through the straps and allow the air in the BCD to lift it to the surface. Lean back and push the BCD underneath you. Pull down shoulder straps. Close cumber band. Close waist clip and chest clip. Make sure inflator hose is clear.

Remove and replace weight system on the surface

You can talk through this skill. Lean back, remove weight belt and place on your stomach. Hold the weight belt with your right hand holding the end without the buckle, with the hand close to the last weight. Hang weight belt so that it touches your right hip. With regulator in your mouth, roll to the left so that the belt buckle comes across your back. Grab the buckle with your left hand. Keep face down in the water and reattach weight belt.

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