Newly Certified? Tips for Choosing Your Next Diving Destination

Since the early 90s, Chris, the owner of Simply Scuba Pte Ltd has been teaching full time sports diving, so when it comes to advising newly certified divers, he is an expert!

At Simply Scuba we recognise that newly certified divers often have different needs to seasoned divers and we aim to adopt an attitude of encouragement to all new divers. We want you to continue diving and to love it as much as we do! Of course, this is only possible if you feel comfortable underwater and that depends on many factors. Some of the factors include your confidence level, the standard of your initial training, physical ability, equipment and, of course, the location you choose.

Did you know that the Tioman Island offer phenomenal diving which couldn’t be better suited to newly certified divers? One of the benefits of diving in Tioman is that it is within such easy reach of Singapore – so easy that we actually make weekend dive trips there. Our weekend trips mean that you can enjoy a weekend of incredible diving without needing to take time away from the office.

Tioman’s dive sites and our expert team will give you the right environment to develop your skills while building your confidence and having a lot of fun too. Tioman offers a variety of sites, with diverse coral reefs and marine life so you’re bound to see something interesting on every dive!

Another highlight of Tioman is that we are able to offer the PADI Advanced Open Water Course here too for those who want to develop their skill set and try different types of diving – you’ll also get certified to dive to 30 meters. The course can also be completed during a weekend trip (plus some study time in Singapore) so you’ll have an unforgettable weekend, earn your next level of PADI certification and need to take zero time away from your work or studies. If you’re not ready to commit to the full Advanced Open Water Course yet, you can also complete individual PADI Adventure Dives during your trip with us.

Are you planning a longer trip? Do you want to explore overseas destinations? Did you know that at Simply Scuba we offer a range of dive trips to a wide range of destinations including Bali, Philippines, Manado, Palau, liveaboard options and many more! For more information, check out our trips page by clicking here.

Newly certified divers are welcome to contact us at any time to ask for more information or advice – or feel free to call in and see us in Singapore. If you’d like to contact us or make a reservation, you can do so by clicking here.

Chris say’s, “Live the life of a scuba diver I say, you never know what that path will lead you to. For many that I know, they are still diving and enjoying themselves way into their 60s, it has become a part of themselves”.

We hope that by making the right choices as a newly certified diver the same will happen for you!

 

 

 

Conflict of interest in Singapore’s dive industry

Since the 1950s, scuba diving has evolved to become a billion dollar industry today, making it a well-loved recreational activity. At the centre of the industry’s upward trend is the establishment of dive training agencies. They play an important role by ensuring that those who take up scuba diving go through a proper training programme, and are evaluated by certified instructors to be competent and confident underwater.

Dive shops and businesses work closely with training agencies but maintain a distinct and separate relationship, for good reasons.

To sell and teach courses to consumers, dive shops have to hire instructors who are certified by one of the training agencies and has a current licence to teach. These instructors and the shops they work for tap on the course materials (manuals, e-books, videos, online exams) which are written and created by the training agencies. Training agencies ensure that their instructors adhere to course curriculum and standards by conducting regular and ad-hoc audits. Dive shops may be driven by the bottom line, but they have to ensure that training is conducted safely and consumers are only certified if they fulfil the requirements.

As you can tell, dive shops and training agencies have to be separate entities. But a recent development in Singapore’s dive industry, involving one training agency, has raised concerns of a conflict of interest.

Before I go any further, let’s talk about some of the training agencies:

 

BSAC, CMAS, PADI, SSI, NAUI, GUE, TDI, IANTD, PSS ETC.

(If you are already a dive industry professional or a seasoned diver, you can skip this section but for the rest, here’s a quick guide)

Dive training agencies originate from many countries, and each has a slightly different programme, depending on the diving conditions in their respective countries: climate, water temperature, underewater topography, fresh water lakes or the ocean.

For example, BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club), CMAS and other European systems, tend to cater to more rigourous diving conditions, as their weather there is normally very cold and divers dive in freshwater lakes and oceans.

American systems like PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), SSI (Scuba Schools International) and NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) tend to cater to a more “summer” style of diving, hence they will break down their dive courses to more basic levels that will allow divers to enjoy the underwater world as soon as possible, but limiting their depth, with certain “no-no”s, such as entering overhead environments. Newbies are also closely supervised by dive leaders.

We know the best depth for most diving is shallower than 18m, where sunlight can penetrate, allowing corals to thrive and in turn more fishes to live, coral reefs in shallower waters are definately more colourful and vibrant.

With more interest in scuba diving, both the American and European training agencies are rolling out new courses and refining current ones, to suit the interests and passions of every person out there.

Technical diving schools, which offer advanced diver training,  like IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers), TDI (Technical Diving International), GUE (Global Underwater Explorers), RAID, are also offering entry-level courses and the sports diving agencies like PADI, SSI, NAUI, CMAS and so on are offering tech-level courses that allow divers to go much deeper on rebreathers, and with mixed gases (higher concentrations of oxygen for example, or using helium in the mix). Most are following or exceeding guidelines set forth by WRSTC, the World Recreational Scuba Training Council, which sets the minimum training standards worldwide.

 

TRAINING AGENCIES: WHAT THEY DO

How do training agencies make money? Basically, they have their own system of diver education, all with one single objective in mind, which is to train safe, competent divers. The training agencies will train Instructor Trainers / Course Directors, who in turn, will train dive instructors, who can then train divers to a level they are certified to do.

The instructors or dive schools will of course use the system depending on the training agencies they represent, by purchasing materials and so on. With each certification, the instructors, dive schools and training agencies make money, the more they certify, the better. The number of student certifications is also very important to measure the success of each dive shop or training agency, but then of course that is not the only measuring scale.

 

CHECK AND BALANCE

The job of the training agencies, besides supporting the dive schools and instructors in terms of creating training materials and awarding certifications, is to market that particular brand too.  A big part of their job is to monitor the level of training standards by the individual shops and instructors, and to entertain complains if there are any. This is a check and balance system, which is good for all consumers, it keeps standards high and also to re educate those that flout standards, giving the industry a bad name.

So, after knowing this, it is safe to say that all training agencies should be neutral yes?

To be clear, in Singapore’s case, training agency refers to the likes of PADI, SSI, NAUI, CMAS, PDIC and so on, while dive shop refers to companies like us, example, Simply Scuba, Ren Scuba, Gill Divers, Deep Blue, Blue Reef Scuba and so on just to name a few.

 

A WORD ABOUT PADI

Let me declare that I’m presently a PADI Course Director and I also used to be a SSI Instructor Trainer for 20 years. The backbone of the PADI system, for many years, has always been their check and balance system. PADI is neutral, and will keep training standards high, and this is part of the reason why PADI till today, remains the most popular training agency, worldwide.

They are also very strong in marketing and branding the PADI name. It makes our job so much easier when a consumer walks in and says he wants to do his “PADI”, versus ”a dive course” or “whichever agency does not really matter as long as it is cheap”! There are shops in Singapore boldly calling themselves “The most preferred” or “the most popular” without knowing the real facts. What arrogance.

 

MURKY WATERS

The main aim of this blog, is to highlight to the reader this plain fact: That there are dive shops owned or operated by the very same people that run that particular training agency in this region.

This is potentially a conflict of interest. Think about it: If I’m running a business with a bottom line and certifying as many students as I can, can I also say – without any doubt – that I am not compromising the training quality and standards? What about the pricing of course materials and certifications? To keep the prices of my courses low for consumers, will I resort to cutting prices of my training materials and certifications to below costs?

What actually goes on internally, we as outsiders will never know, but there is always that risk.

 

So my question is this, how does it make sense for the other dive shops that represent that particular training agency and are privately owned? Is that training agency really neutral in their dealings? And again, where is the level playing field?

Let’s face it, at the end of the day, we dive shops are all still competitors, either friendly or not, we need to address this. I have represented that training agency for more than 25 years, and have seen the regional HQ “change hands” at least five times in those years, and when I finally see it as it is today, it is very sad. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a very good training agency, they have state-of-the-art training materials and the standards are very high. In the right hands, they will continue to soar.

The “best” part of this whole thing?  Aiding same agency dive shops from our neighbours from across the border, which by the way, is also under their so called region, to come into Singapore, to a major trade show, and slashing prices. With their lower overheads, it makes it very challenging for us in Singapore to compete. Of course, some consumers do not really care as long as its cheap, and the certification card allows them to dive anywhere in the world, but I can only hope that those consumers will not find out why. If they can maintain standards at those prices, there is nothing I can say. But let’s see in the next few coming months.

Again, this blog is my personal view, so hopefully the other dive shop owners and freelance instructors operating here see it too. What has been done is done, l can only hope that changes can be made to make this little industry of ours thrive in better conditions. As it is now, we are going nowhere. Swimming aimlessly underwater is not a good thing, we all run out of air sometime.

 

Yours In Diving.

Christopher Lee.

PADI CD #466479.

SSI DMI #21373.

Unlike the other blog posts, this will be of a more personal nature, and I’ll be sharing my observations on the state of the dive industry in Singapore. These views are solely my own and do not represent any organisation or persons.

I’m 51 this year, and after spending more than half my life teaching scuba diving and running my own outfit (teaching PADI, SSI and RAID previously), I feel compelled to write about what I see happening in the industry that I love and depend on for my livelihood.

Let’s face it. Our dive industry in Singapore has not kept pace with inflation. While the standard and costs of living have increased over time, the prices of dive courses and packages have, on the contrary, gone down. Training agencies have also increased their certification fees, but the sale prices of courses are getting cheaper. You can do the math.

Of course, dive shops in Singapore or anywhere else have the right to price their courses or packages as they deem fit. It is a free market, and the last thing we want to do is to fix prices as an industry. But what I’ve seen at a recent trade show in 2019 has highlighted to me a problem that is emerging and looks to hurt our industry further.

A major dive training agency was supporting dive operators from overseas, who have lower overheads than the Singapore companies, and is selling courses at below market prices to our customers. To be blunt, they were undercutting the market. Let’s be mindful that all Singapore dive shops will be affected by such tactics, even those whose livelihoods depend on selling courses from that very same major training agency.

17th May 2019, when I last checked, they are not registered companies in Singapore according to ACRA. Based on that training agency’s dive shop locator which can be found on their web site, one of the above is not even a registered authorised facility with that training agency, but they are selling dive courses and trips representing that same agency.  Store number 765163 is who? I am also not sure.

Where is the sense in this? Before I go further, please know that I have nothing against overseas dive establishments and them coming over to Singapore and selling dive courses or trips at a trade show, they have every right to do so, but it is how they are doing it that matters. What is going to happen in the near future if such pricing tactics continue? As a small industry, everyone will eventually lose. We really need to end this. But of course, this is easier said than done. Many dive shops and operators preach about the negative effects of selling cheap, but don’t walk the talk. Talk is cheap, after all.

In the midst of this, there is the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) licensing. The rules and regulations about selling dive courses and trips outbound are however, still relatively unknown to most. The fact is this: Any Singapore dive establishment that sells dive courses or trips overseas need to have a valid Travel Agent (TA) licence, or at least, at face value, go through the TA of another establishment. At the point of sale, monies that are collected need to be issued with a TA-licensed receipt, with the TA number, name of that establishment, operating addresses and contact information stated clearly on it. It cannot be any generic receipt slip that can be bought from any stationary shop, and having a company chop on that receit will surfice? Only STB can answer that. STB’s main concern is for consumers to be able to seek compensation or refunds when the trip or course overseas runs into problems, or when the establishment closes down. Hence, for TA licensed establishments in Singapore, their accounts need to be properly done and audited, and with a minimum of S$100,000 paid up capital.

But as mentioned before, we now have Malaysian-owned dive establishments coming into Singapore, which are being supported by some local Singapore shops. The Singapore-based dive shops provide venues and logistics for theory and pool lessons in Singapore, after which the customers complete their open water training in Malaysia. The Malaysian owned dive shops sell courses and trips at a major trade show, collecting deposits of S$100 from each customer, who are then issued with some sort of receipt. Don’t get me wrong, referral for training is not wrong, but the collection of monies is the issue here. They can claim to be using the TA licences of some Singapore establishments, which only STB can verify. When the package being sold runs into problems or that particular dive establishment in Malaysia closes down, I wonder who the consumers can go to for compensation, the Singapore based shop or the one in Malaysia? Never say it will never happen, a good case is Five Star travel that closed down a few years ago, leaving a lot of their customers who purchased packages with them with no where else to go to for refunds.

In light of all these things happening, and we as Singapore-owned establishments see this happening right under our noses and we can’t do anything about it, I have no choice but to distant myself and my company from those establishments concerned. I can only hope that the rest see what I see, but then again, it’s a free market, and there are rules that govern these things in Singapore, we are trying our best to follow them. It is indeed extremely unfortunate for us here in Singapore if this keeps happening. I really hope the authorities can do something to prevent this from happening again, or at least to make sure all the establishments are following the law which STB has put in place, a level playing field for all perhaps? Those who stand for nothing will fall for everything….

 

Regards

Christopher Lee.

Simply Scuba Private Limited.

TA 02899.

PADI Course Director.

SSI Instructor.

Planning to take up Scuba Diving lessons? Here is how to choose a reliable dive operator.

S$370 all-in package for a beginner dive course? That was an example of how low diving packages were going for at a recent dive expo fair in Singapore. Everyone loves a good bargain (myself, included), but not all dive schools and operators are the same, and differ in their business models and levels of service. So what do you look out for?

THE BASICS:

Most, if not all, entry-level and recreational diving courses are sold in Singapore as an all-in package comprising three components:

(A) Theory lesson and examination
Either e-learning, classroom lectures, or a combination of both.

(B) Confined water training sessions
Usually held at a swimming pool or from the shore, in pool-like conditions in clarity and depth. “Confined” means the training is done in shallow water, where the student can stand up in, and also in deeper water, where they can’t.

We recommend doing the training in a swimming pool in Singapore. It is difficult to promise good conditions from the shore, there can be surf and waves, and you may be ‘bobbing’ up and down while trying to learn and perform your skills for the first time. If you face problems then, you may not be able to carry on with the deeper sea dives. Of course if you feel very confident about the confined water sessions, then by all means.

During this segment, a basic waterskills assessment will be done, and students have to swim 200m in the swimming pool, without pausing. Frogstyle, freestyle, butterfly, it’s all up to you! Time to get back in shape!

(C) Open water training dives
To fulfil the last requirement, many dive operators bundle their open water diver course with a trip to Malaysia, such as to Pulau Tioman (located off the the east coast of the Peninsula). These are usually run as a weekend getaway, leaving Singapore on Friday evenings, crossing the border by bus and heading north to the coastal town of Mersing, before transferring by boat to Tioman. The open water training dives are completed over two days, on Saturday as well as Sunday morning, before making the return journey home.

Others can also include a live aboard departing directly from Singapore, without the hassle of going through immigration, example like going onboard MV Mega Explorer, they usually cost more of course. Some dive shops also conduct their open water training dives in Singapore waters, at the southern island of Pulau Hantu.

An entry-level scuba diving programme, like the PADI Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver Course, is the gateway for beginners to the underwater world. Upon successfully completing and passing the theory and practical portions of the course, students are given an open water diver licence, which is internationally recognised and gives them the opportunity to dive in other locations worldwide. Some training agencies are more recognised in other parts of the world, outside Singapore.

#1. Travel essentials

Before signing up for a dive course, it’s good to ask how the trip to Malaysia or other places are being run. Some dive operators have their own coaches and dive boats, which means that the trip runs according to their schedule and timings. Once you reach Mersing, the dive boat is ready to depart.

Other dive companies also tap cross-border bus services which operate from Singapore to Mersing, and scheduled ferries from Mersing / Tanjong Gemuk to Tioman, such as the Bluewater Express or Cataferry. While ferry timings are fixed, they can be delayed, and sometimes horrendously late on the way back.

As Singaporeans, we love our food! Some dive resorts will offer buffet style meals while others have shared-table dining options where dishes are shared among diners (for example 10 diners to a table). Other packages do not include meals at all. So ask your dive operator what the dining options are. After all, we need “fuel” to scuba dive!

#2. Carrying gear

Humans are not designed to breathe or see underwater without aid, so before you take your first breath underwater you will need to assemble and don some equipment, like a scuba tank, buoyancy control device (a jacket-like contraption), a regulator set, mask, fins, a weight belt with weights, and a wetsuit. You should be using the same or similar equipment during your confined water and open water training dives.

Some dive operators require their students to carry the scuba gear (with the exception of the tanks and weights) with them, from Singapore up to Tioman. Other dive companies have sets of scuba gear both in Singapore and Tioman, so divers don’t have to lug the equipment with them.

Besides its always a joy to travel light, and have luggage space for the extra swimsuit or beachwear!

#3. Ratios

Every diving training agency, from PADI, SSI, SDI, NAUI, TDI, SDI, CMAS, PDIC and GUE just to name a few, has a set of training standards which dive Instructors and their companies have to adhere to. One of these is the student to instructor ratio, which ensures that training is conducted safely, and the students are given sufficient attention. So it’s important to ask the dive operator: How many students to one instructor? Will there also be divemasters to assist the instructor in a class with more students?

#4. Google the dive operator

Do some web research. Does the dive company have a website of its own, or is it only relying on social media channels to establish its presence? Does the dive operator have an established history and track record? Do they claim to be the “best” or the “most preferred”? Are they really? Do more likes on Facebook mean they are better?

Also check out the profiles of the dive instructors the school has. While everyone can follow the curriculum, a great dive instructor – who has good personal character traits, loves to dive and is serious about the sport – can make all the difference to showing you the right habits and attitudes in scuba, and a lifelong love for the ocean and diving.

Check the ratings on Google, TripAdvisor, Instagram and Facebook and read what customers are saying about their experience. Look at how the dive company markets itself: Do they emphasise on only having fun and a good time? Look at how their divers appear in photos: Do they show good diving habits – such as taking care of the environment and being respectful of marine creatures? While online reviews are not always the most accurate indicator of how reliable or good a dive operator is, they do help with the decision- making.

#5. Licences

Because dive operators run trips to Malaysia, they are essentially travel agents. As such, they are required to have a Travel Agent (TA) Licence from the Singapore Tourism Board. In November 2018, a dive operator was fined $14,000 by the tourism board for running more than 50 trips without a TA licence.

Why is this important? It all boils down to accountability. If the whole package runs smoothly, then there is no issue. It is when incidents crop up, then you will be asking yourselves where you can, as a consumer get compensation? Dive trip insurance should also be bought, a 2d2n trips costs only $26 from AIG, as an example.

So I hope this gives those wishing to take up scuba diving a quick guide into how to choose a dive operator and some factors to consider, other than price.

Start right, learning is a journey. Dive safe, have fun and love the environment. Your friend is waiting for you!

Yours In Diving.

Christopher Lee (PADI Course Director) and Adrian Lim (PADI Staff Instructor)
Simply Scuba Private Limited.

Since the early 1990’s Christopher Lee, the owner and a PADI Course Director at Simply Scuba, has been teaching PADI scuba diving courses full time. Chris opened Simply Scuba to ensure that Singaporean divers have a professionally managed and organized dive operator which provides options for those based in the city.

Chris understands the importance of feeling comfortable in the water and, as a passionate dive instructor, makes it his mission to help divers develop skills to achieve this.

Simply Scuba are dedicated to not only certifying divers, but to helping divers to become able, capable and confident underwater. Simply Scuba offers a full range of PADI courses from beginner to advanced levels – including professional levels.

When you take a PADI course with Simply Scuba you won’t just leave with a certification, you’ll leave with a sense of achievement and a whole new skill set. Having these skills and confidence is so important as you’ll truly be able to enjoy the incredible underwater environments in which you dive.

Simply Scuba is passionate about marine life and we understand that’s why people generally want to learn how to dive – to see coral reefs, tropical fish and all of the wonders of the underwater world. If you learn, or continue to develop your skills, with Simply Scuba you won’t just receive a certification card – you’ll receive a lifetime of diving opportunities around the world because you’ll feel as at home underwater as you do on land – that’s the foundation on which Chris Lee has built Simply Scuba.

Are you having problems with buoyancy? Are you finding you go up and down throughout a dive? Are you struggling with depth control? Do you feel generally “out of control”? These are all factors that prevent certified divers from continuing in their diving journey and therefore missing out on phenomenal opportunities to see parts of the planet that so few are privileged to see with their own eyes. If any of these factors relate to you then come and see us – we can help.

If you want to learn how to dive, we offer courses which are based around your schedule – not ours. We understand that people have busy work schedules, family lives and study commitments throughout the day and so we offer evening sessions and even online learning which you can complete at home. Of course, you’ll need to dive in the ocean to get certified, so we make that an extra special occasion and convenient too. We don’t use the dive sites in Singapore because we choose to take you to Tioman Island and dive the incredible reefs there and have a weekend adventure – again, so you don’t need to take time away from the office.

If you are already certified but unsure about what to do next, then our advice is not to give up – come and join us for either a PADI course or a diving weekend and we can convert your fears to confidence. We can show you how diving can be a life changing experience and not just something to check off your bucket list.

Simply Scuba, Chris and his team will be at ADEX from the 11th to the 14th of April 2019 at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre. ADEX is a dive exhibition where you’ll be able to connect with us and talk to our team face to face. You don’t need to sign up to a course, you don’t need to buy anything, there is absolutely no pressure – just come along and talk to us about where you are now, how you feel about your diving and where you’d like to be.

We’d love to meet you and we will be at Booth A19 and A20.

We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make the ADEX show then please email us at: chris@simplyscuba.com.sg

We offer from beginner to instructor level. Weekly programme.

 

Develop Your Diving Skills with Simply Scuba Singapore

 

Are you a certified diver? Do you want to develop your diving skills but are not sure what is the next PADI Course for you to take? At Simply Scuba we provide the full range of PADI Courses through to Instructor level and we provide the most professional dive training in Singapore. Not only do we have our own pool to use here in the city and a full service dive centre, we also combine our courses with weekend trips to Tioman in Malaysia! We know how busy life can be here in Singapore so we structure our courses around evenings, online learning and weekend water sessions – meaning you don’t need to take time off work or change your schedule.

 

To find out what’s next for you, find you current PADI certification level in the list below and read on!

 

I am Open Water Certified:

Great! You are already certified and know the basics of diving. The next step is to take your PADI Advanced Open Water Course. The Advanced Course includes making 5 phenomenal dives in Tioman – which can be done in one weekend (2 days and 2 nights).

You’ll need to take the Deep Dive and Navigation Dive, and the other 3 dives are for you to choose. Once you have completed the course you’ll be certified to dive to 30 meters!

 

I am Advanced Open Water Certified:

As an advanced diver we know that you can take care of yourself so now it’s time to start learning how to take care of other divers through the PADI Rescue Diver Course. During the course you’ll learn how to prevent accidents from happening and how to act should an accident occur. We run the diving sections of this course over a 2 day, 2 night stay in Tioman and the theory can be taken online.

To become a PADI Rescue Diver you’ll also need to be certified as an Emergency First Responder (EFR). The EFR course teaches you how to perform CPR as well as first aid procedures. The EFR course can be taken at our dive centre here in Singapore. The course applies to diving and non-diving situations and is a great addition to your professional CV.

 

I am a PADI Rescue Diver:

PADI Rescue Divers can choose to continue as recreational divers and become a PADI Master Scuba Diver – which is often referred to as the “black belt of scuba diving” or decide to become a professional diver by becoming a PADI Divemaster.

  • PADI Master Scuba Diver: To become a PADI Master Scuba Diver you’ll need to complete 5 PADI Specialty Courses. You can choose from an entire range according to the types of diving you like most. PADI Specialty courses are usually weekend courses and it’s often possible to complete two specialties in one weekend Tioman trip. You don’t need to take all 5 at once, you can spread them out over as much time as you like.
  • PADI Divemaster: The PADI Divemaster certification is the first level of professional diver. As a PADI Divemaster you’ll be able to organize dive trips, guide certified divers and assist PADI Instructors when they are teaching PADI Courses. This is the first step in turning your passion for diving into an income. If you don’t want to work in diving, the PADI Divemaster course is still an extremely challenging and rewarding program to take. For more information about the PADI Divemaster course, check our Divemaster information page here.

 

I am a PADI Divemaster:

You have already taken the first step toward becoming a PADI Instructor – the most sought after job in the diving industry! Becoming a PADI Instructor means taking the PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course). At Simply Scuba our IDC’s are taught by our Course Director Chris Lee who has decades of experience in the diving industry. Our IDC Singapore programs are carefully structured to fit around your working time and your schedule. We run our courses over evening classes and weekend trips to Tioman. We know your time is important and Chris has developed the schedule over years of understanding people’s needs. If you are thinking about taking your IDC in Singapore, contact us and we will give you more information and answer any questions that you have. If you’d prefer to send an email you can do so to: chris@simplyscuba.com.sg

 

Whatever your level is now, and wherever you want to go next, we are here to help you get there.

We hope to meet you soon!

Why Learn to Scuba Dive with Simply Scuba

Are you looking for adventure? Are you ready for a challenge? Do you want a way to get out of the city and explore? Perhaps you just want a new hobby and the chance to make new friends? The PADI Open Water Course is the first level of scuba diving certifications and it is your passport to dive here in Singapore and all over the world!
The PADI Open Water course involves three key phases; Knowledge Development, Confined Water and Open Water – this means you’ll spend some time studying the theory of diving then you’ll move on to learning diving skills in a swimming pool before heading out to the ocean to put your skills to use.
At Simply Scuba we have our own facilities here in Singapore so you’ll complete the theory and pool sessions around your existing schedule. Our theory sessions are on Tuesdays at 7.00pm at our dive centre. You can also opt to study from home with PADI eLearning – whatever works best around your schedule. Once you’ve completed the theory you can join a confined water pool session and these are held at Orchid Country Club at 10.30am on any Saturday.
Once you have completed these two elements we’ll take you for an incredible 2 day / 2 night trip to beautiful Tioman Island (Friday evening departures). This means you can complete your entire PADI Open Water Course without needing to take time off work or away from your studies! By the time you arrive in Tioman you’ll have confidence in your skills and you’ll be ready for your first exciting dives in the ocean!

Why Choose Simply Scuba in Singapore?

Simply Scuba is a PADI 5 Star IDC Training Facility with more than 25 years of experience in the diving industry. We have highly trained professional staff who are passionate about dive training, safety – and still having fun. We have a 100% safety record at home and in Tioman and we offer flexible schedules which you can fit around your existing commitments.
Don’t just believe us, here’s what our recent student says:
“Very happy taking OWD with Simply Scuba – everything from theory, pool session to real dives very well executed, high quality and good social fun people. Great equipment as well – highly recommend, and I will surely be continuing my diving journey with these guys”.
By: Lars Myrhøj Jensen / Facebook 5 Star Review

Completing the PADI Open Water course is just the first step to a lifetime of possibilities. As a certified PADI Open Water Diver you can sign up for our dive trips at any time. Diving in Singapore is varied and exciting – and it’s the perfect way to escape the city and forget about your busy schedule. For those with a thirst for travel, here in Singapore we are ideally located on the edge of the “Coral Triangle” which is the marine area that has the most abundant and varied marine life on the planet! Getting your PADI Open Water certification is your to ticket to start exploring some of Asia’s best diving destinations so what are you waiting for? Sign up for your Open Water Course with Simply Scuba today!

Make an online reservation here or if you have any questions about learning to dive in Singapore contact us and one of our professional team will get right back to you.

We are looking forward to exploring our underwater world with you soon!

Go Pro with a Simply Scuba Divemaster Internship in Singapore and Tioman

Are you thinking about becoming a PADI Divemaster? Would you like to eventually live the life of a PADI Instructor? Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you want to develop your diving skills further and feel a sense of great accomplishment? Maybe you just want feel more confident when you to take groups of friends and family diving. The PADI Divemaster program is one of the most rewarding PADI programs to take – what ever your reasons are. The PADI Divemaster certification is also your first level of professional certification and the initial step towards PADI Instructor training.

What Can a PADI Divemaster Do?

There are many highlights of becoming a PADI Divemaster. Here are the two most significant of things you’ll be able to do:

  1. You’ll be able to independently organise, supervise and conduct recreational diving activities from both the shore and from boats. From a career perspective this means you can work in diving – either for a dive shop by taking out fun divers, or you can work independently by organising group dive trips of your own. On a personal level you can organise trips with your buddies with confidence.
  2. PADI Divemasters can assist PADI Instructors in conducting PADI Courses. So you’ll be able to apply for jobs at dive schools and become a part of the dive crew!

Are there any other benefits?

Absolutely – Yes! If you organise group trips, many operators will give the group leader free diving and accommodation (if staying in a dive resort), providing you meet their minimum group number required.

Most dive operators offer a “Pro Discount” on diving and sometimes on shop purchases too. Ask if there is a Pro discount each time you make a booking.

Being a PADI Divemaster is one of the pre-requisites for training to be a PADI Assistant Instructor or a PADI Instructor.

As you progress through the program you’ll find that more than just your diving skills and diving knowledge improves. You’ll become more confident in your abilities, in handling pressurised situations and you’ll be able to deal with problem in a calm and rational manner.

As a PADI Divemaster other divers will look to you for guidance and assistance. You’ll be in a position to role model excellent diving skills and shape the next generation of scuba divers!

Why Take a PADI Divemaster Internship with Simply Scuba?

At Simply Scuba we understand that life in Singapore can be busy and often stressful. We aim to provide solid professional training which fits around your existing commitments instead of you having to fit around your training. We have our own pool for confined water training and we spend 7 weekends in Tioman so you have ample opportunity to practice and develop your diving skills in open water.

Tioman offers beautiful diving, diverse marine life and it gives you the chance to really “feel like a Divemaster” in a world renowned diving destination. The Island vibes create a wonderful escape from the city and you’ll be doing what you love – diving!

At Simply Scuba we have 27 years of experience so you can rest assured of the best training available. Your Internship will be headed up by Christopher Lee who is a leading PADI Course Director (The highest Instructor rating possible). Christopher also teaches our Instructor Development Courses so if you are thinking of progressing and becoming a PADI Instructor you’ll already be building a relationship with your Course Director now.

Are There Any Prerequisites for Taking the Divemaster Internship?

Yes – you’ll need the following:

  • To be a certified PADI Rescue Diver and Advanced Open Water (or equivalent from another diving agency – if you are not sure, contact us to check your equivalent PADI level)
  • Have a minimum of 40 logged dives with experience in night diving, deep diving and underwater navigation – If you do not have enough logged dives to start the program let us know – we can make a schedule for you to get your dive numbers up before you start!
  • To be at least 18 years old
  • A signed medical statement from a doctor stating that you are fit for diving. We can email you the form which you need to have signed by your physician
  • A sense of adventure, willingness to learn and a passion for diving!

Are you ready to Go Pro, challenge yourself and become a PADI Divemaster? Why wait? Stop dreaming the dream and start living the dream!

For more information about our PADI Divemaster Internships, contact us on: chris@simplyscuba.com.sg and we’ll get right back to you.

 

We are looking forward to being a part of your journey to becoming a PADI Professional!

Become a PADI Instructor with Simply Scuba in Singapore:

Live the PADI Pro Dream

Do you want to change your life and become a PADI Instructor? Are you short on time and unable to take an extended period of leave from work? Are you keen to fit your Instructor Development Course around your life, work and family here in Singapore? This is where we can help, it’s actually what we specialize in at Simply Scuba – helping you to achieve your dreams with a schedule that works for you. At Simply Scuba we understand your time is important and that’s why our PADI Instructor Development Courses fit around you, rather than you having to fit around the program.

For your convenience, all of your theory sessions will be here in Singapore, in the evenings, so you don’t need to take any time off work. Our Simply Scuba IDC program in Singapore includes 8 evening theory sessions which all start at 630pm – giving you enough time to finish at the office without having to leave early.

During the evening sessions you’ll cover the following subjects with your PADI Course Director, Christopher Lee: IDC Course Orientation, Learning Instruction and the PADI System, General PADI Standards and Procedures, Marketing Diving, Start Diving, Teaching in Confined Water, Developing Knowledge Development Presentations, Conducting Open Water Dives, Risk Management, the 4E’s and Keep Diving.

Of course, during the evening sessions you’ll also be taking an in depth look at all of the PADI Courses you’ll be able to teach as a certified PADI Instructor and these include: PADI Discover Scuba Diving, PADI Open Water, Adventures in Diving (PADI Advanced Open Water), PADI Rescue Diver, Emergency First Response, PADI Divemaster and PADI Specialty programs. To ensure you feel confident and prepared for the Instructor Exams you’ll also take mock exams so we can gauge where you are at and you know what to expect.

In addition to the 8 evening sessions you’ll need to set aside one weekend in Singapore to complete a confined water session which includes the 24 skill demonstration workshop, the 800 yard snorkel and confined water presentations 1 and 2. On the second day you’ll complete Confined Water presentations 3 and 4 and a Rescue Exercise workshop.

Once all of the hard work is completed in Singapore you’ll be almost ready! By this point you’ll have a great sense of achievement – and so you should, Instructor training is challenging yet rewarding.

To complete the Instructor Development Course you’ll make a weekend trip to Tioman – this is what you have been working towards! This is a 2 day, 2 night trip conducted over a weekend thereby minimizing any time away from work. Tioman offers excellent training conditions and the trip gives you two days to be 100% focused on your Pro development. In Tioman you’ll complete your Open Water Teaching Presentations and Skills and you’ll participate in a Discover Scuba Diving Workshop.

Once the Tioman trip and all IDC components are successfully completed you’ll be signed off as successfully completing a PADI Instructor Development Course which is your ticket to enrol in the PADI Instructor Exams. Where you take your Instructor Exams is your choice between here in Singapore or in Tioman. Wherever you choose to take the exams you’ll be well prepared and ready for life as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor!

So are you ready to change your life and start making your dreams a reality? There’s no better time than today! If you’d like to join one of our PADI Instructor Development Courses here in Singapore please contact us on: chris@simplyscuba.com.sg or fill in our contact form or give us a call on +65 9387 6383

Pre-Requisites: Please note that you will need to be a certified PADI Divemaster or Assistant Instructor, other agency dive pros are also welcomed, have 100 logged dives which includes night, deep and navigation diving, be a minimum of 18 years old, hold a current EFR certification (within the last 24 months) and be fit for diving with a signed medical statement from your doctor.

We look forward to meeting you at Simply Scuba soon!

I think it all boils down to budget, experience and time.

The cheapest option, dive our very own back yard! Pulau Hantu that is. No long travel times, no over night stays. You get 2 day dives for under S$150. Do note, water visibility can be quite challenging here.

Please do know that most dive trips for under S$500, you are limited to venues that are nearby and does not involve any flights. Malaysia comes to mind, this country has so much to offer, along the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, islands like Redang, Lang Tenggah, Perhentian in the northern states, and Tioman, Aur / Dayang with the rest of the southern islands of Malaysia under Pahang and Johore states, these are choice dive destinations for time constrain and budget divers. High season is from March to October though. A 4d3n, 3d2n or 2d2n package is the most popular. Most divers who have time constraints, prefer the most popular option of going to Tioman, Aur or Dayang on a 2d2n package, where land and sea travelling is done at night, saving the day time for diving, but do note that these trips tend to be quite tiring, and not for the faint hearted. Accommodations here range from five star to no stars! So the more you pay, the better the accommodations. Self driving up is another option.

From $500 to S$1000, you may also opt for live aboards, there are a few running from Singapore, here, normally doing a 2d2n trip to those islands in the south of Malaysia, including those islands mentioned above and of course the numerous wrecks scattered over the South China Seas. There are pros and cons for both land or boat based dive trips, the biggest I think is the dread of going through any of the causeways linking Singapore and Malaysia if you are doing a land based trip, whereas on a live aboard, you can start relaxing the moment you board, weather dependant that is!

Another place for mention is the Riau Islands near Batam or Bintan, visibility may be quite challenging at times, but the travelling distance makes up for it.

Bali has always and will always be a good option, so many budget airlines go there on a daily basis. Most dive packages start from 4d3n. Accommodations also range from five to no stars. A lot of dive sites are situated in the north eastern area and also in the southern parts of Bali, the south may get quite cold during the seasons, I am talking about the waters being 22 degrees C or less. Popular is the sun fish, sighted during August to October.

Manado is another good option, but flights there are limited. Indonesia has so many islands that you can dive from, you get the drift.

Philippines comes to mind also in this price bracket, with most flights landing in Cebu, there are also land based trips to see special creatures like tresher sharks and so on. Malapascua and Puerto Galera are popular choices.

From S$1000 and above, nearest again is Sipadan, Mabul and Layang Layang in Eastern Malaysia namely Sabah. Here you get lots of wall dives and many large pelagics. Getting there is via KL or KK, most need two flights to get there. So I recommend at least 5d4n trips. Try to be at least advanced trained and above for these sites.

Then you have Maldives, budget airline has started flying there. Most divers do live aboards there, advantages are obvious as the vessel travels to more dive sites versus land based operations where the resort only dives around the atoll where they are situated. Starting from 5d4n to 8d7n. Most vessels are of high quality, so prices may also vary.

Thailand itself also offers much. From the Andaman Seas, places like the Similans, Rich. Rock, to the southern side Phi Phi, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang areas from Phuket. A good mix of day trips and live aboards. Direct flights land in Phuket itself.

Other very nice world class places to dive in include Rajah Ampat and Komodo in Indonesia.

We just got back from Palau, amazing!

Obviously, there are so many other dive destinations I did not mention here, these are the norms and trends that I see, I believe you can start with these. More dive shops do offer many other places and at different price brackets.

The internet is filled with so much information, what you need to think about is whether to book directly with them or through your local dive shop, you weigh the pros and cons yourself. Local shops tend to have more information pertaining to that particular place as they have been working well with the overseas operations, nothing is worse than being unpleasantly surprised when you get there.

It is a requirement from Singapore Tourism Board that all establishments selling out bound trips from Singapore require a travel agent’s license, reasons being to protect you as the consumer in the event that something goes wrong you are not left alone to take proper actions against that particular establishment. Of course, there are many who prefer to go for trips with their friends, so relying on them to organise the whole thing is not wrong as they can book directly with the overseas dive shop, the questions will arise when something goes wrong.

Travel insurance is strongly recommended, especially those that covers diving. Don’t save on this!

So start planning and saving! Let the dive adventures continue!

Safe Diving….

Chris