This past weekend we conducted the Sidemount Confined Water training at one of our favorite pools, the Suwon World Cup Pool. This pool is setup for some great dive training. If you haven’t been here it is a 5m deep 50m x 50m pool. It has several hula hoops at varying depths for buoyancy practice as well as mirrors for each diver to self-correct and fine tune skills.
Our day started out with a drive through the Korean summer vacation traffic…and there was PLENTY of it. It took nearly double the time to get to the Suwon pool because Koreans were off enjoying their vacations. Once we arrived at the pool we went over equipment setup and tank rigging. This is one of the most important parts of the course, no instructor should over look this portion. Everything minute you spend on setup will greatly pay off during the dive. I would recommend that instructors compliment their instruction with some sort of video that explains various setups and use. The one that I like so far is Jill Heinerth’s Sidemount Scuba Diving.
Once our equipment was setup and prepped for entry we went over an orientation brief to explain entry methods, weighting and brief the skills for the day. With the briefings out of the way we pushed off the entry point and verified weighting and descended down to check out Jeff’s trim. This is another critical place that instructors can’t take too lightly and where students will greatly benefit…GET THEIR TRIM RIGHT! Spend the time to ensure equipment is setup correctly and streamlined. This may be difficult if the student is useing loaner/rental gear but it is still important. It is CRITICAL if the student is diving their own gear, this will be a great starting point for them to take note of. Rarely will a diver again get so much personal attention to work out kinks and perfect their trim in the water. Once Jeff’s gear was adjusted he knocked out skill after skill and we were able to surprise Jeff with multiple simulated emergencies as well. Great job today Jeff! We definitely earned those Chili’s meals.
It wasn’t only the divers that got some fun in today…our shore support (wives) decided to tour the Suwon castle and downtown area while we were in the pool. One more reason that we like this pool, lots to do for divers and non-divers alike.
If you are not familiar with the Suwon World Cup pool here is some information:
What did you accomplish this weekend? Katie and Dan did some confined water training and have begun their journey to becoming PADI Open Water Divers. Dan and Katie tackled their Knowledge Reviews, Quizzes and Final Exam like champs, both scoring exceptionally high on all…well done guys! With the book work out of the way they were fitted for equipment for their Confined Water Training.
Saturday was filled with hands-on learning and practice. Dan and Katie did excellent once again knocking out skill after skill. Hardly any skill proved difficult for this couple, once again well done guys!
Sunday morning began with a more thorough cleaning of dive gear to rinse off and clean everything. We can’t say enough how important this step is…clean well maintained gear is critical in scuba diving. Not only will it make your gear more reliable it means less service repair bills during annual or manufacturer recommended servicing.
There is not much that can prepare a diver for the feeling of their first drysuit dive. This is true whether it is in a pool or in the ocean. The closest feeling would be to put your hand into a plastic bag and put it in the kitchen sink or bathtub. No matter how many times we describe this to new students they are always amazed at the initial feeling (as we were).
This past weekend we got in the pool to do some PADI Drysuit Specialty Diver training. Once introductions & paperwork were done we watched a few videos on drysuit repair and care. Next we tried on equipment and went over gear setup and donning/doffing the drysuit. We conducted final kit checks and got into our drysuits for a short drive to the pool.
At the pool we went over the required skills as well as some additional skills that are always good to keep well oiled. Jeff did an excellent job in the pool and we are looking forward to getting in the ocean.
So we went to the Suwon World Cup Pool on March 20th to check out new equipment that was purchased over the winter and to get our current equipment back in the water. We wanted to get wet to go over our Tec and rebreather configurations as well as get time to practice some buoyancy and gear configurations.
First note: During the week is the ABSOLUTE BEST time to go to the pool, we had the entire pool to ourselves (almost).
We were lucky to make a new contact with an Aqua Lung International and AquaLung USA representative. Coincidentally they were showing off some of their shallow-water (O2 only) rebreathers off to some ROK military. It was pretty cool watching these guys in the water. We also were able to meet up with some Korean friends from Young Jin Technical Scuba Shop. Our favorite Young Jin instructor had about 6 new students with her fro entry level recreational diving. It is always great to see a friendly face.
Since we had the pool all to ourselves for most of the time we were able to use all the underwater hula-hoops, ascent/descent lines and have a free-for all without worrying about others.
We also tested out some new equipment, the Hollis M3 mask. The Hollis M3 mask turned out to be an amazing new addition to our equipment. We have tried many masks in the past from several manufacturers but this one is our new favorite. The glass is CRYSTAL clear providing an excellent amount of light in. The side skirts are black which allow for easier focusing and less distractions from peripheral shadows. Our last mask we dove was the Hollis M1 mask (round edges) and we were wintering if we were going to find anything that could come close to this mask. The M1 offers a great FOV (field of view) and extremely low profile…WAS our go-to mask of choice until we laid our hands (and face) on the M3.
The M3 also has an extremely low profile and has a great FOV. The glass is Crystal Clear Saint-Gobain Diamant Tempered Glass. When they say crystal clear it is CRYSTAL clear. The second you put on this mask you will see an immediate difference in quality. Two critical factors (for us) make this our new STANDARD mask:
(1) Achieves a perfect seal with full beard and/or full goatee, there were ZERO LEAKS the entire dive. We rarely ever experience this. SERIOUSLY there we NO leaks it was honestly unbelievable (even the M1 has leaked a TINY bit now and then with bushy facial hair).
(2) ZERO pinching of the nose (under or over). This mask is quite possibly the most comfortable mask we have ever worn. After 2 hours in the water and on our face there wasn’t a spot that was uncomfortable or irritated. This is CRITICAL for two important groups of people (instructors and rebreather divers). These two groups wear their masks more than any other diving group. We can’t stress enough how great this mask was to wear.
We encourage EVERYONE that is interested in bettering their skills to contact us for our next trip. We have divers of all skills in our group to include Instructors, Tec Divers (back and sidemount) and rebreather divers. Not only are our club members always willing to help[ but we can always learn from what our new friends can bring to the table. Contact us via facebook if you are interested in getting some new skills or just looking to fun dive. We hope to see you next trip!