The PADI Divemaster course is the first step in your career as a professional diver and even if you don’t plan to work in diving, it does not mean this course is not suitable for you.
The Divemaster course teaches and develops your dive skills, dive knowledge, safety and awareness, so it is a great way to increase your personal development.
Once a Divemaster is qualified they have a key role to play around a dive centre including guiding divers round dive sites.
A Divemaster will assist with equipment maintenance, diver training, coordinate dive logistics and conduct programs such as Scuba Review, Skin Diver Course and Discover Snorkeling.
The diverse nature of the role makes it such an attractive position, probably why the PADI Divemaster course is the most popular professional diver training course worldwide.
The Divemaster Course is a Popular Diving Course in Thailand
There are many reasons why Thailand should be top of your list when considering where to do your Divemaster course.
Obviously during a Divemaster course you are hopefully going to be doing a lot of diving so naturally you want to dive in a nice location with a lot of diversity of marine life.
On Koh Tao, there are 30 dive sites all within a very close proximity to the boat pier, with the vast majority of the sites only being 15 – 40minutes distance by dive boat.
The variety of dive sites here is fantastic with deep pinnacles to shallow reefs, large granite underwater rock formations, artificial dive sites and much more.
The Marine life that calls Koh Tao it’s home is also a great asset, you can visit the same dive site 7 days in a row and have a different dive experience each time due to diversity of marine life.
The scuba diving season is year round with water temperatures ranging from 28-31 Degrees Celsius. The visibility changes with the wind and tides but it averages around 15 meters.
With year round conditions like this, its easy to see why Koh Tao is one of the most popular places to take the first step in a professional diving career.
Koh Tao Lifestyle and your Divemaster Course
Koh Tao has more to offer than just below sea level. The food and restaurant scene is surprisingly impressive for an island that measures only 21 kilometres squared in area.
The Koh Tao restaurant scene has something to please all tastes and palates, budgets and cultures.
Whether it is heading down to Mama’s for your 50 Baht Pad Thai or getting a little fancy and venturing to Barracuda for a stunning meal on the roof top terrace.
If you are more of a Party Animal don’t worry there’s places for you as well, with a variety of parties happening daily in Sairee.
There is fish bowl beach bar and its notorious nightly beer pong tables to parties in the jungle that carry on until the early morning.
If partying is not your style there are lots of non diving activities to keep you busy, from the local trapeze school, rock climbing, hiking to a stunning viewpoint, a spot of mini-golf or just reading your book on the beach.
Most popular locations to stay or visit on Koh Tao
Sairee is known as the vibrant party hub, Chalok village which is more of a chilled bohemian vibe with of course a hammock café and Mae Haad village where Crystal Dive is based.
Mae haad has a great selection of eateries to choose from and is the location of the main pier and where the boats depart from every day.
Crystal Dive Divemaster Course on Koh Tao
It meets the highest requirements for training PADI Professionals and offers career-oriented programs to prepare scuba diving professionals for employment in the dive industry.
The dive centre also offers job placement assistance for it’s in-house program graduates.
Breaking that jargon down means during and after your course you will get assistance, guidance and mentorship about your dive career from our team of highly experienced staff.
Throughout your professional level courses you get direct access to multiple Platinum Course Directors, Master Instructors, Staff Instructors and a lot of Master Scuba Diver Trainers.
The other fantastic assets that Crystal has are its 3 training pools, 2 large and 1 medium sized pool giving us ample space for training for all levels and courses.
We also have a fleet of dive boats consisting of 2 large dive boats, 1 medium sized dive boat, 1 speed boat and a Thai style long tail boat, so we have the flexibility to choose dive sites to suit all levels of training.
The minimum standard for instructors to teach at Crystal Dive is a Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating (MSDT) or higher meaning the standard of teaching is consistently high.
We also have an in-house service centre where you will learn to fix broken equipment during your equipments specialty training, which is included in the Divemaster package.
How the Divemaster Program works at Crystal Dive
The Divemaster Program is overseen and co-ordinated by two of our Master Instructors who will conduct various parts of the program with you.
A part of the Divemaster program I particularly enjoyed as a Divemaster Candidate was the Skill Circuit.
The skill circuit is about learning all the PADI core skills to role model demonstration standard.
The performance requirements can’t be achieved in a quick session, so its scheduled over multiple sessions to get the best performance from the candidates.
I remember on my skill circuit struggling with the BCD removal and replacement, the objective is to make it look fluid, slow and easy.
My demonstration at the start was rushed as my BCD decided to turn upside down, then I attempted to put it back on the wrong way, before my instructor intervened.
I can definitely say we had some laughs about that in the bar at the end of the day.
Another advantage of taking the Divemaster program on Koh Tao is fellow candidates.
You will have fellow candidates joining you, which makes your course and social life much more enjoyable.
As Crystal Dive is a busy dive school, its advantageous to you as you will not have to wait to assist on courses, as there is a fairly steady flow of courses to assist on.
We also set what we call the Crystal Dive standard, which ensures you go over and above the basic requirements for the PADI Divemaster.
For example, by PADI standards you are only required to do 1 open water course assist and 1 continued education assist. (continued education would be for example advanced open water or rescue).
At Crystal Dive we require you to do 3 Open Water Assists and 3 Continued Education Assists (with normally at least 1 rescue assist).
As your Divemaster program progresses, you will shadow our full time Divemaster team to help you learn on the job the day to day running of a busy dive centre.
Once you finish your Divemaster course we give you the chance to do this full time for 2 weeks as a working internship. These involve different roles:
- Surface Cover – being responsible for the scuba boat, correct supervision practices, assisting divers in and out of the water, respond to and assist any problems divers face.
- Guiding Fun Divers – leading divers around the dive site, reminding them of responsible dive behaviour and pointing out local points of interest.
- Office – organise the day to day operations, preparing boat lists and organising what equipment we need for the days diving, welcoming customers and checking them in.
- Land Duties & Scuba Review – preparing the boats, loading equipment and tanks. Performing a refresher course for those customers who have not dived in a while. Pumping Enriched Air Blends to be used for Nitrox dives.
This gives you a real life view of what a Divemaster role entails at a busy well organised dive centre.
It also gives you real hands on experience. which is fantastic for your personal development and future career prospects.
There are no time constraints to complete your Divemaster program at Crystal Dive, you can do it at your own pace and if you have a tighter schedule that can be accommodated also.
One of the best things offered to me was the unlimited diving before, during and after your course.
I notched up my dive count quickly as I was out on the boat doing four dives a day, so it’s quite easy if you want to pick up 28 dives in a week.
However, racking up 28+ dives a week can be tiring, so don’t expect to have much energy left.
In summary, there is no single thing that makes Crystal Dive’s PADI Divemaster course the best in Thailand, it is a combination of the complete Divemaster package.
I had one of the best experiences of my life doing my Divemaster course here and would happily recommend it to anyone.
Author: Oli Holmes – PADI MSDT – 417068