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Intro Diving Monkey Style

We have been continuously developing the way we conduct intro dives on the MV Tala. It has come to our attention that the more we simplify the gear the more comfortable the divers are. Finally we have streamlined the system so well that the intro divers are finding it very natural to be under water if they are in control of their own buoyancy. We have made a video to demonstrate this.  There are three intro divers in the movie below. 



The big man in the beginning is almost 130 Kilograms and it is his second time ever trying scuba. The first time he tried it he was unhappy and had a hard time dealing with the bcd. He did not have a good understanding of the gasses expanding and so kept on popping up at the surface. There were simply too many factors for him to deal with. when he tried the monkey configuration he had the time of his life. This was all in 10 meters of water.  

The second intro diver is a lady also in the water for the second time of her life. You can see how comfortable she looks and how she is in control. She also has some skills already like mask clearing while neutral and a great control of her buoyancy.  The point behind teaching people to dive like this is that you give them command of their buoyancy from the get go.

The third intro diver is actually trying scuba for the first time ever. You can see how comfortable she is. You can also see how she has full command of her buoyancy. In the video you can see her in the first 10 minutes she ever spent in the water.

This entire system is based on Neutral buoyancy. The first thing we do is get the diver neutral in the water and explain to them that they can control their movement in the water column with their breath, albeit without holding their breath. We never hold the diver or drag him or her on the reef like other agencies recommend the intro dive be conducted. Actually many of the divers that do their intro diving with us end up with better buoyancy skills than many licensed open water divers.

The only argument that could be made is that once that a diver needs buoyancy when surfaces to stay afloat comfortably. Well most intro dives are conducted either in confined water (behind a reef) or with direct continuous surface support.  For the times that this could be questioned we give every diver a big surface marker that they can inflate and use both for buoyancy and for signaling.

That being said, these dives were conducted on the small brother of the Brothers Island. Some of the toughest dive spots on the Red Sea. However it was done with constant surface support and a time when there was no current and great surface conditions. These intro divers got to see gray reef sharks and hammer heads, all on their first and second dives of their lives ever.  

The more we dive this system the more fond of it we are. It has limitations depending on exposure suits and so on. But we have successfully done it with dry suits and wet suits up to 5mm.

Please review the video and make your own impression.

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