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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
May 17, 2002

I'm pissed off.

I've been doing my DMT training with one of the largest and most respected schools on Koh-Tao. I've been with them for over 5 months, helping out where i can and making friends with the staff...

3 months ago I discovered the joy of breathhold diving. Since there's nowhere on this island where u can get any depth close to shore the only way to do some 'serious' diving (+15m) is to go on a dive-boat.

I've been using the diveboat of my school for that purpose. everybody was enthousiastic about it and whenever I went deeper than before they cheered me on.

Always with at least one other freediver on the surface and since we've been going to 25-30meter always with a safety scubadiver hovering @ 15 meters. And these safetypeople are no amateurs. Instructors and divemasters with multiple years of experience..

I mean this is safer recreational diving than what most of u guys do, no?

And now suddenly... BOOM. No more. Forbidden.

'it's too dangerous' 'if something happens on our boat our reputation is gone' 'blablablabla'

And the bosses actually encouraged me in the beginning. One of 'em lend me his fins for chrissakes...

edited expletive hypocrytes

And the major argument they put forward is that last year some idiot drowned while freediving in a swimthrough and got stuck.

Everybody here acts all cool and they all 'love' diving and everything that has to do with it but from the moment things start to get interesting they shit their pants.

edited expletive armchair divers...

sorry for the long rant. had to get if my chest.


PS : Diveschool name is Ban's Diving. Avoid at all cost when ur in the gulf of thailand.
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You're gonna keep ranting like that or are you gonna do something about it? Freediving is getting bigger and bigger all the time. Padi offer the PADI Skin Diver certification. Since you're a divemaster now, you can teach it (http://www.padi.com/courses/pro/divemaster.asp) and certify people yourself!!!! This mean selling new course, making money, if you follow padi's course policy, PADI will keep you out of trouble, they'll even protect you in case of trouble. They will be more customer for the dive shop. Start a program, get some customer, i'm sure the dive center will help you afterward. The definition of a problem is something that have a solution.

Good Diving:D

P.S. you could also sink their boat, rape their dog and sell their women into slavery but that's just me:D

P.P.S Their's a nice "edit" button at the bottom of your post in case you want to change some stuff once you cool down.
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Hey Ender. Sorry to hear about your freediving woes. I guess this highlights the lack of knowledge people have of freediving, even those in the diving industry. At first it looks spectacular and exciting, but then they find out people can get killed doing it, then freak out, while ignoring the fact that people while scuba diving too.

I was actually just in Khao Lak (north of Phuket, on the Andaman sea) doing my DMT too! Had a great time, did it with a dive center called Sea Dragon Dive center (Seadragondivecenter.com). Easily the best one there.

Anyway, I tried to keep up my freediving while doing my DMT, but the scuba diving always got in the way. I never got the chance to take the boat out and just freedive (mainly liveaboards), I always had to scuba at some point, so the best I managed was to freedive during the first dive, then scuba the rest of the time (not good to freedive after scuba, remember?). Good thing actually, as I was the only freedivier and was usually all alone. I made sure I didn't go anywhere near my limit. I know things can still go wrong, but...

Another operator there (kon tiki) actually had a freediver on staff who taught courses. I did it, and it was good. The Similans are the perfect place to freedive; warm, 25+m viz, tonnes of fish...

The freediving instructor would lead the snorkellers when he wasn't teaching, which he said sucked. But towards the end of the season, when it got quieter, he managed to tag along with a day trip to Koh Bon, and freedived for a day with 4 big mantas and an 8m whale shark. I had a day off that day, but went to find him just too late, so I missed out!!!

Anyway, if you're still around when the season starts up again (end of October), you should try to get over to that side of thailand. I might be there again. Where are you from originally? I wish there were more freedivers in Khao Lak when I was there.

Anyway, hope you still manage to get some freediving in. You could always say you're going snorkelling, and as long as you are with a capable buddy, you should be fine!

I don't blame you at all for being pissed off Ender. People are worried about lawsuits and money, and if it's their company, then there's not much you can do I suppose.
The Frenchman's suggestions are good (raping dogs, etc) if they will agree, but it sounds like that shop might be fairly closed minded :head
Keep diving buddy,
Erik Y.
Welcome to the land of the bean-counting ignorants.

While it's pretty Phuket-ed up that the powers that be there did a 180 on your freediving efforts, realize their investment in it and resolve to a. Not send them any more referals, without bad-mouthing them, b. Look for other outfits that'l let you do your thing, c. Do as has been suggested, not the dogs, but get the folks that were helping you, the support divers etc., and start a Club of your own. Have fun finding insurance...

And for Chrissakes, just because you've reached the vaulted heights of Divemaster, don't go off thinking you can teach freediving to any degree other than when you ditch your gear and do controlled and emergency ascents. The teaching stuff, like the diving, takes time.

The problem is already more or less solved...I can get on another boat and there are some spearfishers getting together here to start some sort of club...

I'll keep on diving no worries there

But it's the whole attitude put forward by the diveschool that pisses me off severly. Luckily I've found ways to circumvent their ban but if I hadn't...well...can u say smoking hole in the ground? :)

Just a little background info :

During the DMT course you have lectures on physics, equipment, physiology, etc.... In my case they're given by one of the two course directors here (the bosses).
During the Physiology lecture they actually say that freediving is cool and that ANYONE can get to 30meter in 2 weeks of training no problem. They don't mention safety, they don't mention the freedive after scuba thing,.... What they basically do is set a performance standard...'if u don't get 30m in 2 wks ur a wuss'

Is that unresponsible behaviour or what?

And this isn't a fluke...I've done that lecture 3 times...same thing 3 times...

And now when I get to 30m they freak out

oh well....I just laugh in their face and move on

sorry 'bout the rash language earlier :eek:

I just need to re-enforce a point-


sounds like you may have a little case of "New DM Syndrome"

don't worry - we all had it

Dive Master is just that whipping-boy stage before you're ready for Instructor - we call them DB here (Dive-Bitch)

Chill man, there are some great ways to unwind in Phuket....

ah yes, Me love you long time.....

just stay away from the dog.. tabernac - frenchmen! J'aime le petit chien....

(not that I promote any thing like that)

hi ender

was in koh tao this year also and left after just 3 weeks. too much politics and business in the diving industry. and as you said they all act really cool and groovy. but dont worry. i´m instructor for a number of years now and i found out early that the bigger the shop the more politics and less groove.

but since you are in the area...

this advice i give from one freediver to another. dont spread it around!!!!
maybe you have heard of ko surin? that´s north of ko similan. take your big fins, buy a tent and go there. the best diving i´ve seen in thailand. the good thing is that there are no dive centers. i stayed there this year for almost 2 months freediving only. wait till the monsoon season´s over and they have boats going there.

my regards to the little blacktips at rocky bay

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