PADI Drift Diver Specialty Course

PADI Drift Diver Course The drift diver course will help the student gain an understanding of some of the skills, knowledge, and hazards of diving in strong currents. The different types of currents are discussed, as well as some of the specialized equipment and techniques used during drift dives. Prerequisite: PADI Open Water Diver or higher. 2 dives required for certification.

Locations such as Cozumel, Mexico, Palau, Fiji and others have stronger currents that require experience in drift diving. Learn the proper techniques for safe drift diving in this course.

From the PADI Drift Diver Instructor Guide:

Course Philosophy and Goals
"Drift diving is a relaxing and enjoyable form of diving that offers an alternative to using lines and other techniques to move against current. It is especially suited to areas with mild to strong current with long reefs, kelp forests or other topography within recreational depth limits. The current allows the diver to see more aquatic life and underwater formations than usual."

"However, drift diving is often performed more for the experience of underwater flight than for sightseeing. Although it is typically conducted from a boat in open ocean, drift diving is also possible from shore in rivers and areas with strong tidal currents. While it is an effective way to dive, it is typically difficult or impossible for divers to swim against currents for anything more than a short distance while drift diving. This raises potential concerns including staying together as a group, maintaining contact with the boat or (in the case of shore-based drift diving) not missing the exit point. With this in mind, the philosophy of this course is to focus on a controlled effortless flight underwater. Thus, the goal of this course is to teach student divers a systematic, methodical approach to drift diving, with an overview of regional and situational variables in the techniques used. Student divers will develop the techniques involved in drift diving within recreational limits in a local drift diving environment."

"The best way to learn drift diving is to do it. This course philosophy therefore, expands student diver knowledge about drift dive planning, safety, potential problems, procedures and techniques. Student divers will learn how to plan and organize, and then implement a drift dive using techniques commonly used in the local drift diving environment. Student divers will apply the knowledge they gain by reading the PADI Drift Diver Manual and watching the companion PADI Drift Diving video with at least two open water dives, practicing and demonstrating the practical aspects of drift diving"

We typically conduct the Drift Diver course on tropical trips to the destinations mentioned above, but any location that has an appreciable amount of current can suffice for conducting the course. See our Trips Page for trips that may include the Drift Diver Course or go to our Class Schedules.