I became a diving instructor because of a family member who had a very close call in the water, partly due to a lapse in training, and mostly due to an unprofessionally run diving operation. Fortunately everything turned out well. But I decided that in the future no one would ever teach my family and friends but me. At first I only planned on teaching friends and family. The problem with that is that it actually cost a lot of money to be able to teach. There are insurance requirements, certification requirements, large equipment expenses, plus fuel and maintenance costs. So when family and friends had friends who wanted to learn, it made sense to teach them also in order help cover costs. Of course their friends had friends who wanted to learn, so before long I had a part-time business as a diving instructor.
I started free diving in the early 1980's and became a certified diver in 1986 at a time when diving was a much smaller business than it is today. The industry has grown enormously since then and that has provided us divers with a greater selection of diving equipment and diving travel destinations and operators. As the industry has grown a lot more research has been conducted regarding diving and that has led to increased diver safety and better training programs by the organizations who provide the training. However, although the diving organizations who train divers have created professional programs that emphasize safety, fun, and ease of learning, I found that there are far too many individual diving operations out there who deviate from the well established rules set forth by their training organizations. They have done so out of laziness, or in an attempt to crank out as many divers as possible in an effort to maximize profits. This has unfortunately led to many inadequately trained divers, which results in increased diver risk. Diving is a safe activity and properly trained divers should never really experience problems. However, divers that are poorly trained can sometimes get themselves in trouble and potentially hurt. DuPont Diving Service is not a company interested in volume. We are only concerned with creating a smaller number of properly trained divers. We are not going to make a lot of money doing it, but we will have the satisfaction of knowing that the people we have taught are trained well and will dive safely on their own.
Most dive shops that teach diving do not really make a lot of money training divers. The money is mostly made from selling diving equipment. They provide instruction with the hope of selling equipment to the students. Unlike the others DuPont Diving Service does not sell equipment. I am only about training and diving. I will certainly teach my students about the pros and cons of different equipment and will provide recommendations on what may be best suited for them. But I am not here to make money off of them by selling them anything but lessons. I am just here to make them great divers. Another thing dive shops tend to do, is charge a low base price for the lessons, but then require you to buy training books and videos, rent gear for the class, and purchase your own mask, snorkel, and fins. The low price for the class becomes much higher when you add in all of those additional costs. DuPont Diving Service doesn't believe in doing it that way. We don't require you to buy anything. The price for the lessons includes your gear, and we have books and videos for you to use. That way if you decide diving isn't for you, you have not put out a great expense, and have gear and training literature that you have paid for but no longer need. Of course you are always welcome to purchase your own stuff, and we certainly encourage it if you intend to dive often, but we will never pressure or force you to do so.
I limit class sizes to no more than 4 persons at a time. The purpose of that is to provide a more personal approach, which I believe will be more beneficial to the students. With fewer students I am able to focus on each one better and spend more time, if necessary, getting them through a lesson that they may be struggling with. Although I will always portray professionalism, there is no corporate or money making business attitude here. It's all about the students learning while having a good time. I believe that provides each student with an more enjoyable and better learning experience.