East Coast Divers is THE premier Scuba, Freediving, and Technical instruction location on the East Coast. We pride ourselves on creating excellent, safe divers of all ages! While our Open Water Program is one of our most popular courses, we offer tons of specialty and advanced Scuba courses for those divers who want to reach new depths. We also offer advanced Freediving training with SSI international freediving training director Nick Fazah and Technical courses with renowned Tech instructor Alex Dulavitz.
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Nick and Alex have developed their training philosophy on a powerful concept: specific instincts can lead to trouble for divers. Therefore, danger can be reduced through the use of good diving habits. The ECD instructional staff is trained in recognizing key instinctual behaviors in the divers they train. They will work with each student on developing habitual behaviors that will improve their diving comfort and safety.
East Coast Divers has been a global leader when it comes to the Training in Neutral methodology. Many training programs consider neutral buoyancy a discrete skill. They teach divers how to get neutral but teach other skills negatively buoyant with divers on their knees at the bottom of a pool. At ECD, the training starts with getting comfortable being neutral. Subsequent skills should be able to be performed while a diver is maintaining neutral buoyancy.
The methodology starts with a simple concept, maintaining your vertical position in the water column while you are scuba diving is akin to steering while you are driving. Consider this analogy. A licensed driver will correct their course automatically while performing basic tasks, like turning on their lights or tuning the radio, and more complex tasks, like navigating while looking for parking in a city. If you can’t steer the car while you’re task loaded you’re not going to be safe or comfortable driving a car. In scuba diving, maintaining neutral buoyancy is equally quintessential; you should be able to perform everything from basic tasks, like checking a gauge or signaling a team member, to complex skills, like air-sharing or photography, while you remain at the same depth.
This relates back to the instincts and habits philosophy. How can a diver be expected to be able to perform in a real-world emergency air-sharing situation if they learned to share air while they were kneeling on the bottom of a pool? Our divers train in real-world like conditions so that the habits they develop while training will guide them when the skill is needed most, in an actual emergency! ECD trained divers are regularly praised by referral instructors as being extremely well prepared for certification dives at warm-water resorts.
SSI is a globally-recognized dive certification agency that adheres to the same internationally recognized standards* as agencies like PADI, SDI/TDI, and NAUI. The SSI training philosophy is highly complementary to East Coast Divers. It starts with the Diver Dimond Philosophy around four key areas: Knowledge, Skills, Equipment, and Experience described below. The SSI program also allows for flexibility in their course with both the addition of relevant localized knowledge to the core programming and the sequencing of instruction. This enables our program to be highly tuned to student needs. It also enables and encourages the ECD Teaching in Neutral methodology.
Knowledge replaces anxiety and fear with correct information. There are many ways you can start an SSI program — traditional training, home study, or online training. No matter which way you decide to take the program, it will be taught the same way — using the SSI Total Teaching System. During interactive review sessions, your SSI Dive Professional will teach you how “land value” — what you learn out of the water — relates to “water value” — what you do with information in the water.
The best way to learn essential skills is through continuous and correct repetition. The goal of this repetition is to learn the skills so well that they can be performed automatically, and without conscious thought. This is SSI’s signature water training method: ”Comfort Through Repetition.” We believe it is vital to take plenty of practice time to develop the skills necessary to become a competent and comfortable diver. Your SSI Dive Professional will lead you through a series of comprehensive skill exercises for you to practice until they become second nature.
We want you to be comfortable with every phase of your training. Your SSI Dive Professional will teach the class as if you will become a diver and make the investment in your own equipment. While the decision to invest in your own equipment is ultimately yours, our years of experience have taught us that the easiest way for you to become a diver is in your own high-quality Total Diving System. Understanding how to operate your own equipment ensures you enjoy every minute of every dive, and that you don’t waste time learning how to operate unfamiliar or ill-fitting equipment. This increases your diving ability and adds an element of well-being and confidence to your experiences. If you choose not to purchase your Total Diving System, the best way to get started is in your own personal Snorkeling and Exposure Systems. Your SSI Dive Professional will work with you to carefully select the appropriate equipment that is right for you.
Training develops knowledge and skills, but the only way to get real experience as a diver is to go diving! This is why SSI encourages you to participate in more open water dives during your training than just the minimum required number. The more you dive, the more you will enjoy the sport. So, get out there, explore new worlds, meet new friends, and see why diving with an SSI Dive Center is “The Ultimate Dive Experience!”
*International standards are maintained in compliance with ISO 11121:2017, ISO 24801-2:2014,ISO 24801-3:2014
All of the courses we offer can be found below!