You're a PADI Open Water Diver, or possibly even an Advanced or Rescue Diver. You want to keep learning, building on your dive experience and racking up those certification cards, but you've decided the pro route isn't for you. So now what? It's time to take a deep dive into the world of specialty courses. And sure, we've all heard of the classics — Deep Diver, Drift Diver, Fish ID and Project AWARE to name a few — but did you ever imagine these specialties could exist? Here are our picks for the top five strangest PADI specialties.
Tectonic Plate Awareness Diver
The water in Silfra is crystal-clear.
Here's a truly unusual course designed by Icelandic PADI 5* Dive Center DIVE.IS. This one's for those in search of something completely unique. It's unlikely you'll ever run into another diver with this certification card in their back pocket — unless you're in Iceland.
Despite its novelty, this course actually offers a super-interesting introduction to the exciting geological world of plate tectonics and what you must consider when diving in fissures between tectonic plates. Why might you want to have this knowledge? For when you dive Silfra, of course!
Seems like a good time to say “yes.”
Calling all love birds! Maybe you met your other half on a dive boat, got to know each other on a dive trip, or first locked eyes through the thin plastic of your masks while cruising the reef. If this sounds like you, then we've got some news — you can actually get married underwater.
Whether you're tying the knot or simply renewing your vows, this specialty experience is available all over the planet. Our suggestion? Head to Stuart's Cove in the Bahamas for a romantic experience you can share with over five different species of shark!
Looks pretty relaxing to us.
If you ask us, diving and yoga have a lot in common. For starters, it's all about calm, controlled breathing. Second, each activity offers the chance to reconnect with yourself, away from busy day-to-day distractions.
The Yoga Diver Specialty is the perfect opportunity to check in with yourself, reflect on your place in the natural world and even improve your air consumption! You're just a few steps away from becoming a more relaxed, focused, healthy and happy diver – both in and out of the water.
Zombie Apocalypse Diver
There's nowhere to hide from the undead (Credit: Bolton Divers)
This fun, yet distressing, specialty has only one thing in mind — to save your life. Combining high-quality diver training with the latest zombie intelligence, learn the skills and knowledge you'll need in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Get zombified and slimed up, then channel your inner zombie as you role play crises and dive your way out of danger. That's the only info we have for you at this stage — specific course content is shrouded in secrecy, so you'll have to sign up to find out more.
Underwater Basket Weaving
Yes, you read that right. Weaving baskets. Underwater. What??!
We're not winding you up; this is a legitimate PADI specialty course, offered by a select number of dive centers and educational institutions with a good sense of humor. Is it a bit of a joke? Yes. Will it help you improve your focus, dexterity, and buoyancy control underwater? Also yes. Will you have lots of fun in the process? Absolutely.
Don't believe us? Check out the video above of underwater basket weaving in action, courtesy of Rutgers University in New Jersey.
How did these weird specialties become reality?
These courses, some of the strangest PADI specialties, all exist thanks to PADI's enthusiasm for input and fresh ideas from the dive community. If you're an instructor with an absurd idea that you'd like to see become a reality, head over to PADI.com and submit your ideas. Maybe our next article will be “Top Six Strangest PADI Specialties.”