The PADI ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Scam ➕10 Ways A Good Dive Center is REALLY 5 Stars!

5 Star Scuba Diving Center! Luxury! Service! Actually, it doesn’t mean that at all. I’m breaking down the PADI requirements for being one of their 5-Star Centers and giving you the lowdown on what they really mean, AND giving you 10 suggestions for what an actual 5-Star Dive Operation should look like!

Keep watching to the end for another secret PADI scam hiding in plain sight!

The PADI 5 Star designation, awarded to certified PADI Resorts, Dive Centers and Instructor Development Centers does not promise any kind of improvement in the quality of service or facilities over a regular diver center or scuba resort. It is a cheap and meaningless marketing ploy aimed to pressure dive centers into limiting the services and courses they offer their Guests and committing to PADI only.

It’s basically the reason we have Antitrust laws in the U.S.A and a Monopolies Commission in the U.K.

When I ran a PADI Dive Center in the Caribbean, our regional PADI rep was constantly pressuring us to go for the PADI 5 Star accolade. We met all the prerequisites, except one. We refused to teach ONLY the PADI way of diving and ran courses by other agencies. This meant our Dive Instructors didn’t have to do cross over courses, and our Guests got a greater range of course choices.

When I think of the term 5 Stars, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I hear a promise of better products or services, and I think most of you scuba divers watching would agree. A 5-star hotel is the best, the highest luxury, the most deluxe amenities. I worked for years on one of the World’s most exclusive private mega yachts and it gave me a thorough understanding of what luxury service – 5 stars – should be. To PADI, all it means is: you have drank PADI Kool-Aid, you should only drink PADI Kool-Aid!

Pretty sure the PADI-philes are going to get riled up over this. Let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for watching!



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Meet James Blackman

With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.

James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales… 177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training… Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.

His last ship before moving to a shore-based life style was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record for most northerly scuba dive… 82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic; and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.

Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life… and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliché! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing other dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio. The fullness of the MTD training calendar shows that people – student divers – prefer to receive premium, quality tuition, as opposed to cheap and fast.

James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channelwebsite and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing You Tube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with 1000s of new divers joining every month. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!

James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience.

James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious dogs; Ziggy The Husky and Bonham the Mutt, and their Maine Coon cat Foxy, who remains unimpressed.