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How to Become Altitude Diving Specialist

There are several reasons why scuba divers should get the Altitude Diver certificate. But, diving at freshwater sites on different elevations above sea level is the most popular.

This help guide explains how to make the two required training dives with a PADI Instructor and get certified as an Altitude Diving Specialist on the same day.

PADI® Altitude Diver | Table of Contents

Important: The Altitude Diver Specialty may count towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating. Check out our PADI Specialty Courses List for further details on more than fifty other specialties (listed from A to Z).

What is the Meaning of Specialty Diver?

In simple terms, a Specialty Diver is someone with enhanced scuba diving abilities beyond entry level certifications (e.g. Discover Programs, Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver).

Signing up for specialist scuba courses is the ideal path to take if you want to learn new techniques and experience different kinds of underwater exploration.

Furthermore, you will get the best opportunity to acquire superior knowledge and skills in the diving activities that interest you most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.

Scuba Diving at Altitude

Age, Depth, and Prerequisite Certification

There are minimum age requirements and maximum depth limits for all the specialties that require scuba training dives in open water.

As a result, before you can enrol in the PADI Altitude Diver Specialty course you will need to be (all):

Number of Days: One (1) Day (minimum)

Open Water Training Dives: Two (2)

Maximum Depth: Depends on age and certification level

Important: Even though scuba certifications do not expire, we recommend taking the PADI ReActivate® refresher course if you have been inactive from diving for a while (e.g. longer than six months).

Reasons to Become Altitude Diver Specialist

Some divers never go scuba diving in fresh water or at dive sites above sea level. Whereas others will have lots of submersions entered in their diver's log book without ever making a dive in saltwater.

So, what are some common reasons for taking the Altitude Diver course? Well, some divers like to discover lofty environments where only a few have dived before.

Some remote scuba and snorkeling sites exist higher than three hundred (300) metres (1,000 feet) above sea water.

How to Get the PADI Altitude Diver Specialty Certification in Thailand.This course prepares you for scuba diving in cold clear water at mountain lake dive sites, such as:

  • Fuji Five Lakes (Japan)
  • Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru)
  • The Alps (e.g. Austria, Germany)
  • The Pyrenees (France/Spain)
  • Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming

It's important to understand that the techniques and procedures used when entering and exiting the freshwater dive sites will vary.

Digital Learning Programs for Self-Study

In general, it is much easier for divers with a busy schedule to choose the online learning option to start scuba lessons.

Being able to complete the independent study portion of a multiple day course offers you some flexibility and convenience.

As long as you have a computer or a mobile device, you will be able to study the knowledge development portion at your own pace (online or offline).

Signing Up for PADI eLearning™

You can complete some self-study assignments online with eLearning®. Then, you would need to contact the dive shop to perform any required scuba training dives with a PADI Instructor.

PADI Altitude Diver: What Skills Will You Learn?

You need to participate in the instructor-led knowledge development sessions by completing all knowledge reviews from the Altitude Diver student manual.

Here's why...

Of course, you will learn how to enter and exit the water in a safe and effective manner while wearing the appropriate scuba gear.

Besides that, you will also learn about:

  • Altitude dive planning, organisational skills, safety procedures, and specialised techniques.
  • Diving at altitudes between 300 and 3,000 metres (1000 to 10,000 feet) above sea level.
  • How to adjust a dive plan for the reduced surface pressure experienced when scuba diving at different altitudes.
  • The importance of safety equipment and first aid supplies for remote environments.
  • Tips for adjusting a dive computer for altitude diving (or calculating altitude dive profiles with the RDP Table or eRDPMLTM).

Note: Did you successfully complete the elective dive from the Adventures in Diving Program? If so, an instructor may count it as being the first training dive of the certification requirements in this particular specialty course.

Dive Gear and Specialist Equipment

You will need to be wearing standardised scuba gear for the two open water training dives. Other specialist altitude diving equipment that you may use, includes:

FAQ Section and Medical Questionnaire Form

Can a Certified Altitude Diver Dive Alone?

The scuba diving buddy system is a safety rule that pairs two or more divers together. Moreover, the group should also perform the standardised pre-dive safety checks (BWRAF) before entering the water.

Nonetheless, PADI does consent to a kind of 'solo diving' through the Self-Reliant Diver certification course, which is available in Pattaya, Thailand.

Can I Touch the Underwater Organisms?

Divers share a common responsibility to protect and conserve nature. As a result, passive interaction with aquatic animals helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive sea life.

What Should I Not Do after Diving at Altitude?

After cleaning the gear, there are several kinds of activities that divers should avoid doing after using scuba equipment, including:

  • Exercising
  • Flying in a plane (or traveling to higher altitudes)
  • Having a deep tissue massage, hot bath, or hot shower
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Forgetting to log the dives

When Should You Do a Scuba Refresher?

Suppose you don't go diving for more than six months. There is a simple way to refresh the knowledge and skills that you already learned.

After a long period of inactivity, taking the PADI ReActivate® program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.

Medical Requirements: Free Download

You must be in good physical and mental health and be medically fit for recreational scuba diving. You can review the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire Online to check whether you need to be evaluated by a physician.

It is not appropriate to ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice or clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.

Price for PADI Altitude Diver Specialty Course in Thailand 9,900 THB*

We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.

The price includes (all):

Blue Check MarkProfessional tuition from a "Private Scuba" Instructor

Blue Check MarkFree rental of required diving equipment (including a dive computer)

Blue Check MarkPADI Altitude Diving Specialty Manual and Certification Card

Blue Check MarkHotel transfers within City limits

Important: You will usually be making two (2) scuba training dives in the same day. The PADI flying after diving guidelines say you need to wait a minimum of eighteen (18) hours after the second dive before you go to altitude. Please send us an email if you need further information.

YouTube Video and Knowledge Base for Altitude Divers

Most of the information and advice in this page focuses on scuba diving activities conducted from different types of watercraft in Thailand.

We also have a list of blog articles about snorkeling which relate to popular boating adventures, especially for beginners.

Scuba Diving Help Guides

Note: The short video presented by DAN highlights what to expect when taking the Altitude Diver Specialty course and how the protocols and procedures vary in different parts of the world.

What Comes after the Altitude Diver Specialty?

Altitude diving is popular with some divers because of the adventure and special challenges that it offers.

The course links to other scuba certifications, including many of the popular Specialty Courses offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Even so, the PADI® Altitude Diver course combines well with several other specialty courses such as, Fish Identification, Nitrox Diver, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) Diver, Multilevel Diver, and Search and Recovery Diver.

Note: All course prices for diving are subject to change and assume that all prerequisites have been met to start the training. Click here to contact the team at Private Scuba in Thailand to make a booking or send an enquiry.

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