Welcome to Sidemount Pros. This has been many years in the making but my excitement in developing a business around my lifelong passion is right up there with meeting my wife, seeing my kids grow up and watching the All Blacks win another World Cup!!
Many who know me also know that I have had a life-long love affair with scuba diving. Having built an initial career in the New Zealand Navy and then in growing global software companies, it was inevitable that I would end up here. I feel humbled to be taking my first steps into the world of professional diving but I also feel that I am ready.
My experience building venture capital funded companies has taught me the value of leadership, of teamwork, of work ethic, of customer service and of finding a point of difference in any venture.
My mentors in diving have had an equally profound impact. The importance of a strong basic skill set. The right equipment, correct weighting, buoyancy control, trim, propulsion techniques... of mastering the back kick! The importance of planning your dive and diving your plan. The value of drilling emergency procedures, valve drills, out of air, loss of mask, bungee breakages. And of course to have FUN... but I didn't need to be taught that!
With Sidemount Pros it is my intention to bring all of this together. Business and customer service skills together with world-class dive instruction and specialist sidemount skills. All this with a deep understanding that the world doesn't need and won't reward 'just' another dive instructor.
Sidemount Pros point of difference is our specialization in sidemount diving. This is not to denigrate other configurations but rather to acknowledge that backmount DIR configurations are well served by GUE, ISE, UTD, TDI and many more. Despite its growing popularity, sidemount on the other hand has limited agency support and just a few notable instructors, such as Tom Steiner and Steve Martin (with whom I have had the pleasure of training or diving). I feel, especially in the Oceania/Pacific region, sidemount has room for massive growth.
I intend to foster that growth and help as many as I can to experience the benefits that sidemount diving provides and to produce safe, highly skilled sidemount divers. Literally Sidemount Pros!
Thanks for reading. Check out our website and let me know if I can assist any of you to learn more and become Sidemount Pros.
P.S. Apparently while I've been away in the States and Europe a bit of 'red-tape' has surrounded the NZ Dive industry. I'm madly preparing SOPs and Safety Manuals based on WorkSafe NZs templates... I am going to be very interested to see how this all applies to an independent instructor... another blog post subject, I am sure :).