PADI Self-Reliant Diver Course Koh Tao

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Koh Tao PADI Self-Reliant Specialty Diver Course

We have always been taught to dive with a buddy, but for an experienced diver, there are reasons you would want to develop more independence when diving and become self-reliant.

Developing the ability to dive without a buddy will make you a stronger diver in most situations.

With the correct attitude, quality training and the right equipment an experienced diver is more than capable of engaging in solo diving.

Self Reliant Diving Techniques & Procedures

However, Self Reliant diving is not for everyone and you will need to demonstrate a willingness to learn, mental discipline and be prepared to follow established self-reliant diving techniques and procedures.

Our PADI Self-Reliant Diver distinctive specialty course is a great way to start your solo diving journey and the course will teach you the necessary solo diving skills, plus improve your confidence and competence as a diver.


Included in the Koh Tao Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Course

  • 3 training dives
  • PADI Certification card
  • Rental of all scuba equipment
  • FREE use of Dive Computer
  • Log book
  • Maximum 4 students per PADI Instructor
  • Black Turtle Dive customer (and environmental) promise

To enroll on a Self-Reliant Diver distinctive specialty course, you must:

2 Day PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Course on Koh Tao

The diving course consists of two sections:

  • Knowledge Development – participate in the Dive Instructor led Self-Reliant knowledge development sessions and complete the knowledge review
  • Open Water training – 3 training dives


At Black Turtle Dive we take our customer promise very seriously. All courses are conducted with a maximum of 4 students per PADI Instructor.

Our Dive Instructors are highly trained and will ensure you receive lots of attention and most importantly, progress at your own pace in a relaxed environment.

During the training you will build confidence and ability, as you develop the skills and mental discipline necessary to become a PADI Self-Reliant diver.

Koh Tao Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Course Schedule

The PADI Self-Reliant Diver specialty course schedule at Black Turtle Dive is flexible and we can work around your own personal needs and timeframe.

Please feel free to ask if you have any special requests via email or on one of the messenger apps on this page. 

PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Course Cost: 12,000 baht

Course Schedule:

Day 1:

09.00 – 11.00: Orientation & Knowledge Development

  • Including dive planning and equipment configuration

12.30 – 17.00: Self-Reliant Diver specialty training dives 1 – 2

  • Debrief, SAC calculations, equipment modifications

Day 2:

07.00-11.00: Self-Reliant Diver specialty training dive 3 + additional dive

  • Debrief & SAC calculations
  • Review knowledge review

You are now a certified PADI Self-Reliant Diver


PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Course Information

Orientation & Knowledge Development

We start the PADI Self-Reliant Diver specialty course at 09.00 with an Orientation that includes completion of paperwork and the PADI Medical statement.

The PADI Self-Reliant Diver specialty course consists of 3 training dives that we take at a selection of dive sites around Koh Tao.

There is an Instructor led knowledge development session and a 14 question open book knowledge review to complete that your instructor will guide you through and review.

The Instructor led knowledge development is conducted during the morning of day 1.

Some of the subjects you will cover include:

  • Self-reliant diver mentality
  • The concept of redundancy
  • Equipment considerations for self-reliant diving
  • Establishing Surface Air Consumption (SAC) rate using gas consumption data from a dive
  • Identify dive emergencies that can be approached using the principles of self-reliance
  • Skills that increase your self-rescue ability
  • DSMB deployment

There are 3 Self-Reliant Diver specialty training dives to complete to become a PADI Self-Reliant Diver.

Self-Reliant Diver specialty dive #1

Once your Specialty Instructor has conducted a skills assessment it is time for your first training dive of the PADI Self Reliant diver course.

To begin with your Instructor will ask you to swim 200 metres on the surface in full equipment before you make your descent.

Once you are underwater there are some skills to complete, including hovering for 60 seconds and switching to a redundant air supply whilst simulating your regulator is free flowing.

The last of the skills is a SAC rate swim for around 5 minutes at a level depth and you can record your gas use as you will use the information later for calculations. Then it is time to enjoy the remainder of the dive around the dive site.

At the end of the dive, before you ascend to complete a safety stop your Dive Instructor will ask you to deploy a Delayed Surface Marker Buoy from depth.

Self-Reliant Diver specialty dive #2

The second dive builds on the skills you learned during dive 1 and introduces more complex skills for you to master.

Throughout the dive your Instructor will expect you to be demonstrating time, depth and gas supply awareness. You can do this by noting this information down on your underwater slate.

At some stage during the dive your Instructor will ask you to swim without a mask on for 2 minutes and cover a distance of at least 18 meters.

You will also simulate an out-of-air emergency, breathe from the redundant air supply system, complete navigation skills and perform a SAC rate swim to record the information for the calculations you will make afterwards.

As with every self-reliant dive you will finish by deploying an DSMB from depth.

Self-Reliant Diver specialty dive #3

Your final training dive will see you repeating several of the skills you mastered on the previous two dives and put everything together to plan and execute the dive safely.

You will also be asked to demonstrate turn around pressure, time limit awareness, navigational control and surface from the dive within the pre-agreed time frame with no less than the planned tank pressure remaining.

Upon successful completion of all the skills, you are now a certified PADI Self-Reliant diver.



Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty course on Koh Tao?

The Self-Reliant Specialty course takes 1.5 days to complete on Koh Tao. The schedule is flexible and can be adjusted to suit your travel plans.

You will start with the theory portion of the course in the morning of day 1, before going out for your first scuba dives that afternoon.

The following morning on day 2, you go out again to take your final dive, often followed by your first solo fun dive.

It is possible to do the course in 1 day and do all 3 dives in one afternoon.

What is the cost of PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty course Koh Tao?

The cost of the PADI Self-Reliant Specialty course is THB 12,000. Included in this price are all course materials, equipment rental (including dive computer), instructor fees, boat trips and insurance.

Food and accommodation are not included. However, you can contact us to find out about accommodation options. We have AC rooms available at discounted rates when taking a diving course with us.

Ex-students will enjoy a 10% discount on the course price.

How many dives is PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty course Koh Tao?

The PADI Self-Reliant Specialty course consists of 3 Open Water training dives.

The Open Water dives can be completed in one afternoon or can be spread out over 2 different days, depending on your preference and itinerary.

We recommend our students spread the dives out over 2 days, so you can add an additional self-reliant fun dive to your package to build on your experience.

Who can take the PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty course?

To enroll in the PADI Self-Reliant Specialty course divers have to:

  • Be a certified PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent certification from another training organization)
  • Have proof of minimum 100 logged dives
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Successfully complete a dive skills assessment by a PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Instructor

Is the cost of PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty course including equipment?

Yes, all equipment rental is included in the specialty course price for the Self-Reliant Specialty course.

For the course, you will use specialized equipment to make sure you are completely self-sufficient during your dives.

In the specialty course everything will be explained about how to use and set up the equipment.

If you are interested in purchasing any of your own equipment, we offer a 10% discount on equipment purchases through our retail store to all our student divers.