• Self-Reliant Diver

Self-Reliant Diver

While we always recommend diving with a buddy, there are reasons for an experienced diver to develop self-reliance and independence while diving. In the PADI Self-Reliant Diver Course, you will learn how to plan and execute dives without a partner.

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With proper training, equipment and the right attitude to accept the risks involved in independent diving, an experience diver can responsibly engage in dives without a buddy. Self-reliant diving is an adventure activity that is not for everyone, but does have its place. If you have the mental discipline and commitment to learn and follow self-reliant diving techniques, you'll bolster your skills and confidence when diving alone, in a dive pair or as part of a team.

You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver who is at least 18 years old and has 100 logged dives to enroll in the Self-Reliant Diver course. You'll also complete a skills assessment with your PADI Self-Reliant Diver Instructor before diving into the course.

What the Course Covers

In the PADI Self-Reliant Diver specialty course, you will learn how to safely dive without a buddy.

You will also learn to:

  • Perform an air consumption rate swim to gather information for later calculation
  • Switch to a redundant air supply system during a simulated emergency situation
  • Swim without a mask
  • Navigate to various points, including your exit
  • Use a DSMB

Take your diving to a new level. Book a PADI Self-Reliant Diver specialty class today!


  • 18 years old or older
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or qualifying certification from another agency
  • 100 logged dives
  • Successfully complete a dive skills assessment by a PADI Self-Reliant Diver Specialty Instructor

What’s Included in the Course Fee

Our course fee includes the following:

  • One classroom session
  • Three open water dives
  • PADI Specialty certification fee
  • Use of tanks and weights

Required Student Materials

All students must supply the following for this course. These items are not included in the course price:

  • Surface marker buoy, such as a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) or lift bag with at least 30 metres/100 feet of line
  • Redundant gas source – pony cylinder, twin cylinders with isolation valve or sidemount configuration. Redundant gas supply must be configured so that the diver can access it with one hand
  • Redundant dive computer or depth gauge and bottom timer
  • Redundant surface signaling devices (both visual and audible)
  • Knife/cutting tool (except where locally prohibited)
  • Slate and pencil
  • Back-up mask (recommended)
  • Dive light (recommended)

What’s Not Included

  • We do not include the following dive equipment. All items listed under student materials. If you do not own the necessary dive equipment you can purchase it at Aquatic Adventures.
  • We do not include personal gear (mask, snorkel, boots, and fins) as you should have purchased these items during your Open Water Diver course. There is a student discount on purchasing these items when you buy from Aquatic Adventures if you do not own them. See our How to Purchase Mask, Snorkel, Fins page for more information or call us at (262) 938-6827.
  • We do not include basic life support equipment. If you do not own your own wetsuit or dry suit, regulator, or BCD, we do provide a discounted student rate for you to rent these items. Ask your training consultant at the time of registration what these rates will be. Standard rental rates can be found on this website on our Rent Scuba Equipment page.
  • We also do not include entrance fees to dive sites or Lake Michigan charter fees. Students are encouraged to book their Lake Michigan charter when registering for classes conducted on Lake Michigan. Boats do fill up and all spots are issued on a first come first served basis.

For more information on the benefits of taking PADI Specialty courses, see Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Diver Education.

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