Solo Diver Course

SDI Solo Diver Certification

At one point or another, many divers have found themselves alone during a dive, whether it was intentional or not. SDI’s Solo Diving is the practice of self reliant scuba diving without a “dive buddy.”

Solo diving, once considered technical diving and discouraged by most certification agencies, is now seen by many experienced divers and some certification agencies as an acceptable practice for those divers suitably trained and experienced. Rather than relying on the traditional buddy diving safety system, solo divers should be skilled in self-sufficiency and willing to take responsibility for their own safety while diving.

Being one of SDI’s most popular courses, the Solo Diver course stresses proper dive planning, personal limitations, and accident prevention, as well as the benefits, hazards, and proper procedures for diving solo. You will also learn the additional equipment that is required for solo diving including its proper usage and assembly. This is the perfect course for underwater photography and underwater video divers as well as those diving with their children or buddies that may not very experienced in scuba diving.

Who this course is for:
The certified SDI Advanced Diver (or equivalent) who is interested in learning how to dive independent of a dive buddy, or looking to strengthen your buddy team diving skills.

Course prerequisites:

  • Minimum age 21
  • Certified SDI Advanced Diver or equivalent
  • Provide proof of 100 logged dives

What you can expect to learn:
The SDI Solo Diver course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more:

  • Why solo dive?
  • History of buddy diving
  • Pros and cons of buddy diving and solo diving
  • Legal liability assumed by buddy diving
  • How to use the SDI Solo Diving waiver and release
  • Who must solo dive?
  • The solo diving mentality
  • When not to solo dive
  • Equipment for solo diving
  • Planning and conducting a solo dive
  • Navigation
  • Management of solo diving emergencies
  • Review the SDI Solo Diver Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk Agreement Form

Some of the required skills you will have to demonstrate include all of the following and more:

  • 200 metres/600 feet surface swim in full scuba equipment, configured for local diving conditions; must be non-stop and performed in an open water environment
  • Demonstrate adequate pre-dive planning
  • Plan dive limits based on personal air consumption rate
  • Plan exact dive
  • Properly execute the planned dive within all predetermined limits
  • Equipment configuration appropriate for solo diving
  • Proper descent/ascent rates
  • Proper safety stop procedures
  • Monitoring of decompression status equipment; tables, computers, equipment, etc.
  • Navigation skills – demonstrate proficiency of navigation with compass
  • Demonstrate emergency change over to redundant air supply (not to exceed 30 metres/100 feet)
  • Deploy surface marker buoy (SMB)
  • Use of audible signaling device

What’s in it for you?
Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in solo diving activities without direct supervision of the SDI Instructor as long as the following limits are adhered to:

  • The diving activities approximate those of training
  • The areas of activities approximate those of training
  • Environmental conditions approximate those of training

The SDI Solo Diver certification counts towards a single specialty rating to complete the SDI Advanced Diver Development program or SDI Master Scuba Diver Development program.

SDI Solo Diver minimum requirements:

  • Satisfactorily complete the SDI Solo Diver Knowledge Quests with a passing score of 80%, followed by 100% remediation by the Instructor.
  • Complete all open water requirements efficiently
  • Demonstrate mature and sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution
How to take this course?

Solo Diving Articles

  What Makes a Solo Diver?
  The Evolution of Solo Diving
  Risk Management for Solo Divers
  Solo Diving: Coming out of the Closet
  The Self Reliant Diver
  Self Sufficient: Taking care of number one
  Far from alone: you have tether