Why use the services of an independent instructor like me?

In Blog by Grahame MassicksLeave a Comment

Why use Scuba Guru rather than a guy who works in a dive shop?


<img src="padi-independent-instructor-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI Independent Instructor, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Grahame with Open Water students in Salang, Tioman Island.

When I am talking to visitors to Salang about doing their PADI dive course with me, this is one of the first questions that I get asked – “Why should I take my course with you rather than one of the operators who have a shop here?” It is a very good question and one that I found difficult to answer at first until I had given it some thought.

In a word the answer is commitment. The shops are obviously committed to diving and to this location, but are the guys who work there as committed?

I am the only independent instructor working in Salang at the time of writing and I have been teaching in Salang for twelve years now. (That is now fifteen years now – Dec ’16!) There are no other non-Malaysian diving instructors in Salang, and I believe on Tioman Island, who have stayed for that sort of length of time. And I intend to be here for a few more years yet!

Although I came here as a result of a chance meeting, I stay here by choice.

Now that is commitment – a commitment to diving, to diver training, to this village of Salang, to the island of Tioman, and to Malaysia my new home. And to put this into some sort of perspective for those of you who don’t know me, my wife is Malaysian, she teaches at a local secondary school on the mainland, and we own a house in Mersing – the ferry’s departure point to Tioman.

There are a few Malaysian instructors who have been here as long, or longer than me, but not many. There are many more Malaysians working in the industry who are committed to this location and to the industry, and I am proud to say that I have had a hand in training some of them!

<img src="padi-independent-instructor-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI Independent Instructor, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Grahame on a photo dive.

But by its nature the industry attracts the foot loose and fancy free. Part of the attraction of this job is that you can travel the world and work just about anywhere that there is water! And fair play the guys who want to do that.

Some people in this industry see the work as a short term option to do for a period of time before settling down to a more stable life. And there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that either.

Allow me to make it one hundred percent clear that the vast majority of PADI instructors are committed to giving you an excellent course and do follow PADI standards and guidelines, however much time they intend to dedicate to diving.

But that is not commitment to this industry in this location.

Some of my customers come to me on the recommendation of friends or family, and many of them come back to me to continue their diver education and expand their diving skills. And that is a source of great satisfaction to me. To find out more about the PADI courses I teach click here.

Some guys come back to dive with me year after year, and become firm and lasting friends. The percentages are small, but then I do work in a holiday location! To find out more about fun diving off Tioman Island, click here.

Because I am an independent instructor I can offer a level of service and flexibility that a shop might find it awkward to provide. By agreement I can provide a one to one service or a service to a particular group, or even arrange for a private boat for my customers.

Brand new for 2017 I am launching a Premium Service version of Scuba Guru’s dive offerings! The central idea is that those who select to use the Premium Service will have me exclusively during the course of their stay here in Salang. Whether for fun dives or diving courses I will take on no other customers than the Premium booking. Now that is truly unique to Scuba Guru! To find out more click the button below:

Premium Service Diving


So if you do choose to come and dive with me, you can be sure to get 100% of what I can offer. I’ll leave it to my customers to put a value on that!

Book My Next Course!

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