Why combine Sidemount with Nitrox?

Nitrox giant stride sidemount diving thailandFor a regular diver making an average dive on a single (12 litre) cylinder will usually be able to make an hour time underwater. This will decrease substantially when diving deeper or in a current, where you quickly will become restricted by your gas supply.

A way to accommodate for this build-up of air consumption is to increase your cylinder size. This by using a 15 litre cylinder or choosing to dive with doubles. However, finding this option on your dive travel or holiday is not always easy.

When we dive with sidemount configuration we usually dive with two cylinders. Not only will this double up your gas supply, but “normal” size cylinders are used everywhere, making it great way to make longer dives on your holiday.

However, diving longer and deeper dives on air is not always a healthy option. If you are making several dives during the day or spend great time at depth on a wreck dive, your nitrogen load might become an issue.

By switching gas in your cylinders to Nitrox or Enriched air we can almost double up the bottom time, due to the lesser nitrogen. Combine this with two cylinder sidemount, you have the perfect recipe for longer, deeper dives on your favourite spot.Nitrox surface sidemount diving thailand

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The journey with Kon-Tiki, from Open Water to Scuba Instructor

Matilda Technical Diving Koh Lanta ThailandI took my first breaths underwater when I was 8, in Cyprus, hanging on to the instructor’s BCD and breathing from his alternate air source. The ocean had always fascinated me and now I got to experience it for myself and I loved it.

When I came to Kon-Tiki and Koh Lanta the first time, I was 15, and then I was finally going to do my Open Water course. Four days later, I had become a certified diver and guess if I was excited! Next year I did my Advanced course with Kon-Tiki Phuket and a couple of years later I was graduating high school, with a plan to go back to Koh Lanta and do my Divemaster course. After several holidays on the island I had gotten to know Kon-Tiki and decided that if I was going to do this course, it was going to be done here.

In the fall of 2012 I walked back through the doors of Kon-Tiki Lanta and was introduced to my new instructor, Joachim, who took great care of me throughout my course. During the process I got to know the dive centre and how things work “behind the scenes”. Joachim was (and still is!) an amazingly inspiring mentor and it didn’t take long before I realized I wanted to become an instructor.

Matilda IDC Koh Lanta Diving ThailandI stayed on Lanta for the rest of the season, working as a freelancer for Kon-Tiki. After going back home to Sweden for the summer, I came back in September this year. In mid-November, I started my IDC, blessed with the course director Isa Fayos. The IDC contained long hours in the classroom, several sessions in the pool and a couple of days in the ocean as we prepared for the examination in Phuket. The course was incredibly fun and finally the hard work paid off as I passed my examination.

As I am writing this, I am back home on Lanta, waiting for PADI to process my instructor application and put me in “teaching status”. As a 15 year old, I began my diving career with Kon-Tiki and here I am, five years later, just waiting to jump back into the water with my first open water students. I want to say a big thank you to Kon-Tiki and the amazing staff for having been so supporting during all this and I can’t wait to start the rest of the season, as OWSI #318035.

/Matilda

Sidemount diving – why fix it, if it ain’t broken?

Sidemount diving thailand ao nang krabi koh lantaThe diving community is growing and getting older and we divers are finding new ways to keep inspired. One of the latest trends is to strap two cylinders on the side, reconfigure regulators & hoses and put a small bladder on the back, all put together with black rubber bands. I’m talking about Sidemount diving, an old cave diving method now adapted to be a recreational open water option.

Was there a problem having a cylinder on the back, why this change? Is it a cry out for attention, a way to gather likes on social media, or is it to show off new shiny gear? Probably all three, as divers are very much human too.

Well, new gear, new methods and new skills, keep divers diving. So this means that the biggest reason divers change something that works already, is the challenge to develop and perfect.

The reality is, after a while, most divers will find a sense of boredom after visiting the same dive sites and seeing the same marine life over and over again. This is not likely to change, so let’s change the way of diving and we will keep on submerging ourselves as soon as there is chance to.

So, even as parrotfish and sea anemones are beautiful to look at, a lot of divers find more stimulation in perfecting technique and equipment configuration. Yes, this seems very nerdy, but think about it. When you reach perfect balance, streamlining, buoyancy and trim, you can´t help feeling a sense of achievement.

So, are you a diver that is up for a rewarding challenge?

20 days left…

Resan från Open Water till Divemaster

Peter aka Jesus Open Water Course Kon-Tiki Koh Lanta ThailandJag drömt om att få dyka ända sedan jag var en liten pojke. De första försöken att simma under vattnet var spännande – hur länge kunde jag hålla andan och hur långt kunde jag dyka? Resultaten blev bättre med tiden och tävlan med vännerna var stenhård. Som 7-åring i simskolan klarade jag hela 25m bassänglängden. Gissa om jag var stolt! Långt senare, eller vid  185 cm lång, fick jag prova på riktig dykning med utrustning (Discover Scuba Diving) i Dominikanska Republiken. Efter ytterligare några år blev det ett provdyk också på Cypern. Det var så fascinerande att kunna andas under vattnet! Jag ville så gärna ta mitt Open Water certifikat, men var jag lite ängslig för att dyka djupt….Semestrarna tillsammans med familjen – tre livliga barn och en fru med egna åsikter, gjorde att tid för dykning aldrig fanns.

Kreta Diving Divemaster Course Kon-Tiki Krabi Ao Nang Thailand

År 2009 hade jag bestämt mig för att äntligen ta min nybörjar- eller Open Water kurs. Jag vände mig till Kon-tiki i Ao Nang, Krabi tack vare en rekommendation från min barndomsvän. På bara tre dagar hade vi tillsammans med instruktören klarat av teori, poolövningar samt Open Water dyk. Det var underbart att bli av med oron för djupare dyk. Jag hade inte ont i öronen och jag visste hur lätt det var att avbryta dyket om man så ville. Det var bara att dyka och njuta av den underbara världen under ytan. Nu hade jag blodad tand!

Jag återvände både 2011 och nu 2013 till Ao Nang och Kon-Tiki. Nu har jag gjort min Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver och senast Divemaster kurs med dem. Dessutom har jag haft tillfälle att bygga på med så kallade specialties som. Cavern Diver, Night Diver och Deep Diver. Jag har nu upptäckt att världen under ytan bjuder på nya upplevelser i så gott som alla hörn av  världen.  I skrivande stund kommer mina barn, 13, 15 och 17 år ner till Thailand. De ska alla tre göra sin Open Water kurs med Kon-Tiki på Koh Lanta.

Varför kommer jag tillbaka? Som land är Thailand fantastiskt välkomnande och dykningen är väldigt mångsidig. Den avgörande orsaken är att jag trivs med stämningen, den positiva attityden och gemenskapen som jag fått uppleva. Det är personligheterna på Kon-tiki som gör den stora skillnaden.  Vi ses igen!

/ Niclas

Kon-Tiki Thailand PADI 5 Star IDC receives 2012 Award

Diving Thailand PADI Award Kon-Tiki Thailand receives another award for their commitment to the diving industry. This time the award comes from PADI for Kon-Tiki´s outstanding contribution to the diving industry.

Over many years Kon-Tiki have proudly and actively promoted PADI, and it pleases everyone to see Mr. Stefan CEO of Kon-Tiki being presented and awarded the 2012 Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry Award.

Congratulations Kon-Tiki PADI 5 Star IDC

Kon-tiki phuklet dive center thailand

Kon-Tiki launches PADI Sidemount Diver Course

Learn a new and different way to dive with the PADI Sidemount Diver course!PADI Sidemount diver specialty course thailand

Sidemount is an equipment configuration which has diving cylinders mounted alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back of the diver. It began as a configuration popular with advanced cave divers, as smaller sections of cave can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease. The same benefits for operating in confined spaces were also recognized by divers who conducted technical wreck diving penetrations.

Sidemount is now growing in popularity within the technical diving community for general decompression diving and is becoming an increasingly popular specialty training for recreational diving.

PADI Sidemount diving training with proper Side Mount Configuration offers:

  • an alternative way to streamline yourself and the equipment in the water
  • easier cylinder logistics on the surface
  • reduced lower back strain
  • provides redundant gas supply
  • ability to monitor all regulators, valves and gauges because they are in front
  • increased gas supply for longer dives

During the course you will learn:

  • Equipment configuration and preparation
  •  Body posture and trim
  • Propulsion techniques
  • Gas management
  • Proper Sidemount diver procedures and emergencies

Take a new, fun and challenging course on your next holiday to Thailand!

Kon-Tiki launches a new Tec Program

PADI Tec Basics Fundamentals Technical Diving Thailand Koh Lanta

Are you an advanced qualified diver seeking a new challenge on your holiday?

Kon-Tiki is proud to add an additional PADI Specialty to their list of available dive courses. This course is ideal for divers seeking to prepare themselves for Advanced diver training and those who may want to extend their abilities using technical equipment. Along with buoyancy, trim and control in the water we teach you the essential skills for problem solving, gas switching and valve handling using technical diver equipment.

This course doesn’t qualify divers for deeper dives, but it is strongly recommended for all divers wishing to increase skill competency before heading into decompression, cave and wreck diving. The great thing is that you only need to be an advanced qualified diver with 9 dives to start this course.

The course is conducted over 2 days. The first day includes an introduction to the theory behind decompression diving. The second half is a skill workshop explaining the basic philosophy with the technical diving rig and skill practice. Our second day is spent on the boat conducting gas switching, valve drills and problem solving in a real open water environment.

Skills you will learn during the course includes

  • Technical Equipment Set Up
  • Neutral Buoyancy Control & Swimming Techniques
  • Setting Up & Handling Decompression Cylinders
  • Gas Shut Down Drills
  • Free Flowing Regulators
  • Out of Air Situations
  • Bubble Check
  • Saftey Drills
  • NOTOX Gas Switching
  • Calculating Air Consumption
  • Simulation Decompression Stops
  • Lift Bag Deployment
  • Decompression Planning Using Software

Read more here

or e-mail Niclas Andersson our technical diving instructor on Koh Lanta.