cave diver buoyancy skills
IF you are satisfied with what you have gained, so far,  from Diving's "STATUS QUO", ....STOP READING NOW!
then continue down the path of the "SCUBA Customer" the path of "The CASH COW".
IF you want to know about alternatives, YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE....READING WILL BE REQUIRED.
[ please continue to read ]
Divers do not stop sculling because they have acquired "good buoyancy skills".
They learn or teach themselves "GREAT BUOYANCY SKILLS" because they have stopped sculling.

john noftall
John Noftall ~ Buoyancy Control SKILLS MENTOR
Don't you think that your "pull no punches & take no prisoners" approach scares people away?
Perhaps it does discourage more than a few people who want to learn on their terms or by those methods that treat them with "kid gloves", an expression that probably dates this author more than it explains the folly of the current state of buoyancy training. We went to the trouble of gaining a real ability with fundamental dive skills, before we opted to participate in more ambitious goals and we did not succeed by taking a Buoyancy Control "CERTIFICATION CLASS".
We don't believe that you can achieve mastery of exceptional fundamental dive skills by following the path of the "status quo". We base that on the divers and instructors that we have seen underwater and the buoyancy skills that they fail to command. We are serious about sharing what we know and seeing the results realized underwater. If our attitude scares away divers and instructors who have no desire to really learn....that may be the best result for all parties concerned.
This Workshop is not about the psychology and philosophy of "Monkey See....Monkey Do". We know a good diver when we see one and we also know when we don't see one. We want to , not only, change the way you look underwater, we want to change the way you think about diving.
Do you offer your workshops anywhere else but Cozumel?
Not at this time. We have decided to use our successful group trips to that location as a model for our workshops. We have vendors (colleagues) who have supported our efforts, for many years and the result has been unique. Our dive travelers have actually made giant strides in improving their basic skills. We offer a limited menu of dive fundamentals. We are not retailers. We sell only skills and even then we place the emphasis on only those few areas where we believe we can offer a unique perspective. We think that the context of a Cozumel Group Trip works best for that purpose.

Frog Kick & Buoyancy Skills
One of our favorites!

The old La Choza was the choice of many veteran Cozumel Divers. It was destroyed by fire early in 2008. The food is just as good at the new modern replacement, located just steps away from the original.
Why don't you include food and beverages like other trips do?
Most Local Dive Shops book their  trips through travel brokers who package the airfare, hotel, diving and meals and offer  the LDS a commission. These packages usually mean an all inclusive resort where the food is presented in a buffet format and the diving follows the itinerary set by the host facility. We believe that Cozumel, with its' many fine eateries is not a place to go all inclusive. We know of some good restaurants and you will be free to make choices that fit your tastes and your budget. When asked;  we tell people to consider that their spending will be on a par with what they might spend on similar dining at home (in the United States) or perhaps even 10% less.
We package our workshops through personal relationships that we have cultivated, over many years, with the same vendors. We prefer to retain control and maintain quality.
How come you don't award certification cards....aren't you real instructors?
We are both instructors for a mainstream agency but we think   that you wouldn't believe our message or that we have good buoyancy  skills if we   mention their name. This is sad but true! If you  seek buoyancy training with a local dive center you will get a certification card but it will be awarded after you listen to your dive leader read from a standard agency authored outline and after you see little or nothing worth imitating underwater. The practical portion will consist of a pool experience or a couple of open water dives. Unless you are very lucky, the dive leader will probably look nothing like the diver that you want to be.
At the other end of the spectrum is the tech biased fundamentals training. If you see your future as a $2000 dry suit, a $3000 DPV (scooter), double tanks, redundant regulators and rigid guidelines then this may be your path.
BuoyancyQuest exists in that great void between these two other choices. The buoyancy skills that we mentor are cave diver skills. The Frog Kick is a cave diver kick. We just don't dress it up like a cave diver! We offer  cave diver quality skills to all certified divers.

We invite you to judge us by how we look underwater not by some endless list of credits on paper. Please watch our videos! We assume that you would like to look something like we do after water is added.
FYI .... most of the tech entities do not offer C-Cards for buoyancy either.

Felipe Xicotencatl
( Cozumel's C-53 Wreck Dive )


photo: john noftall
Hogarthian?.... Back Plate & Wings?.... Isn't that Technical Diving?
John is a cave diver. He has adapted the BP&W methods of cave diving to single tank recreational diving. He and Maureen have adopted and employed this equipment configuration in one form or another since 1995. BuoyancyQuest is not DIR! The term DIR was not in use in 1995! You do not need to dive BP&W to participate in a BuoyancyQuest Workshop. If you have an interest in learning about it or converting to that style of diving, we will be pleased to assist you. Once again, the focus here is skills rather than gear. Diving without danglies is a skill! BP&W is not the "only" way to address danglies. BuoyancyQuest is not selling C-Cards or building and selling equipment. Because John is a cave diver, he knows what buoyancy skills and what kind of kick you will need to pursue that training. If you have no plans to go cave diving will still be nothing less than a recreational diver with cave diver fundamental skills! Nothing less than a diver with exceptional fundamental skills, is a status that you can be proud of. Collecting a stack of c-cards and an inventory of expensive toys so that you can pretend and convince yourself that you are a capable diver only amounts to self betrayal.

( shouldn't be cave diving either! )
Will I be able to do a Cenote Dive on Cozumel?
Cozumel has cave diving but doesn't have much cavern zone within the cave systems that have been currently explored. BuoyancyQuest offers optional cenote tours after the completion of the workshops. We believe  that this is the perfect time for open water divers to have this experience. Buoyancy control and a silt free kick are invaluable skills for cave diving. A cavern tour provides a sample of the conditions in which  cave divers operate and an opportunity to exploit new skills.  The best locations  for these tours are on the mainland between Tulum and Puerto Aventuras. We offer a tour that includes a round trip on the ferry to Playa del Carmen, ground transportation to the cenotes, two single tank guided dives and lunch. This requires both an extra fee and an 8th night.



A Hogarthian Cave Diver

(gran cenote mexico)
I'm thinking about becoming a DIR Diver will I be welcomed at this workshop?
Of course you will be welcomed. The question becomes one of value. If you have already had training with a DIR Instructor, the first things you learned about should have been a horizontal cave diver profile, buoyancy skills and alternative kicks such as frog kick. If the instructor was true to the craft, there would be less or little value in following that experience with our workshop.
If you mean that you have been reading about DIR and have made some equipment choices consistent with that doctrine but have not yet engaged an instructor who is doing it right affiliated, there would be more value in our workshop. BP&W, Jet Fins, and a long hose are all items that are consistent with but not mandatory for our workshop. Please no dry suits, doubles, scooters or stage bottles. Other than that; welcome to our workshop! Welcome to 13 dives devoted to learning frog kick and better buoyancy skills. We see no reason why learning cave diver worthy buoyancy and frog kick skills during a tropical dive vacation would prove to be a handicap to future tech, cave or DIR Training.
Why can't I bring my split fins to this workshop?
This workshop is about the development of tech diver worthy skills. While we may not require or include any tech diver trappings, we do expect to achieve results that a tech diver would pay to have. Split fins are a poor choice if the goal is an admirable frog kick. That is our goal and a prohibition of , not only split fins, but hinged fins, force fins and any other specialty fins or fad footwear is warranted. It is important that you have traditional paddle fins and if you are not sure about a specific model, you should check with us first.
If we were a retail dive center  we might be under pressure from our distributer to include such fins, as split fins, in our inventory. Or maybe we would have discovered that selling them to unsuspecting customers who come through the door in search of "state of the art gear" is advantageous to our profit margin. If that were the case, we would have to stand moot but we are not retailers and it is our honest opinion that these types of fins are unfit for your needs if you are attending our workshop.
There has been no shortage of debate of this subject on most of the cyber message boards and pros and cons can be explored on those forums. This is not a forum and we are not flexible about this matter.



(safety stop)
Who are you to say we can't ever use our hands?  Do you know who we are?
We didn't invent this. It's probably in your open water text if you look hard enough. A few brave authors have touched on it, perhaps not with the tenacity that we have.  As for who you are: If you are an instructor or even a course director who avoids mentioning no hands in the class room because you know you will get caught using them at the pool an hour later, we do mean you. If you are an award winning underwater photographer who has sold countless copies of a great white photo and have won numerous media awards and you always scull or hold on to stuff or kneel in the coral, we mean you too! You may be a good photographer and a clever self promoter but you are  an awful example of a diver. If you are a famous wreck diver and you scull, we don't care how fancy that gear is or if you have your own TV show. We believe that with success comes responsibility. You need to set a good example and the fact that you fudged it, you took a short cut to fame without perfecting basic buoyancy, is the reason that others followed that example. Perhaps you see our opinion as sour grapes? Maybe you think it should be taboo to point a finger at an icon? Do you recall the story of The Emperor's New Clothes? Not recognizing sculling as a flaw in order to protect " someone special "...." someone important ".... is just like that.
Yes we put a spotlight on a lot of colleagues who don't appreciate it and yes it is long over due. The point is stop sculling! Really stop, as in never do it again and soon you will find that you are teaching yourself to do things with your breathing and your fins that are beyond your current  imagination. Once you have done that you will never use your hands again. We will never see you scull again and we will know.........that you know.......what we know!

read about:  SCULLING and the CYBER DIVER

Are you starting a new training agency about Buoyancy Skills or are you just exceeding standards?
We are doing neither. We believe that there are more than enough training agencies both for profit and non profit. The object of some training agencies is to get big, franchise their programs to as many members as possible and sell diving, in one form or another to every man woman and child on the planet. The members at the top of those pyramids, who rule those training entities,  enjoy the same rewards and fame that are typical of any Fortune 500 Corporation. With the non profit groups the most elite members maintain their status thru self invention and cronyism.  Cronyism also plays a major role in the for profit dive business. Personal dive skills are often trumped by connections within the fraternity and status is determined by who knows whom. The major training agencies have global tentacles but the quality of their product  is often  diluted by loss of control over the sizable membership, most of whom only excel at salesmanship.
We have little taste or talent for selling! BuoyancyQuest has no intention of becoming a certification agency, to wit we do not offer c-cards as a reward for your business, we do not include social networking and we have no plans to expand our staff beyond two. It is not our goal to keep you as a customer forever! We pose only a tiny threat to the big guy's, all important,  pie chart. Diving is not like the old west and we are not gunfighters. We do not claim to be "THE BEST" at frog kick & buoyancy skills. We may be among the best but more important than, who is best, is the fact that we stick to mentoring the skills that we do best. We offer only our best! For some divers that may be the missing link that they seek. For a few brave seasoned divers, who must swallow their pride,  it may be more like rehab but please don't think of us as the Betty Ford of Buoyancy. We are just a couple of dive instructors who look the part underwater and are willing to share what we know. This is why we offer this workshop, as a fun-filled dive travel experience outside the United States. We offer real visual examples to support the rhetoric and hype that by now you must be familiar with from every tutorial or essay, on buoyancy, that you have ever read.

As for exceeding standards; there can be many interpretations of that phrase. It can mean the dinosaur of an instructor who believed that diving was only for strong young men and felt justified in surprising his students by ripping off their masks. It can mean dangerous "ditch and recovery" skills that really served no purpose beyond egotistic chest thumping. In short exceeding standards can and sometimes does mean a maverick macho cowboy! OR exceeding standards can mean; "Don't show your students too much and make the rest of us look bad."  "Don't be better than the status quo!" Becoming a dive professional is subject to the same rules as most other professions but do we really understand those rules? "Anyone can succeed!" we are told. But remember that the master plan may be that: Everyone can't succeed! You must decide if diving is a contest to prove who is best or a more personal quest for excellence. The irony, of course,  is that most of the divers who see things as a contest, look like anything but winners underwater. Your LDS, the Dive Resorts you visit and the instructors who own or are employed by them come together under the umbrella of the International Training Agency that they are partnered with to train customers so that they can sell them more stuff. Customers are not the same as divers and it is not always in the best interest of "the recreational dive business" to create divers. Selling is the primary goal and salesmanship is more important, to them,  than watermanship. Your success is your responsibility.  Make sure that your mentor or instructor is more than a salesman! We may be poor salesmen but we don't believe that sharing what we know about frog kick & buoyancy skills means exceeding standards!
Apply the same rules you would in the rest of the world to selecting SCUBA Training. The rules by which you might grade your boss, for example. Does that person hold claim to their status by merit or did they gain their position thru patronage? Finding good dive guidance is like most things in life, it often comes down to the question of: " Is this or that worth the paper it is printed on?" If it walks like a duck it may, in fact, be a duck and if it sounds or looks like a salesman, it probably is a salesman. If it is primarily a salesman or only a salesman you will be unlikely to learn much about SCUBA Fundamentals.,
If it is your intention to seek training with us, you should know that the person who provides most of the mentoring that is offered by BuoyancyQuest, was born in the first half of the 20th century. Don't wait too long!

Please watch our videos!"



Compare, our videos,  to what you have seen elsewhere and decide if they fit your imagination of the diver you would like to be.



cave diver buoyancy


Do you expect us to choose your unknown workshop over an agency program that is world wide?
That is exactly what we expect! BUT we recognize that a realistic market for our mentoring only exists among those divers who are already suspicious of the status quo. SO YES we do expect you to pick us! We expect that you will only be that "Special Few" who want something better; something more. Since we do not offer a certification card it will be difficult for those divers , not already on the fence, to compare what we propose to what is offered by the big recognized agencies. People who are in search of measurable status (C-cards) will have difficulty relating to our message. We must target that much smaller market; the divers who want to acquire noticeable and measurable buoyancy skills. We do indeed represent the unknown! We are an alternative to the midiocre buoyancy training offered by the big agencies, on the one hand and the spectacular, tech oriented, training offered by the fundamentalists, on the other. Both of those other schools promote more expensive equipment choices and usually have a connection to where those material items can be found. Our focus is on  SKILLS; a less tangible element of diving.
We make a distinction between proficiency and gadgets.
Divers who are not already in search of something better will settle for an agency authored program and they will settle for less. Those of you  wanting more who are reading this should go back and look at our videos. These are edited but not scripted. We simply went diving with a colleague and harvested 61 minutes of  only the  BuoyancyQuest Staff diving. The entire staff! We made no attempt to demonstrate specifics other than to showcase above average buoyancy skills and a frog kick; a frog kick that is actually going somewhere. From the master we edited enough for several smaller videos. It was easy because just about all of the video was usable. If you compare these try to do it to the specific instructor that you are considering rather than to some stock video offered by the international agency. Not that these big agency videos have merit, in fact, thay are awful! They should be ashamed to offer such substandard images, considering their resources.
We think that OUR VIDEOS represent how we look underwater and that images out rank paper credintials. Our  look  differs from most of what else is out there, including stock footage from some big agencies. If you agree. IF you think that there is a gap between your skills and ours,  perhaps you will choose us. IF you do we promise to help you close that gap!
BuoyancyQuest is a __ SCULL FREE ZONE
(has always been our motto)

FROG KICK & Buoyancy Control Skills!

SKILLS are more important than TOYS!
"YOUR SKILLS determine your status as a DIVER....
....not your CARD COLLECTION!"

"IF you have nothing to learn ....
.... we can't help you!"
"BEFORE" you spend big $$$$ on a photo or video clinic.

"IF THE PROMISE WAS CERTIFICATION.........and you got a plastic card
you probably got what you paid for.  Don't expect more than that from the .... STATUS QUO!"
Workshop conditions & prices.

 copyright BuoyancyQuest,LLC 2011     all rights reserved