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PADI Specialty Courses

For divers wishing to expand their knowledge and experience in specific types of diving, MSD offers a multitude of specialty courses. Underwater photo, ice, search and recovery, deep, night, underwater navigator, nitrox and equipment specialist classes are frequently offered out of our Brainerd store - utilizing the Crosby Mines. Other opportunities such as; boat, wreck, drift, deep and night diver courses are offered on our many trips. With completion of the requirements of any of these specialties, divers will be awarded a Specialty Diver certification card. With the completion of the advanced and rescue course and five specialties, a diver will earn the prestigious PADI Master Scuba Diver certification.


PADI Deep Diver

Local or Trip Specialty

During the PADI Deep Diver course, you'll learn how to plan deep dives, manage your gas supply, and how to identify and manage narcosis. You'll also learn about buddy contact procedures, safety considerations and buoyancy control at depth. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Make deep dives with an instructor 

  • See more of the underwater world

  • Dive to a maximum of 40 m/130 ft 


PADI Boat Diver

Trip Specialty

If you’re new to boat diving or want to learn more about diving from different types of boats, enroll in the PADI Boat Diver course. 

During two dives with an instructor you’ll learn nautical terminology, boat diving etiquette and may practice using lines and/or deploy a surface marker buoy (SMB).

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Learn boat diving etiquette

  • Understand boat terminology

  • Learn how to manage seasickness


PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver

Local Specialty

Enriched Air (Nitrox) is the most popular specialty certification awarded by PADI. Nitrox is simply a change in the mixture of the gases in the air that we breathe. By reducing the percentage of nitrogen and increasing the oxygen, we can extend some of the nitrogen based limits to our bottom times and surface intervals. Nitrox does not allow us to go deeper (it actually reduces depth limits), but greatly extends available dive time to us in the mid-range depths. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Get nitrox air fills 

  • Extend dive times

  • Enjoy shorter surface intervals


PADI Drysuit Diver

Local Specialty

Unlike wetsuits, drysuits are filled with air. During your drysuit course, your instructor will teach out how to control the air in your drysuit along with your buoyancy, 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Stay warmer in cold climates 

  • Are a new drysuit owner 

  • Avoid common drysuit diving problems


PADI Ice Diver

Local Specialty

Ice diving is one of the most adventurous scuba specialties. Learn the roles and responsibilities of support personnel, tenders and safety divers See beauty few others experience. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Earn major scuba street cred 

  • Play with your bubbles under the ice

  • Go upside-down underwater skiing


PADI Self-Reliant Diver

Local Specialty

Although diving with a buddy is the norm, there are reasons for an experienced diver to develop self-reliance and independence while diving. Learning to carry out dives without a partner can make you a stronger diver in most dive situations. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Learn how to handle situations you would normally handle with a buddy 

  • Learn independent management of dive emergencies 

  • Dive plan using air consumption rate calculations


Local Specialty

A sidemount configuration (scuba tanks alongside of the diver) offers more complexity and better streamlining options. Learn about the many benefits of diving with a sidemount configuration. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Be more streamlined while diving

  • Be more comfortable (especially for those divers with back issues)

  • Enjoy peace of mind - more redundancy and more air supply - less stress


PADI Underwater Navigator

Local Specialty

Be the scuba diver everyone wants to follow because you know where you are and where you're going. The PADI Underwater Navigator course ​fine-tunes your observation skills and teaches you to more accurately use your compass underwater. If you like challenges with big rewards, take this course and have fun finding your way. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Improve your navigation skills 

  • Find the boat without surfacing 

  • Learn natural navigation clues 

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PADI Wreck Diver

Trip Specialty

Whether purpose-sunk as an artificial reef for scuba divers, or lost as the result of an accident, wrecks are fascinating windows to the past. Ships, airplanes and even cars are fascinating to explore and usually teem with aquatic  life. Each wreck offers a chance for discovery, potentially unlocking a mystery or spying something others have missed. The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course is popular because it offers rewarding adventures while observing responsible wreck diving practices. 

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Explore inside wrecks 

  • See fascinating artifacts 

  • Learn special kicking techniques 


PADI Night Diver

Local or Trip Specialty

The thought of dipping below the surface at night seems mysterious, yet so alluring. Although you've been scuba diving at a site many times before, at night you drop into a whole new world and watch it come to life under the glow of your dive light. The scene changes as day creatures retire and nocturnal organisms emerge. If you've wondered what happens underwater after the sun goes down, sign up for the PADI Night Diver Specialty course.

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Avoid getting lost in the dark

  • See familiar dive sites in a new light 

  • Try something new and exciting  


PADI Search & Recovery Diver

Local or Trip Specialty

The next time someone loses an item underwater, you can be the hero that finds the missing object.


In the PADI Search and Recovery course, you’ll learn how to find lost objects underwater. You’ll practice different types of underwater search patterns and learn how to use a lift bag as you plan and execute mock search operations.

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Recover lost items

  • Learn underwater search patterns 

  • Learn how to use a lift bag


PADI Equipment Specialist

Local Specialty

Don't miss a dive due to minor issues with your scuba diving equipment. Whether it's a missing o-ring, wetsuit tear or a broken fin strap, the PADI Equipment Specialist course teaches you to manage basic repairs and adjustments. You'll also learn more about how your gear works, making you more comfortable.

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Make minor gear repairs

  • Avoid missing dives due to gear issues 

  • Maximize the life of your equipment 


PADI Underwater Naturalist

Local Specialty

Get a better understanding about the local ecosystem and the differences between terrestrial and aquatic worlds. See new things, even in the most familiar dive sites.

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Understand more about the dynamics of the local underwater environment

  • Learn about responsible interactions with aquatic life


PADI Fish Identification

Local Specialty

“What was that fish?” is a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers, instead of the one asking the questions, then take the Fish Identification Specialty course. You'll enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures that you see and can identify the main fish families and their characteristics.

Take This Course If You Want to: 

  • Learn how to identify characteristics of local fish families and species 

  • Become the scuba diver with all the fish-related answers

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