Minnesota School of Diving Inc.

Since 1959

 

  

 

 

 

 

Specialty Classes

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 Diver certification.

Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox)

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. It's also very useful for repetitive dives by lessening the amount of time we have to stay out of the water between dives. Some divers claim that nitrox also makes them feel less tired after a dive, or especially after multiple dives in a day.


You will start the class by completing PADI's online nitrox course (we'll show you how below). Then you will meet up with an MSD instructor at either of our stores and learn how to determine the best nitrox blend for your planned dives, analyze two nitrox tanks and learn how to set up your nitrox dive computer to match the nitrox blend in the tanks you analysed. You will also learn how to manage higher oxygen exposure, and determine your maximum allowable depth for your nitrox mix. Then we give you two rental nitrox tanks to go out and use on your own, or better yet - with us on a fun dive. If open water is not available (winter), you will simulate the set-up and execution of two nitrox dives.

Course Fee: $245
PADI Enriched Air Diver online course $245
MSD Fee $100.00 (only assessed if you do not enroll directly through our link to the right)
Includes:
  • Practical application sessions
  • 2 nitrox rental tanks
  • PADI processing fee 

How do I start: 
  • Click on the picture at right to access PADI's online courses.
  • Select "Purchase an Online Course - eLearning."
  • Select "Enriched Air Diver (English)."
  • Complete your online course and call your preferred MSD store to schedule your practical application sessions and your dives - real or simulated

Prerequisites:
PADI Open Water Diver or Jr. Open Water Diver or equivalent

Digital Underwater Photographer

Underwater photography is one of the most common specialties given out by PADI. People say a photo is worth 1000 words! Make your "non-diver" friends and family jealous. Taking this course is easier then ever with so many underwater digital cameras out on the market today. In the course you will learn how to choose which camera would best suit your needs, photo composition and how to shoot, examine, and adjust for your next shot. This course isn't just for divers, there is an option for skin divers and snorkelers.

Course Fee: $225 ($46.95 manual)
How do I start: Contact MSD and we will get you in touch with our photo specialty instructor to set up a schedule of photo dives.

Prerequisites: 

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 10 years old are eligible to take the Digital Underwater Photographer course.

Ice Diver
The Ice Diving Specialty Course is about the most adventurous specialty courese that PADI offers. Being able to ice dive puts you in a very small group of divers who have had the same experience you have. Once others find out that you have had that experience, be ready for the questions to keep on coming. Some of the things that you will be covering in this course are: 

  • Using specialized ice diving equipment
  • Preparation of an ice dive site
  • Safe ice diving practicies and techniques
  • Tender and safety diver responsibilities
  • Cold weather equipment issues.

You will need to be 18 years of age by the start date of the course and have the Advanced Diver course completed.
Course Fee: $225
How do I start: Contact MSD and let us put you on the ice diver sign-up sheet. We run this class once per year on a weekend in March. The date will vary depending on snow and ice conditions.
Prerequisites: You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver who is at least 18 years old to enroll in the Ice Diver course.

Search and Recovery Diver

The Search and Recovery Specialty Course is challenging but at the same time a lot of fun and rewarding. If you are wanting to be the one they call to find lost items under the water then this specialty course is for you. The following topics will be covered:


  • Gathering information about lost item
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Search patterns and techniques
  • Underwater metal detector use
  • Rigging and use of lift bags
  • Raising of submerged items


The PADI Advanced Open Water course is a pre-requisite for this specialty.

Course Fee: $225
How do I start: Contact MSD and we will put you on the sign-up sheet. When we have four interested divers we will contact everyone to set up class dates.

Prerequisites: PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Divers who are at least 12 years old can enroll in the Search and Recover Diver course. PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers with a PADI Underwater Navigator certification also qualify

Deep Diver

The deep diver specialty course is to teach you how to dive with confidence to 130 ft instead of being limited to 60 ft. Reasons you might want to consider the deep diver specialty is because it is great for both warm or cold water locations. Maybe you are in warm water and want to go look at a giant sea fan or maybe you are a huge history buff and want to dive the cold water shipwrecks of the five great lakes. You will learn how to plan for a deep dive, buoyancy control, dealing with gas narcosis and other safety considerations.  

Course Fee:  $175

How do I start: Contact MSD and we will put you on the sign-up sheet. When we have four interested divers we will contact everyone to set up class dates. In some cases this course could be completed individually, on our summer fun dives (if the planets align precisely).

Prerequisites: If you’ve earned the PADI Adventure Diver rating or higher, and you’re at least 15 years old, you can enroll in the Deep Diver course.

Night Diver

Have you ever wondered what the fish do at night or what the underwater world looks like once the sun goes down? If you answered yes, then the night diver specialty course is for you! Night dives are very interesting as you watch the day creatures retire, and the nocturnal creatures make an appearance. Diving at night does put a little bit of a twist on things, because you can be so familiar with a dive site and have dived it a bunch of times, but at night it looks completely different. You will learn basic light handling and communication techniques, and how to navigate in the dark. Join us on a warm water trip and see just how neat night dives can be! 

Course Fee: $125

How do I start: Contact MSD and we will put you on the sign-up sheet. When we have four interested divers we will contact everyone to set up class dates.

Prerequisites: PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 12 years old, can enroll in the Night Diver specialty course.

Underwater Navigator

Once you have taken the Underwater Navigation course, you will instantly be the one that everyone wants to follow since you will have the best compass reading skills. This course will take your observational skills to the next level along with boosting your confidence in believing the compass is right. You will be doing underwater map making projects, navigating underwater with at least 5 turns and marking or relocating an object from the surface. 

Course Fee: $125
How do I start: Contact MSD and we will put you on the sign-up sheet. When we have four interested divers we will contact everyone to set up class dates.
Prerequisites: If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course.
Boat Diver
Some of the best dive sites might only be able accessible by boat. Diving from a boat is fun and easy, no need to worry about walking in and tripping over potential hazards. Knowledge gained from the boat specialty is important because some boats may require that you do a giant stride off the back or others may have you roll off the side - it all depends on what type of boat you are using. In the boat diver specialty course you will learn boat terminology, required dive boat safety equipment, how to enter and exit the boat, surface signaling devices, and boat diving etiquette. A great way to obtain this certification is to join us on our annual ride and dive trip to one of the Great Lakes or join us in a warm water Caribbean trip.

Course Fee: $125

How do I start: Join us on a dive trip... we can easily complete this course on one of our summer Great Lake shipwreck trips or in the winteron one of our warm-water getaways.

Prerequisites: If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the Boat Diver course.

Equipment Specialist

Never miss a dive due to small issues with your equipment again! Sign up for the Equipment Specialist course today! During the course you will learn about the industries newest dive equipment, available equipment configurations, the importance of routine care & maintenance, how to do simple field repairs, and assemble a "save-a-dive kit," unique to your equipment. Purchasing dive equipment can be a bit of an investment, learn how to take care of if, and keep it performing at its best for many years to come.

Course Fee: $95

How do I start: Contact MSD and we will put you on the sign-up sheet. When we have four interested divers we will contact everyone to set up class dates.

Prerequisites: Anyone who is at least 10 years old - diver or not, can enroll in the Equipment Specialist course.

Wreck Diver Specialty

Are you a history buff or just like seeing some neat wrecks? The wreck specialty is the one for you. Remember, not all wrecks were because of an accident, some items were sunk to become an artificial reef. Nonetheless they are still fun to dive on, but that could require some special training that you would learn during the course. You will learn the safety considerations when diving on a wreck also how to navigate through one. Inside a wreck you could get turned around and it is not always easy to find a way out to ascend and that is why you will learn how to use reels to guide you through and how to avoid kicking up silt so you and your buddy can have a safe and enjoyable dive. As a diver you will want to do your reseach before the dive because some wrecks are protected by law to guard the historical and cultural significance. Join us on our annual shipwreck trip to recieve your shipwreck specialty!

Course Fee: $175

How do I start: Join us on one of our summer Great Lake shipwreck trips.

Prerequisites: If you’re at least 15 years old and have earned a PADI Adventure Diver certification or higher, you can enroll in the Wreck Diver Specialty course.

Drift Specialty

Are you a diver who wants to "go with the flow?" The drift diver course is for you. This course will show you how relaxing diving in a current can be if done correctly; if not done correctly it can become exhilarating quickly. 

Course Fee: $125

How do I start: Join us on a dive trip... we can easily complete this course in the winter on one of our warm-water getaways that can accomodate drift diving such as Cozumel, Little Cayman or Roatan.

Prerequisites: 

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old, you can enroll in the Drift Diver specialty course.