Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

Compensation for disabilities
MisterEd - 9/07/2020 8:50 PM
Category: Training
Replies: 5

I broke my left foot in numerous places as a kid. My left fin kick is not as strong as my right kick, this mean I don’t have a straight forward kick which hinders overall performance.
To compensate I use webbed hand gloves to increase speed and distance.

Clearing water from mask underwater was difficult because of excess chlorine in the pool. To compensate I use an Aqualung Pacifica Purge mask.

With these added support tools there should be no reason to prevent me from Open Water Certification
Eric_R - 9/08/2020 5:25 PM
I would work with an instructor to modify your fins to work better for you. Maybe you could either drill holes or cut slits in the good foot fin to better match the output of the bad foot.
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/09/2020 8:01 AM
I like to joke I swim in circles because both my fins are lefts, there is a big L on both my Atomics and Oceanics (It’s the size if you are not getting this joke)

I have seen divers with one leg so it can be done with technique Welcome to our pool :)
MisterEd - 9/09/2020 9:19 AM
That’s a good idea regarding putting holes or slits to balance left fin deficiencies. I’m concerned, however, my instructor will recommend scuba diver certification rather than open water. Should my instructor choose the lower level of certification may I contest his decision with PADI officials?
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/10/2020 9:47 AM
From MisterEd: Should my instructor choose the lower level of certification may I contest his decision with PADI officials?

The certification is broken up into pieces, you complete one and then go on to the next. Your first card allows you to go to 60’, Advanced is deeper. Since you are closer to the Great Lakes Wreck Diving would probably be fresh water.
There are groups who specialize in teaching handicapped and wounded warriors that might be better suited for giving you advice. There is one group that I know of here on DB, I think near Chicago but I can’t remember their name.
I seem to remember the one legged diver I saw in Cayman was using his other fin more like a rudder than kicking with it
MisterEd - 9/16/2020 11:37 AM
My instructor is basing his decision on the way I kick. That is I bend my knees as opposed to straight kick from the hips. I do ok this way however, I believe I am being penalized for now kicking the way he wants me to. Unfortunately he is stuck on this as back and white issue.

This is why I believe I may need another instructor to provide support for me or for my instructor. At that point I will abide by whatever is decided.