padi idc costa rica

It’s time to meet one one of our Go Pro graduates who is striving forward in the dive industry. Meet James. He came to us originally to complete his Divemaster and then instructor, before returning at a later date to complete his IDC staff and Technical instructor training. Nick named “red beard” amongest other things : ) He was great fun to have around and is now making a stamp in the industry in Panama beach Florida. If you are that way, you should stop by and say hi. So, with no further ado, lets meet James!

Where are you currently residing and what is your level of involvement in the scuba industry?

My name is James Weber. I live in Panama City Beach, FL, US, I’ve worked in just about every sector of the diving industry for six years now. From being the divemaster on a snorkeling boat to an independent instructor teaching private classes to the regional sales representative for Divers Alert Network in South Florida. Currently I’m the co-owner and general manager for Red Alert Diving, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center and Aquatic Training Facility.

When did you complete your course in Costa Rica and what course was it?

I completed my first course in Costa Rica in 2013, when I became a Divemaster, I would go on to complete my IDC, and take the required courses for Tec Instructor. 

What skills on your course did you learn in your time there that you think really benefited you in your career?

james go pro Red alert diving

Time management. A lot of dive centers have a laid back approach, not the case in Costa Rica. After 6 years I can confidently say I still have the same mindset they drilled down there, things have to run on time, and customers notice, and it’s rewarded. 

What was your favorite part of your training?

There was no wasted time. Unless I was wasting it. The instructional staff were always trying to teach me something, even if I didn’t get it right away, I get it now having been an instructor for a time.

What additional skills that were not part of the standard curriculum did you learn that benefited your career?

Tons. But I guess the one I’d put ahead of the rest is organizational. I learned how important it is to know what resources you have, where they are, and how you can use them. Also, “everything goes in a bag” is one I’ve taken with me.

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to work in the scuba industry?

Understand that people who say “If you want to make a million dollars in the dive industry, start with two million dollars” are either negative people or burnouts. Or they never had the drive to make a million dollars in the first place. SCUBA can be a passion, or a job, or a career, but like anything else, you get out what you put in. 

I always tell the pro students who come through my shop, “SCUBA is tough, but it’s not difficult.” Meaning, we all work hard. We get up early, we lug tanks, we swim hard and are out in the sun all day and we get our scrapes and bruises, and we put on a good show for guests even when we’re feeling down,  it’s tough. It isn’t difficult though. Difficult would be getting up every day to put on a tie and work in a cubicle and keep a smile on my face. 

Three words to describe your time at Go Pro?

Transformative. Exciting. Adventure.