Kevin Ausman certified myself, my wife, as well as my two children 10 and 13 just a few weeks ago in the Philippines. In the space of 10 days, he brought my eldest, my wife and I to the level of advanced divers while the 10-year-old, for age reasons, stayed at open water level. In the course of our training, Kevin also took our 8-year-old son diving as part of the “bubbles” program (with a regulator but to a max depth of 2 meters, great joy ride for the kids). All I can say is that we cannot wait to dive with Kevin again. He was amazing in teaching us safety and respect for the sea while letting us savor and experience all the joy of diving in nature. We all feel totally secure in the water because Kevin made it feel like a totally natural thing to do.
In particular, I want to recommend Kevin for folks who are thinking of bringing their kids into this great sport. Kevin’s experience as an educator showed in spades in how he handled my kids through this experience. One example to prove the point. In one of our dives, my 10-year-old had an encounter with a jellyfish that stung him. We surfaced (it was really early in the dive and we hadn’t descended beyond 3 meters yet) and my son was distraught and wanted to interrupt the dive and “go back”. Kevin was awesome in giving my son Miki time to work through his angst and experience, take time to calm down, deal with the pain and then make the decision – all by himself – to continue the dive. Soon the pain was forgotten with the excitement of the dive, but most of all both my wife and I were in awe of just how gentle and respectful Kevin was of our child’s predicament, without giving in to the easy solution to let him call off the dive.
Miki that day learned more than taking a mask off at depth.
I would have given Kevin more stars… what I can say is that the day my son Viktor turns 10, I will be looking for Kevin to make him an open water diver.
Enjoy the greatest sport in the world!