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Interview with Katarzyna Psyk - PADI Elite Instructor

Katarzyna Psyk at the Baltictech 2017 Conference, on how to become a winner of the PADI Elite Instructor competition, is interviewed by Wojciech Zgola Let me start prosaically, how long have you been diving? It started a long time ago, at the end of 2008. So I have already spent a few years in the
Published: December 5, 2017 - 07:35
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:02
Interview with Katarzyna Psyk – PADI Elite Instructor

Katarzyna Psyk at the Baltictech 2017 Conference, on how to become a winner of the PADI Elite Instructor competition, is interviewed by Wojciech Zgola

Let me start prosaically, how long have you been diving?

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It started a long time ago, at the end of 2008. So I have already spent a few years in the water

Did you start your diving adventure with the thought of becoming an instructor?

No. It was actually a funny story because I’m also a martial arts instructor. One time after training one of the instructors said they had a few people and they were going to do an Open Water Diver course and if there was a bigger group it would be cheaper. All in all, we formed a group of 11 people and went on the course. From that 11 people only 3 are diving today.

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And at what point did you state that you wanted to become an instructor and teach people to dive?

You know, I was really fed up with my life in Poland. Working from morning till evening, diving only on weekends. So I came up with an idea why I shouldn’t use my passion at work and earn money while travelling and seeing the world.

That is, to do what you like and live from it?

Exactly. It started innocently enough with Dive Master, but after a short time I realised that it was not enough and I went one step further. I did an IDC instructor course with Michal Kosut.

No regrets?

Ha, ha, I don’t regret it, although I will tell you that those 10 days of studying were quite a challenge. More than once I thought “what am I doing here”, “why am I doing this”, “back home”, but I survived and it was great.

Now tell us what it takes to get the title you’ve earned?

You have to love it, you have to like doing it, and there is a lot of work abroad. 6 days of being in the water from morning till evening. You have to devote yourself to it. I issued 164 certificates this year, so it’s a huge amount.

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How many descents into the water do you do on average per day?

My record is 9. DSD in the morning and basic and advanced courses in the afternoon.

And you are not bored?

No, I am not bored and I am not likely to be bored any time soon.

But do you prefer warm waters?

Yes, although, after the last 4 years I had the pleasure to dive in our beautiful, cold waters again. It was a week ago and I find that it is still a nice challenge and I also like our Polish waters.

But you didn’t do it in foam?

(laughs) No, I did it in a dryer. No one would talk me into a wetsuit! Although Maciek Jurasz managed to persuade me to so called “walruses”. The water was 7 degrees … but I prefer the dryer.

OK, so 164 certificates. PADI awards this every year? What does it look like?

This is an annual competition for instructors, the so-called Elite. I am the first in Poland in terms of certificate issuance rate, and I won the category related to progression. The number of certificates issued goes up every year. This year I achieved a progress of 140%.

You are in the top 15!

Yes I am in the top 15 in the world. That’s right. As a reward, I got an auto renewal from PADI, which is instructor status for 2018

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So free, very cool!

It’s mega-cool because if I’m thinking of continuing as an instructor I have to pay such a renewal every year, and it’s not cheap.

Phat are your plans for the coming year in relation to this?

I am generally looking for work at the moment. In warm destinations. I am looking for my new place.

As Divers24, we of course wish you good luck. And finally, have you come across our portal or magazine?

Yes, of course. I am from Poznań and I have read your magazine many times. I have also read your portal. I follow you on Facebook.

Anything else you would like to add?

Perhaps I would like to end by thanking Maciek Jurasz for taking my education further. I always said I wouldn’t do anything else, and I defended myself against it as much as possible. He hit on my ambitions.

So it has merit?

He definitely has. He knows how to motivate me to keep going.

Thank you Kate for the interview, it was great to get to know you better!

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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