Our history & teaching philosophy
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The frog kick is an extremely efficient propulsion technique used in all types of diving and diving environments due to the many benefits it provides the diver.
It's a graceful, yet powerful kick that requires minimal effort to move the diver through the water, in turn reducing the diver's breathing rate. Wreck and cave divers use it because its motion prevents kicking up silt. The underwater environment appreciates it because its motion limits impact on the diving environment, preserving delicate reefs and habitats. Divers and underwater photographers who use the frog kick appreciate that it aids in good trim and buoyancy control and the precise positioning ability it provides them.
Simply put, the frog kick isn't exclusive to technical or cave diving. It's a kick that benefits literally every diver- recreational, technical or overhead, warm water or cold water.
Frog Kick Diving was started in 2005 by Brian Wiederspan and Jeanna Edgerton with the goal of setting the standard of dive instruction by training and developing divers, not simply teaching classes. Since then, we've taught over 300 students a safer and more enjoyable way of diving while building a reputation for providing the highest quality dive training in Puget Sound and the US West Coast.
In December 2008, we were 2 of 9 instructors, worldwide, handpicked to participate the first ever IDC/Crossover for Unified Team Diving (UTD) International. UTD is a training agency formed by Andrew Georgitsis, former Training Director of Global Underwater Explorers (GUE). Our reputations and uncompromising standards earned us an invitation to the IDC/Crossover. Crossover participation was by invitation only, from Andrew.
We're excited to be a part of UTD, as one of UTD's core principles is "we teach the way we actually dive." As active and experienced underwater explorers, it's important to us that the courses we teach be consistent with the way we plan and conduct our own exploration projects and dives, since many of our students become our teammates and participate in our projects.
Quite simply, UTD provides us the ability to teach the way we want to teach, consistent with the way we conduct our own dives. For more information on our UTD Courses, please see our FKD Training & Courses
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In our courses, we emphasize approaching every dive with a similar mindset, including gas management, team communication, propulsion techniques, buoyancy control, proper dive planning, and minimizing risks and managing contingencies. We also stress the importance of respecting the underwater environment so future divers can enjoy the wonderful world we have the privilege of visiting.
UTD Trimix Instructor / Technical Instructor Trainer #014
Member, UTD Training Advisory Board
NAUI Technical Instructor #42629
UTD Cave 2
UTD Technical Instructor #012
NAUI Instructor #42630
UTD Trimix UTD
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No. UTD is an inclusive agency and every diver is welcome to enter the UTD curriculum at their current certification level.
That being said, Essentials (Rec & Tech) is designed to build a foundation and prepare a diver who has no prior UTD training for the rigorous and challenging UTD training. So, while you can enter the UTD curriculum at your current certification level, Essentials may be the best option for you, in order to build a solid foundation to build upon and also get the most out of your future training.
It's extremely important to us that we provide the student the training to help them achieve their diving goals in a logical progression, tailored to them.
In short, often the best method of determining where you fit in the UTD curriculum is to simply come dive with us. This allows us to not only assess your current skill level, but also talk about your diving goals, and the best method to achieve those goals. And of course, it gives us a reason to go dive!
Definitely not. We never have, and never will, require our students to purchase a specific brand of dive gear.
We have no gear affiliations, and we own many different sets of gear from many different manufacturers ourselves. Gear choice is a personal decision.
What is vastly more important than equipment brand is that the gear is in safe operating condition and its use in the dive system is well thought out. In the Hogarthian dive system, every piece of gear is an important part of an entire system. Fortunately, the diver/consumer has many different options/brands available to them.
We're happy to offer advice and insight from our own personal experiences, but rest assured gear label is not a concern to us.
The short answer to this is "it depends".
As the dives we train you to do become more aggressive, the equipment requirements become more rigid, out of safety and necessity.
At the recreational level, the gear requirements aren't as rigid. Our gear configuration is built around being able to donate gas from a gas supply that is known to be delivering gas that is breathable at a given depth during the dive. We accomplish this by donating the reg that is in our mouth. In an overhead environment with restrictions where single file exits may be required, we use a 7' hose to facilitate a single file, air sharing exit. From a muscle memory standpoint, we use that same gear configuration on even the most shallow open water dives.
Also, given our name, much of our focus is on the foundational skills of precise buoyancy control and propulsion. While precise positioning kicks such as the helicopter turn and back kick can be done in split fins, blade/rocket/jet style fins are much more efficient for those kinds of kicks.
We also wanted to make this kind of training available without a large upfront gear investment.
So, at the Rec 1, Rec 2 & Essentials of Rec levels, the only gear requirements are a longhose regulator and non-split fins. However, we do have longhose regulators and jet fins available for our students to use.
Other Hogarthian gear elements, such as bp/wing, canister lights, etc are not required for our recreational classes. We do have these available for our students to use in class as well, to allow them to make more informed gear purchase decisions.
Additionally, every class description contains a list of all equipment requirements.
Feel free to contact us with any gear questions.
No, we don't. Our classes that train divers to go deeper than 100fsw include the use of helium, for several reasons.
Helium is the diver's wonder gas. Due to its properties, it minimizes narcosis and allows for more efficient deco.
We limit our END (Equivalent Narcotic Depth) to 100fsw or less. For dives shallower than 100fsw, we use air or EAN32. When diving deeper than 100fsw, in order to minimize narcosis, we add helium to our breathing gas.
Standardization plays a major role in team diving. Standardization in equipment, training, protocols, breathing gas and decompression procedures, to name a few. When entering an overhead environment or decompression, standardization becomes more critical, in order to mitigate risk. To execute a dive deeper than 100fsw with no helium means the diver will be using a non-standard gas in that depth range. In addition to using a non-standard bottom gas, the use of that gas may also result in a decompression profile that differs from that if a standard gas was used.
Simply put, in team diving, executing a technical dive without the use of helium creates unnecessary complications and defeats the purpose of standardization that team diving is based upon and the benefits it offers.
We view sidemount as a tool, and we use sidemount in our own overhead diving and explorations, when required. However, we do not teach sidemount.