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Scuba Exceptional may be the fifth in Simon Pridmore's Scuba series but it is really the follow up to Scuba Confidential, his first book.
Scuba Exceptional reflects the same philosophy of safer diving via the acquisition of knowledge and skills. But the themes are different, there are some excellent new cautionary tales and the focus this time is more on issues that experienced divers face. There is more technical diving content and Simon explains some complex issues in his usual clear and easy-to-read style. In many cases, the concerns of technical divers reflect those of scuba divers at every level. After all, as he says, technical diving is on the same spectrum as conventional sport diving: it is just a different frequency.
Scuba Exceptional also deals in detail with the psychological aspects of scuba diving, broaching topics from new angles and borrowing techniques and procedures from other fields of human activity.
While most of Scuba Exceptional focuses on the diver, it also takes a look at the wider picture and highlights a number of areas where scuba diving professionals and the "industry" as a whole are letting divers down. As always, Simon is realistic in his assessments. He may shine a little light on the dark side of the scuba diving world, but he does this in order to illuminate bad practice and encourage change, offering solutions.
He also provides insights on a wide range of subjects, such as:
What makes someone a good diver?
How you can reduce risk by being a defensive diver.
How to swim against a current without exhausting yourself.
What you can do to avoid being left behind in the ocean, and
How a diver can be out of air while they still have plenty to breathe.
You will read about ideas like the concept of failure points, the perimeter of ignorance, situational awareness, in water oxygen recompression and pre-conditioning as it applies to scuba diving. You will also learn where rebreather technology is heading.
As you see, Scuba Exceptional is extremely wide-ranging. Whatever your level of experience, you are sure to find plenty of material to help you become the best diver you can be.