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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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July 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 45, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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PADI Buys America’s Two Biggest Dive Magazines

from the July, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

More than 40 years ago, PADI was a nonprofit corporation, until the founders, in what surely seemed to be self-dealing, set up a for-profit corporation and sold it to themselves.

Since then, PADI has expanded and expanded, been sold time and again, and is now owned by a consortium of wealthy families and endowments in North American and Europe. During the process, it has gained wider and wider control, and now dominates the diving market, making it difficult for non-PADI organizations to compete. And now, things will get harder.

Just last month, PADI purchased Scuba Diving and Sport Diver magazines from Bonnier Corporation. Years ago, PADI created a marketing vehicle called the PADI Diving Society, to which it gave Sport Diver as a "benefit" to those who joined. Apparently PADI is closing the Diving Society down but "members" will receive Sport Diver magazine until their individual membership expiration dates.

To replace it, PADI stated on its website that it is "is preparing to launch the all-new My PADI Club, designed specifically to meet today's divers' wants and needs!" From our perspective, it's another vehicle for marketing PADI courses, trips, equipment and paraphernalia to divers.

New Diver appears to be Bonnier Corporation/ PADI's recently introduced free online supplement aimed squarely at those about to take up or have recently taken up diving, the audience traditionally served by independent Dive Training magazine. (The official magazine for PADI divemasters and instructors continues to be The Undersea Journal, which is unavailable to the public.

As for PADI's publications, we can't imagine other training agencies like SSI, NAUI, SDI/TDI, etc. getting any signification mention in their editorial pages or articles in the future (although we'll wait and see).

After PADI's acquisition of the premier online dive travel site, Diviac, which became PADI Dive Travel (, it has an increased share of the dive travel business, and continues to expand its reach into the world of scuba diving.

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