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For some watermen and women, it's all about pushing the limits: surfing the biggest waves, diving as deep as they can, windsurfing the most challenging conditions, shooting deep in the takeoff zone or paddling massive open-ocean distances. 

The Advanced Watermanship Programme was developed for this elite group of athletes: those who want (and need) to be pushed to the limits, to be challenged both physically and mentally and to be moulded into the most complete waterman or waterwoman they can be.

This is THE tip of the spear - an uncompromising programme of challenge, discovery and development without peer.


Course Overview

The AWP is a 12-18 month programme with simple goals: to motivate and challenge students in every way. This is a no-compromise, intense course designed to fine-tune existing watermanship skills, push students well-beyond perceived limits of endurance, develop techniques of deep incident analysis and explore the reactions of the human body in the most stressful situations.

Students will be asked to make a significant commitment of time and energy in order to complete this programme, including a minimum of four (4) intense training days.

There is a significant online component to this course, including academic reading, scientific (biology and pathophysiology) discussion and required tasks. Students will also be asked to demonstrate their understanding and application of topics by training new watermen and women.

To ensure students are receiving the highest quality and broadest training, each AWP includes expert tuition from guest instructors who are  specialists in their field. We draw on experts from many varied fields for this, including: medicine, freediving, psychology, professional life saving, big wave surfing, spearfishing and even the Emergency and Armed Services. 

Depending on the discipline and student requirements, practical training may cover areas such as:

  • Apnea

  • Depth Training

  • High Heart Rate situations

  • Hold Down Techniques

  • White Water Swimming

  • Advanced Swimming Techniques

  • Discipline-specific Training Principals

  • Mental Focus Techniques

  • Sea Survival

  • Planning and Preparedness

  • First Aid and Rescue

  • Panic and Fear Management

  • Leadership

course length

12-18 months.

Who is this course for...?

This course is suitable for expert level watermen and waterwomen who want to challenge their skills and knowledge in the most dynamic setting. Typically, we specify that AWP students have greater than 10 years experience in ocean environments.

Freediving students can complete either Apnea Level 3 on this program.

Graduates of this programme may also be considered for employment with One Ocean International as Watermanship Instructors



Starting from AU$2200 (excluding GST)

Minimum standards

The AWP has a set of minimum entry standards that applicants must meet before being considered for the programme. These are:

  • Applicants must have successfully completed a Specialist Watermanship course and must be able to complete all SWP-level exercises correctly

  • Applicants must have an adequate athlete profile (ability, prior training, fitness and knowledge), at the discretion of One Ocean International

  • Applicants must be medically fit (see below).

  • Applicants must be over the age of 16 at date of application

The minimum standards required to graduate from the Advanced Waterman Certification, are as follows:

  • Pass a theory exam with a score of at least 80%

  • Complete required (theory) tasks as outlined in curriculum

  • Perform a static apnea of at least 5:00 minutes

  • Perform a dynamic-with-fins apnea of at least 110 meters

  • Perform a dynamic-no-fins apnea of at least 70 meters

  • Perform a constant weight dive to at least 30 meters

  • Perform a high heart rate underwater disorientation drill of at least 1:10 minutes

  • Complete a 1000m swim in under 20:00 minutes 

  • Complete Advanced Watermanship Drown-Proofing exercises competently

  • Perform Survival Swimming techniques competently

  • Perform an Unconscious Diver rescue from 10 meters and perform a Black-Out rescue on the surface

  • Complete a 100 meter swim to casualty, a 50m unassisted tow, an unconcious casualty carry and BLS

  • Complete a Watermanship Fitness Test (no fins) to a level of 23-24.


  • Freediving mask and flotation aids (if required)

what to bring

  • Towel

  • Wetsuit (board shorts/bikini/swimsuit minimum)

  • Water

  • Lunch and snacks

  • Zink/sunscreen

  • Pen and notepad

  • Lunch.

Medical Fitness

You will be asked to complete a medical declaration as part of your course registration. Unless you suffer a medical condition that is a contradiction to watermanship training, you will not be required to complete a medical examination.

Students with contradicting medical conditions, however, will be required to undergo a Dive Medical that meets the Australian Standard 4005.1. We require documentation of this prior to course participation.

Medical conditions that are of concern to watermanship training are: lung conditions, heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, any ear problems or any other major medical conditions. 

If you are in any doubt regarding your medical eligibility please don’t hesitate to contact One Ocean International.

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