'My DM internship with Cabo Verde Diving was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. The learning curve was steep and I could recognise my skills developing quickly, not only underwater but in sales, customer service, equipment maintenance and language learning. I would highly recommend Leo as your DM mentor. He pushes you just enough to challenge you and also demonstrates his appreciation for your efforts, ultimately because he has faith in your potential. I almost wish I could rewind and do it all again! The DM internship with Cabo Verde Diving paved the way for my development as an instructor and I continue to use the skills I learnt with Leo around the world now as a diving professional.'
Jennifer Hollstein - PADI OWSI # 371199 - Scotland - U.K.
IDC Staff Course - May 2016. I ' ve Learned so much in Cape Verde and it's made me a better instructor all round I think. Conditions can be challenging in OW but that prepares you to be the best. Thoroughly professional and kept to programme and standards. Top roll model...but always kept the fun.
It's different diving and can be challenging. Learning Pro skills in CV with Leo and Cabo Verde Diving will prepare you for almost anywhere.
Neil Scarlett - PADI IDCS # 331711 & SCUBA Leeds PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Center Owner - England - U.K.
Thank you for everything. You are great! My main goal is to become a great instructor trainer like you one day!
Phillip Lopes - PADI OWSI # 377422 - Cape Verde
I had a great time doing my IDC with Leo! I 've learnt from the best! This was an experience i will never forget. Thank you !
Marielle Visser - PADI OWSI # 379900 - The Netherlands
I’m Leo Saldunbides student since my first dive in my life! Because of him, today, I’m a PADI DIVEMASTER, an EFR Instructor and I don’t want to stop here! I want to go further in this career.
The ones that don’t know Leo cannot imagine how crazy for Diving he is and how he motivate people around him with his passion (And it includes me!). His love for diving don’t have an end.
No one can imagine how dedicated he is to each one of his student personally, the amount of care and attention he give to each one of us... and more, how anxious, worried and nervous he became because of us! More than this, how proud of each one you he became in the end! The amazing teacher and the unique person inside out he is makes him a role model PADI Course Director!
I was never a water person until I finished my open water course despite having lived all my life almost in front of the beach. It’s not a secret to anyone that I panicked 3 times during my first course. And only after that I could overcome my fears. Now, only after 10 months, I became a PADI DIVEMASTER and EFR Instructor. I know I still need a lot of practice and I’ll go for it!
I was waiting my oficial member number arrive to post this words and sign with my number also! Thanks Leo Saldunbides for everything! And please never stop sharing your passion for diving. Never stop teaching.
Wish you all success your efforts can bring you as a Course Director!
Thank you for being my mentor in Diving and my instructor. Thanks for believing on me since the very beginning besides all my fears and limitations.
Dani Santiago - PADI OWSI #403300 - Brasil
Omg! Where to start? First of all... thanks to this man I achieved a dream, to be divemaster. After some bad experiences in the diving industry, he was there to motivate me, to help me and to make me believe again that not diving is not only a bussiness, it is also a passion.
A passion that fortunatly we both share and now, I do even more. I spent almost two months working with Leo and the most important thing, learning from him not only as a EFR/oxygen provider/rescue diver/ DSD Leader/ Divemaster, but as a human being. He was so proffesional in everything he taught us, following all PADI standars and of course, telling us the importance of following then in our future career. Always willing to help you and even working more in our learning than it was expected, sending us thousands of documents, libraries, diving videos and all type of information related to the sea. Leo was a 24/7 instructor, always there if you had doubts, if you needed anything. He also made us work A LOT, training everyday, going everyday to the sea, assisting lots of courses... in the end, preparing us to be 100% future diving proffesionals.
It is difficult to express how thankfull I am to this man, proffesionally and personally of course. Because diving it is not only a bussiness, and Leo will not be only your instructor. He will be your mentor, your friend, he will start being a part of your diving family, a person of whom you can learn so much. Thanks for being always there, for being patient, humble, and comprehensive. Thank you for being my friend. Thanks for making this Go PRO internship that has change my life. Thank you for making up my mind and make me discover I want to follow this way in the future. Thank you for teaching me to be water.
See you down there
Laura Corredor - DM # 405658 - Spain
È stato un piacere seguire il tuo corso. Professionale, disponibile e competente. Avevo problemi con la fisica e lui si è offerto di rimanere ad aiutarmi anche dopo l'orario di lavoro! Siamo stati ore a rivedere tutto e a fare esercizi, e alla fine ce l'ho fatta! Ho passato il mio esame istruttore a pieni voti! Grazie di tutto
Valentina Tagliaferri - OWSI # 404344 - Italy
Leo is a great instructor! I love learning from him! The amount of care and attention he invests in his students is unbelievable! We used to send him messages all the time (includes nights and weekends) with questions we had about something in the materials that we didn't understood or anything else that we had a doubt about and he always had the answers for us! He is so knowledgeable that I learned so much from him just to see him working with other people and even more when he taught us directly.
Leo is an amazing human as well! Humble, cares, being your friend and not looking down on you.
I can't recommend someone else but him! If you what to learn from the best in the field you need to go to him!
Leo thank you (!!!) for an amazing course and I hope we will have the chance to dive together again!
VERED ROSE - OWSI # 388561 - Israel
I don't even know where to start. Leo has been on my side since the very beginning of my internship. He's not only a course director, as much as it would sound a cliché ,he's mostly a friend. I felt very comfortable with him during the course and I miss him already. On top of that, he knows exactly when it's time to be professional and time to laugh. I couldn't have asked for a more amazing and teachful experience.
Before I came I didn't have a lot of experience as a divemaster and I was afraid to fail and Leo supported me in every possible and made me feel so good that I wasn't afraid to make mistakes, ask questions. And slowly I became a real pro! Today I'm much more confident thanks to him and the internship.
Another thing I found that was amazing about Leo is his crazy love to diving that doesn't seem to have an end. His crazy motivation brings tons of dedication to the work and his students that I got so much out of it. (Specially coming on a day off to help us with more mock exams so we will be succeede-this personally helped me a lot). Leo is amazing at what he does, follow every rule possible making sure he brings good instructor to the family.
The last thing that I was very excited to see and I think by knowing this you know what kind of person Leo is. When we did our tests for the IDC , he was on the side eating all of his fingers waiting for everyone to come out and hopefully tell him they passed. I literally thought sometimes he was more anxious and nervous than all of us.
I love you Leo. I owe you so much!
Noa City-Eliah - OWSI # 330460 - Israel
I was working in Lanzarote and decided to do my IDC and was very excited. When I wrote an E-Mail to Leo introducing myself and asking what I should study he sent me thousands of things to do. The next day he sent even more and more and it just didn't stop ;) During my studies I also sent him millions of questions and he took his time to answer all of them and made sure I understand everything.
I have to admit the IDC wasn't always super easy and I stayed up late every night for my presentations so I could get a good score and didn't have to have 'the talk' with Leo. It was surprising how much more about the diving world and teaching skills you can learn. After the IDC the IE was just a piece of cake.
During his IDC, Leo doesn't just prepare you for the IE but also most importantly what comes after. You'll get prepared for the real world within the dive industry.
Overall the IDC was very good training but also just loads of fun. We all grew into a little family and this will definitely be missed. Also we learned new techniques on how to do an emergency weight drop and made jokes all the time.
Leo the Master Papa Frita is just the best teacher there could be and an amazing person inside out. A role model to every diver and I hope that one day I will be like him. He's our coach and we were the soccer team full of Papa Fritas.
Kristin Wloka - OWSI # 399549 - Germany
Me encantó hacer el IDC con Leo. Te prepara muy bien para el IE y la vida real. Al prepararte el el examen final parece más sencillo! Gracias Leo por tu profesionalidad y disponibilidad! See u soon !!!
Giulia Ennas - OWSI # 917305 - Italy
Estoy realmente satisfecho y sorprendido no solo con la calidad si no con la cantidad de información que fue enseñada en este IDC, con el profesionalismo y las ganas que tiene de enseñar, con la paciencia y la satisfacción de ver como sus alumnos mejoraban a cada día.
Es un inmenso placer tener a Leo Saldunbides como nuestro Course Director en nuestro IDC y espero que esto siga cada IDC mejorando y creciendo.
Gracias Leo por tu compañerismo, tu profesionalidad y por tu amistad…
Carlos Campana - IDC Staff & Owner of Lanzarote Non Stop Divers PADI 5 Star IDC Center # 24419 - Spain
Leo, el mejor instructor de buceo que he tenido uno de los mejores profesores de mi vida. Dedicacion absoluta con nosotros, gracias por tu esfuerzo Leo.
Nos vemos en Cabo Verde.
Xavier Palacios - OWSI # 392509 - Spain
I'm a PADI Instructor now, I decided to follow my dream and join Leo in Cape Verde. Best decision I ever made.
I went to Cape Verde and did an internship with Cabo Verde Diving, Romina and Fabrizio (the owners of the centre) are amazing, friendly and they will help you to feel at home. So I worked for them for around 3 months, did over 100 dives during that time, helped Leo and other instructors on a variety of courses and programs since DSD to Divemaster.
In the end of the internship I took part of the IDC with Leo (Course Director), Neil (IDC Staff), Hendrik (IDC Staff candidate) and 8 more colleagues. I already knew pretty much all of the other 8 candidates and they were not just candidates they were friends and we helped each other to achieve a common Dream.
After the IE we also did a MSDT prep and Leo let us choose a variety of Specialties to take as an instructor.
Leo Saldunbides is an excellent professional, he's the most passionate person for diving I've ever met, we knows a lot about diving and the diving industry and he has a big pleasure to share that knowledge with you and see you became the best professional possible. He's also a great friend and ready to tag along and go to the kiosk in the end of the day and relax.
During the IDC he's really hard on you and really perfectionist, but after I felt that the Instructor Examination was a piece of cake.
Now after the IDC I'm working as an OWSI in another company but he still asks if everything is going well and I know if I need help he'll give me a hand.
I had a great time in Cape Verde, I got a lot of friends and I know I'll return one day. Cabo Verde Diving is an excellent company and Leo I know I'll see him again when I decide to take my IDC Staff.
Thank you so much Leo, I wish you the best in your career, thanks for all the knowledge you shared with me and I know I still have a lot to learn with you. See you soon
Ruben Garcia - MSDT # 351773 - Portugal
Best instructor someone can have. Met him when I was doing my advanced course, and with him I upgraded up to Specialty Instructor. The way he loves diving and try to pass the feeling to the new students and GoPro candidates is amazing. Very professional and very friendly as well. Hope to do the IDC Staff with you again when I have the opportunity!
Jorge Schueler - OWSI - Brasil
I had my rescue diver course with Leo who is a fantastic instructor. He is very helpful, patient, funny, speaks clearly to understand this serious course but he is strict too which is mandatory to put assignments and skills into student’s head. I had super dives (14) and aquatic life is beautiful. If you go to Sal, Cabo Verde Diving (at Melia Tortuga)is what you are looking for and Leo is the best instructor ever. Absolutely recommended. Staff is friendly and well trained. I wish I could have stayed for longer. Thank you very much for this memorable and amazing time.
Agnes Balint - Rescue Diver - Hungary
Leo is one of the most professional people in the Dive world. He is a great instructor dedicated to his job and always will do his best for his students to enjoy, grow and learn.
Sahin Okay - DM - The Netherlands
One of the best experiences in my life !!! Thank you for being such a good mentor to us all, Leo ! Thank you ! Grazie Mille!
Mattia Toffani - PADI OWSI # 408551 - Italy
So many things to say, now i understand everything... Above of all, THANK YOU for all your hard work with me!!! I will never forget.
P.S.: "Pinch the nose ...!!!"
Eleonora Bresciani - PADI OWSI # 408550 - Italy
Grande Leo !!! Eres un crack!! De verdad que eres uno de los mejores profesores que he tenido en mi vida ! MAESTRO!!! El gran " PAPA FRITA" ! ;)
Joaquim Podesta - PADI OWSI # 370914 - Sweden
Leo is the most dedicated and supportive Instructor that I ever met !!!
Georgia Bataki - PADI A.I. # 408248 - Greece
Leo, this has been a long time coming. You are simply the best instructor/ course director I ever had. Top guy, mentor, friend, instructor. Always willing to push the extra mile for his students. Especially me, Hahah physics and physiology. But glad I pushed trough. I would be the OWSI I am today if it wasn't for you. If it ain't broken, don't fix it right. I would be your wingman any day of the week.
From the first day that we met, me waiting outside your office, waiting to talk to you about doing the open water course. I knew by that long conversation we had I wanted to be just like you. That is skill wise off course.
But right then and there you and your passion motivated me to become the best I could be.
From DSD till OWSI and beyond. I'll always come back to you for further training.
More then just my instructor. You are my friend!
Breany Silva - PADI OWSI # 367893 - The Nether lands