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Eric Hopkins

Course Director- Assistant Director of Happiness & Great Days!

"Scuba Diving"I have been approximately 13 years old for more than 35 years now. Much to my wife’s distress, I just never emotionally advanced past that age of trying to add fun, wonder, excitement, and a little orneriness to every aspect of my life. I have been married for 25 years to my dive buddy. We have three children and a son-in-law. My wife and I began scuba diving in 1997 after taking a Caribbean cruise and not being able to scuba dive. Note: If you are going to surprise your wife with a cruise, come up with a good reason to become scuba certified beforehand. Over the past few years our children, son-in-law, my sister, and brother-in-law have one by one achieved certification. My father was certified with my Loree and I but never dove afterward. One of my coolest moments as an instructor was diving with him in Hawaii after completing a Scuba Review.
Scuba diving is such a wonderful all around sport. Introducing my family to scuba diving is much of my motivation to instruct. When I find something fun, relaxing, and enjoyable I tend to want to bring others on board. Scuba has a macho reputation, but in actuality it is a wonderful family sport. It is a sport that can be enjoyed over a lifetime and can include participants of all ages and in more locations than exotic tropical locals. I have nieces and nephews coming up & I look forward to literally getting their feet wet. My goal is to have no family left topside.
In addition to scuba, I enjoy landscaping when it involves my tractor, koi ponds, rock lined creek beds, theater and woodworking. I have traveled from the top of volcanoes and snow-capped mountains to the depths of the ocean. I tend to enjoy the route less traveled, a little more rustic, or the one that most represents the indigenous people of the region be that a small village in Guatemala or New York City. I enjoy winter sports such as snow skiing and riding snowmobiles to the top of the Continental Divide. I restore and collect antique and muscle cars. During the hours of the day I am forced to be an adult. I am a dentist.

What is my favorite type of diving? When diving for fun I like to be lazy. I have as much fun looking for the little things, which can be amazing, as I do looking at the larger animals or coral vistas. Frog kicking is cool. On the other hand there is no comparison to the feeling you get when diving in 6 to 8 knot currents. It is the closest I will ever get to the weightlessness of outer space.

What is the best dive I ever had? Probably the first open water dive with each of my children. That look of awe and accomplishment is priceless

What is my favorite tropical destination? Any! If I am diving in the ocean I am not anywhere near work.

What is my favorite freshwater dive destination? Lake Tenkiller is a good lake to dive. It offers an easy access to adventure if you have the right attitude. I also enjoy Blue Hole in New Mexico. It’s an oasis in the winter.

What tropical destination is on the top of my list to visit one day? Truk Lagoon. I would love to explore the WWII wrecks.

What is my favorite BCD? The Scubapro Seahawk. It has very good balance. I am often upside down, sideways, or backwards while diving. The Seahawk allows me to maintain very good control regardless of my body’s orientation and it has pockets!

What is my favorite regulator? I have used the Aqua Lung Legend for years. It allows full adjustment with breathing ease at all levels.

What is my favorite computer? The Galileo. Without a doubt. The Luna is a close second. This computer is supposed to do everything. I think it will even assemble my gear.

What type of exposure protection do I prefer? I will dive in a swimsuit if at all possible. I am naturally warm natured and prefer to be a little on the cool side versus overheating, but I do have a wide selections of wetsuits. I prefer the Scubapro because of the shape of the fit. I love my DUI drysuit for cold water. It keeps me toasty.

What type of fins do I prefer? I have used the Splitfins for a long time. They work well in most conditions. I will use Scubapro Seawing Novas in a strong current.

What is my favorite class to teach? I have spent the better part of 2010 teaching Professional level classes. I also recently started a college program at OBU. I love all the classes, from Open Water through Instructor Development. Ask me about my list of “must do” classes. I love to teach the Rescue class and Nitrox.

What are my teaching credentials? ? I have been diving since 1997. As a recreational diver I became a Master Scuba Diver before taking steps to become an instructor. I became a Master Instructor in 2010. Look for more in the future.

Recreational courses

    Recreational Courses:
    PADI Course Director
    Open Water
    Advanced Open Water
    Rescue
    Peak Performance Buoyancy
    Project Aware
    Aware Coral Reef Conservation
    Boat
    Diver Propulsion Vehicle
    Deep
    Underwater Naturalist
    Emergency Oxygen Provider
    Fish ID
    Underwater Navigator
    Tec Rec Gas Blender
    Night Diver
    Altitude
    Search & Recovery
    Digital Underwater Photography
    Wreck
    Drift
    Enriched Air Diver
    Dry Suit
    Underwater Pumpkin CarvingProfessional Courses:
    Divemaster
    Assistant Instructor
    EFR Instructor Trainer
    Care for Children Instructor TrainerLife Saving Courses:
    Emergency First Response — CPR, 1st Aid, Automated External
    Defibrillators, & Care for Children with AED

Top Performer Award in Orlando, FL at the DEMA Show

Blue Hole, New Mexico 2011

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Skydiving

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Hawaii vacation 2011

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