Todd’s Testimonials

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to leave a video testimonial, or send a written testimonial on our Contact Us Page.

“Todd didn’t run my IDC. He did however teach me how to be an instructor and make a living in this business.”

Scuba Instructor watching the waterI met Todd when after paying some other instructor for an advanced open water class and receiving my cert card, but not much more in the way of actual learning. I didn’t know when I signed up to retake my AOW with Todd I’d be signing up to learn from the best. Or signing on to let him infect me with a serious case of job-envy. I wanted to be a scuba instructor after day two in his class.

Basically a cottage industry in the panhandle of FL, there aren’t many instructors from Panama City and surrounding areas that don’t have at least one cert card with Todd’s name on it. He may be the hardest working dive pro I know. All that teaching, (somewhere in the thousands of classes in just the few short years I worked with him) has given Todd the insight and experience necessary to teach anyone anything. In addition to being a great instructor to work with as a student, his passion for the sport and the industry can only be described as absolutely viral. His students keep coming back asking for one more class. He knows how to work, knows how to inspire, and knows how to make a living in a really tough industry. I can’t say strongly enough how much he has helped me since that first day. If you want to be an instructor, Todd Yarbrough is the man to show you the way. Safe diving!

James Weber

PADI IDC Staff Instructor 337289

NAUI Instructor 57166


“Almost 3 years ago I walked into a local dive shop and signed up for the Open Water course.”

My Instructor and the other staff members kept mentioning someone named “Todd.”  I kept hearing good stories, and the little nuggets of wisdom that had been passed down to them, that they were now gifting to me.  Upon passing the course, and as I began to take part in the local dive scene, Todd’s name came up regularly, with a very wide range of divers, and always in a positive light.

scuba instructor leading a classIt wasn’t long before I gained a personal understanding of why he was held in high regard throughout the community.  I met Todd Yarbrough when I was an Advanced Open Water student.  He was unassuming, friendly, low key, confidently knowledgeable without a hint of arrogance, and a professional’s professional.  He had already trained thousands of divers as the shop’s Head Instructor and Padi Course Director.  Despite his formidable resume and accomplishments, he seemed to take genuine interest in the new folks who came in.  In the water, Todd is level-headed and patient when teaching.  He seems to genuinely enjoy being out there.  Time and again, I’ve watched him delight in the simple pleasure of exploration, and in showing some wonder to newcomers.
 Largely, because of the example Todd set, and because of the fountain of diving knowledge that he possesses, I decided to become a dive professional.  During my training, Todd spent many hours, and days, helping my classmates and I to hone our skills.  We trusted him to get us ready for presentations, demonstrations, exams, and for helping our future customers and students.  Todd delivered.  Our contingent did extremely well during our formal evaluations, and we are all still actively and happily involved in the dive industry.
Today, I own a dive shop, and I love to introduce new people to a part of our planet that they’ve never met before; the underwater world.  In my mind, Todd epitomizes what a dive professional should be:  friendly, available, and constantly developing both oneself and other divers in proximity.  It pleases me greatly to count Todd as a mentor, friend, and still, a gracious teacher, for whom I have a great amount of respect and admiration.

 Ramõn Sellers

Pelagic Sports, Owner

PADI Instructor

“No certification or piece of paper gives justice to his ability to relate to students and bring their diving abilities to the next level.”

I met Todd in 2005 in Panama City Beach, Fl. I was an open water diver and was looking to increase my knowledge and ability.  Todd took me under his wing and trained me to become and elite diver.  He started with my advanced open water and brought me all the way through Divemaster over a two year period.

Scuba Diver in a PoolWe have dove together hundreds of time over the years.  Many divers do not get the opportunity to log a few hundred in a lifetime.  We started working together every day at the Divelocker and our instructor/student relationship evolved into a working friendship.  I jumped at every opportunity to assist Todd with any classes and students.  Watching him teach students of all skill levels made me strive to achieve the same abilities.  We dove almost every day together, and when we had time off, we dove at night.  He is extremely patient and comfortable in the water and his teaching ability ensures by the end of your training, you will be as well.

Todd has established himself as an elite instructor.  The open water students Todd initially taught would continually return each season to raise their skill levels to advanced open water and above.   Todd’s reputation is built on trust, integrity, and teaching ability.  No certification or piece of paper gives justice to his ability to relate to students and bring their diving abilities to the next level.  Once you train with Todd, you will want to come back for further guidance and instruction in your diving career.

Joseph Deppen

PADI Dive Master

“Todd is the most efficient swimmer with a tank I have ever witnessed.” 

I began my professional dive career with Todd YarbroughScuba Instructor Diving on a Wreck as my Divemaster instructor and then as my IDC instructor. Being exposed to Todd’s leadership and enthusiasm for diving led me to become a professional freedive instructor with Performance Freediving International.  He can seemingly make a tank of air last forever.  He was truly a pleasure to learn from.

Tom Gilmore

PADI Instructor

PFI Freedive Instructor

Panama City Beach, FL

“You can’t buy that kind of dedication.”

Dive Instructor Hawaii SunsetTodd is by far one of the most energetic course directors I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His passion is what comes to mind immediately. He’s one of those people that through his passion inspires others to achieve more, explore more, dive more. You cannot think about Todd without dreaming of a dive adventure. As a course director I found him to be thorough. His way of teaching simplifies things even for the most challenging students. I refer to Todd often for guidance and he has always not just led me correctly, but takes the time to follow up after. You can’t buy that kind of dedication.

Michael Kurt

PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Oahu, HI

“In any activity, trade, or craft there is a point in time where an individual “gets it.”

Scuba Instructor teaching divingTodd and Patti get it as instructors. I’ve had the privilege of their instruction and mentorship at many levels including PADI Assistant Instructor, Instructor, IDC Staff Instructor and DAN Instructor. Their outstanding attitude, and understanding of diving concepts has been a tremendous help to me professionally and personally, and has continued for many years. I would take any level of course from Todd and Patti, and appreciate their teaching. I highly recommend Todd and Patti, in any dive endeavor, as they are the consummate SCUBA Industry Leaders.

Graham Vockroth

PADI Instructor

Gateside Scuba, Owner


“He went well beyond training me to “just pass the IDC”, as you may find in other places, but rather prepare me for life after the Instructor Evaluation (IE)”

Todd was my Course Director for the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC).  He was patient and generous with his time; often having to work around my crazy and inconvenient schedule.    He spoke well during the presentation portions of the IDC making it easy to follow and learn.   His deep background as an Instructor, Course Director, and DAN Instructor Trainer was a huge bonus for me.   Using his background and experiences, he went well beyond training me to “just pass the IDC”, as you may find in other places, but rather prepare me for life after the Instructor Evaluation (IE).  Thanks to Todd, I was significantly more prepared for the IE compared to other candidates I have met.   Post IDC and IE, I am actively instructing and still use Todd as a resource for questions and advice to this day.


Jared K.

PADI Instructor

Owner of Carolina Steel Co