Progress is impossible without change, and there are some important changes being made at Molchanovs.
Since the founding of Molchanovs International, our goal has been to provide the best freediving education, training, and gear to the freediving world. We produce educational materials of the highest quality for our freediving courses, which we strive to continuously keep up-to-date with the newest techniques and research available. The most recent example of this is our new Wave 4 - Competitive Freediving course, which is the most advanced competitive freediving program in the world. We also invest heavily to continually update our systems and content. The current iteration of our Dashboard, still under development for launch later this year, will be the most comprehensive freediving education and training system available, enhancing both student and instructor user experience. We have also been updating and improving our Base Training program to help all freedivers reach their goals and turn freediving from a set of skills into a lifestyle. And of course, we have exceptional instructors, instructor trainers, and schools, which are role models in the freediving world.
2. What are the goals?
3. What will change?
3.1. Registration fees
3.2. Discounts on registration fees
3.3. Membership fees
3.4. Base Training
Why are things changing?What most people do not know is that, up to now, all of this investment in our education and training system has been heavily subsidized by our gear sales. We structured Molchanovs this way with the best of intentions — to execute on our mission to spread our love of freediving to the world. Our strategy was to grow the sport by making teaching and training freedivers as profitable as possible for the instructors. This year, however, we will have to make some adjustments to our model. The era of COVID-19 was an incredibly difficult time for our entire industry and put a major dent in our finances as we did our best to help our instructors by freezing membership dues for over half a year. This was followed immediately by the terrible and tragic invasion of Ukraine, which has led us to make sizable investments to move 90% of our gear production out of Russia. It was also becoming clear that smaller instructors and schools were being asked to pay more than their fair share of the costs of our overall system while the larger schools were being asked to pay proportionally less.
With respect to Base Training, we struggled with how best to reinvest in Base Training when it was being offered for free. Without any additional revenue to reinvest, we did not have the resources to turn Base Training into a product that would best serve the freedivers, our instructors, and freediving schools. This self-reinforcing problem meant that Base Training, although unique and likely the best free product available in the market, was not as good or useful as it could otherwise be with only a small percent of freedivers who took Wave/Lap courses actively using it.
All of these factors have made it clear that going forward, education and training need to be built on a more sustainable business model that does not rely on gear sales and ensures that we are all reinvesting in our education and training system. That is why we are making these changes - so that we can continue building the best and most up-to-date freediving education and training system together.
What are the goals?We are making these changes with three goals. First, to put the Wave Program and Base Training on a sound foundation that does not rely on gear sales and allows for reinvestment to make those programs, now and going forward, the best freediving education and training system in the world. Second, to make the business model more mutually beneficial so that all instructors and schools, regardless of size, would be investing fairly into the operation and development costs of our system. Third, to keep our system the best value-for-money of any freediving education and training system available.
What will change?The first major change is that we are eliminating the Unlimited and Dive Center memberships. There will also be changes in the registration fee structure as outlined below. If you are on an Independent membership (which is a large majority of you), you will see very little change in fees. Starting July 1st, you will see a slight increase in registration fees (from 25USD to 30USD per student, unless you are registering more than 15 students every 3 months, in which case your registration fees would be 27USD per student). For instructors who are on Unlimited or Dive Center memberships, after your current membership expires you will be on a “per student” registration fee model where the more students you register, the lower the registration fees.
The second major change is that, as opposed to unlimited access, students will receive 3 months of free access to Base Training for each certification level they receive (more on that below). After that 3-month period, Base Training will be subscription-based. As a benefit, starting immediately, students who have access to Base Training (whether with free access or a paid subscription) will have a 20% discount on Base Training + programs.
We recognize that these changes may be concerning for you, and we are asking for your trust that these are necessary changes that will help ensure reinvestment into our education and training system and that the system will be one that best serves you, your students, and freedivers everywhere. Our commitment to you is that we will be reinvesting any additional revenue into people, content, and systems, and working hard to earn that trust since, without you, none of this would be possible - you are a part of this movement and the reason why we can continue to provide the best freediving education and training to the world.
Registration Fees starting July 1, 2022Starting July 1st, registration fees have changed. Fees will vary between freediving students, first-level instructors, and upgrading instructors.
Freediving Students (W/L1 - W/L4)
As a result of these changes, upgrade courses (i.e. L1 to W1) will no longer appear as offered courses and you will not be “doubly charged” for registration fee.
Discounts on Registration Fees starting July 1, 2022
The more students you register, the more discounts you get. The discounts are calculated on the first of each calendar month based on the number of registrations within the prior 3 calendar months.
15 registrations in the prior 3 calendar months:→ 10% off registration fees for that calendar month
25 registrations in the prior 3 calendar months:→ 20% off registration fees for that calendar month
50 registrations in the prior 3 calendar months:→ 25 % off registration fees for that calendar month
Membership FeesThe annual membership fees we offer instructors are changing into a single 100USD flat fee for everyone.
Dive Center and Unlimited Instructor membership fees are no longer offered. Each instructor will be charged a 100USD membership fee per year. Existing memberships will continue until they expire.
Unlimited Instructor and Dive Center memberships that expire before September 1st may renew for 1 more year. After that, there will be no additional renewals available.
Changes in Base Training access, Base Training Induction, and Base Training + purchase credits help us improve the workouts and programs we provide to students to help them reach their full potential.
Starting July 1st, students will get 3 months of free access to Base Training (BT) with each new certification level. If a student takes 2 courses in different certification levels within 3 months, their access to Base Training will be extended for another 3 months after their first 3 months finishes. For example, if a student takes W1 immediately followed by W2, they would get access to Base Training for 6 months. Students who want to continue receiving access to Base Training after the 3-month period can pay 60USD for a one-year subscription.
Students who have access to Base Training (whether the free access or a paid subscription) will have a 20% discount on Base Training + programs.
All students who are certified prior to July 1st will automatically receive 6 months of free access to Base Training.
Base Training Induction (BTI) can temporarily no longer be taught by instructors. This change is only for the time being as we will set clear guidelines and pricing on how they should be conducted.