Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Kent Rychel grew up in Vail, Colorado and spent years competing in alpine ski racing with the goal of becoming an Olympic athlete. He had a successful career as a top ranked athlete, competing internationally and NCAA. Kent found his calling when he began coaching alpine racing while still attending college and then made it a career. Over the next 20 years, competitions and projects took him and his staff and athletes all over North America, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and throughout Europe. A number of his athlete eventually became National Champions, and Olympians.
Kent lived in Crested Butte, CO for 20 years, where he was the Head Coach of Crested Butte Ski Club, Owner of a Coffee Shop, the Buckaroo Beanery, Columnist of a local newspaper, Alpine Director of Crested Butte Academy, and a History Teacher. During those years, Kent also worked as an outfitter, guiding people on horseback adventures in the West Elk Wilderness and Snowmass Maroon Bells Wilderness, and learned the art of training horses with gentle horsemanship, taught to him by Buck Brannaman. (Buck was recently the subject and star of the award winning motion picture “Buck”, produced by Robert Redford.)
Kent always enjoyed heading to the ocean and warmer weather for some relaxation and scuba diving. He did his first dives in Hawaii in 1979, completed the PADI Certification Course in 1982, and dabbled in diving for a few years, but it wasn't until 2002 that he became truly enthusiastic about the sport. Once in Fort Collins, Kent met Matt Smyrl and an amazing Instructor named Thomas Cain. They convinced him that teaching Scuba Diving was to become a profession. Scuba Diving has replaced skiing as the great passion. It has also created a new medium for Kent to use his skills as a coach and educator. He became a Dive Master in 2006, an Open Water Instructor and Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 2007, an Emergency First Response Instructor in 2010, and has made teaching scuba his full time job ever since.
Favorite Dive Site: Madrona Point, BC