PADI Course Director Matt Bolton

Multi Award Winning Platinum PADI Course Director Matt Bolton


PADI Course Director #463559

General Manager and Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Matt Bolton is one of the few Asian based Course Directors to have been selected to attend the prestigious Course Director Training Course at PADI HQ in California.

Matt joined Crystal Dive in 1999 and quickly became senior Instructor.

Teaching all levels of PADI courses and building up an extensive knowledge of the local dive industry, Matt became Operations Manager in 2003, quickly developing the Crystal Dive Koh Tao brand into a 5 Star Instructor Career Development Centre.

During this period he worked alongside some of the Asia Pacific region leading Course Directors giving him a unique insight into various teaching styles within PADI IDC’s.

Boasting a wealth of teaching experience throughout the PADI System, Matt has conducted over 100 PADI IDC’s and countless more MSDT Prep & Internship programs.

Matt has certified over 6,000 PADI Professionals as a PADI Course Director and thousands more PADI student divers.

With 15 years management experience, Matt has built Crystal Dive Koh Tao into one of Asia Pacific’s premier scuba diving operations. He has 20 Instructor Trainer Specialty ratings as well as being an EFR Primary, Secondary and Care for Children Instructor Trainer.

As Crystal grew in popularity, Matt employed a full diving Operations team and concentrated more on the business side, devising new marketing strategies as well as developing new educational initiatives such as the introduction of the Environmental & Conservation curriculum and Technical diving at Crystal.

By 2008, after 5 years of hard work both Matt and Crystal began to receive recognition from within the industry. Invited to the Asia Dive Expo in Singapore as a guest speaker at the “Business Solutions for the Future” conference hosted by PADI Asia Pacific Matt was also on hand to receive the prestigious “Diver Training” award on behalf of Crystal Dive Koh Tao.

Crystal became the first Koh Tao based dive operation ever to win an award at the PADI Members Awards.

To this day, Crystal Dive Koh Tao Career Development Centre (CDC) is the only Dive Centre in Thailand to have won this award.

Crystal were also finalists in the “Marine Environmental” Award & the “Instructor Development” award becoming the first Dive center ever to receive three nominations at one ceremony.

2009 continued along the same lines as 2008. In January Crystal Dive won the Project AWARE Worldwide Environmental Achievement Award, presented annually by Project AWARE, a non-profit environmental & conservation organisation.

Then in May PADI CEO Dr. Drew Richardson visited Koh Tao for the first time to present Matt with the 2009 PADI Asia Pacific Members Diver Retention award.

This award recognises a dive centre’s success and popularity in retaining student divers as a result of high standards in training and customer service. Crystal also received several finalist nominations becoming not just Koh Tao’s most awarded Dive Center but also Thailand’s.

Matt has also been recognised at Instructor Development level, receiving the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Instructor Development’ award in 2008, 2010 and again in 2013.

Matt was also awarded ‘Outstanding contribution to the dive industry’ in 2015 and in recognition of Crystal Dive’s milestone 100,000 PADI certifications – achieved in March 2017 – Matt was awarded ‘Outstanding contribution to Diver Training’.

No other PADI Course Director in the Asia Pacific region has received such recognition from PADI and there is no PADI Course Director on Koh Tao that has anywhere near Matt’s rounded industry experience.

There are currently more than 20 active PADI Course Directors that Matt has trained during his time as a PADI Course Director.

Matt now belongs to an elite group worldwide that have received the ‘Platinum’ PADI Course Director rating accolade, and is the only ‘11 Time Platinum’ PADI Course Director on Koh Tao, and one of a handful worldwide.

Matt’s success is well documented and his reputation within the industry has seen him selected to conduct the first ever PADI IDC’s in India, East Timor and Oman.

He was also selected by the Malaysian Government – Yayasan Peneraju project – to conduct Penang Island’s first PADI IDC as part of a Government initiative to encourage more Malaysian dive professionals to embark on a career in the scuba diving industry.

He continues to spearhead the Instructor Development Programs at Crystal Dive, working alongside fellow Platinum PADI Course Director Suki Hung, and Koh Tao’s newest PADI Course Director Andrea Warren.

As Thailand’s longest serving and most successful Dive Centre Manager, plus being Koh Tao’s most successful Platinum PADI Course Director, you can be certain to get your PADI scuba diving career off to a great start by completing the PADI Instructor Development Course with Matt at Crystal Dive Koh Tao.

crystal-dive-koh-tao-100000-reasons-to-dive-with padi-president

Diver Training Award 2017
PADI President Drew Richardson & Matt Bolton
crystal-dive-koh-tao-100000-reasons-to-dive-with padi-president
crystal-dive-koh-tao-100000-reasons-to-dive-with padi-president


PADI Course Director
EFR Primary, Secondary and Care for Children Instructor Trainer
Reef Check Trainer
Marine Resource Management (MRM)
BSAC Advanced Instructor


Enriched Air Nitrox
Deep Diver
Search & Recovery
Underwater Videography
Underwater Photography
Digital Underwater Photography
Equipment Specialist
Wreck Diver
Multi Level
Diver Propulsion Vehicle
Underwater Naturalist
Whaleshark Awareness Specialist
AWARE Sea Turtle Specialist
Emergency Oxygen Provider
PADI Oxygen Provider Instructor
Dive Center Employee Instructor
Coral Watch Coral Health Chart
AWARE Shark Conservation Diver

PADI Sidemount Diver



2017 – Awarded Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training in recognition of his stewardship of Crystal Dive, Koh Tao and their milestone achievement of 100,000 PADI divers.

2016 – Selected by Malaysian Government (Yayasan Penerajuto) to conduct Penang Island’s first EVER PADI IDC as part of Government initiative to encourage more Malaysian dive professionals to embark on a career in the scuba diving industry.

2015 – Awarded Outstanding contribution to the Dive Industry 

2013 – Awarded Outstanding contribution to Instructor Development award in recognition of the high quality of his Instructor Development Courses

2nd “Outstanding Contribution to Dive Industry” – Sydney, March 2012
Conducted FIRST EVER PADI IDC in East Timor – Dili, July 2010
1st “Outstanding Contribution to Dive Industry” – Sydney, June 2010
Conducted FIRST EVER PADI IDC in India – Andaman Islands Nov/Dec 2009
PADI Asia Pacific Diver Retention Award Winner 2009
PADI Asia Pacific Diver Trainer Award Winner 2008
Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award 2008 & 2009 (Worldwide)
PADI Asia Pacific Marine Environmental Award Finalist 2008, 2009 & 2010
PADI Asia Pacific Outstanding Business Award Finalist 2009
PADI Asia Pacific Instructor Development Award Finalist 2008 & 2010
Business Solutions & Lifestyle Conference 2008 – Singapore

PADI Platinum Course Director Award 2006, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 2016, 2017


IDC Koh Tao • PADI 5 Star Award Winning Career Development Centre

Most Competitive Rates Anywhere in Thailand

IDC Koh Tao • Matt’s Industry News

How scuba diving helped Jamie Hull overcome adversity

Jamie Hull is no ordinary scuba diver. He is a leader in his field as a PADI dive professional and a fully qualified diving instructor with the British Army Sub Aqua Diving Association (ASADA), a special branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). This in itself is...

PADI Women’s Day 2018 Platinum PADI Course Director Suki Hung

Suki Hung is one of the most experienced Chinese PADI Course Directors, training over 1,000 PADI Professionals and has been at the highest level of the scuba diving industry for over a decade. Suki recalls her journey from the corporate world to the underwater world...

Candidate Testimonials

"An Internationally Acclaimed PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre (CDC), this is a Dive Centre that provides you with an opportunity to change your lifestyle and develop a new career."


"Was a hard but great course! Thanks a lot again to all staff who teaches and prepared us so well, that finally the IE was easy going! Thanks Matt, Tina, Steph, Kenji, Steve, Manu and everybody else who supports us."


"They cater to your schedule during divemaster training so you can do it at your own pace and are also environmentally conscious which is an important factor. Anyone considering a professional career in diving should definitely consider Crystal."


"They are very dedicated, and were always there to help me with the theory, and to improve my scuba teaching skills. If you are still searching for a centre to do your IDC at, I recommend doing it with Matt."


"There was absolutely nothing that could have happened during the IE the candidates were not made very well aware of. Everything ran so smoothly for the candidates."


"It's a good decision to do your training with Matt, a lot of information is given and shared experiences. If you guys wanted to do IDC, I recommend doing it with IDC Koh Tao. Thank you for the amazing IDC."


"If you guy's are looking for good teachers and the best Course Director, this is the place..Thank you for guiding us, inspiring us and making us what we are today. Highly recommend."


"I enjoyed every single day of my IDC as well as my MSDT. Matt is an outstanding Course Director who goes all the way out for you, in preparation for the IE."


"The course was fun and you meet a bunch of new people, it’s not hard to fit in. When the day of the IE arrives, you don't even stress about it, because the Course Directors are the best."


"Did my IDC with Crystal Dive and IDC Koh Tao and I'm so happy I chose them. Matt Bolton made sure that there was lots of learning, training and laughs! I felt more than prepared for the I.E. And it showed!"

WhatsApp chat