Welcome to our TecMonsters' paradise!
Ian and Mehdi decided to create Tec Monsters to provide Londoners with a technical diving paradise where all divers are welcome to come and play with kit, ask advice, questions and get training with some of the best instructors in the country, regardless of the agency.
We also thought we could help Londoners put together that super cheap diving kit they bought online and can't assemble by themselves (I'm joking, you really shouldn't buy your kit online and beg us to do it for you).
We want to create a platform for like-minded divers to get in touch within our club, participate to Tec oriented talks, like our infamous "Torch-Porn" night, and also get in touch with some of the best instructors that aren't great at communication. All of that in one place, here!
Ian Clafton is Yorkshire born and after many years playing rugby at high level and a brilliant carrer in the publishing industry Ian bought a declining Scuba diving shop in 2008, named Aquanaut Scuba, in Kingston Upon Thames.
Being a hairy-ass BSAC diver and a PADI Divemaster himself, he expanded the little scuba diving shop into a very well stocked shop, a fully accredited service centre and a PADI 5* training centre with a lot of help from his wife Lynne (lots and lots of help such as reminding him that it’s time to leave the pub to go home or reminding him the names of their daughters and so on).
Since then, they have been involved and dedicated to the scuba diving industry. They support any and all customers walking through the doors of the shop, run a very busy dive club and take part in local BSAC dive clubs, including Kingston Uni, Surrey Uni and (not so local) Imperial College.
And to top it all, Aquanaut is the backbone of Tec Monsters by providing full logistic and service support but also providing a full range of recreational courses.
Mehdi Zinetti was born in Paris from multicultural parents, so it wasn’t a big surprise that he left France as soon as he finished school, aged 17. Mehdi worked his way up in the hospitality industry over 15 years, starting as a kitchen porter and ending up as the general manager of a group of French restaurants in Sydney.
Mehdi discovered scuba diving quite randomly while backpacking in South-East Asia (how original) and got hooked straight away. Working in very busy dive centres in Indonesia, Thailand and Australia he realised that a full-time career in diving was all he had been dreaming of. Delivering an unforgettable experience while working outside, being in the sun all day on boat with beautiful suntanned people and sharing his love for the sea, was what made him happy! So, after a year in Bali, Mehdi moved to London…
Since late 2015 Mehdi has been the manager of Aquanaut Scuba as well as the lead instructor, club treasurer, trimix gas blender instructor and main service technician. Also, since he has been in the UK, he has become a PADI Tec Deep & IANTD Advanced Recreational Trimix Instructor, IANTD CCR diver and also cave/mine diver.
Unlike many instructors, Mehdi does a lot of diving for himself in the challenging waters of the UK (south coast, flooded mines and deep wreck penetrations) and also abroad during some of the trips he organises (Egypt, Iceland, Ibiza, Malta). This helps him develop his own style of teaching: straight to the point in a relaxed atmosphere while having fun, but safety as paramount at all times.