A PADI five-star instructor-development centre, Ocean Pro Divers has provided Surrey with professional scuba training and gear for more than two decades. Over that time, owners Shannon and Wes Kozak have netted a team of expert, PADI-certified instructors, who draw from both local and tropical experiences to enlighten students at their fully equipped facility. In addition to offering the full spectrum of scuba-training courses, the Ocean Pro Divers staff leads diving adventures almost every weekend of the year. They also offer travelling dive packages to international destinations, giving students a choice between wading through exotic waters or staying near home to explore the subaquatic depths of Vancouver, which abound with marine life and hibernating hockey players during the off-season.
Based at Kamloops and Boundary Bay Airport, Canadian Flight Centre has used its fleet of small aircraft to train more than 3,000 professional and recreational pilots since its inception in 1979. After a thorough ground-school education, potential commercial and private fliers hop into planes for flight training. Instructors utilize the region's unique proximity to coastal mountains and the Pacific Ocean to teach specific mountain checkout or water-related flying and instrument skills. They outfit their instructional aircraft with all the controls, instrumentation, and capabilities necessary to imbue industry-standard proficiency.
Pacific Flying Club celebrates its 50th anniversary as a flying club and school in 2015. All those decades of airborne excellence wouldn't be possible without the senior management team, who can count some hefty, industry-leading accolades among its ranks. Gretchen Mathieson, the club's chief flight instructor in the 1980s and '90s, won the British Columbia Aviation Council?s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, and former chief engineer Dick Laidman once served as president of Pacific Western Airlines. Today, the team oversees a full-scale operation stationed at Boundary Bay Airport with a fleet of 25 aircraft, three simulators, and members ranging from flying veterans to minors whose wings haven't sprouted yet. Aspiring aviators have all of this at their disposal as they complete ground school courses and log hours behind the yoke in pursuit of a full private pilot license or recreational pilot permit.
The 18-hole, par 3 course at Sunshine Woods Golf Centre pulls off a difficult trick—it's accessible to beginners while still giving veterans periodic fits. The course is notable for its elevated approach shots and a smattering of small but pesky lakes. These and other elements force players to call upon every club in their bags, using the 9-iron for shots that require high loft and the spiked mace for intimidation. After conquering all 18 holes, head to the facility's expansive driving range, where CPGA golf professionals offer helpful pointers on swing and strategy.