Though most who try something new only get their feet wet, a Discover Scuba class will have you totally immersed in one of Just Add Water's heated training pools. Practicing in the shallow waters of a pool allows students to get comfortable in the equipment without the added pressure of incomprehensible depths and run-ins with nervous spotted ratfish. During training, you'll spend a few minutes discussing the basics of scuba with an instructor before hitting the pool. Once in the water, students will get a lesson in submerged skills before being let loose to explore the underwater depths for abandoned pennies and bloated hamburgers. Students can exercise their moistened mobility with a game of underwater Frisbee or capture a few submerged snapshots for an impressive online profile picture that would make any pompous jellyfish jealous.
The Lackawanna headquarters of Phoenix Scuba and Water Sports is situated so that it attracts both Canadian diving enthusiasts who drop in from the Niagara Peninsula as well as divers from throughout western New York State. Recreational-minded beginners hop into an indoor pool to build skills and underwater experience before venturing out to the open water on one of the company's scuba charters. Meanwhile, Phoenix's veteran instructors work with professional divers-in-training who are trying to become certified. Instructional programs are also offered in adaptive diving, which trains those with physical disabilities to safely enjoy the joys of scuba. Through the years, the resident community of adaptive divers has made trips to exotic locales such as the Cayman Islands, where divers explore the ocean's depths and play Battleship underwater.
Dan's Dive Shop, a venerable PADI five-star diving facility, can equip would-be aquatic adventurers with all the gear and training they need to explore the watery depths. In Dan's 90-minute Discover Scuba Diving class, expert instructors acquaint up to 10 curious underwater novices with basic scuba-diving equipment, provided on-site and prepped beforehand by the shop's knowledgeable staff. After getting a feel for the gear, students can take their first underwater puffs, experiencing firsthand a thrill usually reserved for sturgeon and superpowered aquamen. Though this course doesn't qualify toward scuba certification, the basic skills and safety rules students pick up here can serve them well should they decide to pursue further instruction. Those who have completed the Discover Scuba Diving class receive a rebate off tuition fees for Dan's Dive Shop's full-certification courses and are automatically qualified to practice nautical law.
Led by dive master Scuba Steve, Buckeye Diving School's professional instructors have certified more than 9,000 divers since 1964—including Ohio celebrities Stefanie Schaeffer and Kenny Crumpton. Students can enroll in an open-water certification sequence to kick-start future careers as oceanic explorers or unsuccessful dunk-tank sitters. An orientation and four three-hour courses impart such fundamentals as buoyancy control, air sharing, and how to control ascents and descents. Each class divvies its time evenly between landlocked lessons and pool dives, and requires pupils bring or purchase their own mask, snorkel, boots, and fins (not included in this Groupon).
Opened in 1983, Groundhog Divers has grown into a comprehensive training centre that offers programming and certification through organizations including Scuba Schools International and the National Association of Underwater Instructors. Its classes cater to a full range of skill levels, from introductory experiences that get novices' flippers wet and facilitate basic familiarity with diving equipment to advanced coursework that takes instruction to the open water. Like Kermit the Frog, Groundhog’s sessions inhabit the land, water, and screen via multimedia presentations in its indoor classrooms. The facility also houses a professional equipment-repair centre and proffers gear for sale from brands such as Aqua Lung, Sherwood Scuba, and Akona.