Scuba in La Palma

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The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.

6021 Orange Ave
Cypress,
CA
US

Scuba.com stocks its digital shelves with thousands of scuba and snorkeling products from reputable manufacturers and offers a full manufacturer's warranty on all products. A pair of blue or silver H2O Andros full-foot dive fins ($21.95) facilitates speedy propulsion across sparkling waterways, and a Genesis Quadra dive mask ($24.95) allows divers to garner panoramic views of oceanic life and Atlantis's fabled art-deco skyscrapers. Diving devotees can invest in a warm-water wetsuit package, which ropes in an entire wardrobe of scuba gear including a wetsuit, a hood, boots, and gloves ($172.80+). Wearers of Sherwood Edge snorkels ($19.95+) gaze upon stunning underwater vistas while hovering near enough to the surface to grab some fresh air or crawl back onto the boat in the event of delinquent dolphins. Or flaunt maritime hobbies on T-shirts ($7.95+), hats ($6.95+), and jackets ($19.95+). Scuba.com offers free shipping on select orders more than $25.

1752 Langley Ave
Irvine,
CA
US

The expert instructors at Seas The Day Scuba arm swimmers with the skills to explore spectacular landscapes under the sea. They lead a variety of classes that range in difficulty from beginner to professional and in purpose from recreational to technical for divers of all ages. For those who are serious about the sport, they lead courses that result in a PADI certification, which grants students the ability to dive in waters all over the world. Along with classes that include fins-on excursions to the pool and the beach, they lead trips to such far-flung locations as Fiji and Indonesia, introducing divers to some of the world's most awe-inspiring underwater vistas. And they offer equipment rental and maintenance, tuning regulators or refilling tanks without the help of any blowfish.

6320 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd.
Anaheim Hills,
CA
US

Though it's changed hands, equipment, and even names over its 50+ years history, Deep Blue Scuba & Swim Center is a little piece of diving history. The scuba shop started its life as one of the first in the country, quickly came into the public consciousness thanks to a cover story in the February 1956 issue of Skin Diver magazine, and was even owned at one point by a colleague of Jacques Cousteau, Sam Lecocq.

Though a lot has changed since the early days, when Sam patented his “WaterLung” apparatus—the first single-hose regulator—Deep Blue has lead the charge into new technologies. Their state-of-the-art facility houses a heated indoor pool complete with an Eco-Safe filtration center. There, PADI-certified instructors teach landlubbers to breathe underwater in as little as two hours in introductory classes or certify treasure hunters as search and recover divers by throwing gold doubloons in the pool.

11 39th Pl
Long Beach,
CA
US

Jacques Cousteau had barely slipped the first scuba tank off his back when Pacific Wilderness opened its doors in 1953. Since then, the shop’s staffers have used their collective expertise to outfit divers with high-quality equipment from brands including Aqualung, Oceanic, Scubapro, Seaquest, and Zeagle.

They also teach PADI scuba-certification courses that range from basic open-water training to advanced rescue diving. Lessons start at the on-land facility's heated pool but progress to weekend-long dives in the waters of Redondo Beach. The shop's scuba-philes also arrange journeys to exotic locales such as the Sipadan Water Village Resort in Malaysia and the secret depths of Camp David's presidential bathtub.

360 S Tustin St
Orange,
CA
US

The Waterman's Depot is owned and operated by people who not only love the water, but have also spent plenty of time on and in it. Racks of recreational and fishing kayaks stand side-by-side with state-of-the-art stand-up paddleboards. When staff members aren't helping customers around the shop, they launch guided kayak trips and give product demonstrations. The expansive store contains aquatic sporting gear and apparel from more than 50 brands, including Oakley, Reef, and Sanuk. Available scuba gear ranges from basic fins and snorkels to more advanced gauges and computers that can tell you the number of old soggy boots buried in any fishing lake.

231 East Dyer Road
Santa Ana,
CA
US