The diver double-checks all her gear before leaving the surefootedness of the boat and falling into the deep water, where she explores shipwrecks and seemingly untouched expanses throughout the Michigan Underwater Preserves in the Great Lakes. The team of PADI- and SSI-certified instructors at Scuba Centers of Michigan helps students prepare for these types of adventures every day, covering advanced topics such as diving at night and how to properly greet a sturgeon. The instructors also start from the beginning, teaching basic open-water diving techniques, which their pupils practice in the onsite heated pool. To complement its courses, the center stocks gear from equipment brands such as McNett, Aqua Lung, and Suunto, and it organizes diving trips to South Africa and Australia.
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).
Winner of Toledo City Paper's 2008 Best Dive Shop honor, Aqua Hut staffs a sea-savvy staff to teach rookie snorkelers the basics of scuba diving. Today's deal gives you an hour with a professional scuba sensei for an introductory class. Underwater explorers should bring their own towel and bathing suit, but Aqua Hut will supply all the scuba equipment, including mask, fins, snorkel, Catfish-to-English dictionary, and boots. Owner and SSI-certified instructor Jeff Davis has been plunging into watery abysses for 30 years and has consulted Fox News as a scuba expert. More than 10,000 divers have received his team's comfortable, considerate training on how to safely navigate underwater.
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.
At Benthic Scuba Center, a PADI Five-Star Development Center, a knowledgeable staff draws on more than 40 years of collective experience as they unlock the ocean's depths for seafaring visitors. Certified instructors lead all levels in dive courses such as Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, and Air Diver Specialty. In addition to instructing divers, the centre also houses a vast selection of diving gear from top brands including Sherwood Scuba, Poseidon, and Oceanic, and loans rental equipment ranging from wetsuits and hoods to gauges and rubber duckies. The staff can also repair and maintain equipment to ensure safe aqueous excursions.