Underneath blue skies, students geared up in masks, fins, and snorkels dive into an outdoor, heated training pool to learn how to breathe underwater. As students acclimate to the water, certified instructors lead them through courses of varying levels, such as the introductory Discover Scuba course, that teach breathing basics and safety techniques. After mastering the fundamentals, Scuba Schools of America can take water enthusiasts to the beach or out into the Pacific for open-water dives where they'll implement full dive-planning methods and artistic poses atop opened clamshells. For those seeking certification, Scuba Schools of America teaches intensive classes and specialty programs such as underwater photography and rescue diving.
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.
Coral reefs seem to sway across the ocean floor, where purple starfish rest and large manta rays soar gracefully through the water overhead. When founder of RC Scuba Center Jeanne Whelchel set out on her first dive in 1975, this is the sort of vista she wished to see for herself. Today, with more than 8,000 dives in both cold and tropical waters under her belt, she opens oceanic exploration up to the masses. Her PADI-certified courses have certified more than 2,000 studnets and let the curious take their first breath underwater, the experienced work their way to master scuba diver, and the fugitive live the rest of their lives as fish. Aside from instruction, she and her staff of licensed instructors also organize dive charters, giving adept divers the opportunity to plunge the depths at nearby sites such as San Diego’s Wreck Alley or far-off locales such as the Red Sea.
The crew at Brian Anderson Dive and Scuba School is all about extreme adventure, and the proof is in the company name—whose abbreviation spells out an extreme acronym. They lead a variety of certification programs for students who wish to stretch their sea legs, including regular and advanced open-water certification, rescue diving, emergency first responder, and Divemaster. They also organize diving trips to remote locales such as Cozumel, Thailand, Fiji, Australia, and the Bahamas. The team works with each student on an individual level, allowing them to complete courses at their own pace, on their own schedule, and at their own budget.
With the proliferation of the internet and the expansion of cheap global airfare, humanity has begun to lose its sense of adventure. There’s little left to explore on the earth, but that all changes when you head underground. That’s where the oceans come in. Driven by a desire to see the ocean's wondrous creatures and otherworldly environments, the instructors at Signature Scuba have been charting undersea expeditions for years and years. Today, they strive to rekindle that love of discovery in their students with PADI-certified courses in open water diving. Through classroom sessions, pool diving practice, and teacher-guided open-water excursions in Catalina, students grow comfortable in their gear and in the water. Soon, they’re able to jet off at their teacher's referral in search of natural wonders during explorations of warm-water locales such as Hawaii or their uncle's hot tub.
Some of Sea Stallion Scuba Outfitters's certified dive instructors fell in love with the ocean after moving to the West Coast from landlocked states, and others caught the diving bug on Caribbean vacations. But no matter how they came to love the sport, all of the instructors translate their passion into superior tutelage to help students earn their underwater independence through SSI-open-water-dive courses from beginner to instructor levels. These same staffers exercise their expertise to sell diving, snorkeling, and underwater-photography equipment from top industry brands, in addition to tweaking existing gadgets to ensure safe below-surface adventures. Though based in the Pacific Ocean, Sea Stallion encourages sea-hopping with yearly excursions to exotic locales, such as the Bahamas, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the recently discovered Eighth Sea.