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).
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.