Eco Dive Center’s dedication to water conservation shines through in its educational programs—the dive team teaches its students not only about scuba diving, but how to properly care for and respect the underwater world. It’s much more than just a water-safety school and aquatics emporium, although it does house dive gear from renowned brands such as Bare and Oceanic in its 5,000 square-foot store. And it does, of course, certify students in both basic open-water PADI skills and more advanced specialties, such as rescue and first-response.
Eco Dive has led underwater cleanup expeditions off of Santa Monica Pier, removing hundreds of pounds of trash in the process, and has enlisted the help of school children to spruce up local beaches. It has also partnered with area non-profits such as Heal the Bay, an organization that educates the public about reducing water pollution and administering splints if waves sprain their ankles.
Custom Scuba’s two boats aren’t typical leisure vessels—they’re inflatable boats, originally designed for Navy SEALS. And like Navy SEALS, the company’s captains use the boats to reach hidden channels and hard-to-access waterways. However, unlike Navy SEALS, their top priority is fun. With more than 10 years of experience each, the two captains helm snorkeling adventures, fishing trips, and sunset cruises that showcase the area’s natural beauty at sites often not visited by other companies. True to its company name, the team also offers scuba classes, teaching basic underwater skills and doling out dive certifications with a teaching motto of never rushing a student and always putting safety first and cannonball competitions last.
The NAUI-certified instructors at Ye Ol’ Dive Shop of Simi Valley impart all the skills and training necessary to safely tread below the surface of the sea. Discovery lessons lend an introductory exploration into scuba equipment and diving techniques before students embark on a supervised session within the unexplored depths of a swimming pool. For a more complete discovery of their inner fishes, initiates wade into the Complete Diver Workshop; in this course, extensive review of equipment and safe practices precedes five sessions of open-water training, wherein acquired techniques are pitted against the rigors of currents and high-tech fishing lures. Course fulfillment results in the procurement of a NAUI Scuba Diver certification card as well as CPR and first-aid certification.
"If you have always wanted to swim over a coral reef, float through a kelp forest with sea lions, or bring home a lobster dinner, now you can!" exclaims the staff of Channel Islands Scuba. They make this dream a reality by providing classes that teach everything from water safety fundamentals to advanced scuba techniques, such as open water diving and performing the running man underwater. And they have the equipment expertise to back it all up as they regularly service and repair tanks, valves, and regulators to ensure safe diving.
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.