Squalo Divers, a PADI Five Star Dive Center, works in tandem with top industry brands such as Aqualung, Mares, and GoPro to outfit divers so they can explore underwater ecosystems. Equipment such as tanks, depth gauges and buoyancy-control devices prepares landlubbers for underwater travel without tricking a whale into swallowing them. Alternatively, the shop’s maintenance services can whip older gear into working order before each aqueous adventure.
Taught by certified instructors, Squalo Divers' courses run the gamut of scuba instruction, ranging from basic open-water certification to emergency-responder techniques. Courses incorporate cutting-edge training materials—including dependable gear and online study aids—and are taught in English or Spanish. The scuba center also offers trips to explore local waterways renowned for their extensive array of marine life.
Boasting a five-star certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Pompano Dive Center's seasoned staff enlighten aquatic adventurers during comprehensive snorkeling and scuba-diving courses. The crew welcomes divers into a practice swimming pool or aboard their custom-built boat, Sea Dog Diver. The vessel departs into South Florida's beautiful waters in search of marine wildlife, wrecks, and schools of fried fish sticks. The team helps pupils gain PADI certification and teach specialty courses such as underwater photography and freediving, the art of diving with only a single breath. The staff also mans a retail shop, which carries the full ScubaPro line and enough wetsuits to clothe all of Atlantis's top businessmen.
Ocean Hunters has virtually everything a diver would want to tackle the depths of any waters, from brand-name equipment to expert instruction. Instructors lead full open-water scuba certification classes, as well as other occasional classes in freediving and spearfishing. The shop sells equipment, gear, and apparel such as fins, wetsuits, and weight belts from brands including Oceanic, Genesis Scuba, and HammerHead Spearguns.
Diver’s Den Miami’s Saturday scuba classes inculcate new divers with aquatic expertise with a contagious enthusiasm the Miami NewTimes celebrated by making it the city’s best dive shop in 2006. Experienced instructors guide students through courses composed of up to 2.5 hours of classroom time and roughly two hours of pool instruction in which participants shout brusque commands at largely unresponsive puddles. The class does not include equipment, so clients should either bring their own snorkel, fins and mask or rent required equipment plus boots at the dive shop ($19), from which they can glean tips and tricks from the years their rental equipment has helped students during class.
Nautilus Spearfishing’s certified staff instructs water-sports enthusiasts in proper, safe diving techniques. Individuals looking to acclimate themselves to freediving methods and safety protocols can receive breath-holding know-how with Nautilus’ F.I.I. Intro to Freedive and Safety Course, a full-day class that gives diving neophytes a firm foundation in tankless diving and the basic knowledge required for future freediving education. Groups of no more than 10 students begin their instruction in a structured classroom, learning basic safety procedures, breathing techniques, and dismissing dinner invitations from deceptive sharks. After memorizing the do’s and don’ts of diving, pupils take to the Nautilus pool to practice their newfound skill set in a controlled environment.
Over the course of nearly a decade of instruction, diving enthusiast and registered nurse Laura Parke has passed along the secrets of the deep to more than 700 divers. Though Laura leads a range of both basic and specialty courses, this deal is redeemable only for the private Discover Scuba Diving course for beginners ages 10 and up. The aqua-bound learning begins with students paddling in the pool to familiarize themselves with the gear and their functions. Once students are able to pat their heads while rubbing their goggles clean, they are carted off to get their fins wet at two shallow, oceanic locations. Tank toters will earn credit upon completion of this class, which can then be applied toward the Open Water Certification course, giving the average biped the chance to finally reunite with the speechless mermaid who got away.