Waterways snake all over the planet's surface, many emptying into a great blue ocean. As many scuba divers have found, those depths comprise a whole other world to explore—and require a specific set of skills to conquer. At SCUBASTOP, certified instructors use their knowledge to open that aquatic world to just about anyone.
Students here first get their feet wet with Discover Scuba, a class that teaches the absolute basics of diving. Anyone inspired to delve further can enroll in a PADI certification course that starts in classrooms and heated pools before voyaging out to the open waters of Balmorhea State Park or The Blue Lagoon scuba park. Specialized advanced courses are also available for anyone interested in rescue diving, digital underwater photography, or joining an improv group run by clown fish.
A PADI five-star diving facility, Arlington Scuba Center, Inc. first opened its doors in 1972. Since then, the shop's scuba instructors have helped countless divers obtain PADI open-water certification. The lessons start within the facility's classroom and pool and eventually progress to natural locations, such as the five-story bathtub at Clear Springs Scuba Park, so students can complete dives in real-world conditions. Aside from this standard certification, the staff teaches advanced courses in which students can train for search-and-rescue missions or float above the hull of a sunken ship. Back on dry land, staffers man Arlington Scuba Center's dive shop, where they sell fins, masks, and other equipment from respected brands such as Aqua Lung and Henderson.
Numbers play a key role at High Tide Scuba. Before diving in, check out a few.
2009—the year PADI course director David Imschweiler founded the scuba shop
2 premises make up High Tide Scuba's approach: flexibility and mobility
87 degrees—the temperature of High Tide's indoor pool in Mansfield
3-hour-long Discover Scuba classes introduce people with no prior experience to scuba
12+ PADI instructor specialty courses are offered
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The staff at Dive West has two favorite scuba diving locations: their indoor heated pool and Cozumel, Mexico, where the water temperature almost always hovers between 70 and 80 degrees. Dive West's training programs encourage divers of all experience levels to graduate from the first location to the second. In addition to open water diving certification courses, the company offers digital underwater photography, stress and rescue, and other specialty classes. Students can customize their experience in just about any way, with group or private classes held on weekends or weekdays.
Once you've been certified, Dive West's travel department can send you to wondrous dive spots. Vacations to the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Belize are all on the calendar, in addition to monthly trips to Cozumel.