It's another world underwater, populated with life almost alien. Making the exploration of that world accessible is why the founders of Scuba Network opened seven instructional scuba centers throughout New Jersey, New York, and southeast Florida. At all of the locations, certified divers lead Discover Scuba classes that allow first-timers to slip into scuba gear and see what it's like to breathe underwater and sprout their first gills. For those left entranced by the experience, Scuba Network offers an Open Water Scuba Certification course, during which learn a variety of scuba techniques in a pool before embarking on open dives. Scuba Network also sells all the necessary equipment from brands such as Mares and Aeris, and also organize dive travel packages to exotic locales such as the Galapagos and the Mayan Riviera in Cozumel, Mexico.
Whether they're teaching divers to explore like a fish or prepping medics for underwater rescue, the licensed trainers at Aquanauts Scuba Academy provide professional equipment and training for all scuba-related needs. Trainers work with divers of all ages and experience levels, leading basic through advanced classes for kids through adults. They also stay active on the water, conducting daily dive charters as well as weekly courses and monthly diving expeditions.
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.
Permanently populating the ocean with people would be a massive undertaking, so the staff at Abundant Life Scuba does so on a temporary basis. Their classes, which include rental equipment, coursework, and fees, help students become PADI-certified divers, open-water divers, rescue divers, and divemasters. For a memento, they document each diver’s course and burn it to DVD.