Burlington Dive Center is an official PADI school, which means you can expect a few things. The most important of these, of course, is a team of dedicated instructors who teach proper safety techniques and do everything else in their power to prepare students for exploring underwater worlds.
But you can also expect to have a lot of fun. It all starts with the center's Discover Scuba Diving program, designed to help total beginners feel comfortable in the water. As you progress, you'll have the chance to take on an open-water course that teaches how to breathe underwater and quickly locate the treasure room in a sunken pirate ship.
The instructors at Open Water Adventures reach out to swimmers of all levels with watery exploration from kids’ swimming classes to international scuba-diving trips. Alongside a dive-simulator pool for scuba students, the indoor heated pool hosts swim lessons in lanes along a 2-foot ledge for younger swimmers. Through it all, the experienced instructors—inspired by the likes of Jacques Cousteau and their childhood rubber duckies—impart tips on managing scuba equipment or doing the backstroke. The year-round swimming lessons educate youngsters of all abilities aged 3–12, drawing from the Swim Schools International program's standardized teachings, which focus on water safety and proper technique. After taking a dip, swimmers can scurry to club-style bathrooms with lockers and showers, or head to the onsite shop that sells gear from swim caps to guaranteed scuba equipment.
Brent Clevenger founded Sink or Swim Scuba in 2006 to provide regular open-water dive experiences to fledging and senior divers alike. He trains neophytes in his full-sized pool, letting them control their buoyancy to drop to the full twelve-foot depth after they master underwater breathing fundamentals in the shallow end. He also oversees scuba certification training during group dives at the Piedmont Dive Rescue Association Lake Norman Quarry. The former dig site provides plenty of underwater excitement with schools of fish and sunken objects to explore, such as the quarry manager's shed which used to house instructions on how not to flood the quarry.
Mankind was never meant to breathe underwater, but the instructors at Columbia SCUBA defy such limitations, helping students of all sorts—from small children to disabled adults—explore the forbidden depths. As young as 8, kids can start training with PADI Bubblemaker classes, using equipment suited to their smaller size, and swimmers of all ages can join Discover Scuba sessions to learn the basics of diving in the safety of a pool. For students looking to become certified divers, open-water diving and specialty diving courses test practical skills in unique environments, such as submerged shipwrecks filled with sunken coupons, whereas trips to the Florida springs or Caribbean convey the majestic experience of communing up close with marine wildlife.
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: American Red Cross-certified lifeguards
Pro Tip: All proceeds go to sponsor kids through our camp programs. Lifeguards are trained to mentor kids
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: 200,000 gln swimming pool, picnic area.
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Scuba John's Dive Shop is built around quality dive instruction and a staff with a passion for the sport. The staff believes everyone should be able to explore underwater worlds—and that they should stay safe and avoid buying ocean-floor real estate while doing so. To that end, the store is stocked with top-flight dive equipment and accessories by brands such as Oceanic, Hollis, Seac, Hog, Edge, Henderson, and many more.
All of the classes are led by an instructor and conducted to meet SDI standard. Courses are designed for all levels, from beginner to master diver, instructors, and professionals. In specialty courses, participants learn skills required to become an enriched-air nitrox diver, deep-sea diver,
or rescue diver. Students hone their open-water diving and dolphin-language skills in the
warm depths of Florida Springs and other sites.