Visibility Unlimited's brick-and-mortar scuba store has been stocking the best in fins, masks, regulators, snorkeling equipment, and other diving equipment for more than 17 years. Knowledgeable staffers help visitors pick out the best dive computer for their needs or fit them with a buoyancy control device (BCD) that can keep them floating comfortably in water.
Visibility Unlimited also caters to those who love to snorkel at Snorkeling Online, where carry a variety of snorkel gear in a variety of colors and sizes for any budget.
If you're looking for a way to switch up your tired routine, Chicago's Chicago Scuba School & Dive Shop is the place for you.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.
So as you can see, Chicago Scuba School & Dive Shop is the place to be this weekend.
Despite a close encounter with a hammerhead shark, Learn Scuba Chicago's Captain Bob just keeps on scuba diving. The aquatic expert got an up-close peep of shark teeth on his very first Caribbean dive, yet has scarcely taken his flippers off since. He started Learn Scuba Chicago four years ago in a garage as a grassroots effort to build community. Captain Bob and crew lead diving courses, which range from thrilling dips for beginners to instructor certifications. The calendar is flexible so students can plunge into indoor pools at their own pace at a variety of locations, such as Water's Edge Aquatic Center in Bensenville, the UIC campus, and Northeastern Illinois University campus, with open water dives held at Kankakee's Haigh Quarry.
Since 1974, the folks at Scuba Emporium have been educating clients in the art of breathing underwater. Inside the 7,500 square-foot facility you'll find two classrooms, where beginners sit down to learn the fundamentals of safety, how gear works, and what those dolphins are smiling about. After developing a solid foundation in the classroom, head to the pool to get a feel for scuba equipment, strapping on fins, masks, and tanks and splashing into the warmed water. Those who wish to get their certification will complete several dives, after which they can visit spots around the world and take advantage of diving opportunities.
One fish peeks out inquisitively from behind a lichen-covered tank. Others swim through the windows and railings of a sunken ship, passing odd artifacts such as an electric guitar or a sign reading "Tricycle parking only." Surreal scenes like these aren’t accessible to most landlubbers, but they’re part of a worldwide subaquatic playground for Dive Right In’s students and staff of certified dive instructors and instructor trainers. An SDI, ERDi, and TDI five-star instructor training facility, the shop is helmed by teachers who coach their customers to achieve RTSC standards, and employ many of the same skills they use to train police, fire department, and lifeguard dive teams.
Among the caves and wrecks of local quarries and Lake Michigan, instructors prepare their trainees to dive down as far as 60 feet, the farthest depth at which they can guarantee there’ll be no sea monsters. They also lead courses in TDI technical diving, diver First-Aid, and specialty certifications such as adventure or rescue diver. Inside the dive shop, techs sell and repair masks, snorkels, wetsuits, and gear such as dive computers, regulators, and tanks.
Behind Underwater Safaris' unassuming storefront lies an ocean. Light shines down on the water's choppy surface, and a pod of dolphins leap out of the water. But, like a tank of helium you forgot to bolt to the floor, they never come back down. The dolphin mural is painted, but the water is quite real: it's part of a PADI five-star facility where students prepare to explore waters across the world.
The journey to coral reefs and shipwrecks begins with the guidance of an experienced team of fifteen instructors. The center, which has been open since 1985, has taught thousands of snorkelers and divers from Open Water through to instruction. After introductory Discover Scuba sessions, the staff branches off into more specialized areas, such as diving at night, exploring underwater wrecks, or scuba diving as a career.
Underwater Safaris also hosts annual trips to scuba destinations around the world. Guided and independent adventurers alike are welcome to stock up on gear from brands such as Aeris and Aqualung in the dive shop.