The certified divers at Ultimate Dive and Travel draw on years of experience to help students gain scuba-diving certification with and underwater savvy. Certification courses include classroom instruction, where students glean diving basics through textbooks, DVD lessons, and in-depth interviews with retired manta rays. Pool sessions help familiarize pupils with their equipment within the security and comfort of a swimming pool. The final legs of the course come with open dives at Lake Pleasant, where participants earn their open-water certification. Ultimate Dive and Travel is also an authorized dealer of subaqueous gear from brands such as Scuba Pro, Oceanic, Henderson, and Atomic Aquatic.
A PADI-certified dive center, Fins Up Scuba is the place to go if you're interested in the art of breathing underwater. Led by expert divers Chris and Nichole Sweeney, most of the center's scuba courses begin in the classroom, where students learn the safety protocols and basic techniques of diving. From there, students can set their sights on open-water certification, which spans several days of in-water training. Fins Up Scuba also hosts frequent trips to exotic locales, choosing spots based on their colorful underwater reefs or rumored sunken treasures.
El Mar Diving Center, an SSI and TDI dive center that started in 1963, serves as a divers' oasis amid the dry Mesa terrain. The center's seasoned staff lead an array of courses, teaching beginners the ropes in the Junior Open Water Diver class and helping more experienced divers hone their skills in Solo Diver sessions. They also lead speciality classes such as Night and Limited Visibility Diver and Wreck Diver, in which adventurers learn which treasure is safe and which is lorded over by pirate ghosts. In addition to heated pools, high-tech equipment, and other essential learning tools, the center's affiliate school in San Carlos, Mexico boasts a 36-foot boat that hosts exploration dives in the Sea of Cortez.
By their estimate, Kelly and Steve Fischer have taught thousands of people how to scuba-dive. As the course director and IDC staff instructor, respectively, at Phoenix Scuba, they draw from more than a decade of expertise to lead a team of master dive instructors, certified open-water instructors, and assistant scuba instructors. These coaches all follow the PADI curriculum to teach students basic through advanced diving skills, such as navigating underwater or bartering with dolphins. Open-water and advanced open-water certification courses lead the way with hands-on lake dives, and can open the door to specialized courses such as rescue diver or NITROX enriched air certifications.
Phoenix Scuba's instructors don't just limit their instruction to local waters: the school has also led extended trips to dive sites in the waters of Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Fiji, among others.
John Flanders and Jeff Varner founded the Academy of Scuba to bring the magic of diving to the arid lands of the Southwest. They employ a team of PADI-certified instructors, who lead courses ranging from beginner and advanced open-water certification to more in-depth programs such as master diver, deep diver, underwater video and photography specialists, and professional shark imitator. Once certified, divers can stretch their new sea legs on diving excursions to exotic locales such as Catalina Island, Playa del Carmen, or San Carlos, Mexico through the academy’s partner and affiliate companies. Both of the Academy's locations rent, repair, and sell high-quality gear from reputable brands such as Sea Dive, Amphibious Outfitters, and H2Odyssey.
The PADI-certified instructors at All Wet Scuba—a PADI five-star dive center—prepare patrons for underwater adventures with the proper gear and diving-certification courses. Boasting more than 40 years of total diving experience, the staff leads students through a range of scuba courses for all abilities, from Discover Scuba to PADI Rescue Diver to PADI Advanced Open Water. The knowledgeable instructors don the same gear as their students, including the required clown nose, to better elucidate the finer points of operation. Further assisting divers, the staff can direct them to the necessary diving wares from Body Glove, OMS, and Cressi for rent or purchase in the full-service shop and offer gear-maintenance services to prevent tank leaks that might propel their operator into the den of a hungry giant squid. In addition to diving classes, All Wet Scuba also trains students in CPR and public safety.