Tag Archives: cave diving

New Dan’s Dive Shop Website Launched!

Well here we are, 2014!  40 years of Dan’s Dive Shop adventures in scuba diving equipment and education!

amobile-laptop-tabletWe couldn’t think of a better way to finish off the last quarter of the dive season than by reworking our website to make a more user friendly interface that is easier reading, more friendly for scrolling, totally responsive for mobile and tablet applications, while also increasing the efficiency of our online store, newsletter signups, social media plug-in’s and of course making something fresh, clean and new!

The old site was great and still stands up above the many great dive store websites out there, but us being the innovators and leaders in the industry that we are, we decided it was time to up our game yet again.

A website for us should be a reflection of the dive store and we’re making some major changes at Dan’s each week. We’re making many visually pleasing improvements internally as the store undergoes some minor renovations. We’re getting prepped for some major overhauls over the fall and winter months.

It’s nice having such a great customer base to share in the fun and excitement with as well, so please feel free to give us any feedback you have with the changes, with our staff and instructors and just anything at all dive trip, store, gear or course related, we alway love hearing form our divers.

Some key features about the website you should know and use:

Social Media Links: 

We’re going social! Stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And help us find you by showing us your best dive pics with the hashtag #dansdiveshop.

Get Diving Directions:

We now have maps to all the dive sites we visit on Wednesday dives, as well as many of our favourite local dive sites. Check out our dive sites page where we have Google map links to show you how to get to them, instead of having to call the store and ask for directions, with 1 click your dive direction problems are solved! 

Interactive Calendar: 

You can integrate our courses and events section into your Google + account, Apple Calendar, Outlook, Timely Calendar, just scroll down the calendar page and hit the subscribe button.

Blog:

If you found this blog, you’ll notice we have a more professional blog site that is dedicated to you and easily updated, archived and searchable for keywords or topics. Check back frequently as we add in more content regularly on all of our diving knowledge and experiences.

Enhanced Mobile and Tablet Applications

You’ll notice that our site has a responsive screen for mobile and tablets to make viewing on small screens as pleasurable and as easy to expand and reduce as possible.  This was one of our favourite features.

Improved Shopping Experience

We have always wanted a shopping cart e-commerce site that was easy to use both at the customer and admin level and we think with the new store you’ll find answers to your questions.  We have a new fully integrated shopping cart that lists stock availability (which isn’t interfaced with our actual POS store inventory, but should be closer to giving you real stock status), specials, a couple of different shipping providers, easier reviews to write and the ability to share products with the world of social media. Start shopping! 

eLearning

We have integrated more of our PADI eLearn links throughout the site to make signing up for your next PADI scuba diving course easier than ever. 

Photos and Video Galleries

Something that everyone loves is looking through photos and watching our videos, so we’re going to make every attempt for you to keep these areas fresh and up to date.

Thanks for growing with us and we hope you enjoy the new site experience.

Yours in diving,
Team DDS.

Technical Diving Courses The DDS Difference

Technical Diving Courses The DDS Difference

Technical Diving The DDS Difference…..Cave Diving Courses, Technical Diving Instruction and Rebreather Explorer Courses.  Tech Diving at it’s Best….Let Dan’s be your guideline to diving excellence and perfection.

Learn_to_cave_dive_in_Florida_Mexico_Dominican_with_Matt_Mandziuk
Matt’s approach to cavern, cave and technical diving instruction is rooted in safety, reliable and streamlined equipment choices, problem solving and situational awareness

There are many choices in the technical diving courses market place. We want to be your first and only choice in technical diving courses and equipment.

We offer programs that are taught to higher standards from more experienced instructors who are willing to travel anywhere you are located to learn how to dive the best way possible.

If you want a technical diving course that is a cut above the rest, we’ll go that extra mile to make you the best diver you can be.

We helped introduce technical diving to the Canadian diving market in 1986 when we partnered with Dive Rite. We were among the first divers certified in the safe use of Nitrox around 1992 and started offering  technical diving courses in 1995, rebreather training in 1997.

In 2000 we began offering the most progressive technical diving educational courses after being introduced to a better style of diving.  We began to embrace and teach our recreational and technical courses with a more streamlined equipment configuration and a team diving approach inspired by what is now known as the “Hogarthian”, “NTEC” or “DIR” philosophy.  We simply call this team diving methodology a more progressive style of diving.

Not long after this, we began our path down the expedition diving trail participating in exploration projects that have been featured on television, in newspapers, radio and dive magazines exploring shipwrecks and caves.

By 2007 we had begun offering cold water wreck sidemount training and became one of the first facilities to start offering recreational and technical diving classes in a progressive Sidemount  configuration.

white-arrow-explorer-ccrThroughout the 90’s and early 2000’s we had had a love/hate relationship with rebreathers and after many people suffered tragic ends, we were on the fence until we came across a rebreather concept so simple, yet familiar, we had to start diving it to see for ourselves. After a number of CCR Dives we brought in this progressive rebreather configuration to be paired with double tanks of any size, dual-isolation manifold and long hose/short hose/spg configuration laid out the same way as someone would wear a doubles kit but with no bubbles in CCR or fewer bubbles in PSCR rebreather configurations and of course a breathing loop with bail out valve configuration.  We offer Rebreather Training  on the White Arrow Explorer CCR, PSCR Expedition model and any similarly laid out rebreather from the other manufacturers.

By teaching diving the right way we have given our technical diving course graduates more academic and in-water awareness, more team and goal oriented dive opportunities, structure, uniformity, a more streamlined gear configuration and the ability to conduct dives in a safer fashion in comparison to the vast majority of tech divers certified in the market.

Our dedication to our students’ development, our passion for underwater exploration, and our personal diving experience and disciplines set us ahead of the pack as the clear cut leader in technical diving education as we continue to lead the way in technical diving education.

Group and Private Instruction for all levels of Technical Diving Courses are available. If you can’t come to us, we’ll even come to you, whether you’re in another province or another country. We have gear, we will travel. Courses can be done on weekends or over a block of consecutive days.

Why we’re different – Do your homework

With proper gear and training, technical diving extends your bottom time so you can truly enjoy our local wrecks. Shawn, Grace and Jeff tech pictured here post-dive of the Forest City.
With proper gear and training, technical diving extends your bottom time so you can truly enjoy our local wrecks. Shawn, Grace and Jeff pictured here after an early Spring dive on the wreck of the Forest city as they prepped for an upcoming season of tech dives

If you’re interested in any of our technical diving programs a FREE CD is available offering a wealth of information about our courses and how we can help improve your diving to get you the most enjoyment, current information, complete and concise outline of what to expect when taking one of our amazing technical diving courses. Contact us for details and Technical Diving Course info.

Take a look in our BLOG section to see learn more about what we do, where we’ve been and how we teach or read testimonials from some of our students.

We also have a number of great videos and photos in the Photos & Videos sections. Take a look to see our students and our divers in action!

 

 

 

 

Matt Mandziuk

History

A Brief History of Dan’s Dive Shop

The Early Years

Dan’s Dive Shop was established in 1974 by Dan Mandziuk. The store was originally located at 48 Lakeport Road in Pt. Dalhousie and was a landmark for over 20 years. We are currently located at 329 Welland Ave., in St. Catharines, ON, Canada.

original Dan's location, Scuba Courses
Dan’s original Port Dalhousie location 48 Lakeport Rd.

Dan’s was born when Dan decided to share with the world his love of diving. In 1971, Dan began following his dream and became an ACUC Scuba Instructor. Not long after Dan began teaching, he opened up a store front and signed on with a small organization in the mid-1970’s called PADI. Dan had a feeling that they would become a major player in the industry but had no idea that they would become the Worlds Largest International Dive Training Agency. Our store was the 23rd store Internationally to sign on with PADI. Since then we have become a household name synonymous with Excellence in Diver Education receiving numerous prestigious awards for our instruction over the last 35+ years.

Dan believed in stocking the gear you would be purchasing. There wasn't any internet shopping back then!
Dan believed in stocking the gear you would be purchasing. There wasn’t any internet shopping back then!

Dan has always believed in stocking a large amount of equipment so you can try it on and make a decision by physically touching, feeling and wearing the equipment you’re about to spend you hard earned money on. Looking at pictures doesn’t tell you how a product will fit. Our expert staff, exceptional selection and most competitive prices will ensure you get the best gear for the best value.

Continuing to lead the way

In 1997 Matt Mandziuk (Dan’s son) came into the picture as a new fixture in the store bringing in new life, new ideas and new techniques to the recreational and technical diving community.

Dan’s commitment to the industry is very dedicated and a full time offering. We have worked hard in this industry. Over 20 dive stores have come and gone in this area. We have grown up into one of North America’s Largest Dive Stores by rating in the Top 20 with many of our suppliers.

Dan’s has lead the way as the trend-setter paving the road scuba diving throughout Ontario, Canada and North America bringing to diving some of the most progressive, modern recreational, technical diving and equipment concepts of diver education available in Recreational Diving, Wreck Diving, Deep Diving, Ice Diving, Technical Diving, Cave Diving and use of semi-closed and fully closed circuit rebreathers.  Regardless of your diving experience we are the right choice in diver education and equipment.

Dan’s goal has always been to maintain our high level of service, our large selection of equipment, our vast knowledge of diving and keep you smiling and actively diving through local trips, weekly dives, charters and trips around the globe.

The evolution of Dan’s

Dan’s has recently been purchased by Matt Mandziuk who will have a big set of shoes to fill as Dan backs out slowly into semi-retirement and ultimately retirement. We look forward to many new and exciting changes with Matt at the helm. While most things will remain the same there have already been some incredible changes within the brand like in-store financing, store updates and renos as well some great new dive trips.  Our goal as a shop is to keep expanding, growing and improving at every turn.

Matt Mandziuk after a fun trimix dive in Tobermory. His favourite colour is red.

Matt’s vision for the Dan’s brand has also expanded into the creation of Divers Edge – our technical dive training arm. With a solid and proven foundation of recreational diving, the Divers Edge brand aims to further technical diving and exploration with some exciting new projects and trips specific to technical divers.

2019 will mark the 45th anniversary of Dan’s Dive Shop. To hit the Forty year mark in any business is a huge achievement – let alone the dive business – is no easy task. We couldn’t have done it without you – our customers and students. It’s been a great ride full of learning, improvement, more learning and lots of bubbles!

Thank you for your continued support of the DDS brand and we look forward to adding more to our history!

See you in the water,

The DDS family.

Scuba Diving Courses

Scuba Diving Courses

Dan’s Dive Shop has shared the thrill and adventure of Scuba Diving through Progressive Scuba Diving Training Courses, Trips, Local Events and more throughout Niagara, Southern Ontario and surrounding areas for over forty years.  

Dan’s is the countries leading innovator of diver education.  We have set the trend and have lead the dive industry towards better diving skills and techniques that allow for a higher level of understanding, experience, philosophy and evolution in scuba dive training from recreational scuba courses through into cave diving courses and technical diving courses.

At Dan’s we’re fortunate enough to have taught and continue to teach students from all over Canada, the United States and different countries who visit us, fly or drive out to them to give them the scuba diving education they deserve. We are totally mobile, willing to travel and teach anywhere you need us.

There’s a lot more to scuba than just breathing underwater and we’re here to share the fun and learning, as well as help you overcome challenges and live the excitement of scuba diving.

As Canada’s Oldest PADI Scuba School, we are a PADI 5 Star Scuba Diving Facility and we offer all PADI Courses, from Open Water to Advanced Open Water courses, Rescue Diver, Divemaster, Master Scuba Diver Courses, PADI Assistant Instructor, Drysuit courses, Dive Speciality Dive Courses,  and so much more. 

For divers who want more of a challenge taught to the highest standard of learning, DDS specializes in Cave and  Technical Diving Courses offering the most in depth technical diving programs in the country, including Intro to Tech,  Decompression Procedures, Trimix, Cavern and Cave Diver Level 1 & 2, Wreck External Survey and Wreck Penetration, Ice Diving, Technical Wreck Penetration, Rebreather Courses, Deep Diving, Mixed gas diving, Specialty Diver Courses all of which keep the adventure of scuba diving thriving.

All of our cave & technical diving courses are taught through our affiliated training facility Divers Edge who provides all of our NAUI Technical Diving Courses, TDI (Technical Diving International) SDI (Scuba Diving International), PADI, IDREO (International Diving Research Exploration Organization) and many more.

Dive Different

Our training approach continues to pave the way in diving, utilizing the most modern “DIR/Hogarthian/Team Diving” philosophies and trends in the industry, utilizing the best technology and equipment to set us well ahead of the other dive shops who are still teaching outdated techniques in a less modular and more complicated and less streamlined equipment configuration.

Dive Better

We teach all courses with zero impact to the bottom, teaching you how to properly descend horizontally and ascend horizontally which is the most efficient and easiest way to go up or go down.

 You do not kneel on the bottom in our classes which is  a very bad habit that causes damage to the fragile aquatic life and impacts the visibility.  We streamline your body, your equipment and your posture in a way allows you to complete your skills perfectly horizontal and with proper airway control and weighting you will not be floating up or down out of control.

We teach you how to fin properly utilizing a modified frog kick, modified flutter and a full frog kick right in the open water course, as well as how to turn and back fining, so you never have to use your hands to skull or flail like the majority of the diving community does, you’ll never need to push off the fragile shipwreck, delicate coral reef or millions of years old fragile cenote.

Dive Right

Whether you are a new diver or a seasoned diver looking for more challenges or control in your diving, we offer the best dive training from the most experienced and accomplished scuba divers in the country.

We offer you the best selection and pricing on scuba diving equipment from all the best scuba diving brands.

We Take You diving offering both local diving trips, exotic dive travel, weekly local dives and more.

Have Fun Underwater

By diving smarter, not harder, you’re going to have a lot more fun underwater.  

You won’t be struggling to maintain proper buoyancy, trim or position and instead will have more breathing gas to explore.

Your tanks will last you longer with the right fin kicks and not flailing your hands and legs all over the place.

You’ll look better in pictures and videos than the majority of the divers around the world too, which is a great feeling when you can outperform Divemasters and Instructors.

Practice Makes Perfect

Diving is the most amazing sport in the world, but you need to keep active, maintain your skills, continue the learning and personal development and engage in the most amazing lifetime sport. 

You can dive anywhere, any time with the right skills, techniques and equipment.

Small Groups & Personal Attention To Detail

Have you ever felt like an activity was moving along too quickly or that you didn’t feel as though you had time to absorb the material or ask questions?  This is common in the sport of scuba diving where many dive stores overbook their classes because they believe discounting and sheer volume are the way to get people into the sport.

At DDS, we believe in small groups with our weekend classes being capped at a maximum of 8 participants with 2 staff members offering a 1:4 ratio.

This means we can move at a reasonable pace, while spending more time making you a good, solid, proficient diver, rather than herding you towards the next level of your open waters.

This semi-private instruction doesn’t really cost that much more than what the other shops are charging, yet gives you so much more value, confidence and awareness.

Cheaper courses are never better, especially comparing price vs quality.

No other store has the experience, or the personal commitment to delivering high quality training and service like Dan’s. 

Home

Dan’s Dive Shop pioneer of Progressive Scuba Diving Courses and Equipment Sales

Vintage Diver Dan 1970’s

Established in 1974 by Dan Mandziuk, Dan’s Dive Shop has shared the adventure of scuba diving in Niagara, Ontario for over forty years.  We are Canada’s innovator of higher level progressive scuba diving education in Recreational, Cave & Technical Scuba Diving instruction and a purveyor of the highest quality scuba diving equipment in recreational, cave and technical diving. 

At DDS we are known for offering the highest level of scuba diving education at every single level of training we offer.

We teach many of our scuba diving courses locally in Niagara, however, we also teach abroad anywhere our students want us to be, which includes other cities, provinces, states and even countries.

Matt Mandziuk carry’s on the legacy of DDS with Progressive Gear & Courses

Not Just Niagara….Dan’s is totally mobile and we are able to teach scuba courses anywhere we can drive to or fly into.  We’ve taught students from all over the world who have sought out the best scuba diving education and we have delivered time and time again.

We’ve taught students from every province in Canada, a number of the US States and other countries.  

We attract a large number of students from the greater Hamilton area, as well as Burlington, Oakville, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo,  Mississauga, Toronto and surrounding areas.  Northern Ontario is a popular destination for us to teach in as well as we can cover Sudbury, Espanola, Little Current, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and much more with the utilization of eLearning, Skype, FaceTime or Podcasts, with watermanship sessions held in the most convenient locations possible, especially for our students in Northern Ontario.

Unmatched Retail Shopping

Shop with us Online

We are proud to offer Canada’s Largest Inventory and selection of scuba diving equipment from the top brands in the industry.  

We carry the largest selection of scuba and snorkeling equipment offering the highest quality snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, as well as swimwear and metal detectors.

Our pricing is the  most competitive and we offer you the best pricing and service guaranteed on all the scuba gear we sell.   We will not be undersold.

Customers from all over North American and abroad shop our online dive store regularly for the best deals on scuba and snorkeling equipment, as well as expert drysuit sales and service.

Why pay more buying gear from your local dive shop or buying it out of the U.S. when we guarantee you better pricing, equipment choices and service?

We take away the hassle of crossing the border, paying duty or brokerage fees, or expensive shipping.  Let us do the work for you and get the best gear at the best price.  Email or call us for a gear quote.

Fun and memorable dive trips

We love diving locally around the Great Lakes and surrounding areas.

We honestly believe that we have the best diving in the world right here in Ontario and some of the other coastal provinces (Quebec, BC., Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to name a few), so we are pleased to offer both local and down south scuba diving trips and excursions to cater to divers who like diving in any environment warm or cold.

Experience a fun day charter, a fun filled weekend trip out of town diving  the great local Canadian sites, U.S. sites, or join us for a week or more doing some further more exotic scuba diving destinations on one of our dive travel trips around the world. 

We run amazing trips South as well!  We routinely run trips to Micronesia, Mexico, Honduras, Florida, Bahamas and many other warm water destinations too.

Count on our team

Get to know our great team of staff and instructors who are all active and constantly learning divers. We love what we do and are always looking for like minded people to join our dive team.

The majority of our dive team are local Niagara area Divers, with some of our team covering the Toronto and Burlington regions. If you want to learn to dive using a different philosophy that focuses on diver comfort, development of foundation skills, team diving with the ability to go anywhere you could possibly imagine in scuba, the possibilities are endless here at DDS.

E-Learning at your pace

Whether you’re just starting out or are already certified –  PADI’s eLearning is a flexible and convenient way to take more dive courses online at your pace. Sign up and get started right away with the instructional videos and interactive learning modules. Register Dan’s Dive Shop as your local PADI Dive Centre when you sign up and you can come in any time to ask us questions about what you’re learning. 

Active in our local community

We’re involved with many charities and events such as: Project Aware Foundation, We Are Water Project, Dive For A Cure, United Way, Terry Fox Foundation, Race Against Autism, Old Timers Hockey, St. Catharines and Welland Rotary Clubs, Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit, as well as local hospitals, police departments, fire departments,  schools and many other organizations.

Experience the difference

Come in and see the difference we can make in your diving career. It’s fun, challenging and you’ll get a lot more out of this sport with the right store backing you in the right gear with the right skill and techniques.

Let us help you become the best diver you can be – join Dan’s Dive Shop and Divers Edge training. 

See you in the water!