Tag Archives: equipment specialist

Unmasked A Modern Look at Scuba And Snorkel Masks

Unmasked A Modern Look at Scuba Masks And Snorkel Masks

Today we’re going to talk about Scuba and Snorkel Masks, which also hold true for FreeDiving applications.

Many Divers and Snorkels ask us “What’s the Best Scuba Mask?” Our answer is simple….The one that fits you best. Read on and learn the additional features that will make your dive mask the best.

Question For You:

Have you ever been to a resort where someone just hands you a snorkel mask our a dive mask out of a bucket and tells you to go and enjoy the water?  For some that can be a wonderful eye popping experience and for others it can be painful, irritating, uncomfortable or downright unnerving.

Today we are going to discuss some of the key features, technologies, materials, styles and levels of comfort you can come to expect from a good quality scuba or snorkel mask. 

Hopefully this will help you pick out the best scuba mask or snorkel mask for your every day water related activities.

Key Features

Some would argue that the more expensive the mask is, the better it will fit you or the better quality it is.  This isn’t quite the case.

The best mask on the market is the mask that fits your face first and foremost.

Factors that affect the fit of the mask are face shapes, facial hair, buckle or strap design, single or double lens, type of mask skirt material, lens glass and frame shape to name a few.

Generally speaking the bigger the face the larger the mask skirt and frame will have to be.  Someone with a narrow face like a woman or small child can fit a small to mid size frame, while most average size faces would benefit from a standard fit, larger faces may require a wide fitting mask.

There are a handful of brands who offer small/medium fitted masks, as well as wide fitting masks, while the norm is to make a mask for the average face.

Once you’ve determined the size of mask you may need its time to weigh options, for example, if you have facial hair, you may favour a stiffer mask skirt with a frameless designed that will sit slightly higher above the moustache versus one that lays across the hair preventing a full seal against the upper lip and under the nose.  

The Moustache: Moustache divers or snorkelers can be one of the more challenging people to fit, so we often gravitate to a few good “moustache masks”.  These masks are shorter and stiffer in the upper lip area and aren’t as affected by the facial hair which can break the seal of a softer skirted mask.

The BARE Frameless Mask, Atomic Frameless Mask, Mares X-Vision standard and TUSA Powerview have been some of our most successful options. 

Avoid The Dreaded Purge Valve!  Rather than going for a proper fit, some people choose to go for a mask with a purge valve in the nose that allows you to simply blow out to evacuate water, which is great, when they work, however, we believe a purge valve mask is an excuse for an ill-fitting mask.  

Purge masks also tend to fail over time having the valve curl or simply falling out causing the mask to fill up with water, so for this reason we simply don’t recommend or endorse the use of purge valves in masks, but are happy to add one into any mask you desire should you want one.

Wearing a Skirt?

Guys and girls both wear skirts when wearing a mask.  So what’s the difference in mask skirts?  Mask skirts can be made of a number of different materials including Rubber, TPR (transparent rubber), PVC, Silite, Silflex, Silter, Silicone, Crystal Silicone, Liquid Silicone, Liquid Crystal Silicone, Gummybear Silicone and more.

Rubber was the most common type of material throughout the infancy of snorkeling and scuba because it was inexpensive, created a seal, was black which helped the person see clearer without glare and refraction of light, but it was not a product that had offered a lot of longevity, however, in the late 1970’s silicone started to become more popular due to the fact that it didn’t break down in the sunlight, was more comfortable and chlorine resistant.

Alternatively TPR, PVC, Silite, Silflex, Silter are all harder skirted alternatives that cost less, are replaced more and are often found in the department stores.  Some manufactures promote a silcone mask/snorkel combo, however, a mask can be class as “silicone” with as little as 5% in the skirt.

You can tell how much silicone is in the mask vs. plastic or other materials by holding the clear skirt up to the light.  If the mask has an opaque colour that looks “clumpy” or more white it isn’t pure silicone.  If the mask skirt has an odour the smells like chemicals, its not pure silicone.

Many of our dive mask brands offer both “sport” quality and “dive” quality. Both can be suitable for snorkeling and in some cases diving too, however, fit and comfort are the 2 most important factors affecting your decision to purchase one over the other.

Pure Silicone mask skirts are still the most comfortable, last the longest, do not break down with repeated saltwater or chlorine immersion and are UV resistant.

Silicone masks can come in skirts that are acid washed to be perfectly transparent or they can be coloured black or other unique colours.  At DDS we prefer black silicone because it offers better vision through the process of eliminating excessive amounts of light which flow in through the normally clear skirt and then cause glare and refraction of light when compared to their black skirted brethren who provide eye and glare protection and less overall strain and eye fatigue.

Clear Skirted Masks Yellow over time.

Black skirted masks also age better maintaining their black colour, whereas clear skirted masks only stay clear for a little while, that is until the uv rays, dirt, sand, rubber and other factors start to cause a yellowing of the skirt and they become opaque over a rather short period of time, meanwhile the black skirted mask is still looking as fresh and good as it did the day it was purchased.

Regardless of the mask you choose it’s all about fit and comfort.  You can read review after review, but the mask should be fitted by a professional who understands your needs, wants and has a good selection.

We sell virtually every brand of mask, but have cherry picked among our entire staff the masks we feel to be the best fitting masks on the market.

Keep the gimmicks to a minimum.

The Fit

Make sure when you’re wearing your mask you can equalize your ears by squeezing your nose pocket, this will ensure you can get to the nose pocket when you need to.

Make sure the mask strap isn’t too tight.  A proper fitting mask only needs to have the strap snug, not tight because the water pressure is going to keep the mask on your face for the most part too.

Make sure the mask doesn’t sit against the brow area putting pressure on it if its a 2 lens mask (men generally have a protruding brow).

Make sure the nose pocket doesn’t dig into the bridge of the nose.

Wear the mask strap just over top of the ears centering it around the middle 1/3 of the skull.  Wearing it too high can cause the mask to push up under the nose causing chaffing and making it raw over time, so really pay attention to centering it and keeping it adjusted comfortably.

When wearing the mask you can check for proper width by looking in a mirror.  You don’t want to see the skirt too narrow that it sits on the eye, but you also don’t want it so wide that it lets water in through the top or sides.

Breath in through your nose without using the strap, see that the mask sits comfortably on the face.  If it does, put the strap on, snug it up comfortably and with the mask against the face exhale.  The exhaled air should go out the bottom of the mask not the top of the head by the temples or above the eyes.

High or Low Volume?  Which is Better?

Low Volume is always best.  The lenses sit closer to your eyes.  There’s a smaller airspace to equalize the masks internal airspace which is something you’ll notice when you go down on breath hold or on scuba.  With increased pressure the mask will suck to your face more and more and more eventually causing pain and discomfort.  To avoid this you’ll need to equalize the airspace by simply blowing some air through your nose into the mask to keep it from squeezing down.

tusa_panthes_mask_for_sale_online_in_canada
Black Skirted Masks maintain their colour and help eliminate light glare

Lower volume masks are more comfortable and are easier to clear water out of as well.  Imagine a big round window shaped mask and how big and how much water can fill that mask up.  Now picture a streamlined mask that has a similar surface area to that of a pair of swim goggles but with an enclosed nose so you can blow into it.  

Which mask is going to be easier to clear the water out of ?  The one with more or less water in it?  If you guessed less water in it you’re right.  The smaller the masks overall internal volume the easier its going to be to blow the air out of it.

Frame or No Frame?

Divers have long gravitated towards plastic framed masks that press the glass, plastic and frame all into one package with a lens retainer.  They’re durable, comfortable, most popular.

Frameless masks are a more modern concept that has less overall parts and simplified construction by simply moulding the silicone frame over the tempered glass lenses and bonding the silicone to the skirt.

The Different Mask Lenses

The market for different dive lenses have changed a lot since the initial introduction of simple tempered glass or polycarbonate lenses.

Tempered Glass lenses are still the industry standard because of their durability, relative cost effectiveness and the fact that they don’t shatter inwards due to pressure.  They can break like anything else, but generally the glass will stay together.

Tempered Glass is durable, they aren’t affected by scratches in the water, but they do have a greenish tinge to the glass which cuts back on light transmission.

Polycarbonate is plastic, scratches very easily and not suitable for scuba diving or much more than pool playing.  They’re typical of your department store masks which are cheap and not designed to last.

Ultraclear Glass Lenses introduced by Atomic Aquatics

Ultraclear glass is an optical quality glass with exceptional clarity and high light transmission, with no colour distortion.

Standard float glass (tempered glass) lets through approximately 86% of the available light but UltraClear lenses can allow up to 92% light transmittance. Combine that with the increased colour vibrancy and clarity and you’ll never want to dive with a standard lens again.

ARC Lenses or Anti Reflective Coating Lenses Introduced by Atomic Aquatics

Between 4-14% of light can be reflected back or “lost” by the standard “green float glass” mask lenses used by the more traditional mask makers.  ARC technology lenses are especially important for SCUBA divers underwater, where available light is quickly absorbed by the surrounding water because they help amplify available light.

Atomic Aquatics ARC Technology to reduce reflected light and actually increase the amount of available light transmitted to a diver’s eyes. The result is a greatly improved transmission of 98% of available light, compared to a loss of more than 14% of light with standard green “float” glass used on the majority of masks on the market.

ARC uses a multi-layer metal oxide coating process applied to both sides of the UltraClear lenses. This allows more light to enter the mask by reducing light reflections off the inside and outside surface of the lens. The metal oxide coating is only a few microns thick.

Anti-Reflective Coatings or ARC is a multi-layer metal oxide coating process applied to both sides of the Ultraclear lenses. This allows more light to enter the mask by reducing light reflection off the inside and outside surface of the lends. Clearer, crisper vision.  Reduces eyestrain, glare and prevents ghost images on the viewing area of the lens. A must for night diving and limited visibility conditions and underwater photographers.

Mirrored Lenses

Some Divers like the idea of mirrored lenses, however, they reflect back at the fishlife and can cause unwanted confrontations.  They also hide the divers eyes, which are essential when assessing diver comfort underwater, so for this reason we’d suggest staying away from mirrored lenses.

Types of Mask Straps

DDS Neoprene Mask StrapMost mask straps are made of the same material as the mask.  They’re designed to fit comfortably, not overly tight around the back of the wearers head and have side adjusters that allow you to often times pull the mask strap by tabs to tighten it.  

The straps can pull hair or can tend to be uncomfortable.  One way we fix this is by adding a neoprene mask strap backing or replacing the entire strap with a neoprene adjust-a-strap which uses Velcro on the sides and neoprene on the back of the head. 

You don’t need hair to enjoy a neoprene mask strap, they’re the best option for ease of donning or taking your mask off, plus they also float a little bit, so if you drop you mask into the water you may have faster response as it may not sink immediately .

Prescription Lenses

We can get a number of masks with prescription lenses.  We carry lenses in + or – diopters, as well as custom ground lenses for people needing lenses for different pupil distances and special features. 

The costs of lenses for negative diopters are very reasonable.  Positive diopters are more expensive.  Standard bio-focal lenses are also available.

We generally recommend TUSA or Atomic for prescription lenses.  They’re easy to install and the masks are the best quality you can buy.

Replacement Parts

When purchasing a mask consider the fact that this product will last you 20-30 years if you look after it.  My personal TUSA mask is one I’ve had since 1996.  Dan had a 30 year old TUSA mask.  When you buy quality products from reputable manufacturers who make their own masks (NOT OEM with a Log slapped on) you purchase a product that is going to have parts and service around for years (or decades) to come.

Mask clips can commonly break if dropped or stepped on.  Lenses can chip, mask skirt scan rip, lens retainer clips can break if you’re cleaning the mask and mask skirt on a regular basis.

Brands like TUSA, Atomic Aquatics, Mares Diving, Problue and Scubapro keep a range of clips and replacement parts in stock.

Pre-cleaning Your Mask

Pre-clean your mask with toothpaste rubbed on the inside of the glass and take a toothbrush with mild abrasive and brush the inside glass to remove a protective silicone residue that is tacked on the inside.  You can also carefully burn it off with a flame if you have a steady hand and trust yourself around silicone.

Pre-cleaning the mask will help prevent fogging and will give you a better chance of fog-free diving.

Defogging Your Mask

Mask defog is your friend.  Not because we’re a dive store, but because you don’t want bacteria ridden saliva in your mask that you may or may not fully rinse out.  We’ve seen divers with eye infections from using the communal “spit bucket” on the dive boats down south where 10-20 divers are all spitting in their mask and then rinsing in a communal bucket.

Commercial Mask Defog is awesome!  It lasts years and years despite the small affordable 2oz bottle it comes in.  McNett Sea Drops and McNett Sea Gold are the best defogs we’ve used.  No bacteria or eye irritation and you also don’t have as much black mould or bacteria growing in your mask after 6-12 months of using it vs. spit.

Spitting in your mask is a good temporary solution, but defog will prevent things from growing in the mask and give you the best fog free solution.

To use your defog properly though follow these steps. 

  1. Apply defog to mask lens dry 2-3 drops per lens or 5-6 drops overall if single lens max.
  2. Leave defog on the mask until you’re ready to hit the water
  3. Rinse defog off with your finger and water
  4. Put mask directly on your face or keep filled with water until ready to wear
  5. Keep mask on face, do not take off and let it air dry
  6. If taking mask off fill it up with water and leave lenses wet, don’t air dry

Maintenance For Your Mask

Your mask over time may get dirty, mildewed or saturated with salt crystals or sand which can get between the lenses.  Every 1-2 years or sooner, you should consider taking your mask apart and with hot water, some dish soap and a toothbrush, gently rinse and scrub every bit of the mask frame, skirt, lenses, and lens retainer clips (This isn’t possible with Frameless masks which do not come apart).

To learn more about care and maintenance of your scuba and snorkeling gear take our PADI Equipment Specialist Course.

In Closing,

The best mask on the market is the mask that makes you feel like its a part of your face, it fits naturally, it doesn’t hit off the brow, press on the bridge of the nose and doesn’t need to be overtightened.  It can come with a range of different lenses and price points, but at the end of the day its the mask that feels the best and has the features you want that’s the right one.

While technologies change, the fit criteria should all the same.  Comfort, ease of adjustment, ease of clearing because its low volume and it should look quasi-stylin’.

Matt Mandziuk
Recreational, Cave & Technical Diving Instructor
NAUI Cave & Trimix Instructor 45416
TDI Trimix Instructor 4767
PADI MSDT 207233
SDI Instructor 4767
IDREO Rebreather Instuctor (CCR)
Owner
Dan’s Dive Shop, Inc.
www.dansdiveshop.ca
matt@dansdiveshop.ca

Advanced and Specialty Diving Courses

Our Cancellation Policy: You may reschedule your class within a 2 week time period. No shows or last minute cancellations will be subject to rescheduling fee. If you can’t do the class, you may transfer your class fees to someone else who can.

Dive Course Calendar

Apr
3
Wed
2019
PADI Divemaster Course 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Apr 3 @ 5:00 pm – Apr 24 @ 10:00 pm
PADI Divemaster Course 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Divemaster Course 2019

Our PADI Divemaster Course is the first leadership level course in a series of Professional level scuba diving courses within the PADI System of diver education.

Divers will learn advanced dive theory including physics, physiology, decompression theory, dive tables, standards and procedures and more, as well as how to perform dive skills demonstration quality and how to supervise student divers and certified divers.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum 18 years old
  • Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care certified (CPR & First Aid) within the last 24 months
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.
  • Logged at least 50 dives 

Training Agency:

PADI

Dates:

April 2019 for class and pool. Open water and Practical Applications to follow upon successful completion of all pool and academic sessions. Please contact us for a complete schedule of dates and times.

Additional Details:

Becoming a PADI Divemaster is your first step onto the professional diving world’s sidewalk. It is very hands on and covers a wide range of responsibilities and rewards. As a career (or even part time career), divemasters are an essential part of Dan’s Dive shop and are often relied upon by other divers and students. As a divemaster, you not only get to dive a lot, but also experience the joy of seeing others have as much fun diving as you do. You’ll work closely with our instructors and be a role model to students, new divers and customers with the experience in the full spectrum of what recreational diving has to offer.

Some of the skills you’ll develop in your divemaster course and role will involve:

  • Supervising dive activities and assisting with student divers
  • Diver safety and risk management
  • Divemaster conducted programs and specialized skills
  • Business of diving and your career
  • Awareness of the dive environment
  • Dive setup and management
  • Mapping an open water site
  • Conducting dive briefings
  • Organizing a search and recovery project and a deep dive
  • Conducting a scuba review and skin diver course
  • Assisting with Discover Scuba Diving and leading Discover Local Diving programs

Candidates will also learn about Physics, Physiology, Decompression Theory, Equipment, Supervision techniques, the aquatic realm, and much more.

How do you get started?

If you’ve got the drive, proper mindset and discipline to succeed in a course of this magnitude, we’d be happy to have you. If you want to go the professional route –contact us at the shop today to see how to get started as a DDS Divemaster and the schedule for this exciting course.

Need a more flexible learning option but want to get started immediately? Sign up today for eLearning and you’ll be able to start learning immediately.With our eLearning option, you can complete the academic portions of the course online via the PADI eLearning process. Follow up with the shop to plan out the remainder of your course requirements.

What gear will you need?

Your personal recreational dive equipment, PADI Divemaster Crewkpak, SMB, Spool, Waterproof Notebook, extra weights, save a dive kit.

Costs

$500.00 + HST for class/pool sessions or $650 + HST for PADI eLearning.  Additional Costs: parking, dive admission fees, boat charters (if applicable), PADI Divemaster Crewpak, any additional equipment rentals or specialized gear.

Where do I go from here?

Here are some popular examples of courses commonly taken by graduates of this course:

  • PADI Assistant Instructor
  • PADI Instructor
  • Intro to Tech
  • Technical Decompression Diver
  • PADI Self Reliant Diver
  • Technical Divemaster
  • Emergency First Responder Instructor

 

 

May
8
Wed
2019
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights @ Brock University
May 8 @ 6:30 pm – Jun 12 @ 10:00 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights @ Brock University | Thorold | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights at Brock University May 2019

Get ready for the Spring Dive Season with our PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights at Brock University and enjoy the fun, adventure as you become an underwater explorer with Dan’s Dive Shop, Canada’s Oldest, Most Respected Scuba Diving School.  The course runs every Wednesday Night starting May 8th – June 12th, 2019 from 6:30-10pm over 6 weeks with your Open Water Certification Checkout Dives to follow.

Learn to scuba dive with one of North America’s most respected, most experienced, most progressive and visionary dive shops.  At Dan’s we teach you the right way to dive from day one.

Learn how to Scuba Dive and spend your life exploring local and exotic locations.  Dive Ontario and the rest of this amazing world underwater as a DDS Diver.  There are tons of great dive sites both locally and away, as well as exciting wrecks and beautiful aquatic life.

At Dan’s we offer you a more thorough and modern approach to your scuba diving education. We believe in teaching you how to maximize your potential and see where the tides take you.

We pride ourselves on offering you a higher level of training aimed at taking you further through the life long adventure sport of scuba diving. 

DDS Divers are the most skilled and respected recreational and technical divers  in the water because they are taught to be more comfortable, utilize precision buoyancy, possess higher skill and techniques underwater, with more academic and team awareness.

Prerequisites?

Minimum age is 10 years by PADI standards, however we strongly recommend 12-14 years (Unless accompanied by a parent).

How can you enroll?

Complete the academic portions of the PADI Open Water Diver Course and videos at your own pace with eLearning followed by 6 new classroom sessions with your Instructor who will introduce many revolutionary diving concepts not taught in more traditional dive training for a more informative and beneficial dive training experience.

Upon successful completion of classroom and pool sessions, students will need to complete an Open Water Diving component usually held over a weekend.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Open Water Dives are required for Open Water certification and are included in your full course price and completed locally.

Scuba courses are available 12 months of the year.

Costs:

PADI Open Water Class/Pool Only $350+HST
Full PADI Open Water Certification Course Cost is only $500+HST ALL INCLUSIVE for the standard course with eLearning activation code and PADI Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!). Includes class, pool, open water dives, full scuba equipment rental (no snorkeling gear), certification fees and more.

What gear will you need?

All students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots, however many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. You’ll want to buy the right gear, so please have a read through our DDS Student Diver PDF and learn more about the specific gear requirements and training differences we offer, as well as some incentives.
You don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we don’t believe in over-weighting our students. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s.Our divers are taught to use little to no weight.

Financing is available: Finance your PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course, snorkeling gear and even your scuba equipment package at a very reasonable rate. Ask staff for details and learn diving in the best equipment you can…..your own personal dive gear, or ours.
DDS will include all scuba equipment for the course, however, you will enjoy your diving experience much more in your own personal dive equipment.

Our Cancellation Policy: You may reschedule your class within a 2 week time period. No shows or last minute cancellations will be subject to rescheduling fee. If you can’t do the class, you may transfer your class fees to someone else who can.

May
18
Sat
2019
PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba CourseMay 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop
May 18 @ 9:00 am – May 19 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba CourseMay 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course May 2019

Learn to scuba dive this coming spring with our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course May 2019.  Get your PADI certification completed so you can start enjoying the greatest sport in the world.  

Students will complete all class and pool sessions for the PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course  Saturday 9am-9pm and Sunday 8:30am-2pm with a second weekend needed to complete your PADI Open Water Certification Dives in May. Private checkout dates are also available.

Learn to scuba dive with one of North America’s most respected, most experienced, most progressive and visionary dive shops.  At Dan’s we teach you the right way to dive from day one of our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course.  More knowledge and higher skills are just the start.

At Dan’s we offer you a more thorough and modern approach to your scuba diving education. We believe in teaching you how to maximize your potential and see where the tides take you.

We pride ourselves on offering you a higher level of training aimed at taking you further through the life long adventure sport of scuba diving. 

DDS Divers are the most skilled and respected recreational and technical divers  in the water because they are taught to be more comfortable, utilize precision buoyancy, possess higher skill and techniques underwater, with more academic and team awareness.

Prerequisites?

Minimum age 12yrs old, must be able to swim non-stop 200 meters free-style or 300 meters with mask, fins, snorkel.  10 minute tread.

How can you enroll?

You complete the Open Water Diver Course classroom component on eLearn . We will have you complete all academic portions of the PADI Open Water Diver Course and videos at your own pace and will meet up for Classroom with your Instructor as we fill in many of the gaps left in traditional dive training with a more informative and beneficial dive training experience.

Upon successful completion of classroom and pool sessions, students will need to complete an Open Water Diving component usually held over a weekend.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Open Water Dives are required for Open Water certification and are included in your full course price and completed locally.

Scuba courses are available 12 months of the year.

Costs:

PADI Open Water Class/Pool Only $350+HST
Full PADI Open Water Certification Course Cost is only $500+HST ALL INCLUSIVE for the standard course with eLearning activation code and PADI Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!). Includes class, pool, open water dives, full scuba equipment rental (no snorkeling gear), certification fees and more.

What gear will you need?

All students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots, however many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. You’ll want to buy the right gear, so please have a read through our DDS Student Diver PDF and learn more about the specific gear requirements and training differences we offer, as well as some incentives.
You don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we don’t believe in over-weighting our students. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s.Our divers are taught to use little to no weight.

Financing is available: Finance your course, snorkeling gear and even your scuba equipment package at a very reasonable rate. Ask staff for details and learn diving in the best equipment you can…..your own personal dive gear, or ours.
DDS will include all scuba equipment for the course, however, you will enjoy your diving experience much more in your own personal dive equipment.

Our Cancellation Policy: You may reschedule your class within a 2 week time period. No shows or last minute cancellations will be subject to rescheduling fee. If you can’t do the class, you may transfer your class fees to someone else who can.
Jun
8
Sat
2019
PADI Assistant Instructor Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jun 8 @ 5:00 pm – Jun 30 @ 10:45 pm
PADI Assistant Instructor Course @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Assistant Instructor Course

Our PADI Assistant Instructor Course is tailored around you working in the industry teaching discover scuba’s, assisting open water classes, co-teaching with one of our experienced instructors and getting you up to par for your Final Step, the PADI Instructor Course. By completing your A.I. course you can save time and money when you make the jump to Instructor by completing some of the prep work with us.

Those wishing to complete the academic portions of your PADI Assistant Instructor Course via the eLearning process may do so by joining our eLearning website click here.

Pre-requisite

PADI Divemaster 
100 dives (minimum)

Training Agency

PADI

Additional Details

Continue your path down the PADI Professional road with Dan’s as he personally takes you through the PADI Assistant Instructor Program. This Course is PADI Assistant Instructor course is the first portion of the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). You’ll not only gain additional experience as a PADI Professional but you’ll also start learning the PADI System of diver education.

As a PADI Assistant Instructor you will be able to:

To Enroll in the A.I. Program you will need a:

  • PADI Divemaster rating, be at least 18 years old, Have a bare minimum of 60 logged dives, including Deep, Wreck, Night, Navigation Dives
  • Have been a certified diver for at least 6 months.

What will I do?

  • Knowledge development through self-study, quizzes, lectures and presentations under the supervision of one of our on staff PADI Staff Instructors
  • Confined water skill review and assessment, workshops and presentations
  • Open water workshops, rescue assessment and candidate presentations
  • The course can vary from as little as three days to more than two weeks

All Candidates will need the following:

  • PADI Instructor Manual
  • Instructor Candidate Workbook
  • Open Water Lesson Planning Slate
  • Confined Water Lesson Preparation Slate
  • Open Water Aquatic Cue Cards
  • Confined Water Aquatic Cue Cards
  • The Law and the Diving Professional
  • The Business of Diving
  • The Best of The Undersea Journal
  • Log Book
  • Peak Performance Bouyancy Specialty Instructor Specialty Instructor Outline
  • Project AWARE Specialty Program Instructor Outline
  • Aware Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Instructor Outline
  • Open Water Diver Manual
  • Recreational Dive Planner, The Wheel and table, and Instructions for Use Booklets
  • Open Water Diver Quizzes and Exam booklet
  • Adventures in Diving Manual
  • Rescue Diver Manual
  • Rescue Diver Final Exams Booklet
  • Divemaster Manual
  • Divemaster Final Exams Booklet

By Completing your PADI Assistant Instructor course with us you can save time and money when moving towards your PADI OWSI Instructor Development Course, as you will have successfully have completed some academic and watermanship skills crucial to the PADI OWSI Instructor Development Course, which will arm you with more tools to move forward.

Cost : $650.00 + HST.  Includes PADI eLearning Class, but Does NOT Include PADI AI Crewpak, which needs to be purchased in advance from DDS at a discounted rate.

Dates:  June 2019

Jun
15
Sat
2019
PADI Advanced Open Water Course Local 2019 @ Welland Scuba Park
Jun 15 @ 6:00 pm – Jun 16 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Advanced Open Water Course Local 2019 @ Welland Scuba Park | Welland | Ontario | Canada

PADI Advanced Open Water Course Local

Our PADI Advanced Open Water course is the most thorough and progressive PADI Advanced Open Water Course available in the dive industry. This course is available privately for individuals or groups locally or wherever you are located. 

Those wishing to complete the academic portions via the eLearning process may do so by joining our eLearning website click here or can purchase the course with the standard PADI Advanced Open Water materials which are included as part of the course price.

The PADI Advanced Open Water Course introduces divers how to be more aware and how to participate in bigger, better dives utilizing more precision techniques, while exposing you to multitude of different diving environments. 

The training dives are designed to allow you the opportunity to gain experience under the direct supervision of one of our PADI Instructors.

What’s unique about our Advanced Open Water course is that we also allow you to complete your class in a Drysuit if you would prefer to stay warmer and more comfortable than you would in a wetsuit.

Pre-requisite

Open Water Diver with 10 dives minimum over the age of 15yrs.
Junior Advanced may also be conducted to a maximum depth of 70′ for students under the age of 15.

Training Agency

PADI

Additional Details

Our course allows students to experience a multitude of different styles and types of diving including: Deep Diving, Wreck Diving, Boat Diving, Drift Diving, Night Diving, Peak Performance Buoyancy Dives, Underwater Navigation, Discover Enriched Air Nitrox, Search and Recovery, Diver Propulsion Vehicle Adventure Dive and more. Attention is paid to proper buoyancy and fin techniques, air management, specialized equipment, proper gas reserves and dive planning.

Drysuit Option: 

Dan’s Dive Shop also offers all of our Advanced Open Water Course participants the opportunity to take advantage of a Drysuit Upgrade Option where divers can take your entire Advanced Open Water Course in a DUI Drysuit (requires an additional orientation dive session).

A classroom session will take place prior to deep diving where a thorough understanding of the features, beneifts and safety aspects of deep, wreck diving are covered. Diver’s will learn what advanced diving is all about and what’s required to be an Advanced Diver. Additional training and information is conducted on the dive site prior to the dive.

All students must have a Digital Depth and Timing Device for the Deep and Wreck Dives, if you don’t own one, one will be provided for you. Students will also need a minimum of 2 lights (1 primary and 1 backup).

This is the most through Advanced Course offered in the business and the most enjoyable!

Cost:

$275+HST includes Course and Instructor Fees, PADI Advanced Open Water Crewpak 60303, Certification Fee.

PADI Advanced Open Water Course with PADI Drysuit Specialty Certification Option $450+HST Not Available “By The Dive”

Minimum Age 15, 10 logged dives is recommended, however, is ultimately up to the instructor.

Additional Costs:

We do not include any scuba equipment rentals in the basic Advanced Open Water course fee.

Any Park entry fee’s or boat charters are additional unless otherwise specified, however, if you join us for your Advanced course on a Trip to Tobermory, Kingston, Brockville, Picton or anyone of our other great local dive destinations, the cost of the trip will include all charter boat dives.

PADI standards now suggest that all students have an smb (surface marker buoy) and a whistle. We’d also suggest for safety a reel to attach to the smb to deploy in an emergency situation from depth.

PADI Drysuit Specialty Option includes use of drysuit, undergarment, larger fins, but does not include any additional rental equipment as many of our divers already have begun to purchase some or all of their dive gear package.

Upcoming Dates

June 15/16, 2019

August 10/11, 2019

September 7/8, 2019 

Jun
22
Sat
2019
PADI Rescue Diver Course 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jun 22 @ 6:00 pm – Jun 23 @ 4:00 pm

PADI Rescue Diver Course 2019

Join us for what many of our students call their most favourite PADI Scuba Course, the PADI Rescue Diver Course.  Let us take you through the most exciting core PADI scuba diving course and help prepare you better mentally, physically and emotionally for what can be some of the most serious, rewarding and smartest way to scuba dive. 

Join us Saturday June 22nd, 2019 9am-9pm for Class & Pool with Open Waters on Sunday June 23rd, 2019 from 8:30am-4pm.

The PADI Rescue Diver Course is the most essential scuba diving course and the minimum level we would recommend all divers achieve, and rest assured that after we’ve added a little bit of our own insight and experience you’ll have a new outlook on diving.

Most dive accidents are a direct result of human error, and many accidents that happen often happen to the least experienced or less aware divers, learn more about prevention, anticipation, rescue techniques and much more.

What will you learn?

You will learn how to prevent, assess and control problems above and below the water.

You should know how to handle a situation when things go wrong underwater or on the surface.


Make diving safer for you and everyone with the most fun PADI course – Rescue Diver

This is the one dive course that many graduates would call their favourite and most Memorable PADI dive course.  

If you’ve got the Advanced Open Water Program under your belt, this is your next step towards your PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating.

Students will gain life saving skills that will help them to save themselves and other divers from a potentially dangerous situation and test their own personal limits and comfort.

Who should take this course?

This course is a must for anyone whether you’re an avid diver, or even more importantly, the diver who dives down south on vacation, as once a year divers are more likely to experience a diver in distress.

Many divers have received improper training from other shops or instructors, many divers have NOT kept up their level of proficiency or personal diving skills, equipment configuration or knowledge.

Training Agency:

PADI 

Details of what you’ll learn:

Dan’s Rescue program encompasses advanced dive theory, rescue techniques such as prevention, readiness to respond, First Aid, CPR, decompression injuries, underwater search and recovery, specialized equipment, equipment care and maintenance, pool and open water sessions.

There will be a weekend of Open Water Training Scenarios where Divers will experience simulated “real life” situations that they could encounter in a real diving situation such as out of air divers, missing divers, a panic diver, diver with a pressure related injury, diver requiring immediate first aid, unconscious diver and many other scenarios.

Our course is well over 25 hours of action packed information, diving and excitement.

What gear do you need?

You will need your personal scuba equipment, along with a surface marker, safety reel or spool 100′-150′ of line, waterproof notebook or dive slate, cutting tools, CPR/O2 pocket mask, audible surface signalling device.

DDS will supply all oxygen related first aid equipment, rescue throw bags, etc.

Prerequisites:

Divers need to be certified Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Maintain Current First Aid/CPR (Emergency First Response and Oxygen Provider Courses are available and often run near the Rescue dates), Minimum age of 15 years old.

Cost is only $350 + HST and includes PADI Rescue Diver Crewpak, Certification Fee.

If you’re interested in this course come in and get your books and start your journey to safer diving today.

Where can I go from here?

Here are some popular examples of courses commonly taken by graduates of this course:

  • Master Scuba Diver
  • PADI Divemaster
  • Enriched Air Nitrox
  • Intro To Tech
  • Solo Diver
Jul
4
Thu
2019
NAUI Intro to Tech Course July 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jul 4 – Jul 7 all-day
NAUI Intro to Tech Course July 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

NAUI Intro to Tech Course July 2019

The Naui Intro to Tech Course July 2019 is a game changer, changing the way recreational divers think about diving and offers the recreational diver the ultimate challenge as well as a window into their diving future, as it begins unlocking doors to the right skills, the right information, the right techniques, the right knowledge and the right equipment configuration.

Our NAUI Intro To Tech course presents new challenges for recreational divers, while taking a  fundamental diving approach to buoyancy, trim, team diving, underwater and above land problem solving that requires sound solution thinking and finesse, while refining and mastering the rudimentary skills that most divers tend to lack at the recreational diving level.

Many divers consider this course to be the turning point in their diving career because it opens divers up to the more exciting challenges ahead like Technical Diving, Wreck Penetration, Trimix, Cave Diving, Technical Sidemount, Ice Diving and Expedition Diving for future dive explorers.

Our NAUI Intro to Tech Course is available to recreational divers in a single tank with H-valve configuration or for those divers wishing to move into Tech Diving with back mounted doubles.

Our program will help you develop better buoyancy, fin techniques, propulsion methods, all the while Improving Trim, Breaking BAD Habits, Diver Communication, Problem Solving abilities, Risk Management, Dive team Planning, Dive Equipment Streamlining, Horizontal Out of air sharing and more in backmounted doubles.

This course is available privately for individuals or groups locally or wherever you are located.

We are happy to offer this course locally or anywhere else in Canada.  DDS is a mobile shop with the ability to teach anywhere you need us.

This Program has become one of the scuba worlds Most Popular Courses for good reason. We feel Intro to Tech is the BEST Diving course on the market today, designed to challenge the diver with new skills, techniques and awareness. Step up to the plate and challenge yourself to be the best diver you can be.

Pre-requisites

For divers of all skill levels
Must be 18 or Older
Open Water Diver or Equivilant
Minimum of 25 logged dives
5 dives on EANx
400 Meter Swim
50′ Underwater Breathold with Gears

Training Agency

NAUI TEC

Additional Information:

Our Naui Intro to Tech program offers the candidate a Fundamental approach to refining and mastering the rudimentary skills such as Buoyancy, Fin Technique/Propulsion Methods, Improving Diver Trim, Breaking BAD Habits, Diver Communication, Problem Solving abilities, Risk Management, Dive team Planning and Team Communications, Dive Equipment Streamlining, Rescue Techniques, Horizontal Ascents/Descents, Valve Manipulation drills, Air Sharing and more.

The Naui Intro to Tech program also offers divers a look deeper into diving science, physics, physiology and decompression theory using zero calculation tables, the 120 Rule and NAUI RGBM decompression model which is the most validated decompression algorithm in recreational and technical scuba diving.

Divers will be introduced to a safer, more versatile and more user friendly/beneficial equipment configuration (NTEC) allowing divers take advantage of the benefits of diving with a long hose (5-7ft), a streamlined back flotation buoyancy system which is the heart of the system, a reel and lift bag for mid-water ascents and drifting decompression stops, proper light requirements and more.

All gear is designed to be streamlined using a Hogarthian approach revolving around the KISS principal to give divers the freedom to improve their skills. Keep It Simple and Streamlined.

This course is conducted only over a period of 4 days making it a rather intensive program. Students must understand that these skills might not be able to be mastered without practice outside of the Naui Intro to Tech program.

All training dives are filmed so divers can see themselves in the water and see the learning curve from pool to open water training sessions. Dives are conducted in shallow water which affords us maximum bottom time for skill development.

This course is intended for divers of any skill level from Open Water Diver to Open Water Instructor and will benefit all who take it, especially divers wishing to progress into more serious aspects of diving requiring this type of discipline, comfort and finesse in the water.

Graduates of this program will also be able to enroll in more advanced programs with the skills and confidence to succeed in those programs including technical diving courses like Technical Decompression Diver, Helitrox, Trimix, not to mention it goes hand in hand with Cavern, Wreck Penetration and our Cave diving courses, which will build on the foundation started with Intro to Tech.

We believe NAUI offers the best scuba diving course progressions offering a little bit more than your other agencies with regards to more theory, more diving and higher standards, while our instructional staff are the countries leading technical diving educators and active explorers.

If  you want a challenging course that will test your skills, knowledge and abilities, NAUI Intro to Tech is the course for you.

Cost: $500+HST (based on a minimum of 3 students) includes NAUI NTEC Workshop, NAUI Intro to Tech CD, Intro to Tech Student Skills CD, Certification fees.

FREE Divers Alert Network Student Member Insurance

Intro to Tech is also available privately for the diver who has limited availability for time. Cost is $650+HST local and includes the above materials. Private instruction out of town may bear other additional expenses for travel, meals, fills, etc.

Students who cannot commit to 4 intensive days can also complete the program over 2 full weekends or 4 full midweek days. There is no additional cost for the midweek Intro, however the 2 weekend format would bare an additional $100 charge per student.

If you’re interested in this program a CD is available with a wealth of information.  Start changing your diving habits for the better today with Dan’s Dive Shop and our exceptional progressive dive training.

If you can’t make this class in Niagara, we can present this program to you anywhere else you may be in Canada or other graphic regions.  

Aug
23
Fri
2019
Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2019 @ Waupoos Marina
Aug 23 @ 4:00 pm – Aug 25 @ 3:00 pm

Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2019

picton-katie-eccles-2
Tech 1 students exploring the shipwreck Katie Eccles in 100′ with Instructor Matt Mandziuk and TSL Grace Marquez
picton-katie-eccles-1
Tech 1 students working on valve shutdowns near the lake bottom of Lake Ontario.

Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2019 brings you some of our most beloved and enjoyed dive trips ever, as we embark on a magical weekend diving the best shipwrecks in the greater Picton, Point Traverse, Kingston area.

Nothing brings a dive group together quite as much world class diving and adventure, so we will be offering 2 nights of shared lodging in a back country lodge (similar lay out to our Tobermory Dive Extravaganza), with a great selection of wreck diving and fun!

Trip will include 2 days of morning 2 tank boat dives on some of the best wrecks in the area. Depths range from 80-105′.

PADI Advanced Open Water Certification dives are available on this trip as well for those wishing to complete deep, wreck and boat Adventure dives.

Picton offers some of the most beautiful diving of anywhere in the country.  Pristine shipwrecks in crystal clear Lake Ontario water with many artifacts ideal for a photo opportunity, some light penetration and much more.

We will have kitchen facilities, great dining and attractions nearby. We are looking at the possibility of a meal plan, but at this time it’s undecided.

Minimum level of certification would be a diver enrolled in their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course.  More advanced, deep or technical divers are free to join in on the diving and complete a reasonable dive profile within their training and limitations as well.

Cost is estimated at only $375+HST.  Includes lodging and boat charters.

Rentals, gas fills, rentals, food additional, Waupoos Marina parking $10/day.  

Sign up today.  SOLD OUT

Fawn Messer, Travel ConsultantFCA.logo
info@dansdiveshop.ca 
phone: 905-328-7851, fax: 905-984-2167
Flight Centre Associates
Head Office: 1 Dundas St W, Suite 200, Rm M, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z3
1-416-368-4221 TICO#50016384

 

 

 

Feb
9
Sun
2020
Florida Springs Trip 2020 @ Luraville
Feb 9 @ 6:00 pm – Feb 15 @ 10:30 am

Florida Springs Trip 2019

Florida Springs Trip 2019 Week 1 is an intensive training week offering expert level training in DPV, Intro to Tech and Cavern Training with Cave & Technical Diving Instructor/Explorer Matt Mandziuk.  If you want to be the best diver possible, this trip is life changing and will improve every aspect of your diving. 

Don’t miss out on our SIGNATURE TRAINING TRIP in Florida’s beautiful aquifer in the heart of cave country. Spend an exciting week with us earning your Intro to Tech and Cavern certifications. It’s an intense but incredibly rewarding week filled with lots of diving in some of the most spectacular and unique dive spots in the world. 

Read  testimonials from past graduates in our Testimonials page and see just how monumental this trip is!

Participate in our NAUI Intro to Tech Class and see that this course is not just for tech divers – it is a foundational skills refinement  course that will dial up your control, problem solving and finesse as you dive in any situation. Our Cavern course will build on your Intro to tech skills dovetailing seamlessly into one another, while exposing you to a magic that few divers experience – the cavern zone of beautiful caves. 

And if you’re looking for greater challenges, CHECK OUT OUR CAVE 1 AND CAVE 2 courses the following weeks. Call or email the shop for more details and make training with us in Florida next February the best decision of your diving adventures!

Lodging and food is only $550 US (based on a group of 6) Course package is only $650 for Intro to Tech and Cavern Diver Combination Courses.  Sign up today for the most progressive, high skills training experience of your dive career and challenge yourself today. 

For more course information check out our Cave & Technical diving courses section.

To book your accommodations please contact our travel partner:

Fawn Messer, Travel ConsultantFCA.logo
info@dansdiveshop.ca 
phone: 905-328-7851, fax: 905-984-2167
Flight Centre Associates
Head Office: 1 Dundas St W, Suite 200, Rm M, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z3
1-416-368-4221 TICO#50016384

Things to Consider

– Not all dive courses are created equal.

– A perceived “too good to be true” priced scuba course often is and there are hidden costs that price it well above ours, while the quality is well below ours.

– As Canada’s Oldest PADI Dive Center we have pretty much seen it all over the last 40 years as we have paved our own way in diver education offering diving education that is a cut above the rest.  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 Courses,  and much more – all taught well above the minimum agency standards.

Why We’re Different – Do Your Homework

We know diving, but find out what others are learning from us. Check out our Testimonials Page.

Learn more about the Dan’s Difference in dive training.

Read our BLOG to learn more about what we do, where we’ve been, upcoming events, articles, newsletters and to see first hand the differences in how and what we teach our divers.

Check out our Photos and watch our Videos to see our divers in action….You could be featured in there yourself once you’re certified like many of our divers are.

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, while offering you the best selection and pricing on scuba diving equipment from all the best scuba diving brands, local diving trips, exotic dive travel, weekly local dives and more.

Want More Challenges?

transition into technical and cave diving courses

For divers wanting more of a challenge 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.