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

Nov
6
Wed
2019
PADI Open Water Scuba Course Weeknights November 2019 @ Brock University
Nov 6 @ 7:00 pm – Dec 11 @ 10:30 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Course Weeknights November 2019 @ Brock University | Fort Erie | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights Brock University November 2019

Make winter 2019 awesome with your PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course. Have fun and learn to dive right with Dan’s Dive Shop, Canada’s Oldest, Most Respected Scuba Diving School. 

Get your PADI Open Water on  Wednesday evenings from November 6 to December 11, 2019 from 7:00-10:30pm with your PADI Open Water Certification Checkout Dives to follow in June 2020. 

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.  Why not make this year awesome and learn to dive? Spend your life exploring exotic locations as well as diving around  Ontario and the rest of this amazing world underwater.  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?

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: If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.

Jan
4
Sat
2020
PADI Open Water Scuba Course January Weekend 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jan 4 @ 9:00 am – Jun 14 @ 4:00 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Course January Weekend 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Course January Weekend 2020

Make your Christmas Break awesome and learn to scuba dive this winter. Explore the amazing dive sites in your own backyard with our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course January 2020.  Get your PADI Open Water Diver certification and you will enjoy the greatest sport in the world.  

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 and be able to tread water for 10 minutes.

Agency:

PADI

Class Schedule

First you complete the PADI Open Water Diver Course classroom component on eLearning at home. 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. Students will complete additional classroom and all Pool Training sessions on Saturday January 4 & Sunday January 5th and then complete the PADI Open Water Certification Dives in the spring on the weekend of June 13 & 14, 2020.

Saturday January 4, 9am-9pm

Sunday January 5, 9am-2pm

Saturday, June 13, 2020, 9am-4pm

Sunday, June 14, 2020, 9am-4pm

Costs:

PADI Open Water Referral Course $350+HST

PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Course $500+HST 

PADI Jr Open Water Scuba Diver Course $600 + HST

Our Course prices are ALL INCLUSIVE, no hidden fees. Course Price Includes: PADI eLearn with Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!) additional classroom, pool training, open water dives (not included in Referral Course), full scuba equipment rental (no snorkelling gear), certification fees and more.

We also have Private Courses available at an additional fee.

What gear will you need?

All DDS students need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots.  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. Many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. Please know you don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we do not believe in over weighting our students. In your course you will learn how to use little to no weight. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s. 

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.

How can you enroll?

Come visit us at 329 Welland Ave in the heart of St Catharines. Call us at 905 984 2160 or email info@dansdiveshop.ca.

Cancellation Policy If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.
Jan
7
Tue
2020
PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jan 7 @ 6:00 pm – Jan 9 @ 10:00 pm

PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course Midweek 

New Years Resolution?  Nitrox. Join us as we kick it old-school with a more informative and fun live midweek PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course Tuesday and Thursday Evenings 6:00-10pm at DDS with Cave & Technical Diving Explorer Matt Mandziuk

What will you learn?

Dive Longer, Feel Better, Upgrade your course to an Enriched Air Nitrox Open Water Course
Dive Longer, Feel Better, Upgrade your course to an Enriched Air Nitrox Open Water Course

Enriched Air Nitrox is the most interesting academic diving course with a greater understanding of what’s happening to your body:  decompression theory, gas laws, physiology, dive planning, managing oxygen exposure and so much more.  

Nitrox is a great course for divers who want to learn more about dive science and benefit from a more efficient breathing medium that allows more bottom time, allowing divers to see more, dive more and do more dives per day with shorter surface intervals.

Prerequisites:

Minimum age is 12 years, however,  we feel 15 years of age is more suited to the scope of the academics, unless doing a simplified computer based nitrox course.

Take this course as part of your Open Water course or your Advanced Open Water Course.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Nitrox is the most popular dive specialty available now on the market.  Divers looking to advanced their diving to a more skill and theory oriented style of diving can use Nitrox as a stepping stone towards deeper, more advanced, technical, cave diving applications, as well as rebreather diving.

Diving Nitrox Allows Divers to:

  • Do more dives per day
  • Reduce Nitrogen Uptake  by reducing the risk of Decompression Illness.  By giving your body much needed oxygen to supply tissue/oxygen demands if diving nitrox as air, you on-gass less N2 and increase safety reducing the risk of DCS by up to 46%.
  • More Bottom Time increasing NO Stop dive limits. * For Example Diving an EAN40 (40% Oxygen/60% Nitrogen) gives a diver 240 min’s of No Decompression time at 60fsw vs. 60ft for 55min’s on regular air diving tables.
  • Reduce Post Dive Fatigue.  No more feeling burned out after air dives. Nitrox will make you feel better and more awake after dives.

At Dan’s we teach the Highest Quality Nitrox Course around.  No one has as much experience in the field of mixed gas and technical diving than Dan’s, so learn from the best.

Our facility has been the top nitrox and technical dive training facility since the 1990’s.  If you want the most thorough Nitrox training course, ours is the one you’ll want.  

Cost: $199.95 includes book and certification card or eLearning code. call store for more specifics.

Where can I go from here?

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

  • PADI Advanced Open Water
  • Deep Diver
  • Wreck Diver
  • Drysuit Diver
  • Underwater Photography
  • NTEC or Intro to Tech
  • Cavern Diver
Jan
12
Sun
2020
PADI Equipment Specialist Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jan 12 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

PADI Equipment Specialist Course

PADI Equipment Specialist Course offers you a look into the world of dive gear maintenance, field repairs and prevention.  Have you ever looked at your dive gear and wished you knew how it all worked? You can learn about all the gear you dive with in this care and maintenance course.

Don’t miss a dive due to minor issues with your scuba diving equipment. Whether it’s a missing o-ring, a wetsuit tear or a broken fin strap, the PADI Equipment Specialist course teaches you how to minimize issues and safely and efficiently manage basic repairs and adjustments to your gear.  You’ll also learn more about how your gear works, making you more comfortable with it and better prepared to take care of your investment.

You’ll learn about routine care and maintenance procedures as well as scuba equipment storage recommendations. We will show you how to overcome some common equipment problems and offer equipment configuration suggestions.

While this courses is not a “repair” course we do show you how to deal with minor repairs to wings, bcd’s, regulators, tanks and more.  

Depending on the level of aptitude of the students, we can delve as much or as little into certain subjects, so get involved, ask questions and learn more about your gear today.

Know your gear better and earn this fun and enjoyable certification.

These courses will help you gain more skill and academic proficiency:

  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Diver Propulsion Vehicle Specialty
  • Deep Diver
  • Intro to Tech
  • O2 Service Technician
  • PADI DSAT Gas Blender
  • Enriched Air Nitrox

How to enroll in the PADI Equipment Specialist

Visit our store or email us  to enroll in the course. Once you are enrolled we will send you your PADI Equipment Specialist eLearning  code.  We also recommend The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving to use as a reference during the course as well but it’s an additional item to purchase.

Bring your basic scuba equipment to class and if you like we can take it apart and show you a little bit more about how its made.

If you’re at least 10 years old and certified as a PADI (Junior) Scuba Diver or higher, you can enroll in the Equipment Specialist course.

Join us Sunday  January 12, 2020 9am-5pm

Jan
29
Wed
2020
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Brock @ Brock University
Jan 29 @ 7:00 pm – Jun 14 @ 4:00 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Brock @ Brock University | Thorold | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights at Brock University January 2020

Start 2020 off right and learn to dive with our PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights at Brock University. Enjoy the fun and 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 January 29 – March 11, 2020 from 7:00-10pm over 6 weeks with your Open Water Certification Checkout Dives to follow in June.

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.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Class Schedule

Pool & Classroom on Wednesdays 7:00pm -10:30pm every week from January 29 – March 11 (except for February 19).

Open Water Certification Dives on June 13 & 14th, 9:00am -4:00pm both day.

Costs:

PADI Open Water Pool/ Class Only $350+HST

PADI Open Water Course Full Certification $500+HST  ALL INCLUSIVE  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.

PADI Jr Open Water Course $600+HST ALL INCLUSIVE

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: If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.

Feb
1
Sat
2020
PADI Open Water Scuba Course February Weekend 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Feb 1 @ 9:00 am – Jun 14 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Course February Weekend 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Course February Weekend 2020

Learn to scuba dive this winter and explore the amazing dive sites in your own backyard with our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course February 2020.  Get your PADI Open Water Diver certification and you will enjoy the greatest sport in the world.  

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 and be able to tread water for 10 minutes.

Agency:

PADI

Class Schedule

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. Students will complete additional classroom and Pool Training sessions on February 1 & 2 and then complete the PADI Open Water Certification Dives in the spring on June 13 & 14th, 2020.

Saturday February 1st, 9am-9pm

Sunday February 2nd, 9am-2pm

Saturday, June 13, 2020, 9am-4pm

Sunday, June 14, 2020, 9am-4pm

Costs:

PADI Open Water Referral Course $350+HST

PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Course $500+HST 

PADI Jr Open Water Scuba Diver Course $600 + HST

Our Course prices are ALL INCLUSIVE, no hidden fees. Course Price Includes: PADI eLearn with Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!) additional classroom, pool training, open water dives (not included in Referral Course), full scuba equipment rental (no snorkelling gear), certification fees and more.

We also have Private Courses available at an additional fee.

What gear will you need?

All DDS students need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots.  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. Many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. Please know you don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we do not believe in over weighting our students. In your course you will learn how to use little to no weight. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s. 

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.

How can you enroll?

Come visit us at 329 Welland Ave in the heart of St Catharines. Call us at 905 984 2160 or email info@dansdiveshop.ca.

Cancellation Policy If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.
Feb
9
Sun
2020
Florida Springs Trip 2020 @ Luraville
Feb 9 @ 6:00 pm – Feb 29 @ 10:30 am

Florida Springs Trip 2020

Florida Springs Trip 2020 Week Long Training Opportunities for divers looking to improve their foundational skills through our amazing NAUI Intro to Tech Course as well as to hone their cavern and cave skills  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!

Divers can enrol in NAUI Cave 1 after graduating NAUI Intro to Tech and Caver.

NAUI Cave 2 requires Technical Decompression certification and 20 logged cave 1 dives above and beyond certification. 

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.  Cave 1 $799. Cave 2 $1200.

Non-Cavern Certified Divers may participate in Cave 1 if the NAUI Intro to Tech requirement has been met.  Add $150/per person.

Dates:

Week 1 NAUI Cave 1 February 9-15, 2019

NAUI Cave 2 February 16-22, 2019

NAUI Intro to Tech/Cavern February 23-29, 2019

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

Feb
24
Mon
2020
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Feb 24 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

Emergency First Response Course

The Emergency First Response Course focuses on Primary (CPR) and Secondary Care (First Aid) with or without Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Add PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider conducted the same night for only $117.00+HST. PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Course is regularly $140.00+HST.

Know how to respond to emergencies – just in case.  Statistics show you’re more likely to give first aid to someone you know than a stranger. When minutes count, you’ll be the person to give the necessary aid to a family member, dive buddy or co-workers, before Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive.

The Emergency First Response (EFR) Primary and Secondary Care course is an accredited CPR and First Aid program that helps divers advance their knowledge, providing the skills they need to potentially save a life.

The course builds the confidence and skills needed to provide basic emergency care. You won’t just watch a video, you’ll get hands on practice with a CPR mannequin, simulate bandaging, role play an emergency scenario and other skills. You’ll get to practice each skill until you feel comfortable.

While the material taught in this course is serious, it’s taught in a positive, upbeat environment.

Here’s what you’ll learn in the Emergency First Response Course:

  •  BLS (Basic Life Support) CPR and rescue breathing at the layperson level
  • AED (automated external defibrillator) use (optional)
  • Preventing and caring for shock
  • Spinal injury management
  • Use of barriers to reduce disease transmission risk
  • Basic first aid: Illness & Injury Assessment, Bandaging, Management of fractures & dislocations, and first aid kit considerations

After you complete the program, you’ll have the skills necessary to help others should it be necessary. By inviting friends or family members to sign up with you, those you care about the most will be better prepared in case of an unexpected emergency.

The  Emergency First Response courses build lay rescuer confidence to provide care when faced with a medical emergency. Students learn and practice the same patient care techniques and principles used by medical professionals, but at a lay person level.

This course is a prerequisite for PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster.

This course is also available privately for individuals and groups. Please contact us for more details. 

Mar
14
Sat
2020
PADI Open Water Scuba Course March Weekend 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Mar 14 @ 9:00 am – Jun 14 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Course March Weekend 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Course March Weekend 2020

Learn to scuba dive this winter and explore the amazing dive sites in your own backyard with our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course March 2020.  Get your PADI Open Water Diver certification and you will enjoy the greatest sport in the world.  

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 and be able to tread water for 10 minutes.

Agency:

PADI

Class Schedule

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. Students will complete additional classroom and Pool Training sessions on March 14 & 15 and then complete the PADI Open Water Certification Dives in the spring on June 13 & 14th, 2020.

Saturday March 14, 9am-9pm

Sunday March 15, 9am-2pm

Saturday, June 13, 2020, 9am-4pm

Sunday, June 14, 2020, 9am-4pm

Costs:

PADI Open Water Referral Course $350+HST

PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Course $500+HST 

PADI Jr Open Water Scuba Diver Course $600 + HST

Our Course prices are ALL INCLUSIVE, no hidden fees. Course Price Includes: PADI eLearn with Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!) additional classroom, pool training, open water dives (not included in Referral Course), full scuba equipment rental (no snorkelling gear), certification fees and more.

We also have Private Courses available at an additional fee.

What gear will you need?

All DDS students need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots.  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. Many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. Please know you don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we do not believe in over weighting our students. In your course you will learn how to use little to no weight. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s. 

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.

How can you enroll?

Come visit us at 329 Welland Ave in the heart of St Catharines. Call us at 905 984 2160 or email info@dansdiveshop.ca.

Cancellation Policy If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.
Mar
16
Mon
2020
PADI Seal Team, Kids Scuba Course @ Kiwanis Aquatic Centre
Mar 16 @ 9:00 am – Mar 20 @ 11:00 am

Make this March Break awesome and join us for a Kids Seal Team Scuba Camp. Participants will learn about scuba gear and foundational scuba skills with an emphasis on team work, communication and having fun! Each participant will get a PADI Seal Team Crewpack with DVD. There will be bonus Aqua Seal Team Missions conducted as well!

March Break Camp runs 9 am – 11 am from Monday March 16 – Friday March 20th, 2020 at the Kiwanis Pool in St Catharines.

Registration opens for the course for December 4, 2019. If you would like to purchase the PADI SEAL TEAM as a Christmas present please bring in a copy of your registration to Dan’s Dive Shop and you can pick up the PADI Seal Team Crew Pack before the course starts to wrap and put under the Christmas tree for your mini scuba diver.

Pre-requisite

Minimum age 8 years

Swim Kids Level 4 or equivalent

Training Agency

PADI

How to Register

Registration opens December 6, 2019

Participants must register through the City of St. Catharines.

In-person registration is available at the following locations:

  • City Hall – 50 Church St., Second Floor, Citizens First Counter
  • Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre – 240 St. Paul St. W
  • St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre – 425 Carlton St

 

Kids Padi Scuba Diving

 

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.