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Challenges Will Reward Your Longterm Scuba Diving Goals

Challenges Will Reward Your Longterm Scuba Diving Goals
by
Matthew Mandziuk 

In life nothing good comes easy without a fight or working to earn it, unless you win the lottery.  The same can be true moving through a more Progressive Scuba Diving training philosophy where the divers are taught a higher level of knowledge, skills and techniques. Your Personal Challenges will reward your longterm scuba diving goals.

At DDS we pride ourselves on staying ahead of market trends and instead we lead the charge forward towards better diving.  For nearly 20 years we’ve taught our open water divers about the benefits of learning and buying the right gear and the right skills and techniques after over 20 years of doing it the old school way.

We pride ourselves on teaching divers a different (better) way to do things at the open water level where they can move forward with better skills, finesse and discipline allowing them to struggle less, maintain the visibility of even the siltiest environments or most fragile coral reefs, while continuing forward progressing successfully into deeper, more advanced courses, environments and experiences with more comfort and efficiency as they challenge themselves with training that is more exciting, more disciplined, more regimented and more rewarding than some of the “more traditional”  courses which have become stale or outdated as we power ahead into a new age of diving.

As human beings we can always learn more and the same is true in scuba diving, except most dive training has become outdated and boring.  All divers should be more aware of their dive profiles, gas requirements with proper gas reserves built in, no stop time limits and what is happening within their bodies as they spend more time underwater and as they ascend or descend.

Many of these common concepts are lost on the masses because theory is passed over quickly as we tend to suffer from a condition that demands “instant gratification” and dive shops that depend more so now on eLearning doing the work of the instructor for the shops and instructors, so the personal element of sharing stories and experiences with the students is lessened (or in some cases completely lost as there is no classroom sessions), so the students don’t create an emotional bond with their instructors, classmates or Divemasters.

Bad Diver Lots of Silt
A poorly trained diver in silts out the bottom as they have no buoyancy, trim, awareness or cares in the world. Don’t Be Like This Diver.

 

Train Hard

If divers took more time to learn about dive planning, gas calculations, gas consumption, decompression theory and dive sciences, they would be much more ready to take diving to the next level.  This knowledge can help us not just in diving, but also in every day life.

Divers who are taught to manage stresses underwater are more able to handle the every day curveballs life throws at you on a daily basis, as well as how to focus better on challenging tasks, yet the number of divers who progress through Advanced and Rescue diver courses drops as students seem less engaged in some graphic regions than before.

Where a diver can go training wise and the training opportunities available to them make or break the likelyhood of creating a “Lifetime Diver”.  If a diver only dives once a year or 3, they’re better off just doing Discover Scuba Diving Experiences.

A certified diver who goes from Advanced, Nitrox, Drysuit  to Rescue is doing things better, but the key is to find a trainer who can teach you what you need to really know.  If as a diver they tell you it’s okay to be standing, kneeling on the bottom, to rely on holding onto an ascent line and be vertical on an ascent or safety stop as you take up 6-7′ minimum of line with your fins dangling down kicking the divers below you, that’s okay to overweight yourself so you sink or that violating thirds (your gas rule you should be ascending at), that it’s okay to flutter kick and silt out the bottom, wear flimsy floaty plastic fins, split or hinge fins and have stuff dangling off you like a Christmas Tree, it’s time to find a new instructor.

A diver who progresses towards more foundational skills classes like our NAUI Intro to Tech program will have the chance to perfect themselves better than any recreational diver, regardless of if they ever become a tech diver or not, as Foundational Skills Development courses like “Intro” offer the most through and engaging training possible with a combination of dry land drills, confined water drills and open water dives.

Divers who learn the foundational skills to make themselves a better diver and put the time in to become proficient in all aspects of their diving often become a much safer, more aware diver with superior team diving skills, refined buoyancy, flawless horizontal trim, proper ascents and descents, better fin techniques (utilizing a modified frog as their primary kick, modified flutter, ability to turn 360 degrees and do a reverse frog kick to go backwards) rather than flutter kicks, and exceptional problem solving skills.  You even master surface marker deployment, rescue techniques, valve or regulator failures and more.

Your biggest assets in diving are TIME IN THE WATER and BUOYANCY, BUOYANCY, BUOYANCY.

DON’T try and fast track your way through training.  Learn the foundational skills, start diving in the proper gear, train and dive with divers who are better than you are.

NAUI offers the highest standards of any training agency in foundational, technical, cave and overhead training, which is the reason they’re our primary agency for those courses, but we offer training from several other agencies too.

A Properly Trained Diver with Good TrimA properly trained DDS Diver working on trim and buoyancy during a NAUI Cavern/NAUI Intro to Tech Foundational Skills course.

Fitness in Diving

Some new divers complain that lead weights and tanks are heavy, while more Technicall Advanced Divers dive with sidemount or back-mounted double tanks.  Diving with a drysuit also creates more buoyancy, drag and resistance while swimming through the water, so there is an element of fitness required to dive.  Carrying tanks to the water, stage bottles, rebreathers, camera systems, scooters, all these things have weight to them.  Its part of diving, so get fit and get ready to handle the gear you’ll be using.

To get more comfortable handling these items a strength building program to strengthen arms, legs and abs are very beneficial.  30 push-up’s a day, 100 ab crunches and a light jog even 1-2km a couple of days a week will help make a difference in your strength and overall well being, while also improving cardiovascular health.

Swimming will help give the body a resistance free total body workout too and if you can’t take the impact from running or rowing, may be a better option for you and its fun!

Some dive courses require a specific distance to be swam before a specific time, don’t lose out on some great diving because you can’t make the cut.  It IS worth it and it WILL take time.

How Did We Get Here?  It Wasn’t Over Night

Dan’s has become the go to shop for recreational, advanced, technical diving education over the last 20+ years. DDS was established in 1974.  We are Canada’s Oldest PADI Dive Shop and 2nd oldest worldwide currently.

 With the help of a Canadian Diving Pioneer John Reekie (passed away several years ago) we helped introduce the Canadian Diving Market to Technical Diving and Cave Diving gear and procedures as early as 1986!  We were one of the first North American Dive Stores to offer Nitrox as an alternative breathing gas in 1992 when the traditional agencies were anti-nitrox and causing riots at dive shows because they honestly believed Nitrox to be Voodoo Satan Gas!  True Story!

By the mid 1990’s we were offering old-school technical diving and rebreather courses.  By 2000 we were introduced to more progressive diving and upgraded our training, which allowed us to see a different side of diving, one that was less limiting and more progressive.

DDS Divers enjoy a cleaner, more streamlined gear body, gear configuration and ability to share air more effectively than traditional short hose divers

We began offering Progressive Doing it Right based (DIR Diving) training and equipment, including the offering of backplates to new open water sport divers a part of basic training and introducing recreational divers to the long hose/short hose regulator configuration or the Hogarthian method of diving.

In 2007 we began offering more modern and progressive Sidemount training.  We are happy to be offering training on several different rebreather configurations, especially the modular and most vesatile machine on the market, White Arrow Explorer Rebreather System, capable of any configuration.

Every recreational diver can benefit from our experience, the new skills that we offer and every day diving techniques that we introduce from basic open water programs. Horizontal Trim, Buoyancy, Team Awareness, S-Drills, Bubble Checks, SMB Deployments, Air Sharing horizontally in neutral buoyancy with a long hose regulator, Team Diving Protocols and more.

backwards frog kick intro to tech
Learning your foundational kicks without fins or gear on is the first step to perfecting your forward, turn and backwards kicks during an Intro to Tech Course

While not every diver is introduced to this from every instructor around the world, we also offer Foundational training to start experienced divers off right as well, as many of the concepts we teach aren’t taught elsewhere unless the divers have been taught by a certified cave or technical instructor. At the end of the day we want everyone to learn to be better and dive with more confidence, comfort and awareness, so we offer workshops like NTEC which is a great way to prime yourself to learn the foundational skills you should know in a class and pool setting showing you a better way to do things in the right gear.  This also prepares you for a glimpse into your diving future should you want to progress towards Wreck Diving, Cavern or Cave, Ice, Technical and more.

Our experience in expeditions and exploration projects have also helped shape our divers into the best divers in the water.

Get More Technically Correct

When a diver starts to get more “technical” it helps them become a more complete diver.  It doesn’t mean they have to aspire to achieve a new super deep world record sort of depth where they hang for hours on decompression stops, however, it does break through the misconceptions, boundaries of conventional training and opens you up to a lifetime sport with the ability to go anywhere with your diving.

We believe Technical Diving is simply extending your range both with respect to knowledge, but also extending the scope of your abilities beyond what is known and offering new challenges along the way.

Our NAUI Intro to Tech Course has been called the “Best Dive Course” by nearly everyone who’s taken this amazing foundational skills class.  Regardless of whether a student completes the course successfully the first time or not, “Intro” is where better diving begins.

Our Intro course begins with the tightening up of the divers buoyancy and trim, cleaning up and streamlining the entire equipment configuration, introducing new surface protocols and pre-dive regiments like safety drills, SADD checks, Bubble Checks and Heat to Toe checks which improve safety and awareness.

Intro also begins to stress the team concept of diving, which is something talked about but rarely enforced in traditional recreational diving.  We introduce the benefit to 3 person buddy teams, which are often taboo in traditional training as well, as we believe a second set of hands to help and eyes to see are very important should a diver require assistance.

NAUI Intro to Tech Students Air Share
NAUI Intro to Tech Students working on trim and buoyancy while sharing air during their confined water session.

After classroom sessions are complete students are introduced to a combination of dry land surface drills that allow the instructor to demonstrate skills such as trim, fin kicks, flat horizontal body posture, air shares, valve shutdowns, diver rescues, lift bag deployments and many other skills topside as they can talk about each skill attribute and show it off before the students are expected to demonstrate it both on the surface and then the skills are executed by instructors and students under the water in a shallow pool or confined water area suitable for this sort of training.  Upon successful completion of the pool sessions candidates are then taken to open water and will complete all skills in a shallow open water environment where No Stop Times are not an issue.

During Intro to Tech a staff member will video record the students skills throughout the program so they can break down their progress frame by frame and discuss thoroughly throughout the course dives in debriefing sessions.

Students love the fact that this style of training is done intensively as repetition helps them improve and learn at a quicker rate, especially upon review of each dive during de-briefing when we break down all of the skills done that day with video review.

Through clear and concise de-briefings the students know exactly what it is they need to work on and how to improve as we take corrective action with them and continue to show them how to properly execute each skill breaking down the skills as clear and concise as possible.

Just the Beginning

Many divers love the challenge that Intro brings and those divers who work hard and succeed will enrol in their next challenge.

Divers will be using more equipment which creates a need for better fitness, stiffer fins, stronger dive abilities and confidence.

Imagine being perfectly neutrally buoyant without a bottom below you as you stare below into the abyss without any fear or concerns

Intro to Tech is a stepping stone to bring divers more safely into the realm of deeper diving or overhead environments as the foundational skills and trim learned here ensure that those divers are going to be able to perform the rudimentary skills like horizontal buoyancy, frog kick, modified frog kick and to be able to fin backwards for 10′ without hitting the bottom or silting out the dive site because Zero Impact Diving is such am important skill to possess as it saves the reef, fragile clay patterns, maintains the water clarity (especially in a wreck or cave where a diver will have to navigate safely back out of a zero visibility environment) and makes the diving more pleasurable for all.  The other important skill is something we teach at Open Water and again at Advanced Open Water and Intro to Tech, which is being able to deploy and send an SMB up to the surface ascending on a reel stopping every 10′ and then ascending to 15′, 12′, 9′, 6′, 3, surface many of those divers will engage in their next adventure.

Intro to Tech is simply the holy grail of recreational diving because you see what is lacking when you compare it to someone who’s been coaxed into taking a different more traditional Master Scuba Diver sort of approach.  Rather than being taught to dive properly, most divers are taught to pay for an instructors time, a paper manual and a plastic certification card.  While there are some phenomenal recreational specialty courses (Nitrox, Equipment Specialist, DPV, Cavern, Drysuit) most dive stores don’t have the talent or the ability to teach some of these more useful classes and favour a quick payout instead of committing their divers to more in-depth training.

The most popular courses Intro graduates challenge themselves next with range from Wreck Penetration to a Cavern/Cave 1 class, DPV class, Technical Decompression with Helitrox (Tech 1) Advanced Nitrox/Decompression Procedures.

Growing Your Experience

Regardless of the certification level a diver achieves it requires regular diving to maintain that level of proficiency and regular dives to that highest level of certification.  We usually recommend 20-25 dives annually at that level before moving to the next level.

At DDS, We are NOT a certification factory that tries to push our divers from Intro to Tech to Trimix Rebreather in a month.  It’s not about numbers, its about the quality of the diver and those divers that are making poor choices have no real world underwater dive skills and often lose buoyancy, panic or are a complete embarrassment to the sport.

DDS Divers are some of the highest trained divers in the country and they show a lot more finesse and discipline than most.  Those divers who choose to work hard and grow their diving abilities are often asked to join in on bigger, better dives, as well as for support projects both local and abroad.

Expedition projects are conducted yearly and its always great when new members can be integrated into the Divers Edge family, which is our training and exploration group.  We have partners worldwide through several organizations that we do international projects with for caves and shipwrecks.

Get Involved

Regardless of your goals the key in anything is to keep involved and dive with divers who share the same views and the same goals in training and equipment.

We have taught and continue to teach divers from around the world and are more than willing to put on a presentation for groups, clubs, other shops as we’ve been doing for decades.

If you’d like to get involved and benefit from better training, equipment configuration and future diving opportunities, reach out and let’s get you involved with DDS Today.

We have trips, charters, training year round. Your first step is to reach out and make contact, the rest comes easily from there.

Diving Dry with Doubles

Diving Dry with Doubles
by
Matthew Mandziuk

Have you ever noticed that the most active divers on the dive site are the one’s who are Diving  Drysuit with Doubles?  Quite often its the same 10-12 divers who sign up for a lot of the same trips and who often prefer diving together with the group.  The reason for that is comfort, with their kit, with the group, with themselves in the water, whereas the other 10-12 guests are a revolving door of divers with a ranged diving background.

In this blog we are going to talk a little about the benefits of diving Diving a Drysuit with Double Tanks.

By the end of this reading you should have a clearer understanding of the partnership between diving with a drysuit and doubles, the benefits of diving with a drysuit and doubles, some of the training offerings with divers in a drysuit and doubles and where diving in a drysuit and doubles can take you.

Why Dive Drysuit and Doubles? 

At first it sounds a little much, diving a nylon or neoprene full body suit, hood, gloves and then more weight than we even used in a wetsuit?  Drysuit divers wear approximately 6-8lbs minimum in fresh water (more in salt because of the added buoyancy)  more weight than a diver in a single piece 7mm jumpsuit (or about the same weight as they’d wear with an old school farmer John and Jacket).

That added weight can be inconvenient at best.

Where does one put that extra weight?  

Most of our DDS Divers utilize a backplate and harness system which promotes better horizontal trim, posture and streamlining , it’s expandable and fully adjustable to accommodate the drysuit much easier than a jacket bcd can and is far more comfortable.

To learn more about backplates in general, please click the hyperlink above.

Divers diving in Canada with a single tank often times use a stainless steel backplate with a weighted single tank adapter, that system has a total negative buoyancy weighting of approximately 10lbs.  Nearly enough to sink anyone in a 7mm wetsuit with 2-3lbs maximum per side additional, however a drysuit diver is going to require an additional 6-8lbs minimum depending on the undergarments they wear.

In an attempt to  promote proper horizontal trim, the diver will want to re-distribute the weight evenly around the body with a maximum of 4-5lbs per hip pocket and up to that much weight on each of the single tank straps for a total of up to approximately 20lbs of weight plus the backplate system = 30lbs. Doesn’t that seem like a little much?  

In an attempt to minimize the weight the diver wears, many will go to a single steel tank which can be 2-8lbs negatively buoyant by todays standards diving with a Faber steel cylinder.  

A few years ago Worthington cylinders were preferred for their additional negative buoyancy characteristics with the X7-100 and X8-130 being the 2 most popular options.  In Faber the FX100, FX133 and LP85 are our most popular sizes.  Strangely enough the 100’s and 130’s were also the most suitable tanks for doubling up for deeper dives.  

Faber FX100 swings from -8.41lbs full to -0.59lbs empty.
Faber FX133 swings from -9.08 full to +1.45lbs empty
Faber DVB85 swings from -3.8 full to + 2.32 empty

Worthington X7-100 had a swing of -10lbs to -2.5lbs
Worthington X8-130 had a swing of -11.7 to -2lbs

Having a tank that is negatively buoyant allows divers to reduce overall weight required and keeps some of that negative buoyancy behind you which helps improve your trim rather than having all that weight on the hips, but you don’t want to overweight yourself with tanks too heavy and underwear too thin.  Try and find the balance.  Many divers will even favour aluminum tanks for shallow shore diving with thin garments.

Adding an extra tank minimizes or eliminates the need for additional weight while adding a safer configuration that builds on our progressive single tank system utilizing a long hose/short hose and spg on 24″-26″ HP hose and it gives divers  the ability to solve a catastrophic failure thanks to redundant regulators.

Aluminum twins are popular option for divers looking for a great wetsuit set that can be used with a drysuit, however, they are more suitable for use on shallow dives.  When worn with a drysuit the diver will have to wear a heavier steel plate, a v-weight with lead down the centre of the tanks and a compact and streamlined wing.  They are easy to dive with little learning curve.

Steel tanks will take the diver further through deeper dives, caves, wreck penetration and offer more reserve gas on the divers back to deal with emergencies.

Vertical Divers with all the weight on the waist in a jacket bcd with dangling everything
DDS Diver John displaying perfection with great trim, buoyancy, control and style as he swims around the Tugs in Tobermory, ON

Many divers prefer the additional gas capacity of the steel tanks as well as the larger sized tanks allow divers to dive deeper and stay longer in comparison to the standard aluminum 80 tank which is still the most popular scuba diving tank on the market.

 

Drysuit Divers and DDS Divers have better trim because a drysuit surrounds the entire body with a little bit of air (less is better).

Redistribute weight, minimize weight and enjoy easier diving.

 

As divers tend to dive more off the dive boats and spend more time on their favourite dive sites, divers start looking at how to get more bottom time.  

Diving Nitrox allows divers to gain up to 50% more bottom time on sites around 100′ and deeper, while yielding even more bottom time shallower, however, the limiting factor at that point tends to be their breathing rates and the sizes of tank they use, so a steel tank will in fact increase their bottom time an allow them to achieve their dive plans up to the Nitrox NDL most dives.

For divers who find even on Nitrox, the NDL isn’t always long enough, extending their range into decompression diving often is the trick, as a diver learns how to properly and safely plan their dives with a little bit of decompression utilizing advanced nitrox mixes to accelerate decompression times.  This is where doubles are most beneficial.

DDS Divers practicing bottle handling

When a diver combines the drysuit for maximum exposure protection and comfort along with a set of twin tanks, they no longer have to worry about switching out their tanks on that rocking dive boat in between dives, they no longer have to worry about adding weight to their hips or anywhere usually on their body, and they can certainly benefit from the increased balance and comfort that doubles offer.

You’ll also find divers enjoy just going out and working on foundational skills is easy to observe as our divers are always out in open water honing their skills.

Diving Dry with Doubles allows for more even balance in the water as the tanks are placed over top of each lung rater than down the spine like a single tank, while giving the diver a more comfortable suit to don and doff.

Drysuits are easier to put on than a 5-7mm wetsuit.

Drysuits are more effective for warmth retention.

Crushed neoprene or trilaminate Drysuits don’t compress with depth like wetsuits which get thinner with each atmosphere making the diver heavier because of the initial weight they start the dive with, as well as making the diver colder because those thick suits become much thinner every 30ft/10meters they descend.

Are Doubles For You?

If you can carry them on your back, reach your valves and dive with them comfortably, the answer is yes!

DDS Divers working on valve shutdowns on dry land getting the sequence down.

Look at the number of accidents that have happened in recreational diving situations with single tanks, especially on deeper dives.  Most recreational diving accidents occur in a single tank with no redundancy (pony bottle, sidemount, h-valve, doubles) or lack of training.  

A diver breaths their tank empty, their buddy runs out of air and they didn’t reserve enough gas for them and their buddy to ascend, they went in cold water and the regulator froze up, they hit the regulator or tank valve off a shipwreck or overhead environment creating a catastrophic failure, the BCD freezes, their dive computer blows off the end of their high pressure hose (another reason to wrist mount your computer) so they panic seeing bubbles streaming out of the high pressure hose, etc….

Minimize the risk, Increase the Fun and Learning and be more mentally and physically prepared with more advanced training.

If you’re interested in diving deeper than 80′, cavern or cave diving, technical diving, ice diving, mixed gas diving or wreck penetration, you should do it on doubles.  To many people did it wrong and it cost them their lives.

Be the best diver you can be.  Get involved with DDS and we’ll make you the best diver you can be with our training, experience dives, trips, charters and exploration offerings.

We’ve found these factors to be some of the most beneficial tools to extend your diving into a more fun and exciting world:

Dive Planning: Plan Your Dive, Follow Your Plan, Have an overplan, bailout plan, but don’t deviate from the main dive plan

Gas Management: 1/3 down and around, 1/3 back, exiting water with 1/3 of your gas supply 

Redundancy: Doubles allow the ability to shut down your regulator in the event of a failure, free flow, freeze-up, burst disc failure etc. Isolation manifold allows to shut down and switch over by isolating and shutting down the offending post or just shutting down the offending post.

Narcosis Management: Don’t Dive Deep On Air.  You’re narc’d at 130ft/40meters whether you know it or not.  Don’t dive deep on air, it’s silly, outdated and unsafe with education and helium training available now.

Team Diving: Serious Diving requires divers you can trust in an emergency and in an pinch. Don’t just dive with the randoms you find on a boat down south, they’re usually once a year divers with horrible habits and inferior training.  Dive with divers you have a positive history with or as ask us and we can refer you to more progressively minded shops

No Solo Diving on Deep Dives: Solo Diving is popular now, we’d likely choose this option if diving south with random divers instead of having to buddy up with people that we don’t feel comfortable diving with, however, deeper dives require piece of mind, extra equipment and a proper plan with lots of “what-if’s” to be safe guarded against.  It’s not worth solo cave, solo deep (exceeding NDL) or solo overhead environment without buddies

Analyze Your Mixes: Always, Always, Always analyze your mixes when you pick your tanks up, make sure they’re labelled and if diving with a fill that was “just filled” and you have to grab and go, analyze it again before your day of diving begins.

Practice , Practice, Practice: Complacency Kills.  Work on trim, buoyancy, bottle handling, dealing with simulated emergencies, smb deployment, alternate fin kicks, etc.  Be the most polished and best diver you can be.

Fit is Everything

Don’t just jump into drysuits and doubles blindly.  It requires the right fitting suit and undergarments first and foremost.  Many brands of drysuits are inferior in fit and quality, even the brands offering “custom fit”.  

You’ll notice most shops try and pedal the cheaper suits that are like garbage bags or garbage bags wrapped in lycra to cover up the garbage bag look. This is like buying a drysuit from McDonald’s!  Don’t Waste Your Money

If you truly want to LOVE your drysuit and want to enjoy using it, take the time to get properly measured and properly fit.  Don’t just let the dive store hand you a suit off the rack and tell you that it’ll fit you perfectly, we’ve had that happen to several students from out of town that couldn’t complete their required skills during Intro to Tech Training and ended up renting suits from us to finish the class, then ultimately buy a brand new suit from us.

Do it Right.

We are partial to Diving Unlimited International because they offer the best quality, service, workmanship and there is an actual after sales service with them.  They are our top choice for hard to fit people too.  It’s all about comfort and fit with them.

DUI have great value priced suits with their Coronado, San Diego and Yukon II suits and the new Cortez (2019) suits obliterate most brands “top of the line suit” for quality, features, performance, as well as coming with user replaceable quick change ZipSeals, meaning you don’t have to send the suits away for service unless you damage the suit or zipper!  No brand can compete with that!

DDS Divers enjoying a winter getaway to Muskoka

Santi offers a great quality and great looking suit.  We do their stock and modified stock suits.  You’re allowed up to 4 alterations at no extra cost with them and they do offer custom too.  Suits are very tough and stylish with a beautiful Euro look of elegance and colour.  They do take some time 2-3 months typically (sometimes less sometimes more).

Fourth Element offers the most flexible drysuit on the market.  It’s durable and looks great and they’re using technology to their advantage instead of dive stores who can miss measure someone by using BIOMAP technology to digitally create an image of the person to cut the suit for.  Great suits for a great price with great service…it might just take a bit more time to get the suits made 2-3 months typically.

BARE offers a great stock suit at a good price depending on what you get with the suit from your LDS.  Just but it from DDS and you’ll be happiest.

The Drysuit Underwear is as important for fit and mobility as the drysuit itself.  Santi offers modified stock and custom underwear, DUI offers DuoTherm ultra stretch polartec suits for custom fit as well as a great selection of stock sizes in up to an XM450 material which is exceptional underwear for cold water.  Fourth Element offers an amazing range of suits for a range of conditions made with some of the nicest feeling and fitting materials.

Learn more about diving doubles by stopping in or sign up for a Discover Doubles NTEC night with us.  

NTEC will introduce you to the doubles configuration, foundational skills you should master, emergency drills and more. It’s a perfect prep-workshop that introduces divers to the principles that will help lay the groundwork moving forward towards more regimented training with the right guidance, education, exercises and more to help ready you for our NAUI Intro Class.

Our NAUI Intro to Tech Course is a Rudimentary Elements of Diving Course that will highlight the foundational skills and develop them from a recreational perspective that will dovetail into more advanced and technical diving activities and show recreational divers a preview of what their diving can be like by testing and honing a divers finesse, comfort, trim, buoyancy, effortless skills, problem identification and reactions, team diving, smb deployments, buoyancy refinement, fin techniques and so much more.

wreck-diving-lake-michigan-1
Matt exploring the Car Ferries James W. Curran and John A. McPhail in Lake Huron

NTEC and Intro are the 2 most exciting, modern, challenging classes that will help improve your skills and enjoyment in the drysuit the most. Tie in NTEC and your PADI Drysuit Specialty Course together and see diving with a  different mindset than what you’d hear/see/learn in a traditional PADI system of diving education.

Diving Dry allows for longer bottom time in cooler water or more dives per day. A more comfortable gear up experience from a boat.

When you look at our DDS dive trip pics on Facebook or Instagram you’ll notice aside from a pool or an open water course weekend, the majority of the divers you see on our trips and con-ed classes are all in drysuits and you’ll notice that a lot of the same divers come out year after year on our charters and trips because their level of enjoyment is substantially higher than a wetsuit divers.

A friend of ours had a shop in Massachusetts and they trained their divers exclusively in drysuits.  They offered by far the most expensive open water course from NY-Maine and everywhere in between, yet their continuing education rates were 400% vs a national industry average of about 25% of divers who go diving and train after open waters.

So they found enormous success training their divers and promoting colder water diving trips because like DDS, they realized the best diving in the world was around the Great Lakes, Atlantic wrecks, Florida and surrounding areas. They were right.

In Closing

Drysuits will last you longer than a wetsuit, will give a diver buoyancy control that is easier to maintain when you where a little “squeeze” on the suit vs a wetsuit which compresses and changes depth the deeper or shallower you go.

Drysuits will allow for colder water immersion and more dives per day, while in between dives the divers will warm up faster, so the energy that is rejuvenated is much higher, especially with todays’ warmer Thinsulate’s and heated systems.

Combining a drysuit with a set of doubles sets a diver up for a lifetime hobby where anything is achievable.  

The divers can spend more time under the water enjoying their hobby.  They don’t have to change tanks awkwardly on the boat in between dives like single tank divers do.  They add a larger gas source to deal with emergencies such as low on air or an equipment failure, while also adding redundancy in the event of a regulator or valve failure.  

Aside from a little extra weight on land, there isn’t much difference between a single tank and a lot of lead to sink a recreational diver and a set of doubles.  

For divers who can’t wear a set of doubles, try Sidemount!  Sidemount is a great option for divers who don’t have the ability to reach back to shut a valve down or who have had back surgery or a physical limitation that negates the ability the wear doubles on their back.

At Dan’s we believe in a more fun progression, so training our divers the right way from the very beginning is so imperative and gives them so many more options moving forward beyond Open Water, Advanced, Drysuit, Rescue, Divemaster and Instructor.  Don’t get caught in the boring progressions that the recreational agencies endorse, there is a much more fun, challenging and enjoyable progression ahead.

Experience more in the world of scuba diving instruction with Dan’s and let us show you a better way to do things that makes more sense and creates better divers.

Dan’s is an innovator of progressive recreational and technical diving, bringing the most modern skills and philosophies forwards before anyone in Canada as we continue to lead and offer the highest standards and most exceptional dive training for recreational and technical diving and have helped shaped some of the finest explorers in the world of scuba diving too.  Train with Dan’s and see a brighter diving future.

 

Technical Diving Courses The DDS Difference

Technical Diving Courses The DDS Difference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why we’re different – Do your homework

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

Jul
6
Mon
2020
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jul 6 @ 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. 

Jul
10
Fri
2020
PADI Advanced Open Water Tobermory July 2020 @ Tobermory
Jul 10 @ 12:00 pm – Jul 12 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Advanced Open Water Tobermory July 2020 @ Tobermory | Welland | Ontario | Canada

PADI Advanced Open Water Tobermory July 2020

Join us and take your PADI Advanced Course in beautiful Tobermory, Ontario on July 10-12, 2020. Our PADI Advanced Open Water course is the most thorough and progressive PADI Advanced Open Water Course available in the dive industry. 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).

Cost:

$350+HST and includes PADI Advanced Manual and certification card

Additional Costs:

 Tobermory Trip accommodation, boat and meals is additional. 

Scuba rental equipment is not included.

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. All students must have a Dive Computer 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).

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.

 

Jul
18
Sat
2020
PADI Rescue Diver Course Summer 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Jul 18 @ 9:00 am – Jul 19 @ 5:00 pm

PADI Rescue Diver Course Summer 2020

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 July 18 and Sunday July 19  for the classroom, pool and Open Water Dives training sessions.

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.

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, 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.

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 Advanced Open Water, and have current First Aid/CPR training (within 2 years). Emergency First Response and Oxygen Provider Courses are available near course date. Minimum age is 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
27
Mon
2020
PADI Seal Team, Kids Scuba Course @ Kiwanis Aquatic Centre
Jul 27 @ 9:00 am – Jul 31 @ 11:00 am

Join us for a week long Kids Seal Team Scuba Camp! The Seal Team is a great way for kids to will learn about scuba diving, scuba gear and foundational scuba skills with an emphasis on team work, communication and FUN! Each day the kids will learn new skills, play underwater games and practice safe diving habits. Each participant will get a PADI Seal Team Crewpack with DVD. There will be bonus Aqua Seal Team Missions conducted as well! We will be running a camp on March Break and again in July.

Spring March Camp 2020

Monday March 16 – Friday March 20  from 9 am – 11 am at the Kiwanis Pool, St Catharines

Summer Camp 2020

Monday July 27 – Friday July 31 from 11am -1pm at the Port Dalhousie Outdoor Pool.

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.

Spring Course Code: 110083

Summer Course Code: 110084

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

 

 

 

Aug
8
Sat
2020
PADI Advanced Open Water Course August 2020 @ Welland Scuba Park
Aug 8 @ 9:00 am – Aug 9 @ 5:00 pm
PADI Advanced Open Water Course August 2020 @ Welland Scuba Park | Welland | Ontario | Canada

PADI Advanced Open Water Course August 2020

Our PADI Advanced Open Water course is the most thorough and progressive PADI Advanced Open Water Course available in the dive industry. 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).

Cost:

$350+HST and includes PADI Advanced Manual and certification card

Additional Costs:

Scuba rental equipment, boat charter fees and park entry fees are not included.

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. All students must have a Dive Computer 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).

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.

 

Aug
21
Fri
2020
Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2020 @ Waupoos Marina
Aug 21 @ 4:00 pm – Aug 23 @ 3:00 pm

Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2020

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 2020 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′.

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.

Cost is only $375+HST ( based on double occupancy). Trip price includes lodging and boat charters.

Not included is rentals, gas fills, food, gratuities and Waupoos Marina parking $10/day.

 

DDS TRIP POLICY To reserve your spot all guests are required to fill out a DDS Reservation & Liability Form and pay a $100 non-refundable deposit. Final payment is due 60 days prior to trip departure.

DDS TRIP CANCELLATION POLICY ALL TRIP PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If the trip goes full, or you are able to fill your spot, you will be reimbursed for everything except your non-refundable trip deposit of $100. To protect yourself against pre-trip cancellation or travel emergencies, we highly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance. Travel Insurance is available from Flight Centre Independent.

 

 

 

Sep
26
Sat
2020
PADI Rescue Diver Course Fall 2020 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Sep 26 @ 9:00 am – Sep 27 @ 5:00 pm

PADI Rescue Diver Course Fall 2020

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 September 26 and Sunday September 27 for the classroom, pool and Open Water Dives training sessions.

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.

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, 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.

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 Advanced Open Water, and have current First Aid/CPR training (within 2 years). Emergency First Response and Oxygen Provider Courses are available near course date. Minimum age is 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

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.

Our Services

Our Services: Scuba Diving Services Available through Dan’s

What We Can Do For You

Finding out what Scuba Diving Services a dive store can offer their customers is very important as you progress in diving many divers can outgrow their original store, but at Dan’s Dive Shop we are able to offer the country’s largest range of scuba diving equipment repairs from bcd’s, regulators, drysuit repair and maintenance, Transport Canada approved Hydrostatic Testing, scuba dive training, scuba equipment sales, a fully stocked scuba diving showroom or online store with the largest inventory of scuba, snorkeling equipment, freediving, swimwear, and much more.

We are a Full Service Padi 5 Star Dive Training Facility (Canada’s First, Canada’s OLDEST PADI Facility #23) and are an affiliated with an SDI/TDI Technical Diving Facility, (Canada’s First) NAUI Tech Training Facility,

Dan’s offers a tested and approved compressed Air Fill Station offering modified Grade E Breathing Air and the most experienced and accurate gas blenders of Nitrox, Trimix,  and Argon in the country.

Scuba Diving Equipment Rentals

project halcyonWe are proud to offer higher learning at all levels of recreational and technical scuba diving, but part of that exceptional learning stems from the implementation of state of the art scuba equipment rentals, which is yet another thing that sets us above the competition, we have the best gear you can buy in our rental fleet, rather than cheaper, lower performance equipment found elsewhere.

Traditional gear is also available for the traditional scuba diver who wants to rent a jacket bcd and short hose regulators, however, we recommend trying a backplate system to compare how much more streamlined you and the system are in the water and how much better your trim and buoyancy can be.

Project Halcyon Diving

As one of North America’s Top Stocking Halcyon Dealers we’ve chosen to offer single tank Infinity or Eclipse MC Systems, Double Tank Explorer and Evolve Systems, Halcyon Contour and Zero Gravity Sidemount BCD’s, Divers Alert Markers, Defender Spools, Pathfinder reels and more in our rental fleet and regularly host workshops and demo days in Halcyon Gear.  Join us for a Project Halcyon Diving Demo Today or as part of a Higher Education Training Course today.

Rental Gear Packages:

Scuba Equipment Rental Package: includes a full tank of air, 7mm wetsuit, regulator, bcd, computer, hood, gloves, weights, dive bag.

Progressive Scuba Diving Equipment Rental Package: includes backplate, long hose DIN regulator system, wrist computer or digital bottom timer, tank of air (nitrox available as an upgrade), 7mm wetsuit, hood, gloves, weights, dive bag.

We use only the highest quality and performance rental equipment.

We pride ourselves on featuring the most modern and progressive scuba equipment available from Halcyon Mfg., Diving Unlimited International, Atomic Aquatics, Dive Rite, Shearwater Research, Fourth Element, Mares Diving, White Arrow, BARE Sports, Santi Diving, Scubapro, Hollis, xDeep, Light & Motion, TUSA, Light Monkey, Zeagle, Stalhsac, Suunto, Problue, Henderson, NeoSport, O’Neill, Pinnacle Aquatics, Oceanic and more.

DDS is DUI’s Canadian Premier Dealer

dui premier dealerOnly Dan’s Dive Shop offers brand new divers or experienced divers the opportunity to scuba dive in the worlds best drysuits…..DUI Drysuits.

We have a full range of most Mens and Ladies standard sized drysuits and underwear, drysuit socks, drysuit fins and more!

Complete your PADI Open Water or PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving Course in a DUI Drysuit, or sign up for a PADI Drysuit Specialty course with us today.  Immerse yourself in comfort and warmth, sign up today.

Progressive Gear Rental with computer: 1-Day $60.  2-Day $90.00 Drysuit rentals $60/day $85/weekend.

Traditional Scuba Equipment Rental:  Jacket bcd/short hose regs (no computer) are available for rent from $55 1-day, $75.00 2-day rental.

We have Underwater Cameras for rent, and SUEX DPV’s for certified technical DPV divers from $50/day and up.

For Technical Divers and our Tech Students we do offer steel and aluminum doubles, stage/deco bottles, sidemount tanks and harnesses, drysuits, rebreathers and supplies.

Compressed Air Fills:

Modified Grade E Breathing Air Fills are offered for scuba diving starting at only $8.00 & up, or you can buy and save with the purchase of an Air Card

We offer SCBA fills, High Pressure air fills up to 4500psi for air rifles or paintball tanks and more.

We participate in quarterly air tests to meet all current air purity testing requirements.

“FREE Air Fill” Program

We take pride in helping shape our customers diving careers and nothing gives us a greater sense of accomplishment than seeing our divers aspire to be the best they can be in the water and above the water, so we encourage our clients to dive as often as they can.

We are pleased to offer our most active divers “Free Air” which is another DDS exclusive.
Once our DDS Divers reach their annual local diving total of 50 logged local dives, we will comp their air fills for the rest of the current dive season.
Must be a cylinder with a current DDS hydro (or purchased from DDS within the last 4 years) and visual inspection sticker. Nitrox divers are also eligible and would only pay for the oxygen or helium, or use of the booster if trans-filling gas.

Gas Blending: Nitrox, Trimix, Argon Fills

Nitrox, Trimix, Argon Gas fills, Dan's Dive Shop
Gas Blending Air, Nitrox, Trimix, Argon

Oxygen, Trimix, Argon readily available by the cubic foot for mix by Experienced, Certified, Qualified NAUI/PADI/TDI Gas Blenders. Nitrox Fills from $12.00.

Oxygen $0.65/ft3
Argon $0.80/ft3
Helium $3.00/ft3

Hydrostatic Testing:

We are a Transport Canada TC approved Hydrostatic Test Facility offering both SCUBA Tank & SCBA Tank Hydrostatic testing for the Niagara Region and surrounding areas. ($50 and up with VIP and Air Fill). We can handle scuba tanks, paintball tanks, industrial k or t-bottles.

Visual Inspection:

Visuals are done by the Industry’s Leading Inspectors PSI Certified and Trained VIP Inspectors. Tank Visuals From $19.95 includes air fill & new tank neck o-ring. Certified Visual Plus/Visual Eddy – Electronic Eddy Current inspections are done by Factory trained and certified cylinder inspectors on Staff.

We suggest doing a tank valve overhaul and burst disc replacements for recreational single tanks every 3-5 years, doubles every 2 years including burst disc replacement.

Niagara’s Highest Quality Oriented Scuba and SCBA Repairs:

Our regulator repair and BCD repairs are simply the most thorough, professional, honest and complete SCUBA and SCBA repair services offered in the country from the most knowledgeable and experienced service technicians.

scuba repair
Expert Regulator Repairs

We are not a regulator rebuilder. We are highly experienced Service Technicians who have the proper training, experience, manufacturer sanctioned tools, and the repeat traffic into our store to stay proficient at working on your life support breathing apparatus.

We see many of the same regulators year in and year out and never compromise our level of quality in scuba equipment service by using the strictest due diligence.

We only charge for the work we do and we are happy to work on regulators and BCD’s from all brands. After over 60 years collectively between Matt and Dan we have seen it and serviced it all, including Atomic Aquatics, Scubapro, Halcyon, Mares, Diverite, Poseidon, Zeagle, HOG, Oceanic, Aeris, Hollis, Edge, Beuchat, Sherwood, Genesis, Apeks, Aqualung, US Divers, Dacor and more.

Isolation Manifold repair for doubles
Manifold rebuild for doubles

We give you your old parts back to show you we changed the parts we billed you for, so you never get billed for work without us showing you what was done.

Recreational, cave, technical divers have trusted our regulator service work for over 40 years, which is amazing in this ever changing industry where fly-by-night companies come and go on a regular basis. Have peace of mind in knowing Dan’s Dive Shop will be here to service your scuba diving equipment for many years to come.

Shipping Your Gear to Us

Divers ship regulators in from all over Canada and seek out our expertise. There simply is no one more experienced to whom to send your regulators, so you might as well ship them to us.  We service every major brand of regulator and do the best work in the business.

Oxygen Cleaning

Oxygen cleaning of tanks, regulators, manifolds, Oxygen clean systems, rebreathers and all scuba related items are something we do quite a lot of to ensure you get the cleanest, safest equipment possible.

Drysuit Repairs

DDS Drysuit repairs
Quality Drysuit Repairs

We do Quality Drysuit Repairs to all makes and models of drysuit.  Our store staff are DUI factory trained and authorized drysuit repair technicians, or we can send your suit in handling all of the issues with freight, duty and brokerage ourselves, saving you time and money.

Suits can/will be sent out to the appropriate manufacture for factory authorized service to maintain your suit warranty.

Only DDS offers a FREE Loaner DUI drysuit for our DUI Owners who have purchased their DUI Drysuits from us as a courtesy.  We offer the same courtesy on Santi Drysuits as well.

We even have multiple change rooms for comfort, privacy and convenience of trying on our high quality exposure suits, swim wear and more.

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