Tag Archives: rescue

Scuba Diving Fins Review the Good, the Bad and The Ugly

Scuba Diving Fins Review the Good, the Bad and The Ugly

This is a rewrite of a previous fin report I did up a few years ago.  This is a great overview of dive fins, especially for the diver who only wants to buy their fins once.

When divers are searching for dive fins there is a lot of miss-information, too much choice and too few actual “experts” out there who try all of the different fins in a real world environment using different exposure suits, diving in different environments and with different equipment configurations.

bad_fins
“Aqualung Slingshot Fins are the best fins”. Said NOBODY Ever! Slingshots, Split Fins, Hinge Fins, Seawing Nova Fins, Floaty lightweight plastic fins are a waste of money and lack propulsion

It never ceases to amaze me the things divers put on their feet and attempt to kick underwater with and the amount of energy the exert, the extra air they consume and the additional CO2 they create in the process, not to mention the fact that many dive stores look at the almighty dollar instead of customer satisfaction.

We are at a point in our educational path where we really can’t handle students showing up on referrals or open water courses with the wrong gear.

What makes it the wrong gear you ask?

Inability to perform in the environment that the students are diving in. Inability to propel oneself through the water in an efficient and streamlined manner without stirring up the bottom and inability to maintain proper trim and buoyancy, the ability to move at a reasonable pace without over kicking or over breathing.

Each year we get divers from different dive stores on Open Water “Referral” dives where they often time show up in fullfoot fins (Slip-on fins people wear barefoot) or lightweight, flimsy plastic fins.

Technical 1 Divers doing a Helitrox Dive on Dufferin Wall in Tobermory, Ontario
Technical 1 Divers doing a Helitrox Dive on Dufferin Wall in Tobermory, Ontario great trim and buoyancy with the right fins

The problem with this is the fact that the divers can’t actually maintain proper horizontal trim with these lightweight buoyant fins as they generally speaking have their feet floating up inverting them away from a horizontal position to a vertical foot up head down orientation.

The fins also lack propulsion to actually properly move them through the water.

When a diver kicks what you want is to push the water off the end of the blade of the fin, which is only about the first 13-15% of the blade, while the rest of the fin is designed to be rigid and provide a stable platform for the water to roll down off the end of the blade, so when you put a very lightweight plastic or rubber blade on the end of a foot pocket it just bends and twists and requires side rails to keep the structure of the fin intact.

You need a stiff blade to move more water a soft blade will not displace as much water.

Photographer Fawn Messer photographing Giant Manta Rays in Socorro Mexico
Photographer Fawn Messer photographing Giant Manta Rays in Socorro Mexico

The problem we find with most divers is their inability to kick properly, their inability to stay perfectly still in one spot without moving hands or fins frantically or their lack of awareness.  

Many divers use a flutter kick because that was what they were taught in Open Water, but its inefficient and often times they kick from the hip or the knee straight down rolling the knee/ankle and using excessive energy, while silting out the entire dive site kicking silt up as they channel the water down towards the sensitive bottom fanning up silt and sand one leg at a time, or worse, the divers cause serious damage to the reef as they’re bicycle kicking vertically like a rototiller towards the fragile coral.

At Dan’s, we teach our students a different kick, a more efficient kick, well actually a series of kicks.  Modified Flutter Kick, Frog Kick, Helicopter Turns and Back Fining . These kicks allow for greater control and comfort in the water, while offering more finesse and easier mobility in the water, while eliminating the need for people to hand swim, which is inefficient and a terrible open water diver habit that occurs from divers who aren’t maintaining proper trim or balance in the water.

Why don’t we teach flutter kick? 

Most stores teach their diver to flutter kick because that’s what they’ve always done. We don’t recommend using the flutter kick as your main kick because it creates more drag through the water moving 1 fin at a time causing increased air consumption and energy usage, as well as the most logical problem of it channeling the water straight down to the bottom which reeks havoc underwater with the visibility creating massive clouds of silt that resemble a nuclear mushroom cloud.

Inefficient flutter kicking with a flimsy split fin
Inefficient flutter kicking with a flimsy split fin. Do you notice how the divers body rolls from one side to another?

I was in Tobermory one July 11th weekend and I heard an instructor instructing a student that they needed to get their entire leg into it and kick from the hip straight down. All I kept thinking to myself was what does the visibility look like after these 2 have fluttered through the water? Split fins, hinge fins, fins with funky angles, Seawing Nova fins or really flexible materials are not ideal for diving unless you only ever plan on diving a single tank and flutter kicking. Most fin blades over flex and don’t become useful with divers who have good leg strength. I can over power most fins on the market from the gimmick filled brands.

Nothing offers a better, more efficient, more powerful fin kick than the following APPROVED fins for more progressive diving use: Scubapro Jet Fin, the original, tried, tested, true high performance, high efficiency fin. OMS Slipstream Fin a lighter version of the Jet Fin, Hollis F-1 fins, Dive Rite XT Fins plastic fins with exceptional thrust, Mares Quattro a good fin that is longer, but less efficient that the above mentioned fins, Mares Plana Avanti X-3 lighter kick than a quattro, Mares Super Channel stiffer kick than the x-3, Mares Quattro Excel Fins offer the most precision fin techniques of all Mares Fins but the blade is long and they’re less efficient than some of the above mentioned fins. Mares Power Plana (New Rubber composite material) offers good thrust, while the short blade makes it one of the better Mares Fins for more progressive diving, but it is a lighter blade than the Jet or equivalent.  The XS Scuba Power Fin offers similar performance to a Scubapro fin, as well as their XXL and XXXL Turtle Fins which are both jet fin inspired options, Hollis F-2 fin a shorter, lighter fin than the F1 that allows for the standard kicks with less power and propulsion, not recommended for high flow currents/caves/heavy gear.

The above list of fins although relatively short, cover a broad spectrum of options when you figure there are over 100 different fin models on the market from the major brands at the time of this blog post.

What fin technique is better? 

Here at Dan’s we teach “Frog Kick” or “Modified Frog Kick” to our divers as their main propulsion method because it is an effortless way to swim around your favourite dive site.

You Simply Kick….Glide…..Kick…..Glide.  With a good frog kick you can kick and the push you get will allow you glide for several feet afterwards, allowing you to re-load position of your feet and kick again, often times breathing on the gliding portion and exhaling often on the kick.

You’re channeling the water straight behind you in the same direction the fins are moving. In between kicks there is a glide effect as your momentum moves you forward on your rest stroke and continue on from there.

The biggest issue we have with fins is watching divers floundering around with no control. In an effort to try and keep their knees bent while arching their back to keep their fins at the high point for proper trim, they have a serious lack of control because they can’t seem to do anything with these fins. At that point, the hands come out with sculling to try and stabilize, the flutter kicking starts which is usually followed by a silt out.

Floaty Feet

Some plastic fins are positively buoyant, so when you’re in proper position which should be 10 degrees midline of horizontal, they can bring your feet up too high and keep reaching for the sky so to speak, bringing you inverted and to the point where if you don’t correct it to a point where  you turtle flipping and rolling.

A little bit of weight from the fin, not in the form of ankle weights (which will bring you legs down too low) may keep your feet in the perfect position.

I am a big fan of the Scubapro Jet Fin for this reason.  It offers the best quality fin, lifetime guarantee on the fin even against breakage, and gives me a nice stiffness in the blade, while allowing me to dive it with singles, sidemount wetsuit, drysuit, rebreather or doubles and allowing me to maintain perfect trim offsetting my “floaty feet”. 

Scubapro Jet Fins available in many different sizes, colours and with or without spring heel straps
Scubapro Jet Fins available in many different sizes, colours and with or without spring heel straps

So how do you know if you have floaty feet?  Many people male and female who are thicker through the calves/ankles likely have a bit more need for heavier fins, as do drysuit divers who have buoyancy in their thick undergarment socks or a neoprene boot.

dive0
Dive Rite XT Fins with spring heels

If you don’t suffer from Floaty Feet, find that you don’t need a heavier fin, have a look at the Dive Rite XT Fin.  You won’t find a fin on the market that gives you as much speed and performance in a plastic material than the XT Fin.  Its outperformed virtually every fin on the market in real world and simulated testing.

For more on the XT Fins or a good second opinion of fins have a look at the Dive Rite Blog posted by Lamar Hires back in 2007.

Try getting into the water in your normal setup with no fins on and see which way your body floats, most times your head will drop and your feet will go up if you’re using a proper buoyancy control system and are distributing your weights properly (NOT ON YOUR HIPS). Do this with a tank that is at its lowest tank pressure (if you’re diving aluminum 80’s try it at 1000psi).

If you’re finding your feet go up in a balanced rig for singles or doubles, you can add a trim weight, tail weight or you should try adding a rubber fin to the mix.  If you find your feet drop downwards, you have too much weight on the waist, remove and re-distribute and try again.  If you find your feet still sinking something isn’t right and a Rubber Fin will make it worse.

You can really benefit from additional training as well.  Courses like Intro to Tech or a Fundamentals style course can really improve your skills, knowledge and understanding of the concepts of buoyancy.

Fin Buckles

Likely one of the most often overlooked features of fins are the strap and buckle assemblies.  Fins with plastic buckles and plastic buckle posts and inner roller pins often are made of a breakable plastic material and the loose straps can often find their way into an area of entanglement.

Purchasing fins with spring heel straps makes more sense, you have an near unbreakable stainless steel spring and a stainless or delrin post that is pretty well unbreakable too.

The boots you wear whether wet or dry will stay in place as the stainless heel strap will tighten up as the boots compress with pressure from descending to depth and loosen off as the boots expand back to normal size upon going shallower and the neoprene expanding (if diving wet) or the drysuit boots being filled with a little more gas in them.

Worst Fins for Scuba Diving

The Worst fins without really discriminating against all major fin brands is more of an overview; Avoid the majority of overpriced, overly expensive fins that have hinges, splits, are very light weight, offer unfounded claims of propulsion and performance and of course you can ask us.

Stay away from fins that dive stores are classing as “beginner” fins, there shouldn’t be a designation of “Beginner” or “Expert” diver when it comes to gear configuration.  Every scuba diver should be taught to dive the same way, utilizing the more progressive kicks in the more progressive gear and not be limited by their equipment or their training.

My unwritten rule is if the gear is really pretty or has a lot of hype or bells and whistles it’s likely not that good.

A True Story

Once upon a time I was introducing my ex-wife to double tanks, but she had pretty Pearlescent Pink TUSA Tri-Ex fins, which were very buoyant and I told her she should leave behind at the store as I was loaning her my wetsuit Jet Fins.  When we arrived at the dive site, I got her all buddy checked and I entered the water.At the last moment with my back turned she had a second thought and grabbed her horrible pink fins and put them on in the water and we began our dive.

Seven minutes into the dive she aborted the dive because she was tired and out of breath.  I asked her what the problem was? Knowing full well as soon as she fell behind what the problem was and I noted the pink fins.

She called the dive and told me she wasn’t going anywhere in her fins, so i asked the princess what fins she was wearing and she smiled at me innocently and uttered the words “my pretty ones”.  I told her to get out of the water, grab the Jet Fins and get back in, so she did and she loved them.  For 3 years she dove those fins.  You’ll actually notice them in the top right photo in the background with the pink tanks.

The moral of the story was that she noticed right away how inferior her fins were, how despite the look of the old Jet Fins that they outperformed her newer, more sleek looking fins and that when it came to diving, one little modification like getting better fins can make a world of difference and no longer limits your progress forward.

I’ve always been an advocate of simple and streamlined and doing it right for a reason.

We believe in good fins and proper finning techniques

Maybe it’s because we teach our students a different way of diving, but these divers whom we’ve retrained end up having to buy new fins because their fins just didn’t live up to their diving needs at the open water diver level.

An improperly balanced scuba diver wearing the wrong gear using the wrong techniques
An improperly balanced scuba diver wearing the wrong gear using the wrong techniques

We believe in teaching diving the right way and giving you the tools to make a more informed decision when you purchase your equipment and additional dive training. After learning the pros and cons the customer is able to make a more informed decision. We are happy to sell anything we have or can get if people who insist on them, but it doesn’t mean we recommend or endorse the products at that point. Here are a few photos of us teaching proper fin techniques, proper trim and fit and functionality to new open water and advanced divers.

Our methods and training teaches you how to dive right from the beginning, purchasing the best gear and training available. Check out our training section for more information your next diving course.

DDS Diver maintaining proper trim, posture and buoyancy
DDS Diver maintaining proper trim, posture and buoyancy

Please don’t be insulted if you read that your fins are no good. They’re likely good fins for flutter kicking with a single tank on a reef in a shorty wetsuit, but add a drysuit, a large single tank or a set of doubles, a mild current, more weight to offset that wetsuit or drysuit and now you may find your fins don’t cut it anymore.

Diving is about versatility, evolving and personal development of skills is a big part of that. All divers both recreational and technical should know proper frog kick and they should all have fins that will enhance not hinder in water performance.

If you read our blog and like what we’re doing, we’d appreciate your feedback and business as we share the most up to date and modern information available. Come diving with us, train with us and harness your maximum potential.

The Rescue

One a most recent trip ocean diving in Cozumel 2 divers on the trip were equipped in the wrong fins. One a pair of TUSA Split Fins and the other a pair of Sherwood Elite Fins.  Neither were able to swim against the surface current back to the boat and had to be rescued.

So why did this happen?  Simply put, they had the wrong fins!

It doesn’t matter how much cheaper a pair of inferior, lightweight, plastic Sherwood fins are when you have the fear of your life and panic, which is exactly what happened to the diver in these fins.

The other diver, an experienced DDS diver decided to favor weight for travel over performance and thrust and when they were returned safely to the boat, they said they wished they’d brought their Jet Fins and uttered the words, “Never Again”.

Don’t put yourself in harms way, don’t favor your pocket book over your life, do yourself a favor and get the right gear the first time and the best stuff you can.

Your fins are the most important piece of gear you’ll have as a diver.  Don’t make the same mistakes thousands of new divers a week around the world do.

Buy The Best Fins

Dan’s Dive Shop offers the best selection and pricing you’ll find on scuba diving and snorkeling equipment in Canada or the United States, so please, if you feel that this article has helped you and you would like to purchase the best fins, take a browse through our online store and add a set to your shopping cart today.

Thank you for reading this.  If you have any questions about gear, training, diving techniques, please email me.

See you underwater,

Matt Mandziuk
Recreational, Cave & Technical Diving Instructor
NAUI Cave & Trimix Instructor 45416
TDI Trimix Instructor 4767
PADI MSDT 207233
SDI Instructor 4767
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 – Jan 9 all-day

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 6:30-10pm 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
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.

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.