Despite my illustrious career as a middle school basketball player, I am not really an athlete. You probably won’t find me jogging around town and I often fall off my reformer during Pilates. Water sports have always been something that interested me, and learning how to get Scuba certified in LA was high on my list.
I reached out to Marina Del Rey-based Scuba shop Ocean Adventures Dive Co. to pursue a certification in diving. This family-owned company is a PADI 5-star Instructor Development Facility, meaning they know their stuff.
Erika, the shop owner, could not have made getting started easier! I decided to pursue the Scuba Diver certification which allows me to dive up to 40 feet with a Divemaster.
When asked why she started diving, Erika said “I started diving because I couldn’t believe the beauty under the surface of the ocean. It’s a completely different world down there that only a fraction of the population gets to experience. I started teaching because I wanted to help people have that same experience and to build awareness of how wonderful the ocean truly is”.
Ocean Adventures Dive Co’s top 3 most fun things about scuba diving:
- Only 5% of ocean has been explored. As SCUBA divers, you get to be a part of a world that very few have seen!
- Being under water is the perfect zen zone. All you can really hear are your own bubbles, and she loves the feeling of being weightless and at peace.
- SCUBA is empirically a cool experience – it’s the closest thing most people will ever get to being in outer space!
My Scuba Diving Experience
Before I slipped into my wetsuit, I had some homework to do. I was assigned reading from the PADI Scuba Diving manual, which was a wonderful way to cut my teeth in the world of Scuba Diving. Each section had a quiz at the end to help you comprehend the material.
We met up at the shop on Saturday to review what we had gone over in our reading. Once we all aced our quizzes, we checked out all of our gear and headed to the pool!
Our awesome instructor Spencer made us feel very comfortable. After all, wearing a wet suit, air tank, mask, and putting a regulator in your mouth feels very strange at first.
We began in the shallow end, where we met on the bottom of the pool to practice skills. Next, we moved to the deep end to get more comfortable being under the water.
If you’ve never attended class at the bottom of a pool, I would highly recommend it.
The following Saturday was the ocean dive. My classmates and I met up on diving boat the Spectre in Ventura harbor and set sail for Anacapa.
Everything was included – air fill-ups between dives, lunch, and the boat itself. This was the day I was most nervous for.
It turns out I shouldn’t have been because the dives were absolutely incredible. We didn’t learn any new skills in the ocean (whew, big worry of mine), just reviewed what we practiced in the pool. After skills, the fun began.
Seeing the bottom of the ocean was an incredible experience. We were approached by fish, lobsters, and even a sea lion pup.
Everything moves a little slower in the water, so my fears melted away. We stepped off the boat as certified divers and I can’t wait to dive again.
How to Get Scuba Certified in LA
Whether you want to brush up your skills or get into scuba diving for the first time, there’s a class at OADC for you!
They offer classes from a discover session where you’ll spend a few hours in the pool learning basic skills all the way up through instructor training.
Erika believes that if you’re healthy and comfortable in the water, you can dive. If you’re not super athletic (slowly raising my own hand), this is an extreme sport you can do! As an added bonus, if you decide to buy a full kit at the store, OADC will give you the base cost of your training for free!
Why You Should Get Certified With Ocean Adventures Dive Co
1 . Ocean Adventures Dive Co puts their focus on quality training with encouragement and acceptance. They keep their class sizes small, which they believe helps create lifelong divers who are excited and prepared to dive. While some people may take Scuba Diving just to check it off their bucket list, Erika’s enthusiasm and passion for diving is contagious and just may convince you to take it up as a hobby.
2. After our pool day, Erika went out of her way to set up a private session with me to make sure I was super comfortable with the skills before heading to the ocean. This was totally not necessary – she could have had an evening off and let me figure it out on my own. However, she knows that Scuba Diving can be intimidating at first and focuses on putting her students safety and comfort first.
3. As with almost any sport, Scuba Diving can get expensive. With OADC, you don’t feel that your money is being wasted. You get a complete experience from training, to the boat and all its amenities, and your E-learning course.
4. I appreciated how female-inclusive OADC is. Sports is often a boys club, which is intimidating on top of the sport itself. The classes are more often than not a mix of both genders, and the shop itself is run by a female!
To learn more about Ocean Adventures Dive Club, check them out on Facebook and Instagram.
Start getting fit for your first Scuba Diving class with these eight awesome LA outdoor workouts!
Ocean Adventures Dive Co provided The LA Girl with complimentary scuba certification classes.
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