Destination Scuba is now open for business! The Valley’s newest dive shop opened its doors on Sept. 6, in Glendale, Ariz., inviting the community to learn more about the world of scuba diving. This beautiful new dive shop is a place for old friends and new to connect, share stories and plan dive trips together. Destination Scuba is a place to dive amongst friends.
As experienced divers, Co-founders Tania Land and CG Durda are very excited about this new venture. They believe the sport of scuba diving is special and can’t wait to share their love for diving near and far, starting with the local dive community and eventually working with scuba divers around the world.
“Scuba is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle and we live life in style.”
We visited Tania Land to get a tour of the new shop and find out more about their staff's love for scuba diving.
How did you get into scuba diving?
Tania: I never thought about scuba diving very much because I thought it was a sport that was out of my reach financially. I finally got the opportunity to try scuba and I found out that getting certified wasn’t very expensive. After one pool session, I was totally hooked! I started going to lake every weekend and diving as much as I could. I’m definitely glad I tried it. It was just amazing!
How long have you been diving?
Tania: 3 years, I've been on over 500 dives.
How long does the scuba certification process take?
Tania: First you need to educate yourself on the sport with book training. Once the bookwork is completed, come into Destination Scuba. WE will go over gear, get you in the pool for training, practice skill underwater and then you will have two days at the lake for open water training. The entire process takes about 2 weeks or less.
We recommend booking a local trip to San Carlos to complete the open water training for a better experience and for the chance to enjoy diving all day while on a nice, relaxing vacation.
Where can you go scuba diving in the desert?
Tania: Lake Pleasant is a good, local spot. It tends to have better conditions, neat dive sites with coves. We dive out there a lot and there is usually 50-100 people diving at the lake every weekend.
Another good spot in Arizona is Lake Mohave because it has fantastic visibility. And just a few hours away there are diving spots in California and San Carlos, Mexico.
What do you tell people who think it may be better to try scuba while on vacation?
Tania: People’s experiences when they try scuba on vacation can either be positive or negative. Scuba is a completely new sport with new equipment and it can be a lot to take in. Some people pick it up right away and want to do it again. Some people can feel anxious or rushed during the resort dive training.
We recommend trying it before you go on a vacation. Put on the gear and get in a pool to get comfortable, and that way you know what you’re doing before jumping in the ocean.
If you get certified before your trip, you’ll have a better time on vacation and get the chance to do much more exploring underwater.
We really take care of our clients and want them to be ready and comfortable. If you have an issue with a mask, we have all the time in the world to work with you until you’re comfortable.
There is no pressure to get certified in a short amount of time.
Where are your favorite places to dive?
Tania: I love diving in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman, and the Bahamas. There is fantastic visibility, lots of fish sea life, and it’s nice to swim in warm clear water!
Is scuba diving safe?
Tania: Yes. Like any other sport there are risks involved, you could crash riding a bike, but you learn the basics and gear up to protect yourself.
The certification process teaches you about the equipment so you can prevent things from going wrong and if they do go wrong you can deal with it in any situation.
Divers have the personal responsibility to dive within your limits. There are different levels of certification and it’s important to know your limits.
What is your favorite aspect of diving?
Tania: It’s different for each person. Scuba is very relaxing. I love the way I feel during and after a dive. It’s a very social sport that brings people together. I’ve made so many friends doing it!
Is scuba an expensive sport?
Tania: Scuba is very equipment intensive and can add up. It really depends on what you’re doing. Certification is only $299 and we offer rental equipment besides the personal items required like a mask, snorkel, and fins.
If you dive 2-3 times a year it makes sense it buy your own equipment because renting does add up over time. Purchasing a whole set of equipment will run about $1,500.
The thing with rentals is they may not always fit right and scuba is not as fun when you have issues with gear.
How many trips does Destination Scuba plan to take throughout the year?
Tania: We have a trip to San Carlos planned for October and a trip to Lake Mojave in November. Starting next February, we plan to take one trip per month.
How deep can a scuba diver safely dive?
Tania: This relates to the particular divers training, for an adult who has their open water certification, they can dive to 60 feet. Children are allowed to dive to 40 feet with the supervision of an adult. Those divers with deep diving certification are allowed to reach 130 feet and to go deeper requires highly technical advanced training.
Do you ever have to renew your certification?
Tania: Once you are open water certified, it doesn’t expire, but you do need to keep up on your skills. If you have not gone diving in the past year, it’s smart to take a refresher course to review the basics, and go over pre-dive safety checks and if we think you’re good to go, we’ll sign off.
Can people of all ages- kids through seniors- scuba dive?
Tania: Yes, kids as young as 10 years old can dive and, there is no age limit. I’ve seen people get certified at the age of 80, as long as they’re in good health.
What’s a common misconception of scuba diving?
Tania: People say they can’t dive because they are claustrophobic or afraid of sharks. There is a misconception about sharks and they don’t prevent a threat to human’s scuba diving whatsoever. They are huge creatures and you should mind your space, but you don’t have to be afraid of them attacking you. They have a tremendous sense of smell and they know that we smell different than what they eat. They feed from the bottom up, so snorkelers and surfers are in more danger because they are mistaken for a sea lion in the surf. When you are underwater with sharks, they can see you and know you are not dinner.
With those who suffer from claustrophobia, when you swim underwater there is a lot of space in front of you and you feel weightless, so the feeling of claustrophobia is not an issue.
What type of sea life have you seen on your underwater adventures?
Tania: Coral, tons of different types of fish, turtles, jelly fish, sharks, crabs, lobsters, starfish, urchins, I see things all the time that are new and exciting and some things I don’t even know what they are and have to look them up later.
If I have been scuba diving in the past and want to connect with other scuba divers, can Destination Scuba help?
Tania: We have a really big group of divers that we dive with and we welcome new divers to come hang out at the shop or come to our scuba socials.
The scuba community is huge in the Valley because we are so accessible to great diving. Come dive with us and you’ll see!
What else do you want people to know about Destination Scuba?
Tania: If it’s something you’ve ever been interested in, just stop by and try it for free. Get a group of people together and hold a scuba party or a kid’s birthday party!
Keep up with Destination Scuba's events, seminars, trips and Scuba Socials, by following them on Facebook
Join Destination Scuba at Heights Bar and Grill
on the second Wednesday of each month for their Scuba Socials to join the scuba community, locally. ONce football season ends, the Scuba Socials will be held on Thursday evenings.