You will find dive shops in the most unusual places–sometimes miles and miles from a source of open water, however, that does not mean they are not a good dive shop, it just means the dive instructors at these dive shops have to travel to dive, as you will when you want to go diving.
Good Dive Shops and Dive Centers–Some scuba agencies such as PADI have standards that are sanctioned out for dive shops and dive centers. They are rated in levels of Platinum, Gold, Silver, and so on. Agencies rate the Dive shops after certain annual checkups and this can be used to your advantage to help select a good Dive shop. These annual checkups include tests for equipment repair and sale, working hours provided, classes offered, air purification and passing standards or standard violations in general.
Now there are some factors that can provide telltale signs to stay clear of certain dive shops and though this seems negative in thought, you need to think about safety if you are going to be a diver.
- Shops that are not well maintained – should be a signal for you to beware.
- Do not have adequate personnel to deal with you over the counter – this is subjective, and could be a day where they are short on employees due to illness or vacations.
- General lack of knowledge and/or are too laid-back about the safety and security they provide. This is definitely a big NO!
- Most importantly, the sense of security and warmth you receive when you walk in those doors. If it is lacking you might want to turn around and find another dive shop.