Overtaxed and under pressure, how to keep out of dangerous situation.

We just spent a long weekend diving in the Florida Keys and I learned a valuable lesson I felt I should pass on to our readers.  There never were any serious issues but in my mind I could see how things may have turned out differently.  This experience re-enforced in me on how proper training can improve the safety factor when diving. New gear configurements can be taxing if you’re not prepared.

Let me set the scene for you. The boat rocked heavily as we journeyed to the massive Speigal Grove shipwreck.  Weather issues made the dives more challenging with 3-5 foot waves, 25 foot of viz, and 18 knot winds.   Stomachs lurched as much as the expertly driven Odyssey as we approached the buoy marking our descent line.   As an experienced dive instructor with over 1000 dives under my belt, it was my first time diving the Keys and 2nd time exploring the ocean with my new camera system.

RELATED: Underwater Photography Class

The majority of my ocean dives have been spent using a compact GoPro camera system. These are easy to handle and do a decent job of point and shoot video/pictures.  Wanting to step up my Macro game, I had invested in an underwater housing made by Nauticam for my Nikon D810 camera.  This system is much bigger and bulkier then my Gopro and brought in an entirely different dynamic when diving.



We were lucky when we arrived at our spot, the waves were not as forecast 5-7 ft. but were only 3-5 ft which made a huge difference in getting off and on the boat.  Also there was very little current at depth.  I took my camera and housing on the first dive but due to the poor visibility refrained from taking it on the 2nd dive.  The afternoon dive was similar as we poured over French Reef but we experienced a lot of surge.  Despite the poor viz and surge, I was super pleased with the camera’s performance.


The next day (Saturday), the  wind was even stronger and the dives were cancelled. I had already decided I wasn’t going to dive and could just use a day to relax.  We scheduled an afternoon Everglade Nature Tour and had a marvelous time exploring the Everglades on an air-boat looking for alligators and other wildlife.keys-12

RELATED: Everglade Nature Tours

Sunday approached rapidly. Bright-n-early at 6am we were on the way to Key West for an excursion to dive the USNS Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the 2nd largest artificial reef in the world. We chose one of the best outfits to dive with Captain’s Corner. Needless to say we were all excited for diving the Vandenberg as none of us had ever had the pleasure of diving on it. After having poor and cancelled dives the rest of the week, we hoped to salvage at least one super day of diving.

Amazing is the only way to describe the next several hours as we bounced  back to back dives on the Vandenberg.  We arrived to no current and 80 ft viz.  The site was full of boats so our captain decided to let us free descend to the lines below.  As there was no current we would treat our ascent as a drift dive and he would pick us up on any of the lines coming off the ship.

_DSC3961-639610064789 x 4173

The dive was simply splendid.  Watching our bottom time carefully, we made sure not to get into deco time and came up with plenty of air in our tank and time left to spare. Here is where the dive became challenging.

When drift diving, you deploy a SMB Surface Marker Buoy or as we call it a “safety sausage” letting boats around you know there is a diver below and to make sure your boat can find you.  Having the huge dive housing as part of my kit was never made into my dive plan, while using a safety sausage.  I found myself on the ascent line with the housing strapped to my BC trying to keep other divers from kicking the dome.  I was fumbling with my sausage removing from the “d-ring” then working on inflating it and releasing the thumb spool of line.  Watching the familiar tube rise to the surface made me think how lucky I was at that moment.  There was no current.  There was great visibility. I had managed my air and time sufficiently to handle any issues. Thankfully none materialized.  But it could have been much different blog entry.  The camera housing size, creates a new dynamic, I will need to learn for future diving.   The pictures are incredible and worth the time to learn.

I hope this post will help you stop and think about your own gear configuration and any changes you make or equipment you change, what impact will be on your next dive trip.  If you like what you see on our pictures remember we will be returning to the Florida Keys in late November and have plenty of room for you to join us. It is imperative you keep your dive skills fresh by diving as much as you can as well as participating in continuing education programs.

See: Florida Trip

Enjoy photography?  Submit your photos in our photo contest to win trip voucher and other cool prizes.

See: Photo Contest

How To Overcome Pressure Before Your Next Dive.

On a recent dive trip part of our dive team had a thought provoking situation that could have ended rather badly.  It’s important to know sometimes the experts are not always expert and learn to trust your training and skills and not be pressured to do things against your better judgment.

One thing I have noticed is divers love to share their experience and wisdom of what they have discovered in diving.  Sometimes it can be information such as a favorite dive site in Bonaire or a favorite piece of Scubapro gear. Perhaps a helpful warning of an unpleasant travel experience can also be a great tip such as give plenty of time to catch connecting flights at certain airports and why it’s a good idea for trip insurance.

Related: Dive Bonaire

Most divers I believe feel exhilarated and a little nervous when diving a new spot.  We are taught during our open water training when at a new dive area, hiring a guide is recommended. Local guides generally know of any hazards and typically where the most interesting dive spots are more likely to be found.

We had been in the water just two weeks prior to this trip so our dive skills were fresh and our wetsuits had barely dried when we loaded up the car for our next adventure.

The dive conditions were similar to our last bit of diving in regards to temperatures so gear configuration was not going to change.  At the dive resort, however the dive guides convinced our divers due to the destination, more weight was needed.

Our divers questioned the reasoning and physics behind this extra weight and the guides were rather adamant about how the diving here was different and required the extra weight.  Against what they felt was correct they accepted the advice of the resident expert dive guide and added 8-10 more pounds to their BC.  They had a horrible dive, were super over weighted resulting in burned air like crazy.

Experts are usually experts in their field but sometimes they don’t have all the information or are generalizing based up on past experiences.  Doesn’t make them right.  As a diver YOU are the one responsible for yourself.  Ultimately you have the final say in diving.  Don’t let others talk you into doing something you know doesn’t sound correct.  My friends really didn’t think they should add the extra weight but the guide really insisted.

Playing the devil’s advocate, the guide was probably used to warm water divers who typically don’t wear 7mm suits, hoods and gloves.  Most warm water divers don’t realize how buoyant a 7mm wetsuit really is. Complacency can be very dangerous when dealing with depths and diving.  The dive guide was probably not paying as much attention as he should have when he was told same gear configuration as 2 weeks ago.

When we lowered the weights on the divers, the diving became more fun, and air management much easier.  It is very important as divers to know and trust your training.  Listen to your dive briefs and make informed smart decisions about the dives. If your dive guide tells you something that doesn’t sound right, question them to make sure you understand, and perhaps get a second opinion.  Again it is you who are diving and you’re responsible for yourself.

Related: Buoyancy Clinic

The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy class is a great course to help fine tune your diving.  Also the Playground Dive Shop offers Buoyancy Clinics which spend 2 hours focusing on your buoyancy in the pool.  These are great tools you can utilize in winter months to keep your skills fresh.  They also allow you the opportunity to tune your buoyancy with different types of scuba gear and wetsuits.

Room full of luggage

How to lighten your load not your pocket book (Part 2 – Packrat)

How to lighten your load not your pocketbook Part 1: Research

Part 2: Getting Rid of the Pack Rat

Vacation is just around the corner and it is so exciting to envision yourself on the beach with palm trees and the ocean lapping at your feet until you realize it’s time to start packing.  What should I take?  Traveling to exotic destinations is not like living in your local suburb where there is a Wal-Mart on every corner and plenty of Dollar Stores everywhere.  Time to really focus in on the ‘nitty gritty’.  Most people over pack.  When carrying your personal dive gear you may find the 50 lb. limit on your luggage fairly quickly but you want to make sure you have equipment tailored to you and you’re familiar with-after all this is why you invested in your gear.

This past year I have seen new equipment coming out and I hope to focus a future blog on purchasing travel gear but for this blog my focus is on the packing portionstop.  I am assuming you have read Part 1 – Research, if not stop there and read it before proceeding.   If you are still reading I know you’re ready for step 2.  Getting rid of your inner pack rat. I consider dive gear in two parts – dive gear and dive accessories.  The first part of the blog will focus primarily on the dive gear you need to take and how best to pack and carry it. It is focused on a single diver, but if your packing as a couple double the numbers.

Invest in a small portable luggage scale.   You can find them on Amazon as low as $10.  Weigh your luggage so you now have a baseline for packing. Layout on your floor or bed the following items:


  • BCDluggage-scale-550x402.png
  • MASK
  • FINS



Take the time to inspect all the items to make sure there is nothing malfunctioning.  Replenish all items that may have been used previously in your Save-A-Dive kit.  Charge all electronics the day or night before you leave if possible. If you have any other suggestions, let me know what they are.

Somehow it is easy to get the dive gear but more complicated when deciding what clothing and toiletries we place into our suitcase. Most resorts have towels, shampoo, soap –  no need to pack them.  Check with your travel mate / roommate and split some of the items. Here is my suggested list for packing:


  • SWIMSUITS (2-3)
  • SHORTS(2)
  • T-SHIRTS / TANK TOPS (2-3)
  • WALKING SHOES /SOCKS  (1) /BEACH SHOES (1)   choose one for the travel day~less to pack
  • LIGHT WIND/RAIN JACKET (1)  ~ consider wearing this on the plane if you get cold easily
  • UNDERWEAR (3-4)
  • HAT (1)
  • SWIM COVER optional (1)
  • TOOTH PASTE (1 per room)
  • IMMODIUM (1 per room)
  • ASPRIN / ADVIL (1 per room)
  • ALOE / BURN RELEIF (1 per room)
  • DETANGLER (1 per room)
  • HAIRBRUSH (1) / HAIR TIES  (3)
  • RAZOR (1)
  • LIP Balm (1)
  • Bug Spray (1 per room)

This list may be significantly limited to what you normally pack but in my opinion it is very generous.  First off, ladies you are on vacation and a dive vacation at that.  You don’t need a lot of make-up.  Simply waterproof mascara and eyeliner will go a long way.  Most people purchase souvenir t-shirts while on vacation which is why I recommend only 2-luggage stuffing3 max shirts to take with you.  You will also have the clothes available you wear down during the week.  Remember you will be in the water almost all day so utilizing a few items previously worn will not hurt. You can wash out your clothes in the sink and wear them again as needed some places have laundry service too.  Figure out what shoes are best for your airport trip and what you don’t wear to the airport pack in your suitcase ~ tennis shoes are much heavier in your luggage and are very bulky so consider wearing them.

In your carry-on bag pack the following:

  • Regulator/Consoleatm
  • Mask (if prescription)
  • Camera / batteries
  • Log book /cert card
  • seasick medicine
  • flashlight / batteries charger
  • immodium
  • asprin / advil
  • hairbrush

Basically anything you may need on the first day after you arrive, you want to carry with you in case your luggage doesn’t show up.  I have lately begun to pack my regulator but for years, I always carried it with me.  Lithium batteries should be carried on and anytime you are traveling with batteries, try to keep them in a closed and secure package preferably unopened.  Some countries won’t let you carry them on if they have been opened.

In your checked bag pack the following:

  • bcd
  • fins

    Make sure your passport is with you for all parts of your travel. Also most places require the passport be current and not within 6 months expiration.
  • snorkel
  • boots
  • safety sausage w/reel
  • wetsuit
  • boat bag
  • rashguards
  • dive socks
  • drybag
  • reef safe sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • save-a-dive kit
  • swimsuits
  • shorts
  • t-shirts
  • underwear
  • sleepwear
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • make-up & remover
  • aloe/burn relief
  • detangler
  • razor
  • deodorant

Use your fins as support side walls for your luggage to protect everything inside.  Next place your BC in the bag.  I would advise unbuckling shoulder straps to allow it fold down smaller.  Roll up all clothing items and you can use it to pad sensitive areas in your luggage such as the AIR2 on your BC.  Any liquid items I try to put in a ziploc including bug spray and sunscreen in case of leakage. You can store your dive boots or rolled clothing items in your fin pockets too.

To conclude my travel list I want to stress a few things.  #1 Packing during the summer 3_19_1months vs winter months will create a bit of a change because you are most likely leaving a colder climate for a warmer climate.  Pack in layers and leave big bulky coats, gloves and boots back in your c

ar.  #2 One thing I take everywhere I travel is my water bottle.  Once through security lines, you can fill it at a water fountain. Many places you travel, the water could be unfit for consumption, so it is nice to have your own refillable water bottle.  Make sure you have one with a clip to attach to your backpack or carry-on bag.  Bringing snacks and cards for lengthy airport waits is also advisable.

Packing for serious dive photography is a whole other ballgame.  A great blog from one of my diver friends is here with tips on traveling with bigger cameras.

Related: Photography Travel

Scuba Jenn Photograph by Doug George

Following these steps you will find your bag is streamlined and your pocket book is not dented from the excessive baggage fees.  Let me know what other suggestions you may have that work for you.



How to lighten your load not your pocketbook

Part 1: Research

Learning to scuba dive opens a whole new world and exotic destinations you can explore. Traveling to dive resorts can represent challenges when trying to figure out what to take and what to leave behind. Airline baggage fees are expensive and can result in a nasty surprise when you go to check-in and find you owe another $75 for your luggage being 5 lbs. overweight.  This past dive to Cozumel I received a compliment from our taxi driver how light my dive buddy Krista and I packed for a week long trip:  1 bag each plus a back pack we used for a carry-on.  This is part 1 in a series on scuba travel and how not to over-pack.

Best place to start when you have a dive trip planned is personal research.  Are your dive skills fresh?  Did your regulator make a whistle or was hard to breath last time you dove? Please have your gear checked at least a month prior to your trip and make sure you have followed the manufacturers service guidelines.  Scubapro recommends your regulator to be serviced every two years or 100 dives to maintain the warranty.   If possible contact the Playground Dive Shop to see about a review/refresher course to both refresh your skills and test your dive gear.

The week prior to leaving, your next step to packing is with your computer by researching. Google the destination and find out local dive conditions, water temperatures, current/upcoming weather patterns and/or even contact your resort for recommendations on wet suits, attire at the resort etc.  Also research your airline to find out size and weight restrictions.  I carry the Delta American Express Sky-miles card which costs $90 annually but I get 1 free checked bag each way up to 9 persons on my itinerary.  On a recent trip to Cozumel this saved our group $450.

Related: Delta American Express

Once you have researched your data for the trip, the next step is to choose the gear best suited for your dive destination.

My next part will cover the perfect gear to pack for your dive trip!


What I Learned in Cozumel June 2016

“Winter is coming”, not just for Game of Thrones fans.  First trip to Cozumel during the summer.  Expecting things to be extremely hot and humid.  Little did I anticipate the rainy cooler season with temps in the 70’s while back home Kansas City was a blistering 95+ degrees.   But I am jumping ahead of my trip and need to step back a bit to the traveling to Cozumel.

My traveling has increased the past several years both domestically and internationally.  I took some friends suggestions (thanks Duane & Lisa) and signed up for TSA Precheck.  Well as luck had it, bad or good you decide, Delta Airlines had some software glitches when I tried to check in the day before flying to Mexico and it wouldn’t let me. The rest of the travelers on my itinerary, nine of them to be exact, also were not able to check in the day prior, but were able to use the local kiosk at KCI airport.  Sadly I was not

Scuba Jenn Made It!

and it was required to see the agent.  Even though we arrived at the airport with plenty of advance time, the line at the special agent was extremely slow, non-moving  due to the software glitch.  After an hour and half the agent called me forward and she too couldn’t get my ticket to print.  She did manage thirty minutes later to print the ticket for the first part of my day’s travel. Running to the gate I tried to get in the pre-check line but it too was long. While the TSA agents wouldn’t let me get to the front, the nice passengers did let me cut till I got closer.   The rest of the flights were uneventful and I was able to get the second portion of my ticket printed in Atlanta between connecting flights.


Lesson 1: Get TSA Precheck

Arriving in Cozumel and taking the taxi I had set-up for our group was easy.  Once at the hotel, they encouraged us to eat while lunch was still being served.  Our group, that wasn’t hard to convince us.  Checking in after lunch, is where I learned my second lesson:

Lesson 2: Don’t be afraid to ask for help with taking your dive bag up the stairs.

13511980_928706640573558_8082695095574789379_nMost places I have stayed, typically offer to haul the bag upstairs.  Sometimes I can be a bit chintzy and want to save a buck or two in tips, but when I saw the wonderful room we had up at the top of the 2 flights of stairs, I decided a couple of bucks are worth it.

I didn’t even hesitate when it was time to check out.  I know my USA dollars are well spent to boost the Mexican economy-let alone the price of a massage or chiropractor upon returning home.

What non-divers don’t realize is, most divers take all the dive gear when traveling.  In fact my dive buddy Krista and I did get a compliment as we were leaving Cozumel about us being girls and only having one bag for all our belongings. I will soon do a blog on packing for dive travel.

Related: Packing for your dive travel (added July 11, 2016)

Lesson 3: Ascot not just a French thing but good for diving too.

Will, one of our divers had some chafing on his neck from the BCD.  He purchased a Scuba Good Hood from the local dive shop and wore it around his neck.  We teased him all week about his “Ascot” and for the rest of the week he talked with a French Accent.  I learned a few years ago about the comfort of rubbing and chafing when  on dive trips.  I am a firm believer of Scuba Tube Socks, Coco Big Oh’s and Scuba Do Rags.  From blistered feet to chafing necks, comfort is paramount while on any vacation.

Shop: Scuba Socks

Lesson 4: Checking the current has alternate meanings

Our dive guides were very thorough and safe during our daily dive adventures.  Before the13533143_928707020573520_5107147648509767718_n “pool’s open” our guide would jump in first and check the current.  We quickly figured out after many bottles of water before during and after diving and the long boat rides back and forth to the dive sites, what checking the current was really all about.  So all of us divers started to check the current.  You know there are two types of divers…

Lesson 5: Electronics are not able to withstand Mexican Tile – make sure you have extended warranty

I am addicted to video and picture editing and it is my favorite past-time while on a dive adventure.  But when my Surface Pro 3 tablet was updated to Windows 10, my Micro-SD card didn’t register.  While in Mexico on the limited WiFi updating drivers was a nightmare.  I fell asleep and sometime during the night the Surface Pro crashed onto the tile floor and shattered.  Luckily I did have the extended warranty and was able to replace the Surface Pro once I returned back to Kansas City for the low cost of $50.  However I am still trying to work through all the videos.

Lesson 6: There is a Giant Moray Eel

I don’t pretend to be an expert when it comes to the underwater world but at times I am surprised at new discoveries I witness.  This time one was the Giant Moray Eel.  It was huge.  Most moray’s are long and slender.  This looked bloated and fat compared to what I had seen before.  I tried to get video from it, but it was hiding under a coral reef overhang and the video isn’t as clear as I would have hoped.

Giant Moray Eel

Lesson 7: While diving in groups, the dynamics or dive buddies may change.

Diver Dan picked up a new “Dive Buddy for Life” due to air consumption.  John and Dan were similar on air and it worked out on the dives for them to buddy up.  Doug and I swapped occasionally with the new divers Shantay and Kriss so we could have different experiences.  However much I swap dive buddies, Krista and Mary have to be top favs!  I think it is good to dive with different buddies because you can pick-up on new techniques, and not get complacent. However you dive, make sure you and your buddy have good communication and signals, as well as familiar with each others equipment.

Pictures courtesy of Doug George Photographer

Lesson 8: Make sure you heed the seasick warning

I have been blessed to not have a weak stomach but that wasn’t the case for two of our group members during the Whale Shark Swim.  My first time swimming with the whale sharks but not the last.  It was long full day of adventure.  Not sure what to expect, it was a challenging and very rewarding day.  Catching the 5:45 ferry to Playa Del Carmen then a taxi ride up to Cancun, we boarded a fast boat to the open Caribbean Sea.  When I say fast boat and open seas, I mean it.  I love the swells and hitting the waves but its not for everyone.  We had to hunt the whale sharks and ended up finding 4 of them.  Next time I will take a wetsuit.  I did rent one because it was required from the operator to either be in wetsuit or life jacket.  They did feed us Ceviche and  home made guacamole – well those who could stomach it.

Whale Shark Video

Lesson 9: Loved Scuba Club Cozumel

First time I stayed at the Scuba Club Cozumel and I will be back.  It was the best trip I have had in all the years I been to Cozumel and the best place I have stayed.  Catering to divers with a small number of rooms and food that is simply amazing.  With views on the ocean and hammocks on the beach you can’t get a better resort for diving.  The shore diving was13428523_925518700892352_8885169456166408608_n.jpg incredible for afternoons and night dives.  I was able to conduct Advanced Open Water dives during the week.  Other dive groups were friendly we met and hope to dive with them again.

If this trip sounds amazing to you, please don’t feel left out.  We have a trip coming up to Cayman Brac August 28-Sept. 3 with room for 2 more couples and 1 single male diver.  Not a diver?  Not a problem, we have non-divers that often go with us.  See our upcoming dive trips on our travel page.  Remember no matter what time of the year you go to the islands make sure you pack a light jacket.  Hope to see you soon!

Upcoming Dive Travel Trips

Innovative New Dive Gear

Life After Scubapro Platinum Meeting San Diego March 2016

sp logo

I am always amazed and overwhelmed with ideals whenever I return from a Scubapro Platinum meeting. Scubapro designs these meetings with the intention of creating a stronger network of Scubapro teams to change the dive world.

The Playground Dive Shop is 1 of 50 scuba shops in the United States who hold the prestigious title of being a Scubapro Platinum Shop. A Platinum Scubapro Shop has made a commitment to sell Scubapro line only. This is a huge benefit for our customers for several different reasons. Mainly we are the subject matter experts for all things Scubapro.

WEBSITE: Playground Dive Shop

Why Platinum? Our mutual dedication has created a stronger retail center for our divers.  We are the leading experts in Scubapro gear, how to properly maintain and use the gear.  Our staff is better educated with our razor sharp focus of one brand. Scubapro has been in the dive industry for 50 years.  This heritage can only be accomplished by producing quality products.  High quality doesn’t always mean high in price.  Scubapro offers a full line of products with different features to fit any budget while not compromising the quality.

Join our Newsletter

Why Scubapro?

– Innovators – Scubapro has been an innovator in the dive industry for over 50 years.  That is huge!  Innovation is not just a thing of the past though.  The designers and R&D of Scubapro are constantly working to better the Scubapro line of products.

– Scubapro Cares – new packaging and product design from Scubapro are leaving a greener and cleaner footprint for our world.  Many of our products now come in reusable packages.  Products materials such as wet suits are being made with water based glues for cleaner environment and petroleum free neoprene.

– Scubapro Women – “Shrink it and pink it” is not the way Scubapro reaches out to the ladies who dive.  We offer dive gear built around a woman’s lifestyles and interests.  Diving is now fashionable as well as fun.

– Scubapro Wet suits – New wet suit technology is far improved and superior over other competitors. Scubapro’s Everflex is produced with X-Foam neoprene, an exclusive Scubapro formula.  Scubapro was the first in diving in 2012 to introduce X-FOAM blend neoprene as part of our ongoing effort to better protect divers and our environment. All Scubapro neoprene is X-FOAM. Higher insulation for better heat retention.  Only formula that complies to to P.A.H. tests ensuring fewer pollutants.

Wet suits are subjected to Thermal Performance Classifications in Europe. This is where suits are rated for use in one of the four water temperature categories, also called classes, as described below:

Class A
Water temperature between 7°C/45°F and 12°C/54°F
Class B
Water temperature between 10°C/50°F and 18°C/64.5°F
Class C
Water temperature between 16°C/60.8°F and 24°C/75.2°F
Class D
Water temperature > 22°C/72°F

Scubapro’s wet suits are CE Certified:7/5 mm steamers are Class A; 5/4 mm Class B; 3/2 mm Class C.

– Scubapro BCD’s – Enter Scubapro’s newest wonder of the diving world. A technological breakthrough in BC design and construction.  Scubapro premium quality plus performance and features never seen before.  It’s 2 BC’s in 1.

  • Travel Friendly
  • Instant Dry
  • Lightweight & Compact
  • Moulds to your body
  • Extreme Comfort
  • Stability
  • Customizable colors
  • Modular System allows customization to your torso
  • Interchangeable travel straps included.

What could this incredible BC be? Hydros Pro

Video: Hydros Pro

We do have a limited supply on order to be delivered in June you can pre-order yours today.


Pre-order Hydros Pro

– PYROFLEX what is it?

PYROFLEX 1.5MM long sleeve rashguards are made from 100 percent pure neoprene. So unlike other rashies,  don’t just provide protection from scrapes and stings, they provide bona fide thermal protection.


Sporting a revolutionary design and featuring high-tech materials ideal for tropical diving, snorkeling, or pool training, PYROFLEX rash guards are made with special water-repellant, high-stretch Everflex X-Foam neoprene on the outside and a combination of fleece and plush on the inside. They offer lots of warmth, comfort and range of motion, plus they dry quickly and great for layering.


Scubapro and Platinum Dealers work side by side in choosing color, design, styles to better serve our combined customer base.  Together we are team Scubapro.  You too can be part of the Scubapro team.  To find out more visit our website or stop by for a visit.  You can also subscribe to our blog.


Top 6 Reasons To Join The Playground Dive Shop’s Scuba Olympics

Did you miss Scuba Olympics this year?  Well mark your calendar and make plans for next year’s event.  The Playground Dive Shop’s Scuba Olympics is always the first Sunday in March.  We have compiled this fun list as to why you should go ahead and make your plans to be an Olympian. Make sure to sign-up for our newsletter to assure you don’t miss any important upcoming events.

1. Money raised from Scuba Olympics goes to Missouri Special Olympics

Everyone knows how awesome divers are, but once a year The Playground Dive Shop sponsors an opportunity to let divers join together to help out those in our community with intellectual disabilities.  By participating in The Playground Dive Shop’s Scuba Olympics, you too can be a part of a growing movement of divers impacting the world in a positive way by using your dive skills to help others.  Missouri Special Olympics is the local group of Special Olympics who for 40 years, has been spreading the message: people with intellectual disabilities can – and will – succeed when given the chance.  As a diver your entry fee and rental fees go toward helping special people to succeed.

RELATED: Missouri Special Olympics

2. Gets you diving in the winter.

Everyone knows we divers dream daily of warm tropical destinations, turquoise water, andrun schools of Blue Tang & Angel fish while we live our rather uninteresting life in landlocked often cold Missouri during the winter months. The Playground Dive Shop’s Scuba Olympics allows you to dust off your dive gear and blow out the cobwebs from your regulator for a chance of Bubble Therapy.  Pocket books and work schedules may not allow for a dream vacation but you can still get wet with a short drive to Blue Springs YMCA. The indoor pool stays a steady temperature of 79* year round and visibility is great!

3. Improve your dive skills.

Newly certified?  No problem. Divers newly certified as well as those of advanced level are all welcomed to participate in Scuba Olympics.  Olympic events are designed to delight all skill levels to build confidence in dive skills and to provide a fun filled way to learn more about your dive equipment and the underwater environment. Speed, strength, agility is not required to participate and be successful for the Scuba Olympics. Success is better attained by slow thoughtful team work.

Video: Scuba Olympics 2016

4. Meet new dive buddies.

Every year new Olympians join our event so don’t be afraid of being inexperienced or feel out of place if you don’t have a dive buddy.  We do put 4-5 divers into teams and we try to keep couples and families together (if they want too) within those teams.  This allows divers to meet and dive with new people in a fun filled atmosphere.  We encourage and foster healthy competition but cheating is not allowed. Diving creates an enormous appetite so we conclude our ceremonies and hand out awards over a late lunch at Legends of Asia buffet.

5. Refresh dive principles.

Most of the Olympic events are centered around dive principles you were taught in open water.  Buoyancy in diving is one of the hardest but most important skills to master and many of our events let you practice the skill.  Trying to control a positive object like our “egg” while competing in our “egg race” can challenge even the most advanced diver.

Maintaining close contact with your dive buddy is also important in the dive environment and we bring this to a new level by our “3-Finned Race” and our “Buddy Buoyancy” race.

The “Bucket Race” reinforces atmosphere and pressure principles when diver teams swim cups of air to the deep end of the pool and empty them into a bucket filled with water.

Proper air management is mandatory when competing in the “Underwater Tug-O-War”.  This by far is the most tank draining event the Scuba Olympics.hoop

6. Have fun.

Last but not least the Playground Dive Shop’s Scuba Olympics event is a not-so-serious way of having a great time of diving.  Diving is usually fun but we make it exciting and entertaining at the same time!  Silly events like the Tug-O-War, 3 finned Race, Oh Buddy Where Art Thou, bring an exhilarating new experience in diving.

Olympiad Winners 2016

I realize you are sad and jealous to have missed this past event, but what is imperative is to not miss any future events.  Sign-up now to assure you are one of the first to be notified of important dates.