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Diving into calgary’s
underwater scene
BY MEGan KOPP
¦ Mask? Check. Fins? Check.
Regulator? Check. Ocean? uh no –
but do you really think Calgarians
are going to let something like
the lack of a salty sea stop from
them from pursuing scuba diving?
Not a chance.
According to Randy Giles, regional
director of the Professional Association of
Diving Instructors, thousands of divers are
certified every year in Alberta and Calgary
is a hot spot. “Calgarians have a healthy
outdoor lifestyle,” notes Giles. “It’s a very
active market, with the diving stores and
instructors to support the sport.”
Calgary has three dive training shops –
two on Macleod Trail, one near Marda Loop.
All offer basic pool and classroom training
for under $200, with optional open water
dive certification in our local lakes for less
than an additional $150. In winter months,
completing the classroom and pool sessions
in the city and then taking a referral letter
down to Mexico, the Caribbean or over to
Hawaii to finish the open water portion is a
popular goal.
If you’re thinking about taking up the
sport, Giles recommends talking with an
instructor at a professional dive facility. Ask
about the training, what’s involved, what the
fitness requirements are, how much it will
cost, and how long it will take to complete.
dIvInG RESOURCES
Giles has been diving for 32 years and he Aqua-phobes, or anyone unsure about  For information and dive events, contact the Alberta
still remembers the first time he breathed the sport of diving, can get a taste of the
underwater Council (11759 Groat Rd., Edmonton)
underwater. “It’s a strange, beautiful world,” adventure and perhaps overcome their fears
by phone at (780) 427-9125 or toll free at
1-888-307-8566.
he notes, “with plants and animals that make with a discover-scuba course (under $50).
www.albertaunderwatercouncil.com
a walk through a forest look like a desert in Giles notes that scuba diving is actually
 Adventures in scuba
comparison.” And in Alberta, we’ve got the safer than sports like downhill skiing or 9950 MacLeod Trail south
whole package, according to Giles. “You get contact football. “It’s not complicated,” he
Ph: (403) 299-7751
to combine the best of nature above and says, “as long as you have the discipline to
www.adventuresinscuba.com
 Aquasport scuba
below the water.” follow the rules taught.”
3411-20
th
st sW
Cathie McCuaig, executive director of “Diving is easy to learn,” notes McCuaig,
Ph: (403) 686-6166
the Alberta underwater Council, loves “but it can be mentally challenging, and you www.aquasport.com
the sense of weightlessness and “the do need to be prepared.” But once you start,
 The Dive shop
sheer enjoyment of blowing bubbles!” she she adds, you never want to stop. And once
4652 Macleod Trail south
Ph: (403) 243-4616
enjoys the quietness of a dive as much the you’ve got that open water certification,
www.thediveshop.com
camaraderie of sharing the experience with go for the dry-suit course, ice diving, cave
 Professional Association of Diving Instructors
fellow divers at the end of the day. diving... Your next adventure awaits!
«CO www.padi.com
www.CalgaryOutdoors.ca CALGARY  SUMMER 2008 33
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