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“Fantastic dive shop and PADI certification course”
Review of Eco Dive Center

Eco Dive Center
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Attraction details
Owner description: Our Scuba school in West Los Angeles offers all levels of diver education courses from beginner to instructor development.We offer weekly scuba diving charters at various spots around Southern California including the Channel Islands. Our dive club has monthly speakers from around the scuba industry.
Reviewed 25 January 2011

Ron and the team at Eco Dive Center are the best. I was Open Water certified through their Life Guard course and the experience couldn't have been better. My classmates and I, being life guards, are all familiar with the water, something that we take for granted, as a lot of the non-lifeguard course deals with remaining calm under water and having the endurance to actually swim.

Instead of a course spread over two weekends, we did everything in one weekend. We studied the book at home and on Friday night had a three hour class where we reviewed each chapter and took tests to apply the knowledge we'd learned. Out instructor Jessica explained the SCUBA math very easily ensuring everyone could figure out de-co times. We all passed easily.

Saturday AM found us in the Culver City pool from 7:30-10:30am, learning the basic skills that we would apply to our two shore dives later that day. Jessica was fantastic and very thorough, though admittedly, we were a great class and flew through each underwater test.

LThe two shore dives were in Redondo Beach at Vets Park. The first time you walk in the ocean with what feels like 50 extra pounds of gear is a little daunting but Jessica and our other instructor Dan gave us the confidence to power through the waves and prepare to descend. That first dive, the vis was incredible (our instructors' words). We all had no problem descending and completing the various tests needed. Everyone was very excited after that first dive and Jessica and Dan were happy that we were doing so well.

The vis on the second dive wasn't as great, and Jessica warned us to stay close to our buddy as it would be the first time we were under water without great visibility. Despite the different conditions, we finished that dive's tests with ease and made the long trek back to our cars for a wrap-up discussion. Jessica and Dan were pleased that we were all doing so well. She told us how to best recover from all the work we'd done today and how rest and hydration was especially important so we didn't feel like rubbish for our three Sunday dives off Catalina.

Sunday morning, we left out of Long Beach for the three Catalina dives. The dives were incredible! I'd never seen kelp forests and man, it was a trip. So much life down there! The boat Eco chartered was great. The people not taking classes were friendly and eager to share dive stories. The food served between each dive was delicious; I still have dreams about the french toast our chef made! After we completed our fourth dive, we were officially certified Open Water divers! For our fifth dive, we were able to go with just a buddy. It's pretty amazing to think that Friday night I'm walking in a door with just book knowledge and by Sunday afternoon, I've learned the basic skill sets and my buddy and I now have the confidence to dive at 65ft without an instructor present. It's a testament to Eco's thorough instruction. And throughout the whole weekend, Jessica's enthusiasm for diving really infected the whole class. She was such a positive influence and as a result, we all had such a good time learning SCUBA and hanging out with each other.

After the weekend, Ron told us that he would give us a deal; if we wanted to purchase the rental gear we had used all weekend, tank included, we could do so at an AMAZING price. Three people in the class (myself included) took advantage and I couldn't be happier about it.

I would recommend Eco Dive Center to anyone interested in learning how to SCUBA from a friendly, energetic and knowledgeable staff. They really are the best!

Thank brifo99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 25 of 25 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2011

I frequent Eco for all my diving needs, the staff is always friendly and ready to help, and they have dive boats going out every weekend, including trips to Catalina and the Channel Islands and even more advanced diving trips around Southern California! The instructors there know their stuff and with a full calendar of classes they always have something going on. If you're looking to go diving around LA definitely stop by Eco Dive Center first!

Thank KEDickinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2010

I had some problems with one of the instructors at ECO, but the owner did contact me to clear some things up and the equipment I was able to rent/buy was fine... here's the good, bad, and ugly...

Starting with the bad, my first class was supposed to be a few weeks ago and the instructor postponed the class by calling us shortly before it was supposed to begin because she had an emergency (emergencies happen, but I would have rather she found another instructor to fill in for her--I live far away from the dive site and was almost there by the time I got her call).

In my second class, it rained the previous day and the instructor cancelled the class right before we were supposed to begin because she doesn't like going in the ocean the day after a rain... the water was fine and I and dozens of other people (divers, swimmers, surfers, etc.) went in and had no problem... once again, I drove a long way to the dive site and would have preferred that the instructor cancel the class well in advance to save me a drive... it's not like she didn't know in advance that it rained the previous day.

Our third class was a lecture that was supposed to be at one site, but a half hour before the class was supposed to begin the instructor texted us that she was moving that lecture to another site, so we had to drive further. When we got there, she had us watch a DVD that was so damaged that it kept stopping and skipping, so we ended up only being able to watch a portion of it.

In two of our other dive sessions in open water, the instructor forgot to bring some of the necessary equipment, so we weren't able to completely do the drills that were promised previously.

Now for the ugly, our final dive was cancelled because the instructor said she had to leave and teach another diving class. She said we can call her to do another dive with her some other day, but deciding to cancel one class to go teach another is ridiculously disorganized and unprofessional.

When I received my SCUBA certification card in the mail, some of the information on it was wrong because she entered the wrong data into the computer, so I had to contact her to process a new certification card.

But on the good side, I spoke with the owner about all of this and he apologized for the difficulties, asked me how he can address the problem, and he said he was going to council that instructor and/or work with higher quality people in the future. The gear that I was able to rent/buy at the shop was fine, but I obviously was unlucky in having to deal with an unprofessional/disorganized person there.

7  Thank Outdoorperson_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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