Fairfax dive shops?

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GrlEEEgrl

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Messages
46
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Location
Chantilly VA
# of dives
200 - 499
Nova Dive Center in Sterling is a small drive, but well worth it. They are also great with certifying younger divers.
 

reefmontalvo

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Location
Centreville,VA
# of dives
0 - 24
I was just in SSS today cause it was close to a buddy of mines house. The most I can say about the shop from what I noticed was the fish tank. I'm into Reef tanks and have one oin my house (75 gallon) and that tank almost had me cryn. LOL I just wanted to call the Saltwater fish tank reef keeper police and have them take this tank away. BUt the get back on subject there prices were a bit higher than other shops I know cause I think I have hit almost all the Scuba shops in the area. I did notice that Sea-ventures has an excellent staff, and they seem willing to help.
 

reefmontalvo

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Centreville,VA
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Aslo to add one last thing. I recently spoke to the new owner of Sterling Silver Scuba, He told me they just recently purchased the store and are in the process of making new changes. The owner was very nice an helpful.
 

MtnPlayVA

Contributor
Messages
220
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26
Location
Colorado
# of dives
200 - 499
Just my opinion: It is all personal preferences - I've had fantastic customer service from Sterling Silver. They did my training there and I have no complaints. I'd rather pay a little more knowing that I am getting it back in customer service. Others may prefer the lower prices and care less about the attention they receive. My 2 cents - shop around until you find what is comfortable for you. It might be worth driving to find that. I happened to luck out since I love SSS and they are close to both home and work. I've been in to Nova Dive Center and didn't get that same "warm and fuzzy" customer service feeling, but others love it.
I hope you find a shop that you feel comfortable with. It's the people that make the difference, not how much stuff they have to sell or how big the shop is :)
 

reefmontalvo

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Location
Centreville,VA
# of dives
0 - 24
I agree. I felt at home when I walked in to SSS, plus they explained to me about the new management change so things will be different. I also went to every dive shop and I noticed these guys weren't pushy about me having to buy my gear there or talking me out of buy gear elsewere. In my opinion I feel that makes things less confrontational since they make the atmosphere welcome and inviting, which in turn makes me want to support the shop.
 

mtrotterjr

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21
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Location
Woodbridge, Va
# of dives
25 - 49
Well i can't speak for the other shops but i have done all training and everything with The Dive Shop and they have been the greatest. Excellent customer service and have never been pushy about anything. And the instructors are excellent also which is why they will be the ones to certify my daughter as soon as she is old enough in 2 years. Just my 2 cents.
 

robway034

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Messages
191
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2
Location
Montclair, Virginia, United States
# of dives
500 - 999
They are under new management so this MAY be true. Last year (under Dan) though, they were one of the worst and most unsafe shops in the area. I've talked to several people who now use NDC as their LDS and they all have similar horror stories about SSS. I did my AOW with SSS and it was a joke. I am lucky I got mentorship after the fact or I would be in very serious trouble.

I guess I should be happy that she managed to single out one person but be that as it may: Let me offer the following: I totally respect her decision not to patronize SS/SCUBA (Not that you need or care about my respect one way or the other) but it's NOT THE SAME PERSON OR SHOP!
Currently all SS/SCUBA training is conducted or supervised by a PADI Master Instructor & a PADI IDC Staff instructor. Aside from that, we've earned all of our PADI 5 star ratings and we area full blown IDC.
Our instructional staff...which is ALL KNEW is extremely well trained, very very experienced and professional. We are certified TDI instructors too... Our instructional staffs reputation is sterling! Pun intended.
 

erikenger

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Messages
9
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Location
Washington, DC
# of dives
100 - 199
The Dive Shop - good store layout, good personnel, good inventory. For most things you have to hit several shops, I always include this one on the rounds.

Splash Dive - decent inventory, good personnel, in the case of my Nitrox course w/ Mel Briscoe, very good instruction

Virginia Scuba - just discovered these guys, farther out 66W. More tec oriented -like the feel of the place so far

American Water Sports - better than average prices, haven't been lately since Commander Starn passed away but assume they're still good. No BS, just the straight dope.

Sea Ventures - Not too much inventory, kind of Nazis if you buy anything online, still they're knowledgeable and carry Scuba Pro which is a good brand
 

Hoyden

ScubaBoard Supporter
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Scuba instructor
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
277
Location
Rockville, MD
# of dives
5000 - ∞
We are certified TDI instructors too... Our instructional staffs reputation is sterling! Pun intended.

Rob,

Who are your TDI instructors and what TDI classes do you guys offer?

Thanks,

Jackie
 

divengolf

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Messages
586
Reaction score
46
Location
Williamsburg, Virginia
# of dives
500 - 999
American Water Sports - better than average prices, haven't been lately since Commander Starn passed away but assume they're still good. No BS, just the straight dope.


Commander Starn's son, Harrison III, has taken over the shop. He was literally raised n the scuba business with his father, so knows it well. I've found the AWS has the best prices on gear AND they are willing to work with you on packages.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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