Testimonials are a great thing and when Dan’s Dive Shop is a leader in progressive scuba diving courses and equipment at the recreational scuba level, advanced diving, technical diving, cavern and cave diving we have a lot of stories to share.
We pride ourselves on the quality of diver education we offer during every aspect of our scuba diving courses, whether it’s a beginner discover scuba diving course, a PADI recreational diving courses, or one of our Cave and Technical Diving courses or advanced diver specialties.
This training and store testimonials page was created for customers to share their DDS training or DDS buying experiences to give people a sample of just how different our training, our philosophies and our equipment selections are.
If you’re a DDS Diver, please take the time to share the experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve enjoyed our dive trips, after your courses with us, after you’ve dove your new products, or you’ve seen the DDS difference underwater showcasing your superior diving skills on a boat with non-DDS type divers who haven’t had the same opportunities to benefit from our training.
Our dedicated team of Instructors and certified assistants work very hard to provide the best in diver education and we are always thrilled to get your feedback. If they did an outstanding dive course for you, please share your thoughts.
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing and we look forward to seeing you for your next big scuba course, trip or gear purchase.
Intro to Tech Student
Hi Matt, no worries, on sending him in, I was diving with my buddy that morning and told him to get a decent reel when I saw him fumbling with his during an smb drill. He is in need of good dive buddies after a few bad experiences. He’s a Very nice and smart guy.
I gave him a breakdown of what we did during intro to tech, he did his with another instructor, who is a well respected tech diver, also an author on the subject, but I was surprised that so many points we did with you were not discussed in his course. For example the use of lights for communication and diver location awareness, proper SMB drills, diving inline or side by side in an sequence, etc..
Having got training from every agency is the best thing you could have done as an instructor as you see the good and bad in all of it and carve out the best aspects of each to teach. It boils down to the mindset and skills of the instructor and not the agency.
As a client I have not seen any better shop yet, you guys are definitely offer the highest quality, but being curious i like to see what other instructors have to offer on certain courses, simply to make my training as broad as possible and see things from different view points. But sir you are definitely the lord of the dark side! Thanks so much for the great training! It’s only just begun.
Newly Advanced O/W Certified
Every good dive starts at the top. Your dad started teh DDS Experience and now you’ve taken over. The staff are knowledgeable and friends.
Tobermory was a great learning curve for me and thank you for YOUR part in it! You and the shop have helped me obtain one of my dreams
Open Water Diver Referral to Jamaica
Hey Matt….just thought I would send a note. Deb and I are having a blast here in Jamaica. The scuba here at the resort is top notch. There were 2 of us doing our open water and I was leaps and bounds ahead of he other guy….I gave full credit to DDS training!! We did 8 dives, 2 of them Deep dives and i dedicated some time and completed my advanced open water. We are suppose to do another deep dive this morning. TTYS.
Trimix, Sidemount, Cave 1 Graduate
I recently took a NAUI Cave level one course with DDS and have to say that the training Matt gave is very intense and he went over and above. I noticed while in Florida and watching other video’s on cave diving that not all training is equal.
NAUI training, back finning, standardized and streamlined equipment configuration and having good trim as well as avoiding the nonsense of gadgets , swivels, split fins etc. Its a superior course and the best training you can get.
I’m a much better diver today and know that if I enter a cave using NAUI training with DDS I will exit the cave alive. Thank you DDS and NAUI. Terry
Drysuit, Cavern, DPV, Intro to Tech Graduate
Thanks again Matt, that was definitely the best week of dive training I have ever had!
This course was a great reality check, there are aspects and skills that I felt very comfortable with because I practice them reguarly. Other skills were very challenging because I had either never done them or do not practice often.
The other thing I found very beneficial was the introduction to team diving. Having completed this course I definitely feel more confident in my ability to handle problems underwater in a controlled manner and want to continue training and developing more advanced skills
Ian G. M.
TDI Trimix, NAUI Cave 1
Had a great time in Florida, we all had to work hard Terry and I to get caught up to Randy’s Cavern level then onto Cave 1 for the 3 of us.
Matt really puts his heart and soul into his course so you have to work hard, no free hand out here.
I wouldn’t expect anything less from him. You are a awesome instructor and great friend and dive buddy.
DPV, Cavern, Intro To Tech
I just completed my NAUI “Intro to Tech” course with Matt and am very impressed with the approach and the high standards to which the group was held.
The course was jam-packed full of dives, expert instruction and a fabulous group of divers who were all ready to take the next step in their continuing dive education. Some will have passed and some will need to work at skills and take another crack at it but we all learned some incredibly valuable lessons and upped our game considerably..
Although I was originally certified with BSAC in the 80s, I hadn’t furthered my learning since then and wanted to improve as a diver so I can respond to any situations that might arise while diving with my son.
This course not only improved me as a diver but opened up an exciting window into where my diving future may be.
Matt was patient, helpful and understanding throughout the week and I would highly recommend DDS to divers of any level who are looking for the best tuition money can buy.
Cave 1 & Cave 2
Matt, Your cave training kicks ass!
I have to tell you about the line that ended up becoming a line trap after the divers in front of me kicked it up in a zero viz tunnel on my latest trip to DR:
We turned and went into a low tunnel and the viz was zero by the time It was my turn in, so that’s when I put my camera away and had to reverse out first to locate the line. It went underneath the low ceiling but was on the ceiling. I followed it in and just made my way along. When I came out of the tunnel Diver 1 was there waiting, but there should’ve been 3 divers waiting. We just looked at each other like WTF?? So we turned and decided to go back in. We went as far back as where we dropped our stage bottles. All four were still there, so we checked gas pressures and decided to go back in and look for them. We went back into the tunnel and about halfway in I felt a hand and he was telling me to turn around and exit so I did. I kept going, grabbed my stage on the way out and when I checked back after a few times I noticed the other two diver’s lights. It turns out that the two guys who were between me and diver 1 had not bothered to grab the line when the viz dropped to zero. The diver 2 spotted a line on the floor and started following that. The other diver 3 started following him. They were on a long unused line. The cave society had even removed the T from the main line because it got too restrictive and really didn’t go anywhere. They got stuck in a low restriction that ended. The line was tangled in buddy’s tank band and he couldn’t move. Through some fate Diver 1 had put a spool down in the tunnel where we lost them and had found them, untangled him and they exited. That second line was a good 5 meters from the main line was the line but it was a jump they mistakenly did visually They had done a visual jump thinking they were still on the main line.
The two divers were covered in mud and pretty shaken up. They were insistent that they were following the line but for them to end up on that jump like they had to have gone off the main line.
Your mind f**ks with you when you get to a part in the line, can’t see anything and yet can feel someone’s hand on the other side on a 6 inch opening and you’re wondering “how did they get in there???” . All jokes now but boy lol I kept stopping and feeling my way through it and nope. No way through and yet your logic says well they’re on the other side. Never a dull moment. I can see how people say we’re nuts, but your training stuck with me, your voice was in my head and calmed me down and brought me back to reality and really drove home the training, the emergency procedures and the severity of cave and technical diving and how you have to have your self together under there.
I wanted to thank Matt for taking the time to teach me Sidemount! I would’ve had no clue where anything went, how to streamline the gear or make it less complicated.
Matt worked with me rigging gear properly and proceeded to take me for my open water dives completing different skills, which with each dive made me more comfortable and every dive felt better.
My first couple of minutes on Sidemount I thought to myself what have I done? Thinking I made a mistake, but by my second dive I was hooked.
Richmond Hill, ON
Intro to Tech Graduate and NAUI Instructor
Advanced Open Water
I was bitten by the dive bug and doing my research on purchasing my own gear. I had visited a few shops in the Toronto area to ask questions and get advice. While they tried to be helpful I just didn’t feel confident in the support. I was referred by a friend to Dan’s Dive Shop and called up Matt. Within minutes of the conversation I had found the passion and expertise I was looking for, even over the phone. Matt took the time to explain the equipment and training I would need in order to safely enjoy all the wonders of diving! Since that call I have had so many incredible adventures in Canada and down south. I have learned that divers trained by Matt and his team are respected around the world for being confident, prepared and skilled. I always look forward to making the trek down to St. Catharines for all my gear, training and now friends at Dan’s Dive Shop.
Drysuit Diver Specialty
Thank you for the amazing drysuit course. Matt is an incredible instructor, I had an awesome time both in the classroom and open water. I will not hesitate to recommend your store to anyone who asks about this sport. Thanks again, Colin.
Geoff & Alanna
Advanced O/W Graduates
Geoff and I are 100% behind you and DDS! Because of your training both Geoff and I are now in the “0 weight club” – yes we are now diving with no additional weight and it’s amazing the difference it makes. We’ll see what happens when we go back to fresh water and 7mm but we’ll both start with 0 and make it work. I have to say we were looking pretty good under the water thanks to your training and equipment (all the Dive masters loved the gear!) We would watch all these supposed experienced divers flap around, kick up the bottom and scare away all the fish, while we hovered a few inches off the bottom and communed very zen like with all the creatures of the sea. I think you would have been proud…and we plan to get better.
We are now up to dives 46 and 47. We are both looking to celebrate our 50 dive marks while at the Bon Terre in March, so we’ll be in touch to register and get more pertinent details. In addition we need to get our Nitrox certification soon and we’ll want Rescue Diver this year as well…then we can move on to the exciting stuff.
Naui Intro to Tech Graduate
That is Awsome, I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot. If there are some people who are looking to continue their tech training beyond Intro maybe we could get a class together sometime. I definitely want to continue on with my training with you, so just let me know!
Thanks again Matt!
Trained all the way from Open Water to Cave 2 with DDS
Thanks guys and thanks to Matt Mandziuk for his incredibly immersive, thorough and foward thinking methods of instruction. I think I can safely say this has been one of the most intense and enjoyable learning experience I’ve ever had.
PADI DPV/NAUI Intro to Tech/Cavern Graduate
Hey Matt congrats on the cave II Instructor. Never dawned on me that you were still working on your own achievements!
It’s easy to forget that your working as hard or harder than you push us. I was able to get into the pool Sunday and spent the two hours doing the valve drills, buoyancy refining and as many out of air drills as I could fit in. When I came out a new dive master in training came over and asked how many years it took to get that good and could I give her some pointers. Felt good even though I felt rusty as hell. Owe it to you and a few others!
Best part was she recognized benefits to what you are teaching by watching me do basic drills. Congrats on your recent success and looking forward to more boot camp in the spring…. And next Feb lol! I heard this said and I have repeated it myself several times “Mark my words but one day you will read books about Matt Mandziuk and his diving.”
Technical Diver/Trimix 1 & 2 Graduate
Thanks Matt Mandziuk for your ongoing support and training. It’s always great to see your commitment on maintaining the highest training standards possible. — I’m really proud of these cards but better yet Im thrilled to have Matt Mandziuk’s name on them.
Dean and Liam
Merry Christmas Matt, hope you’re having a great time. We are having an awesome one, thanks to the Great Training at DDS, plus the DIR equipment selection. First dive master asked if we were tech divers before we hit the water, after the dive he invited us to a wreck dive on Sunday, the day most people travel home , so there won’t be to many P*** Divers around. Second dive master, after the dive asked if we were cave or tech divers because of Liam’s back finning! I tell ya, we rock, thanks to DDS. Hope you have a great New Year, say hi to the dive shop for us, see you later.
Ben & Erin
Fort McMurray, Alberta
What can we say in a card that this card doesn’t already say? Thank you for an amazing week of training in Florida! I appreciate your patience and understanding. I learn so much from you and am looking forward to continuing our dive training with you in Tobermory!
Cavern, Intro to Tech, DPV
Thanks Matt! I had a blast! Looking forard to continuing my training with you. Thanks again – Jackson
From Advanced O/W to Cave 2 and Tech 1 with DDS
I came to know DDS when I did my Advanced O/W in Tobermory with them. Since then I’ve done all my training with them right through to my Cave 2 and Tech 1 certifications. This year I did my first real milestone dive as a tech diver on the wreck of the Empress of Ireland in Quebec with Matt and DDS. In diving this site I appreciate more and more the quality of training I’ve received with DDS.
I’ve loved so many aspects of diving and training with them that I decided to go down the professional route with my Divemaster and then Assistant Instructor course. Fawn and the rest of the staff were exceptional role models and supportive during my entire course and internship. It’s taught me a lot about the challenges of teaching diving as well as the dive business in general.
They know training. They know diving. They’re the best to learn and dive with!!