While some DPV dive destinations are remarkable for mysterious caves, racing currents and exciting creatures, San Diego is all about the kelp. The vertical gardens of giant greenery found offshore from the Southern California city can grow more than 100 feet tall, creating some of the most mind-bending scooter terrain in any ocean. Not to mention the curious and playful sea lions that commonly divebomb divers in these thick forests.
“Chasing your buddy through the kelp forest is first on the list of best DPV dives,” says PADI MSDT Ryan Mable of Ocean Enterprises. “But you will have just as much fun cruising the walls of La Jolla Canyon or taking a few laps around our 366-foot Yukon artificial reef. We also have the Islas de los Coronados and the Channel Islands, plus Long Beach’s oil platforms — all amazing DPV diving locales that are easily accessible with a short boat ride.”
For Mable, however, DPVS aren’t just for fun.
They can create access for divers who might not normally be able to revel in the underwater world. “We first started having DPVS in the shop because we proudly offer a certification exclusively for veterans, many of whom are navigating their post-service lives with serious disabilities,” he says. “DPVS have helped our student divers get around underwater when the usual method of finning isn’t feasible, such as a student with a leg amputation or someone paralyzed from the waist down. Obviously, we didn't want to keep the fun contained to just the training side, so we now stock several DPVS in our rental room.”