I've been a loyal Miami New Times reader for a few years now. Every year I look forward to reading the reviews in the "Best of" section. However, recently for the first time I find myself disagreeing with one of the selections. I've now reveiwed the past and present winners of the best dive shop and I must say I completely disagree with you. I began SCUBA diving last year and found truly THE BEST dive shop in Miami. It is somewhat of a stealth organization, they don't do much by way of advertising. Florida Frogman has been in business since 1989. Each and every employee is a PADI certified SCUBA diver. I was always curious about SCUBA diving, I decided to take the plunge and get certified last year. I LOVED it! I am now a Rescue Diver. I have worked with three of the instructors at the dive shop. 1) A Miami Dade Rescue Fire Fighter. 2) An ex-Navy Seal 3)The owner of the shop is actually a West Miami Police Officer, who used to be a military policeman and rescue diver in the a rmy. All of the instructors and dive masters are great. They really know their stuff, they're very friendly and professional. Florida Frogman is a kick ass dive shop and it's frustrating to see it passed up by other local shops. They are currently running a special for the summer. Pay for one PADI Open Water Certification and your buddy gets certified for free (or both half off whichever way you want to look at it) Details about the deal can be found at www.floridafrogman.com/2for1 I think you should put the information out there, to your staff, to your readers, everyone. Get certified with these guys and tell me they're not the best in Miami. I dare you.
Best Dive Shop Miami 2008 - Underwater Unlimited
5749 Southwest 40th St.
Miami, FL 33155
Readers' Choice: Austin's
Whether you are visiting Davy Jones's Locker for the first time or consider yourself the next Jacques Cousteau, Underwater Unlimited is the dive shop for you. Serving the community since 1964, this Coral Gables institution trains and supports the Miami-Dade Police scuba rescue team and the Gables fire department. The family-run shop was founded by Charlie Matthews Sr., a man who has been diving in South Florida waters for more than 43 years. He has a team of seven instructors led by his son, Charlie Jr., who has taught underwater technique for more than 29 years and runs the University of Miami's scuba program. In addition, the shop is fully stocked with equipment from every major manufacturer. Underwater Unlimited also offers affordable pricing on services such as refilling tanks and annual maintenance on regulators. The store is located just two blocks north of South Dixie Highway on LeJeune Road. It's open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, the shop closes one hour earlier than its weekday operations. It's closed Sundays so the staff and customers can — what else? — go diving.