19,000 Padi Certifications!

First certification photoThis Fall, Jack’s Diving Locker hit a milestone many dive shops will never attain: 19,000 PADI Certifications!  While JDL was started in 1981, they did not become a PADI dive shop until the late 1980s. The first certification on record was an Advanced Open Water cert for Matt G (photo in wetsuit) done by Teri Leicher on April 19th, 1987!  The certifications came rolling in after that! 

class at picnic tablesIn the early years before classrooms in a shop, instructors and students would sit on picnic table benches at the beach to go over dive plans and briefings.  Today’s students also have the benefit of Jack’s onsite pool.  Before the pool was built in 2003, instructors would do Open Water and Discover Scuba Diving confined water sessions in the clear shallows of Kailua Pier. DSD at Kailua Pier


Since the beginning, the PADI Open Water course has been the most popular certification JDL has taught.  Jack’s Diving Locker has certified over 10,500 people as a PADI Open Water diver!  While it does not count towards our certification numbers, JDL has also introduced over 15,600 people to the underwater world participating in Discover Scuba Diving!

Beginner divers are not the only ones receiving certifications at JDL over the years.  Over 750 Divemasters and Instructors have earned their PADI Pro ratings at Jack’s Diving Locker.  

Jack’s Diving Locker has also written 8 PADI distinctive specialties.   These specialties can only be completed at Jack’s.  Along with the Pelagic Magic Specialty, the Manta Ray distinctive specialty is a popular certification for visiting scuba divers.   Written by Keller Laros, Mr. Manta Man himself, JDL has certified over 750 Manta Ray specialty divers!  Jack’s also has 6 kid’s camp specialties. 

Many JDL PADI instructors have certified divers throughout the years, but the top earner goes to Keller Laros with almost 1,200 certification since June 1991!  Former JDL instructor Elaine Blank has done over 1,000 certs with JDL since 1997 and current JDL instructor Sven Lindemann has almost 650 certifications since May 2008. 

Certification number 19,000 came this past October during our Kid’s Camp marathon after receiving CARES Act grant money to award local kids scholarships to attend JDL’s award-winning Hawaii Sea Camps and PADI certification camps.  A group of 6 ‘Islands and Coral Reefs’ campers were all processed at the same time to hit certification 19,000, so we decided to celebrate the whole group! 

19000 certs underwater photo

This accomplishment comes during the toughest year of Jack’s Diving Locker’s almost 40 years of existence.  Tourism across the state plummeted by almost 70% for the year. JDL saw a similar decline in guests, however, the total number of certifications for 2020 did not reflect the same decline.  We saw record number of residents join us for certifications throughout the year!  Along with record numbers of kids camps and junior certifications, JDL’s yearly certifications only saw a 35% dip in numbers from the previous few years.  We will always be grateful for our dive community!

As we look towards the future, we are excited for what is ahead and all new people we can introduce to the underwater world as well as continuing the dive education of many!  We cannot wait to celebrate certification 20,000!