Manta Ray Diver

Manta Ray and Keller Laros

Learn about our famous Kona Manta Rays in the PADI Manta Ray Diver Specialty course in Kona, Hawaii at Jack’s Diving Locker.  This program includes two dives on the Manta Ray Night Dive trip along with an academic session prior to the dives.  Based on research conducted by Keller Laros, this specialty course covers information about manta anatomy, feeding, cleaning, and reproduction as well as how to identify individual rays in the local population.  Conservation guidelines and proper diving technique will also be covered.  The PADI Manta Ray Diver Specialty certification will count toward the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating – the highest rating in recreational scuba diving. 

COST: $225 plus tax.

PREREQUISITES: Jr. Open Water Diver or higher
.  Minimum age – 12 years old.

REGISTRATION: Please call the shop directly to make your reservation at 800-345-4807 or locally at 808-329-7585.  Please fill out the Continuing Education Administrative Document.  Please review the Medical Statement.  If there is a YES to any 
question, you must get a doctor’s approval before starting the course.  Please call the shop for assistance.  Cancellation policy: changes or cancellations beyond 24 hours, no penalty.  Changes or cancellations made within 24 hours of course, full charge will occur.  48 hour cancellation policy during winter break.

, two boat dives
, tanks, weights, underwater light, light meal on boat trip.

 BCD, regulator, wetsuit, mask/snorkel/fins, underwater timing device (dive computer recommended).  Rental gear available.

DISCOUNTS: 10% off most regular priced merchandise during and after course
.  $5 off other dive charters.

 Scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Sunday.  Takes only one dive trip with two dives.

TIMES: 2:15 p.m. – 10 p.m. April 1st thru August 31st OR 1:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. September 1st thru March 31st.

- Please read the PADI Manta Ray Diver Specialty course materials before the course.  Once you are registered, access to course materials will be sent electronically with your confirmation email.

COURSE SCHEDULE: Meet at Jack’s Diving Locker town location with registration documents, course materials, and certification card.  Please meet 15 minutes early to check-in at front counter.  Classroom: Manta Ray Diver Instructor Presentation and Exam.  Boat: Afternoon and Night Dives at Manta Ray Night Dive site.  Post Dive: Fill out logbook. Certification issued upon successful completion of course. 

Note: Although manta ray sightings are very consistent throughout the year, this certification does not require a manta sighting.

 This Specialty Diver course will count toward achieving PADI Master Scuba Diver – the highest rating in non-professional recreational diving. To earn this rating, the diver must complete the following certifications: Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, and 5 PADI Specialty courses. In addition, divers must have at least 50 logged dives. When completing these requirements at Jack’s Diving Locker, recipients will have their names engraved on a plaque to honor this achievement.



OBSERVE ONLY: No touching.  Resist the urge to “pet” the mantas. This will rub off their protective mucus coating.  Do not chase, grab, or try to take a ride on the mantas.  This doesn’t benefit the animal in anyway.

DIVER POSITION: Divers must stay on or near the sand, rubble or boulder bottom.  An open water column is necessary for the mantas to maneuver.  Avoid contact with coral, sea urchins, or other marine life. Form a semi-circle with your group.

SNORKELER POSITION: Snorkelers must stay on the surface and keep legs horizontal.  Do not dive down into the water column.

LIGHTS: Divers please shine lights up into the water column to attract plankton.  Snorkelers please shine lights down.

BUBBLES: Divers try to time your breathing so that you don’t blow bubbles up into the manta if it’s passes over your head.

TAKING PHOTOS or VIDEO: When taking underwater photos or video, be considerate of people and mantas.  Minimize your equipment in the water column and let the mantas come to you.

These guidelines were first established in 1993 by manta dive operators in Kona, Hawaii.  Reviewed again in 2013 by manta tour operators (dive and snorkel operators).


Keller Laros - PADI Manta Ray Diver Specialty Instructor

Keller Laros – author of PADI Manta Ray Diver Specialty

KELLER LAROS, MANTA MAN: Keller Laros, a.k.a. Manta Man, is the foremost expert on the manta ray population of Kona, Hawaii.  Laros was able to combine his career as a professional scuba instructor and underwater videographer with manta ray research.  Keller is a charismatic individual who is passionate about what he does.  If you’ve ever gone diving with Keller, you know this to be true.  Laros did his first Manta Ray Night Dive with Jack’s Diving Locker in 1985, the same year he became a PADI Scuba Instructor.  In 1991, Keller moved to Kona and went to work at Jack’s Diving Locker guiding divers on the Manta Ray Night Dive.  He immediately noticed the mantas had different spot patterns on their undersides and started cataloging individuals and recording sighting data.  As the years passed, Keller conducted an in-depth study on manta rays and by 1996 authored a PADI Distinctive Specialty – Manta Ray Diver.  This course is one of the most popular certifications issued at Jack’s Diving Locker.  Keller leads a motivated and enthusiastic team of Manta Ray Diver instructors and Manta Ray Diver certified staff.

MANTA PACIFIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION: In 2002, Keller and wife, Wendy, co-founded Manta Pacific Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to research, education, and conservation concerning manta rays and the marine environment.  In 2009, the conservation efforts of Manta Pacific Research Foundation were realized when Governor Linda Lingle signed a manta protection law for the State of Hawaii.  In 2013, manta rays earned more protection globally at the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). For more information about manta rays go to

Jack’s Diving Locker donates a portion of all Manta Ray Diver Specialty course fees to Manta Pacific Research Foundation.

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