South Shore Divers
South Shore Divers
5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Davao City, Philippines
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles27 reviews
Excellent
25
Very good
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Reyzelll
San Leandro, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2019 • Solo
If your looking for a safe and reliable first time dive, you should definitely go through them. It was an awesome first open water certification experience. I didn’t really know much about how to book in the beginning but I was able to get hold of them through their Facebook account . I contacted them and wire transfer the half payment. After that process, they even gave me a hotel recommendation where they have the first confined water class for the first day of the program(which made the whole process so much smoother). The class took 3 days but if you could come the day before, that would make it more easier for you to study the theory. Eman was such a teacher. I really felt safe, knowledgeable for my next fun dive after program. I even took my advance course a 2 weeks after my first certification.

(Just look up south shore divers Davao and you will find them on fb)
Written 23 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

buangkang
3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2018 • Solo
If you’re doing a “fun dive” or just diving for the day, it’s several hundred pesos more expensive than other dive shops but you get less bang for buck (even with the free breakfast promo). You will just be taken around the marina where the shop is located whilst with other shops, the fee includes a boat trip to either Samal Island or Talikud Island. They’re planning to get a boat soon though I heard so do check in ahead.

Also, be wary if you’re coming here to get certified and ask to see the license of the instructor first. The practice here sometimes (as is the case with some shops in Davao) is that the instructor signs the forms but hands down instruction responsibilities to a Dive Master or someone who ranks less professionally. A dive instructor should certify you and no one else. No shortcuts; safety first!

I recommend booking an actual local DI if you need one (they’re usually active on FB) and just get your gear from South Shore as they have quality gear. You may get your tanks from Toto, whose shop is right beside South Shore at the marina, as his are of good quality and very well-maintained. You then have the following optons: 1) just dive around the marina, 2) drive and dive to Samal island with your guide, 3) join the boat dive of another dive shop but their trips are only on weekends, or 4) just book a private boat to leave from this marina, which could cost you around 7k pesos on the average.
Written 24 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diadem G
282 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2017 • Family
I finally got a chance to learn how to dive and I'm glad I did it with South Shore Divers. I also got lucky because I was the only student that time. So, I got more than 100% focus throughout the lessons. :D

Here are some things I truly appreciated.

Customer Service was excellent. From front line staff to dive instructors, they were all dedicated to make the experience pleasant and memorable. They were all friendly and very professional.

Flexible and accommodating. As I was on vacation meeting up relatives and friends, I had to ask for schedule changes more than once. I'm glad they accommodated them and tweaked the schedule without delaying the overall training timeline. I also asked to have my photos and videos mailed to me and they sure did. Thank you, Emman!

Customized training. I didn't feel rushed during the pool and open water sessions. Since I've been swimming back in my college days, I am pretty much comfortable in the waters. But diving is something new and there were techniques I didn't get right away. The instructors were patient. Plus they gave great diving tips on top of ensuring I was breathing and still alive during our 3 open water dives! :)

Fun and educational experience. Taking diving lessons with South Shore Divers was an amazing experience. The company I was with was such a joy to be with and I could say diving is something they truly love and passionate about. We talked about their dive trips and I learned a ton just by listening to their exciting adventures. Makes me love diving even more!

Something that could be improved on would be 1) the toilet/bath area at the shop. It smelled and didn't have a door lock 2) would also be good if they take a new diver to their 1st open water dive to a place that's at least nice with clear waters if not beautiful because that's the dive one will always remember.

Other than those two, overall, I am very glad I took my certification with them. I was well taken care of, learned a lot, and had fun! Absolutely worth the time and investment!
Written 8 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hannah Fatima E
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Solo
Great instructor. Nice and clean dive shops. Friendly staff. Flexible with schedule/arrangements. Good dive site in Samal Island.
Written 2 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Couples
It was a great Time learning to dive and to discover the Underwater World at Davao and Samal Island (Rocky Beach)

We also had a nice DRIFT Dive :) hahaha!! very funny dive Group.

Best Regards Mike & Michéle :)
Written 14 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Honey Grace N
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Friends
such an amazing trip to appreciate the beauty of samal's underwater creations with the help of a very professional & warmth-hearted instructor,guide and staffs of south shore...from customer services to Dive trip activities,because they always emphasizing the SAFENESS of your ventures...You may experiencing a Great diving satisfactory and beyond,cause they'll always give you comfort and good quality services.THIS IS A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED DIVE SHOP IN MINDANAO. definitely a back to back dive shop in Davao.
Written 20 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paolo del
Dumaguete City, Philippines14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Solo
I couldn't have asked for a better teacher to show me how diving is done. Emmanuel was very professional and knowledgeable in his craft. The store is also very clean and well kept and didn't give me any problems during preparations. Though at first my diving Class were push back once due to Emman coming from a long drive, I was informed the day before. The scheduling is very flexible according to your needs. Overall, if I were to recommend my family or friends to learn or set up a dive day it would be from South Shore Divers with Emmanuel as their dive instructor. Definitely coming back for more dives
Written 16 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diwata
Taguig City, Philippines60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Solo
You know a business is built out of passion and genuine love for its purpose (and is not just any other money-making business) when YOU GET MORE THAN WHAT YOU PAID FOR WITHOUT EVEN ASKING. This dive shop, South Shore Divers, went ABOVE and BEYOND their expected services effortlessly.

Overview of my trip: Solo traveller arriving in the wee hours of the morning, first time in Davao staying for 6 days. Agenda: First 3 days - complete open water scuba diving certification, last 3 days - Samal Island beach bumming. Not booked any accommodations apart from the first night.

1. CUSTOMER SERVICE - EXTREMELY SATISFACTORY

Customer needs focused/ Client centric service - This, I think is one of their STRENGTHS. Customizing their services based on the needs of the client. Any other shop can provide the basics, a set of options, but personalizing options to cater to customer's needs and convenience makes this dive shop outstanding in this category. This sets them apart from any other establishment or let alone dive shops in Davao or perhaps in the whole country.

+ Pre-trip Checking
2 days before I fly for Davao, I was surprised to get a call from Emman, the owner, for status checking and briefing. This is a RARE call. As the last time I got such a call was from a 5 star hotel I booked internationally. This is expected from hotels/inn but not from a dive shop. Normally, customer chases establishments for anything especially before the trip.

+ Sensitivity to Customer Needs
Upon learning the circumstances of my trip, Emman volunteered to pick me up from the airport at 5:00 am and even offered that I stay in his shop since check-in is not until 2:00 pm. Take note, shop does not open until 10:00 am.

+ Wake Up Call
Since class starts on the same day, Emman called to ensure I was ready and awake before picking me up from the inn. Emman and my divemaster, Elmo, insisted we passed by a fastfood drive thru to order breakfast without me even asking. And this happened everyday for the rest of the time I was with them. I think they were worried I will not make it on time or get lost since I was alone which may delay class so they offered this extra service. Haha. Again, they need not offer as they offer diving services and not hotel accommodations.

+ Finding a Place to Stay
Elmo also volunteered to help me find a place to stay for the rest of my trip in Davao City since I was extremely dissatisfied with the only inn I booked. He even proactively told me the hole in the wall restaurants/ places I should go to near the place I stayed at. I was very happy with all his recommendations 😊

+ Stopover Before Departure
Coming from Samal Island, on my last day in Davao City, the owner offered his shop again where I can leave my baggages so I can go around the city and buy pasalubong without carrying all my stuff with me. I even charged my phone there. Employees in charge of the shop was very warm and accommodating even if the owner was not around. Provided me directions and tips where I can buy the best pomelos and the easiest way to get there.

Again, all these were offered without the need for me to ask. I don't think they were trained for this, but they were unconsciously doing it. You'll see more of these examples below.

2. SCUBA DIVING CERTIFICATION - EXTREMELY SATISFIED, This is also one of their STRENGTHS which is part of their core business.

I am terrified to go back to the open water because of a near death experience which traumatized me. Talk about recurring nightmares after the incident (You may refer to my other review/post of a resort.) Getting this certification was my ultimatum to myself to get into the water since I love the deep blue sea sooo much!

+ Diver Instructor/Master credentials
I always believe that student's confidence and security are dictated by the credibility of the teacher.

EMMAN, the owner and dive instructor, learned diving before he learned how to walk. He came from a family of divers. Pursued a risky profession (He is also a technical diver.) but is risk averse when it comes to his students.

ELMO, my divemaster, is a marine environmentalist and graduate professor in a state university teaching about the environment, too.

KARL, my day 1 divemaster, was from the US Navy/Marines.

In short, it's safe to say they were born water mammals or perhaps amphibious. They are probably more comfortable underwater than above it. Hehe

+ Trust-based Relationship
Excellent with establishing rapport with clients. This is important as this leads to a trust-based relationship. Very important when your life is at stake! This is one of their core STRENGTHS, too.

+ Patience rating of Instructors - 300% guaranteed!!!

Imagine having to deal with a whiny, terrified, complaining, blabber mouth brat. Honestly, I knew I was being a really difficult student since I am having an internal debate whether to stop the training out of fear or go dive and die trying.

+ Safety is of the Highest Priority
I expected reminders during training, but reminders before and after was surprising. We were also reminded of small things which may be obvious to experts but not to newbies or holiday divers such as having a full 8 hour sleep or 0% alcoholic beverages the night before, have warm up exercises and eat light, what food to avoid or not eat before each dive, drink lots of water, not to smoke, etc. They never assumed. (This worked for me as I literally did not prepare/review for anything.). How to properly carry equipment so I won't hurt my back or my spinal column. Emman even went as far as giving tips on what exercises I should do and what body parts should I work on to be fit for scuba diving.

Elmo not only checked whether my buddy and I were physically prepared but also psychologically and emotionally ready before/during and even after training. He did a lot of pep talking to encourage us.

In fact, even when we say we can still proceed with training, he still made decisions based on his behavioral observations of me and my buddy, if we still can.

I can't remember how many times Elmo emphasized double checking everything and my buddy's. When in doubt, then don't.

+ Training Location
Training was done alternately in the pool and beach for the first 2 days. And in 2 occasions at the dive shop for theory training which requires the manual, pen, paper and unlimited brewed coffee served for free 😊

+ Training Structure Maximizes Adult Learning
Being a trainer myself, I find their training strategy impressive.

Training structure follows Adult Learning Theory. Theory - Practice - Theory - Practice, staggered/ installment learning which best suits adults. Instead of the usual boring 1 day theory training and then lumping up practice that I've seen in most diving class curriculums. I asked the owner why training was done that way and he said they noticed students getting bored and lacks focus, so they made the necessary changes and follow the current structure. Again, another example of adjusting to client needs.

+ Pace of Training - Dependent on Student's Learning Curve

Flexible learning structure and not stiff. Elmo gave us frequent breaks when he sees fit to maximize quality of learning. Karl and Elmo provided more time in certain skills we were struggling with. They remained very calm and patient when my buddy and I were about to breakdown of frustration.

+ Training was fun!!!
Able to strike that balance where we don't feel like soldiers in a pool and yet able to command authority. Provided that comic relief to shake off our nervousness. Ambiance was really light and not rigorous. They knew how to positively script when providing feedback for areas for improvement so we will not be demotivated/feel bad.

+ Pro-environment Training
Learning technical skills to be an autonomous diver was expected. But learning how to be an environment-friendly autonomous scuba diver was part of Elmo's curriculum I think which was of second nature to him because of his background.

I didn't tell my divemasters and instructor the gravity of the accident to me but I guess how the certification/training was done made all these fears seem negligible.

+ Actual Dive
A relaxed divemaster/instructor means relaxed students.

Elmo never left my side/back underwater because I was the panicky one. Student scaffolding was great! Instructions underwater were clear and not confusing. They brought metal bangers to get student attention. Ensured amidst my struggle working on my buoyancy, I don't destroy corals, too. Elmo and Emman checked on us every now and then if we were okay. Briefing is always done before and after every dive.

+ Location - For the actual dive, We dove in 2 different locations on the 3rd day. First dive served as the practical examinations for the technical skills. I was so focused on myself I honestly forgot to enjoy the view. But I remember seeing colorful fishes and corals.

- First dive location was better than the second dive location. Second one was drift diving along Maxima Aqua resort. I heard they changed to a better dive location as erosion has affected this dive area.

+ Student Safety is a Priority - anything to make the client feel/be safe
Given I panic at the sight of sea urchins no matter how far away it is from me, I saw Emman intentionally covering a sea urchin right before I passed by it. I think it was just 3 steps away from me. The fact I saw him did it made me not panic anymore even if I noticed. Haha

Elmo gave his gloves to me when he realized I was getting really cold underwater. He decided that we go up already since I was a little bit shaking. I wasn't surprised since that was always my problem with the Discovery dives I've done in Anilao. I easily get cold so we had to terminate dives early even if I still had enough oxygen.

+ FOOD - I forgot to bring food. The owner brought more than enough boiled eggs to share. Which coincidentally is comfort food for me. Filling but not heavy. Also, while in the boat where we had lunch, I asked for coffee after since I knew I had to make myself warmer as I know it would be a problem for me in the afternoon dive. The owner made an effort to look for coffee which we found out was available in Maxima's cafeteria. Accompanied me there which was an exhausting 5 minute "hike" since it's steep.

+ Socials for Divers
The owner also ensured we get to meet and socialize with other divers by joining a group dive. Group was a mix of intro, open water, and expert divers ( It's the first time I experienced this. In the other dives I had in the past, it was just my group and the divemasters). The divers brought a lot of food and booze (Of course, served only after the last dive.) the boat looked more like a party boat than a dive boat. I love this part very much!!!

+ Documentation processing was a breeze
If I had given my requirements right away, there should not have been any delay. Emman chased me like hell in terms of submitting requirements.

3. OTHERS

+ Dive Shop Location - Very strategic location. It's right beside one of Davao's best locally based Filipino restaurant, Lachi's, and Davao's best locally based coffee shop, Green Coffee. There are a lot of nearby restaurants to hang out and try around the area. A 5 to 10 minute drive to the marina.

Below are some inconveniences I experienced but it was not the dive shops fault. They provided work arounds though.

- Change their POS provider. I know BPI/BDO is the best but it's embarrassing for a client when a card does not go through. I can do cash payment but very inconvenient to withdraw. Owner offered that I just pay upon my return from Samal. I insisted on leaving my card as collateral. I think owner was too trusting. Haha. Card eventually worked. Apparently this is not an isolated case as it happened to me again when I went to a French restaurant in the city. Same POS provider.

- I had problems communicating with them via FB PM but when I asked the owner, apparently, FB changed their profiles without their permission. No issues contacting them via email and mobile number

4. FOLLOW THROUGH/ UP
+ I noticed the owner always asked feedback from me and my buddy at the end of every training day about how the training went that day, equipment, circumstances, and instructor. He was very receptive to feedback and he ensured it was acted on as soon as possible.

+ Emman also called me the following day after last day of training just to check if I arrived safely in Samal.

5. OVERALL PERFORMANCE - Letting go of my fears was my primary goal. Completing/passing the certification was a bonus. I felt safe and secure all throughout. Above all, I had sooo much fun!!! South Shore Divers clearly elevated my expectations of a dive shop. They should set the standards of a dive shop. EXCELLENT IN ALL CATEGORIES! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I'll definitely go back and dive with them again 😊👍🏻
Written 27 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

雄也 田
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Solo
I could have a scuba license with a great assistance of my dive master in this shop. Even if you are absolute beginner in scuba, don't worry. I can assure you that your anxiety will be no longer necessary, and such a great time may be there with you!
Written 13 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DaxeS
London, UK169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Solo
I did my PADI Open Water course with the South Shore Divers shop.
Prior to my arrival I communicated with the shop via email. I was able to book my dive through email, without any down payments. I chose this shop based on reviews on tripavisor, and I wasn't disappointed.

I couldn't have wished for a better instructor. Emmanuel was very thorough, knowledgable and flexible. I give him highest marks. He thought me well and I passed my PADI exam.

I highly recommend this shop for any PADI courses as well as recreational dives. They are well equipped and provide high service.

Islands around Davao have good diving spots and they're worth exploring.
Written 5 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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