Ski Scuba Center is no spring chicken. Having started in 1977, originally with PADI training and instruction. We have been operating at our same location since. We are now a full service SSI (Scuba Schools International) member training center and offer a full line of equipment, repair, tank fills and testing, and of course, customized training. Learn any number of scuba specialties or join us to receive your Red Cross Life guarding certification.
Offering full service beginner and advanced training, our many classes are taught in an engaging, fun environment. With an emphasis on safety and knowledge, students of Ski Scuba Center will feel confident that they have the information to dive safely, to make smart decisions, and allow them to have the best time possible.
Personal and Individual Service
Whether you prefer a one on one learning experience or a class setting, or you are are taking that last minute vacation and want to get certified before you go, Ski Scuba Center is always able to customize any training schedule. That’s the benefit of working with local professionals that love what they do.
Started diving in 1978 and the following year became the Pool Manager & Scuba Instructor at the UT Student Aquatic Center. In 1989, began working full time for Ski/Scuba Center which involved sales & service along with Scuba & Red Cross instruction. Jimmie branched out into other water sport activities in 2000 when began working for Chota Outdoor Gear which is a paddle sport & fly-fishing accessory manufacturing business. During this time, he was still active with scuba and lifeguard instruction at the scuba shop. The big jump occurred in 2009 with the purchase of Ski/Scuba Center from Dion.
Jimmie holds instructor certifications in SSI, PADI, and NAUI with numerous specialty ratings. He also received SSI’s Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor rating in 2011.
Not only has he been in area lakes and quarries, he has been diving in the many places of Florida along with the Caribbean Islands and just recently, Fiji.
Jimmie and his wife Carolyn have been married 18 years. She helps out with many of the shop functions including classes and trips
Dion KeithDion Keith is the previous owner of Ski/Scuba, began diving in 1976, opened the dive shop in 1977.
She received her PADI Instructors in 1988, and Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 1990.
In 2004, Dion became a SSI Scuba Ranger Instructor, and not long afterwards became an SSI Scuba Instructor and Dive Control Instructor. In 2007 Dion was honored to receive an SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor and Platinum Pro 5000 Diver. In 2013, received the SSI Gold 500 Instructor. Dion still helps Jimmie with classes, works in the shop part time and fills in as needed for teaching and leading shop trips.
Dion’s favorite pastime is spending time with her three children, four grand children and traveling with her husband, Don “Duck”. Some you will know him from the Quarry as the cook of the “Ducky Dogs”
Open Water Diver/Retail
Sadie CountsSadie got certified at the store as an Open Water diver back in 2011 and is a water sports enthusiast. As a competitive swimmer she finds diving to be a wonderful past time and hopes one day to become a Divemaster.
Sadie is currently a student at the University of Nebraska where she is majoring in Global Studies with a double minor in Spanish and Women’s and Gender Studies. She hopes to eventually live abroad as a human rights activist and get some international diving in as well.
When not swimming or working at the store Sadie can be found hiking in the national park, paddle boarding on Volunteer Landing, or exploring the Greater Knoxville area.
Dive Control Specialist
Kirk SowellKirk began his dive career in 2012 when he became Open Water Certified through IDEA. He began working at Ski/Scuba Center in 2014 and is active in almost all aspects of the shop.
He certifications include: Openwater, Advanced, Search & Recovery, Navigation, Night/Low Visibility, Deep Diving, Nitrox, Stress & Rescue, Science of Diving, Equipment Techniques, React Right, Dive Guide, Divemaster, and is currently a Dive Control Specialist.
He’s enjoyed getting to dive in the Florida Springs, Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, Bonaire, St. Croix, and Cozumel, along with an assortment of quarries throughout the south.
Dive Control Specialist
Bill LoringBill Loring was certified PADI in 1980. It was not until he convinced his wife to certify in 1998 that he actively pursued a diving career. Between 1998 and 2000, he certified with PADI as an Advanced Diver, Night Diver, Equipment Specialist, Rescue Diver and finally his Dive Master. When Ski/Scuba became SSI , he pursued the same diving level and finally reaching Dive Control Specialist in 2010. Local diving includes quarries, lakes, and rivers and several trips to Florida. Trips to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Monterrey Bay, San Salvador, the Tortugas, Roatan and the Bahamas help round out his experiences. He enjoys teaching Try Scuba and of course diving with students on Open Water days.
Keith BrackenKeith is our technician and all around fixer-upper. He has been diving since 2013. He is a divemaster through PADI and has dove in Turks and Caicos as well as Bonaire where he shows off his legendary dance moves. Although rarely seen by our patrons, Keith is constantly behind the scenes making sure regulators and BCs are always up to date and working properly. He can also always been counted on for hilarious stories from group dive trips or just a good conversation.
Keith plans on moving to the islands in the near future to live out his life’s dream of being a full-time all-encompassing “dive professional” by filling tanks, repairing equipment, and diving to his heart’s content in warm water.