Ski/Scuba Center is no spring chicken, originally opening in 1977 right here in Knoxville as a PADI training and instruction center. We have operated out of our current location on Sutherland Ave since 1986 which was purpose-built to include a large classroom, indoor heated pool with 10ft diving well and an extensive retail shop and service center. In addition to being an Authorized PADI instruction center 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 Dive training ranging from Open Water to countless specialty certifications and even Dive Professional training. We also continue to be the go-to place for Red Cross Lifeguarding 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
Just booked that tropical vacation and need to get certified before you go? Or maybe you’ve just always wanted to try Scuba, we are here to help get you underwater. Whether you sign up for one of our fun group courses or if you prefer a one-on-one learning experience, we schedule courses year-round and also have the ability to customize any course to fit your scheduling needs (additional cost may apply). That’s the benefit of working with local professionals that love what they do!
In addition to our other services, Ski/Scuba Center has one of the largest selections of high quality Scuba, Snorkel, and Freediving equipment in-stock and available for you to check out, try on, and if necessary, even try out in our on-site, heated, 10ft deep pool (must be scheduled in advanced and subject to our pool availability).
We stock many major brands including but not limited to:
Jimmie started diving in 1978 and the following year became the Pool Manager & Scuba Instructor at the UT Student Aquatic Center. In 1989, he 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 he began working for Chota Outdoor Gear; a paddle sport & fly-fishing accessory manufacturer. During this time, he was still active with scuba and lifeguard instruction at the scuba shop but 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, but he has also been diving all over Florida as well as the Caribbean, Bonaire, Roatan, Fiji, and the Philippines just to name a few.
Jimmie’s wife Carolyn is also a DiveMaster and helps out with many of the shop functions including classes and trips.
DionDion is the original owner of Ski/Scuba Center. She began diving in 1976 and in 1977 opened the dive shop.
She received her PADI Instructors in 1988, and Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 1990.
In 2004, Dion became an SSI Scuba Ranger Instructor, and not long afterward became an SSI Scuba Instructor and Dive Control Instructor. In 2007 Dion was honored to receive 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 teaching courses and leading shop trips.
Dion’s favorite pastime is spending time with her three children, four grandchildren and traveling with her husband Don “Duck” (Some you will know him from the Quarry as the cook of the “Ducky Dogs”).
Dive Control Specialist
BillBill 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.
JosephJoseph joined the Ski/Scuba team after moving to Knoxville from Colorado. He was originally certified back in 2010 and says diving Belize has been by far his favorite. Other memorable diving includes Jamaica, Cozumel and the cenotes around Tulum, Mexico as well as freshwater diving in Colorado, Flordia, Illinois, New Mexico, and of course Tennessee.
Joseph is also our resident Freediver. Trained by Nick Fazah, SSI Freediving International Training Director, freediving certifications include Level 1 Freediving Instructor and Mermaid Instructor.
While not diving or working at the shop, Joseph can be found mountain biking, camping or just enjoying all that the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.
Dive Control Specialist
KirkKirk began his dive career in 2012 when he became Open Water Certified through IDEA.
His certifications now 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.
DonDon is an NAUI and SSI Instructor with decades of diving experience, particularly in the Flordia springs and the Keys. In addition to helping out with classes at Ski/Scuba, Don runs the Scuba program at the University of Tennessee instructing upwards of 150 students a semester!
When he’s not diving or teaching diving, Don enjoys camping and spending time on the surface of the water fishing with his grandkids.
TaylorTaylor began diving in 2018 to satisfy a college P.E. credit required for her major and has been diving ever since. She is attending the University of Tennessee, majoring in Kinesiology and a part of the Marine Corps PLC program. She now holds a Master Diver certification through NAUI and is currently a Dive Master candidate. Most of her diving has been in the salt waters of the Florida Keys and other parts of Florida.
When not diving Taylor can be found hiking, climbing, or at the lake. She enjoys spontaneous trips to the Smokies and time (out of the water) with her SCUBA family.
Instructor & Asst. Instructor
Chris & KimChris and Kim first got certified here with Ski/Scuba back in 2013 and have been hooked ever since. After logging over 100 dives in their first year as certified divers they decided they’d like to help out with the training programs and so started down the Dive professional path. Chris is now an Advanced Open Water Instructor and Kim is an Asst. Instructor and they help out teaching everything from Try Scuba to full diver training as well as open water certification dives.
When not underwater (either with training or on just about every one of our awesome trips!) they are huge Disney fanatics and love visiting the Disney parks. And, of course, cheering on the VOLS!
HunterHunter is the newest member of our team but is no stranger to the world of scuba. He began diving in 2017 at the University of Tennessee with Don Orr. Hunter is now an NAUI certified instructor and was certified as an SSI freediver with our shop. He has been diving in the sunny Keys of Florida, Vortex Springs, and our local quarries. In the Keys, Hunter is known for attracting the sharks because he is often spear-fishing between dives.
Outside of scuba, you can find Hunter fly fishing in the mountains, duck and deer hunting in season, and snorkeling Little River.