Take a Dive!
By Kathleen Swift
“My favorite part about diving is the peace and quiet you experience during a dive.”
Deb and Grady Weston have owned and operated Extreme Sports Scuba since they first opened for business in August 1997 in a small shop on 9th Street in Joplin. In 2003, Extreme Sports Scuba moved to its present location at 5203 S. Range Line Road, Joplin.
“We started our business because of our love for diving,” said Deb, “and we saw a need for good scuba training in our area.”
After several years of diving, the Westons were looking for further diving certifications and were coming up short. In 1997, their son Justin decided to become an instructor for SSI, followed by Deb as an assistant instructor in 1998. In an 8-foot by 10-foot office, Extreme Sports Scuba came to life. In 2000, Justin switched to SDI as an open-water scuba instructor, followed by Grady in 2001 and Deb in 2004.
Over the years, the Westons have seen the sport change.
“There have been improvements in the equipment we use,” said Deb. “Now we have better computers, environment-friendly wetsuits, and there have been great improvements in fins, too.”
All of this makes the sport safer and more fun for divers.
Grady and his son Justin’s passion for rescue led them to become ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International) instructors. Grady has logged well over 2,000 dives in a variety of settings, but said Cozumel is his favorite dive destination. Grady is certified to teach from SDI open-water classes through assistant-instructor classes. He is also an assistant chief and board member of Newton County Rescue & Recovery.
Deb teaches many of the open-water classes throughout the summer. She has logged over 2,000 dives and has traveled to many destinations in the Caribbean.
“My favorite part about diving is the peace and quiet you experience during a dive. I also love the beauty seen in the Caribbean.”
The crew at Extreme Sports Scuba has grown over the years and currently consists of Deb, Grady and their sons Justin and Jared, all certified instructors. Along with the rest of their staff, they offer classes and a complete line of Scuba Pro equipment. They also offer a line of kayaks from Feelfree Kayaks and 3Waters Kayaks. They have a wide selection of accessories, dry bags, wetsuits, shoes and paddles in stock.
In addition, Grady explained, “We offer some awesome travel experiences for diving through Extreme Sports Scuba. This past winter, we traveled to Cozumel with a group of local divers. In the summer, our primary diving areas are Beaver Lake and Table Rock Lake. We also offer a variety of classes, which can be found on our website http://extremesportsscuba.com.”
The website also features a blog by team member Nicole Willoughby, which is updated regularly and discusses topics from fins to certifications and much more.
“Our family now includes our grandchildren, who also dive,” said Grady. “One of my favorite moments was diving with my grandson Drake. It was also exciting to see four hammerhead sharks on a dive at San Salvador, Bahamas.”
If you would like to try diving, visit the Westons at Extreme Sports Scuba. And don’t forget to say hi to Pete, the friendly four-legged greeter who will meet you at the door.