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Store helps you take the plunge

My Dive Shop offers gear and will have classes

Charlie Metz always wanted to go scuba diving.
While working in the early ’70s, he saw a chance, but with a family to take care of, the idea was placed on the back-burner. He finally got his chance to scuba dive seven years ago, and he took part of his family along.
 Metz and his d a u g h t e r, Melody McElroy, started diving a little less than a decade ago when the chance presented itself.
 They became open-water certified, then moved on to advanced diving certification.
 The difference, McElroy said, is about 70 feet.
 With an open water certification, divers can travel to 60 feet below the surface. With an advanced-diver certification the depth bumps up to 130 feet.
 McElroy said she has only been to 109 feet below surface.
 As divers go deeper into the water, they use air more quickly. So a tank might last 55 minutes at 30 feet, but only eight or nine minutes at 100 feet.
 After several years of diving, McElroy has done some pretty cool things underwater. She said she loves the sport so much she even braved the ocean-deep in her very own wedding dress while she and her husband got married in Hawaii.
 McElroy is more than just a diver now. She said she took a chance and followed her dream, and today her and her husband, Kevin, who is also a certified diver, own their very own dive store.
 My Dive Shop, in Westover’s Wes Mon Center, provides any and all scuba equipment, Melody McElroy said.
 Vests, wet suits, snorkels, regulators, pressure gages and hightech underwater computers — used to monitor air pressure, diving depth, as well as log your dives — are available at My Dive Shop in several different brand choices, such as Sherwood, Akona, Genesis and Tusa.
 It’s the only place in the area, according to Metz and McElroy, that you can get your tank filled. McElroy said they have an O2 compressor in house, and they’ve even filled up paintball air tanks. Filling a tank costs $8.
 More notable is the fact that My Dive Shop offers Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) openwater scuba certification classes for all ages.
 The shop has certified instructors on staff and will offer these classes throughout the summer, McElroy said. She said the number of classes may increase as the summer progresses and she gets her instructor certification.
 Classes cost $425 per person, including tax, and feature two inshop course days, two swimming pool dives, and two lake dives as part of the training.
 Also available through the shop is American Red Cross CPR and first aid classes.
 Metz and McElroy agree there are some misconceptions about diving. One of those is that there is nowhere in West Virginia to enjoy the sport.
 But Metz said that diving isn’t only something you can do by traveling miles away to the ocean. He said he dives a lot locally, in places like Tygart Lake and Mount Storm.
 He and McElroy frequently dive in Summersville, which is two hours south of Morgantown.
 McElroy said she has several ideas planned for the future of the shop, including children’s introductory lessons.
 Information/registration: 304-241-4142 or mydiveshop@