Testimonials & Feedback

Awesome tech instruction

I had the opportunity to take a couple of Tec diving courses with Deon, and I can sum up the entire experience in one word. Awesome. 
As a PADI Master Instructor (on the recreational side) myself, and a “slightly older diver”, I had a pretty good idea of what I needed/wanted in an instructor to further my own dive skills. Once we got started, it became obvious very quickly that he is an instructor with a diveboat load of experience behind him. 
Deon’s level of patience, his advanced diving and teaching skills, along with his many insightful tips, all added up to a great time meeting my Tec goals. It truly was great learning and diving with Deon, and my skills and knowledge now are better than ever. 
I will also add that my wife, a non-diver, would often accompany me on our outings. Deon always showed exceptional kindness, a genuine “gentleman's courtesy“, towards her that is not often seen anymore. Now we’re good friends with both Deon and Khrista, who have proven to be truly awesome people with kind hearts.
I would not hesitate to recommend Deon for any level of dive instruction, from novice to technical, and would love to take another course with him myself someday. My only regret is that they moved so far away...
Robin Ellis
PADI Master Instructor & Tec 50 Diver


Deon is a phenomenal instructor, who maintains professionalism in all areas. He creates a positive learning environment for his students, is enthusiastic and meticulous, and loves what he does! He sets high expectations for his students, and is flexible in teaching approach; able to assess and shift gears to present material to make sure every student understands key concepts. In the diving community Deon is a skilled leader, and he collaborates with his colleagues on an ongoing basis to share and incorporate new approaches to diving and teaching. Highly recommended!


John Nunes

PADI TecRec Instructor & PADI Sidemount Instructor


Deon trained and certified me as a PADI Divemaster and we also did TEC 40 together. He is a very detail and safety oriented instructor. I have learnt a lot from him as a student and as colleague. He takes time to make sure the student understand why they are doing something with real life example so they can relate to. I would definitely recommend anyone who is interested in exploring the underwater world to do their training with Deon.



David Shieh
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainier & PADI Sidemount Instructor


Deon really took my diving to the next level. I've been diving for a long time all over the world and the training I received form Deon was first class all the way. He is serious about Sidemount Diving and the guy lives it. All of Deon's students that I've seen were great divers, I think that says a lot. I just want to thank Deon for some excellent training and experiences that I'll pass on to my students in the future as well.


Justin Miller

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer & PADI Sidemount Instructor

I was already an Advanced Open Water diver when I met Deon. He became the driving factor for my continued education and experience in diving. I worked with Deon from Advanced Diver obtaining the diving specialties in: Deep, Boat, Wreck, Rescue, Nitrox, Multi-use Diver (he wrote the specifications for this specialty which PADI approved) up to Dive Master and Assistant Instructor.

He is very knowledgeable with great skills and patience and his classes where always fun and relaxed, something that I now emulate as an instructor myself. If you’re just starting out as a new diver, or have caught the diving bug and wanting to continue learning more skills, then I totally recommend Deon as your go to Instructor.


Steven Howarth

PADI Open Water Instructor & PADI Sidemount Instructor

I have had the privilege of having Deon as an Instructor for several different courses. Starting with Rescue Diver and Divemater, along with Specialty courses such as Sidemount, EANx, Night, Deep, Wreck and Peak Performance Bouyancy. He's an excellent instructor, guide and mentor. I am now an Open Water Instructor and owe my success in part to Deon and his great instructing. 



Ian Arbeau

PADI Open Water Instructor & PADI Sidemount Diver

Deon conducted my training as a PADI Rescue, Sidemount, Enriched Air, and Deep Diver. His training was extremely progressive, methodical, and thorough. After training with Deon I felt more confident in my diving skills than with almost any other instructor. As I have progressed from recreational diving to acting as a Divemaster and now Open Water Instructor, Deon continues to provide guidance and training that has been helpful to me and also my own students. I look forward to learning and diving with Deon more in the future and would recommend any diver to him for some of the best training available  anywhere!


Joseph Mcneil

PADI Open Water Instructor & PADI Sidemount Diver

I did my Rescue course with Deon. Thanks to him, it remains my favourite course to help out with and teach. Deon made the course challenging and fun, and by the end, everyone was confident that they would be able to handle any emergency. Don't take this course with Deon if you are looking for and easy, chilled time. He throws in surprises at you left right and centre. But if your goal is to become the best Rescue diver you can be, he'll definitely help you achieve that.


Tracey Leask

PADI Open Water Instructor 

Deon was my instructor for my Rescue Diver and Divemaster certifications. I quickly learned that he expects and demands the best from his students, while taking all the time needed to make sure that you understand the course material. He knows that he is creating divers, not handing out certifications. Anyone taking a course with Deon will be challenged and pushed to new levels of learning. You will be a better diver afterwards and, just as important, you will want to take that new knowledge and share it with others. Without Deon's encouragement and inspiration, I would never have taken the leap to Divemaster and Instructor.


David Pate

PADI Divemaster

I've completed several courses with Deon including the Deep Specialty, Enriced Air/Nitrox and the Divemaster course, and have had an amazing experience every time. Deon is a excellent mentor and knows how to reach out to ensure everyone can understand his teaching points for both young and old. He always puts his student's needs first, and is a great role model for any aspiring diver or experienced diver alike.


I look forward to my next course with him.

Jamie Rygiel

PADI Divemaster

I had an amazing time diving with Deon as an instructor.  He is very
thorough and paitient.  He makes learning skills and techniques fun
and keeps safety paramount.  Throughout the course he kept everyone
engaged and focused on the task at hand.  He will work with you until
you are completly comfortable with what needs to be done.  Deon is by
far one of the best instructors I have had the pleasure of learning from.






Nick Mosher

PADI Divemaster

Throughout the years, from Open Water to Dive Master, I have had several instructors come my way; Ill cut straight to the chase: No one has given me the motivation, determination, and attention to detail that comes from taking a course with Deon.
No matter what it is that you may take with Deon, you will be pushed, you will be forced out of your comfort zone, and when you receive that card in your hand... you will know that you have satisfied the requirements to the highest possible degree, mastering each and every skill. Along with that, Deon works with you to remain comfortable, and his patience prevails to ensure you are learning at the pace that you require.
If you want to get the most out of every dive course, get the skills you need to truly be confident, and have the ongoing support for anything you need, Deon is by far my personal recommendation. He encompasses every attribute of a Master Instructor. His professionalism is second to none, while maintaining the ability of being a personal friend and confidant whenever you need truthful advice on where to go next in your diving career.
Thank you Deon for believing in me, and showing me the ways of how to dive the way I do today. I know that he will do the same for you!


Ryan Hunter

PADI Divemaster & PADI Sidemount Diver

Deon has mentored me from my first Open Water class to the completion of my Master Scuba Diver certification. His extensive experience and respect for safety as a diver has helped me in many ways, including guiding me through a medical emergency underwater. Without Deon’s help, I may never have returned to diving after a poor experience. His training and influence has made me a better diver, and in turn given me the confidence and skills to aid less experienced diving partners. It is an honour to call Deon a mentor and friend.


Angi Coulter 

PADI Master Scuba Diver & PADI Sidemout Diver

I had the privilege of being one of Deon Jones' students in starting my dive life!  Having earned my Open Water, Advanced OW, Nitrox, and Sidemount certifications under him, he made my experiences in the water both challenging and rewarding.  Deon is one of those rare instructors that embodies the sport they teach, focusing not only on the rote skills, but also encouraging you to understand the theory of those skill sets and why they are important. He makes himself available to his students and will work with you on developing your techniques.  You work hard and be challenged, but you will achieve goals beyond what you thought capable of. I highly recommend anyone serious about diving to train with him!



Mark Jaholkowski

PADI Master Scuba Diver & PADI Sidemout Diver

Definitely one of the best decisions that I have made in my life was the summer when I signed up for the PADI Rescue diver and a handful of Specialty courses with Deon. Deon is highly knowledgeable and experienced in his field and he is a great team leader, which are the three most valuable skills as diving instructor. He earned my respect with his amazing teaching skills, confidence in teaching and extreme patience. Beside the diving technics I've learned a lot about the local and international dive sites, equipments, gear service, etc.

Deon I would like to thank you for all the small and big things about diving that I learned from you and also for encouraging me to take my Divemaster course in form of internship, which happened earlier this year.


Daniel Bargrizan

PADI Mater Scuba Diver & PADI Sidemount Diver

I just wanted to express my gratitude to Deon for introducing me to the exciting world of Sidemount diving. I probably would have never considered it if it wasn’t for his introduction to this way of diving.  Deon’s friendly, engaging and passionate approach about ensuring that all his students learn the skills and techniques necessary to become the safest diver they can be is the mark of a great instructor. I really appreciated his calm, patient attitude and the fact that he was always ready to lend a hand or offer some great advice. I am still Sidemounting and loving every second of it. This is mainly due to his instruction and his continued support well after I received my certifications. Deon is a true professional in the industry and I feel very confident that I have been trained to the highest and safest standards.

Brad Schofield

PADI Master Scuba Diver & PADI Sidemount Diver

My experience Scuba diving with Deon was above exceptional. Over all great & funny guy, very experienced and educated. After receiving my Open Water certification (which was all I originaly set to persue) I pushed to seek out addition certifications and training from Deon specifically. Wasn't long till Deon converted me to Sidemount which he's a strong advocate for. I went on to get my Advance Open water and Sidemount from Deon were he walked me thru the skill sets hands on, might have been a bit slow but Deon was patient, informative, and pressitant. I caught wind that he was due to depart from Nova Scotia on to bigger and better things and I knew I needed to get as much training from him as possible and I also finished my Enriched Air and Deep diver certifications from Deon. Deon also went on to help me get the right equipment I needed, and I now have my own full set of gear and regularly go diving. Deon went above and beyond for me as an Instructor and I feel like I gained a friend, and I look forward to diving with him again.


Gavin Hankin

PADI Sidemount Diver

I’ve recently taken a PADI Rescue Diver course instructed by Deon and without a doubt he is the best instructor I’ve had thus far. One thing you will find is that he will challenge your week points and you will become a better diver because of this. He can make a boring class seem interesting, you will remember what you learned, and you will have fun doing it. I also found that highly experienced divers tend to keep into their own groups, However Deon is not one of these type, if you want to do an open water level dive to a tech dive or if you have a novice question to experienced question Deon’s your guy.


Lloyd Bond

PADI Rescue Diver

When I took the PADI Rescue Diver course Deon was my instructor and I can truthfully say it was the most challenging, yet rewarding course I have taken thus far in my diving career. As an instructor I thought he was firm and well rounded, and he didn't hesitate to challenge his students. In fact, during his drills I found he had a tendency to sometimes push you beyond your comfort zone, yet I found this to be extremely beneficial as it better prepared you for real life situations, and helped to further stress the importance of “stop, breathe, think” when in the underwater environment. Through his courses you will learn invaluable lessons that you will take with you on every ensuing dive, and I would highly recommend him as an instructor.


Jon Crouse

PADI Rescue Diver

I took the rescue diver course with Deon and he was an excellent instructor. His experiences and knowledge of diving showed in the classroom lectures. He prepared us well for the tough day of practical testing out in the cold waters. We received constant feedback and tips from him through out the test day. I felt that he really challenged us to work together as a rescue group using our strengths as well as overcoming our own individual weaknesses. I would highly recommend Deon as a dive instructor.



Jennifer Wong

PADI Rescue Diver

I completed a few courses with Deon. I completed my PADI Advanced course, Drysuit course, Night Specialty, Nitrox & Wreck Specialty. He was great, always friendly and engaging, always had time to answer questions and to show you better techniques. Very knowledgeable and made it a fun experience to learn diving. Would definitely recommend him.


Jason O'Hara

PADI Rescue Diver

I met Deon in Halifax as I tried cold water diving after starting to  dive in the warm waters of the Caribbean’s. He not only convinced me that it was worthwhile putting in the effort becoming a cold water diver, he also became my instructor for the Dry suit and Sidemount course. During that time we spent a fair bit of time together and got to know Deon better over time was just a great pleasure. He is not only trustworthy and reliable, but also a fun person to be around. More importantly his passion for diving and saftey became more and more obvious and infectious.  There were no short cuts when it came to saftey. Never. I don’t know how often he made me stick the long hose back into the bungees….But it was certainly worth it and thanks to him I am way better diver!


Tobias Witter

PADI Sidemount Diver

I’ve done a large portion my training with Deon, from Open Water to Advanced Open Water & Specialties like Sidemount, Nitrox & Wreck. He was who inspired me to continue diving. He is knowledgeable and will push you to achieve your best and challenge you where you are weakest. Deon’s courses were well planned and rewarding; his classes pushed you to just outside your limit but were the best ways to prepare for “real life”. After taking courses with Deon, I felt confident in the skills I had learned and he was always available to ask further questions. I would not hesitate to recommend Deon as an instructor to anyone.


James Dettling

PADI Sidemount Diver

Deon has an unmatched passion for all things SCUBA diving. He takes great pride in passing this passion, knowledge and experience to his students. He instructs in a way that is both professional and fun but most importantly safe, in and out of the water. Through my training I have gained the skills and confidence of a much more experienced diver. I am grateful to have had Deon as an Instructor and look forward to diving with him again.


Nick Pot

PADI Sidemount Diver

I had the chance to meet Deon in Halifax for my Open Water & Sidemount course.  What an awesome experience.  I’m not the best to listen, I have to admit (ask my husband!) but Deon deployed so much patience to explain again and again what I had to do, that I finally went through.  His explanations are clear, simple, one step at a time, no pressure.  It was a relief for me as I was stressed out a little bit.  Being  a real professional Deon is extremely detail oriented to prevent any accident, he is going to take care of everything, check out everything and wait for you until you are ready.  I could go on like this for a long time, so the best advice I can give you is try a dive with Deon and you are going to want to dive with him for ever.


Alexia Jonniaux

PADI Sidemount Diver

For Open Water, Drysuit, and Sidemount  I had the pleasure of being instructed by Deon. His expertise on the subject matter and his dive experience made the courses enjoyable and rewarding.  Deon is very approachable which made it easy to ask him any questions about the theory portion of the courses in an open environment.  He is very patient while instructing and ensures you have the necessary skills established before progressing forward in the course.  Throughout my open water dives, Deon took the time to conduct dive site briefings and was very safety conscious, ensuring all of the students felt comfortable in the water before proceeding.
 Out of the water Deon was also extremely helpful in assisting me select the right gear for the type of diving I was interested in.  Deon took the time to help me set it up and explained all of the features.  For anyone looking to get into diving, I would recommend Deon as an instructor for his enthusiastic attitude, valuable knowledge, and his passion for diving.


Andrew Dennie

PADI Sidemount Diver

I have been lucky to have many great dive instructors over the past few years, but I can honestly say that Deon was the best. I felt confident during my courses that I was learning everything I needed to know and that any theory I may have missed was quickly spotted and corrected during my dives. It doesn’t take long to realize that Deon is truly passionate about diving and that he enjoys teaching and inspiring others as well. He made all of my dives fun by choosing interesting dive locations and even incorporating other dives experiences such as drift diving into my Sidemount course and scallop diving when the course was done. I cannot recommend Deon highly enough as a dive instructor.


Nick Murray
PADI Sidemount Diver

I first met Deon when I wanted some Drysuit training. Even though I had little cold water experience before that point, I felt very safe and confident thanks to his instruction. Needless to say, I got hooked on cold water diving right off the bat (drysuits are so cool!) so I purchased a suit along with some nice Sidemount equipment as well.  Along the way, Deon answered the many questions I had regarding gear (brands, styles, etc.) and was so much help. My Sidemount training with him was top notch. I wanted a proper education and I got it with Deon. It's clear to see his passion and professionalism for both Sidemount diving and teaching."


Kristin Gillis

PADI Sidemount Diver

Thank you so much for teaching us to dive. We never imagined that it's something that we'd become so passionate about. Sam and I are absolutely sure that we would not love it as much as we do, if it were not for such a skilled and competent teacher as you. You really took the extra effort to make sure that we learned not only the minimum requirements, but all of the little details and tricks that make us so much more at ease in the water and takes our skills to the next level. Since completing our Advanced Open Water & Caven course with you we've gone on at least one dive holiday every year and just wanted to thank you for helping to open up this absolutely amazing under water world to us. I eagerly recommend you to anyone who wanted to learn how to dive & are so glad we were lucky enough to get you as an instructor!

Cybil Wallis PADI Cavern Diver

Sam Brown PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

I have taken numerous courses with Deon, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone who is just starting out by getting their open water, or taking any technically advanced courses. He is knowledgeable and makes sure you understand each element of the course being taught, all in a safe environment. He genuinely cares about his students, and will go out of his way to make you feel comfortable and confident while learning exciting new skills. Thanks Deon, you have opened up new underwater adventures for me!


Angi Pylypow

Advanced Open Water Diver

I took my Open water and Advanced courses with Deon. His years of dive experience made for an extremely safe and relaxed learning environment and I finished my certifications feeling extremely confident in my abilities.   He made our group feel really comfortable with one another and the ocean dives he took us on were awesome. It’s instructors like Deon that make the dive community so much fun to be a part of - I would recommend him as a dive instructor to any of my friends and family wanting to get certified. 
Tannis Price

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

Deon's passion for the sport, and his in-depth knowledge and stories from many different locales (South Africa, Red Sea, Caribbean, Pacific) made diving all the more attractive and engaging. He was also helpful and attentive when students needed extra guidance.  And he has a great sense of humour! I would highly recommend him.


Alex Catterill

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

Deon was my instructor for my Advanced Open Water Diver certification. He was an excellent instructor and dive buddy, providing specific feedback when learning new skills. What I loved most about his class was the independence he gave his students: we could try the skills individually and at our own speed, while being safely monitored by him. This gave me the confidence to begin organizing dive trips of my own. I would definitely take a second course with him.




Jessica Hurtubise

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

Deon is a well-rounded instructor.  He is organized, knowledgeable in both theory and practice, and personable.  He is enthusiastic about diving, which makes you interested in what he has to say.  In diving exercises, he thoroughly explains prior to getting in the water then follows through on the directives under water.  This was important to me, as it gave me confidence to carry-out an exercise comfortably . Overall, my experience with Deon as my instructor is a very positive one!


Manon Cassista

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

PADI O2 Provider

I took three courses with Deon, my Drysuit, Deep & Wreck Specialty certification. Knowing that I am still at my first bubble, Deon (who's a very experienced teacher) had the ability to quickly put me at ease and gave me confidence. What I liked the most in addition to the courses according to PADI guidelines, he customizes his courses according to our specific needs. Also, after completing my certification, he invited me to join him and other students to practice my new skillset. I highly recommend him and I won't hesitate to take other courses with Direct Diver Training.


Geneviève Plourde

PADI Advanced Diver

I took my Drysuit course with Deon while I was living in Halifax. He was very professional and explained everything very clearly. He was laid back and I never felt stressed or pressured. He clearly knows what he is doing and enjoys teaching to others. I would highly recommend any course you are considering doing with him.



Raphaëlle Thériault

PADI Drysuit Diver

Deon was my instructor for my PADI Open Water Diver course which I took with my wife. Deon was a very knowledgeable and patient instructor taking the time to work with each student until they were very comfortable with the task at hand. He made the course the highlight of our summer and introduced us to a sport we love and will partake in for the rest of our lives. I honestly could not think of one thing I wish he would have done differently. I look forward to future dives with Deon and hoping to advance my training through him. If you looking for the best instructor out there in my opinion its Deon.


Craig & Michelle Walker

PADI Open Water Divers 

Huge thanks to Deon for allowing me to feel comfortable and complete my PADI Open Water Diver. I was completely discouraged and ready to call it quits after a hard and disappointing first dive in the ocean with a different instructor. When I was returning my gear Deon was there and asked me how it went. I was still upset and he was so gracious and kind and offered to do the dives with me to complete the course. He was patient, understanding and knowledgeable. He made me feel safe and secure during all of my dives. He is a professional and trustworthy diver and I would think anyone learning new skills or refreshing old ones with him would love diving with him as much as I did.


Jennifer Haimes

PADI Open Water Diver

I took my open water course with Deon. We completed the pool course requirements in Langley, BC  then the open water portion in Maui, Hawaii. I have to say I was more then a little hesitant about this breathing under water deal. However Deon’s enthusiasm for the sport was absolutely contagious. His calm demeanour and overwhelming skills as a teacher and a diver helped me push through my fears. He made sure I was comfortable in the pool before progressing to the open water skills. Each step of the course was thorough, safety was a priority and  he really took the time to understand how I learned as an individual. I have been fortunate to dive with Deon many times since and would highly recommend him for any skill level of diving. If you haven’t tried diving or you have and want to challenge yourself with more advanced  skills give it a shot!! It has been one of my favourite adventures.  

Danielle Quee

PADI Open Water Diver

I took my open water course with Deon and feel very fortunate to have had him as my first course instructor! Deon has a TON of experience both diving and teaching and it was very evident during the course. His instruction was very focused and concise, which meant lots of time in the water actually practicing the skills. If you’re looking for an instructor that truly prepares you for the real world scenarios you may face as a diver, Deon is definitely the man for the job!! A+++!!


Erin DeBodt

PADI Open Water Diver

I was lucky enough to do my Open Water Course with Deon. It was an incredibly positive introduction to diving that left me excited to get back underwater. Deon is a very experienced teacher and it really showed with how well he dealt with varying skill and comfort levels within our group. I felt comfortable at all times and was given excellent feedback on how to improve on skills. I would highly recommend Deon as an instructor, and I hope to have the chance to take another course with him!


Emma Cummings

PADI Open Water Diver

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