About Malibu Divers

Malibu Divers building was originally the Olas Grandes Inn which was first built in the 1920s, but did you know that the building was moved just prior to the start of WWII. It was originally a quarter mile or so (maybe less) to the west, on Pacific Coast Highway but under the turnoff to the small road above it, Paseo Portola, that branches off from Rambla Vista. There are two photos in the book, Malibu Rails and Roads of the building in its original location.

Malibu Surf & Dive (pictured in photo on right), opened, owned by Jim Kidd, closed in 1965. Located where Zuma Jay's is now. The photo of Malibu Surf & Ride is of Jay Riffe (Riffe Spearguns) in early 60's. When Malibu Surf & Dive closed, Rocky Stickel and his partners moved into the same location. Their store was originally called Malibu, Ltd. They were there from 1965 until 1969 or 1970. At one point, they had 3 locations in Los Angeles and that is when they changed their name to Scuba Haus. They left Malibu about the time that Mike Bright opened Malibu Divers.

Malibu Divers was founded in 1969 by Mike Bright, a now legendary Southern California waterman and Olympic athlete. Mike nurtured the store through the 1970's when diving was still considered a "niche" recreational activity. Diving at that time was populated by ex-navy frogmen and serious underwater hunters and was neither considered nor promoted as an activity for anyone but the most rugged and athletic of ocean enthusiasts.

In 1974, Mike hired Lynn Freeman to teach scuba classes at Malibu Divers. Lynn was affiliated with a then fledgling training agency called PADI - having received his instructor training in one of the first PADI College Instructor Development Courses, taught by the college's legendary founder; Commander Jim Williams.

Lynn purchased the store from Mike in 1979. Building upon the foundation laid by Mike of a small "family" store who knew its customers by name, Lynn embraced PADI's emerging philosophy of diving being a sport that nearly anyone could participate in given the proper training. Having been a PADI facility since 1976, Malibu Divers became one of the first PADI 5-Star facilities in 1983, teaching all levels of PADI training exclusively.

As the sport of diving grew during the 80's, so did Malibu Divers. Never losing sight of the store's service-oriented philosophy, Lynn presided over the training of a growing number of divers, chartering an increasing number of local boats and leading groups to all corners of the world to dive. During this time, 2 of Malibu Divers current staff members began working at the store; Grant Graves, and Carter Crary.

In 1992, Lynn sold Malibu Divers to its current owners, and then Director of Training, Carter Crary (a graduate of the final PADI College class in 1989) and his dive buddy and wife, Barbara Gentile-Crary, also a scuba instructor. Still in its original location, the store's guiding philosophy also remains the same: to send our customers out the door with the best training possible and a smile on their faces. Working closely with PADI, we strive to stay on the leading edge of diver training (Carter, Barbara, Grant, Mason and Charles have all participated in the filming of PADI training videos). In 1995 we became a PADI 5-Star IDC (Instructor Development Center) and later on became the only PADI CDC, Career Development Center in the Los Angeles area. We have two (Grant, and Barbara) Course Directors (Instructor trainers) on staff.

We make the World's Best Divers and Dive Instructors.

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