New scuba shop, training hub set to make a splash in PB
by Don Balch
May 23, 2012 | 3593 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PB Sports owner Justin Cannatella, right, sets up customers with diving rental equipment at the new business at 2950 Garnet Ave. Photo by Don Balch I Beach & Bay Press
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There is a new source for all things scuba, snorkel and other ocean activities in town. PB Sports, housed in a big, yellow building at 2950 Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach, opened April 1 and is the natural progression of its owner, Justin Cannatella.

A master scuba-dive trainer, Cannatella has operated local scuba and snorkel tours since 2005 and felt the time was right to expand his enterprise with a retail business.

“I looked for a commercial property that offered the space, location, parking and price that I needed and then spent 40 days remodeling it to take the next step,” he said.

PB Sports is a loose, island-style-looking store offering a wide variety of ocean activity equipment, including standup paddleboards, surfing, skim and bodyboards for purchase or rental, along with a wide range of dive and snorkel equipment that is especially popular during summer season.

Skateboards are also available for after-ocean fun.

“I wanted to add variety, a one-stop-shop for beach activities,” said Cannatella as he manned the store’s open-air, thatched-hut counter space with his bulldog, Emily. “We will be adding plenty of accessories as we head toward summer, too.”

Cannatella originally grew up in Shreveport, La., and got certified to scuba dive when he was just 12 years old. After attending Louisiana Tech, he moved out west.

“I’ve always loved the great outdoors and worked in the ski patrol at Angel Fire, New Mexico and Lake Tahoe. In 2005, I came to San Diego, basically with the money in my pocket and got a job at a dive shop and worked my way up into a certified P.A.D.I. (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) open water scuba instructor. I started a scuba and snorkel tour website and things have now progressed into this new venture.”

Along with the retail and rental items, PB Sports offers a scuba instruction and certification program.

“We have a classroom setting here at PB Sports, and supply the curriculum, knowledge and development for people to get their scuba certification card,” he said. “It takes three-to-four days with quizzes, a final exam and scuba testing at the Wavehouse Plunge pool before we take to the ocean.”

The tours operate mainly off La Jolla Cove with La Jolla Shores, the Children’s Pool, the La Jolla kelp beds and the Marine Room also being used. Schedules include daytime or nighttime dives.

“We supply all the equipment and wetsuits, plus we offer private schedules and daily discounts for group dives,” Cannatella said.

It’s all part of Cannatella’s love of being in and around the water,” he said.

“We’ve got great buys on wetsuits, masks and fins and will beat any competitor’s prices,” he said. “I want PB Sports to remind customers of a Hawaiian surf shop — relaxed with lots of good deals.”

For more information, call (619) 206-9425, or visit www.pacbeachsports.com.

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