Making Divers Since 1953

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Started in 1953 by Bill Tant, Southern Skin Divers Supply is the oldest surviving diving business in the South.

We were already tradition when our competitors opened shop.

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We're proud to still be associated with Bill, who is one of the pioneer SCUBA divers and a living legend, not to mention a very good friend of ours (and he's our uncle too). Owned and operated by Steve Phillips, his sons Forrest & Spencer, and Mark Tant, SSDS is truly a family business run by divers. Our new dive center includes over 4800 square feet of classrooms, dive store and an indoor heated 14' deep pool where you can test out equipment before buying. We offer classes all year long, day or night, and provide the best training, largest inventory, and the finest dive facility in the Birmingham metro area.

With owners dive experience ranging from 10 to 35 years in specialties like salvage diving, black-water diving, treasure diving, U/W photography, search & rescue recovery, crime-scene investigation, law enforcement, and SCUBA instruction, SSDS offers experience like no other dive store in the  area.

SSDS is a real, hands-on dive school run by divers and for divers.

If you are not a SCUBA diver now, it's time to get started.

There's no place as good as SSDS. We welcome you.

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Our open water dive course starts with Forrest teaching another classall class & pool training in our new 50' foot long, 14' deep heated indoor pool & includes:


Why Buy From An Authorized Dealer??

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Current Trip & SCUBA Class Schedule **

**times & dates for all classes & trips are subject to change, please call us for the latest schedules

Panama City Flounder Trip Soon! Charter boat to take your fill of flounder!

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Enriched Air Nitrox Class Dec 19th, 9:30am Learn how to extend your bottom time with Nitrox diving.

(class details below)

Spearfishing Clinic Dec 19th, 12:30pm In this class you will learn skills necessary to participate in, and become a successful spearfisher.
Manatee Trip - Crystal River, FL Feb 5th - 7th Two long days of snorkeling and diving in the warm waters of Crystal River, King Spring and the Rainbow River.
Cayman Island Liveaboard Soon! East end of the island boat diving.

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Basic Open Water Classes Ongoing (call us) details below
UW Photography Class Classes Ongoing (call us) Learn more from the best - Mark Tant
Panama City Spearfishing Jan 2nd & 3rd - Jan 9th & 10th This is a special trip set up for our advanced divers as we dive some of the offshore wrecks of PC.

Advanced certification IS available on this trip.

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

South Carolina  Ongoing -  call us Fossil and Artifact Hunting Trip!

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Stress & Rescue Class Soon! The course runs two days in which you will participate in academic and in-water sessions in the pool and in the open water. As a prerequisite for certification you will also earn CPR & First Aid certificate during this course.
Oriskany Aircraft Carrier Just got back! Great trip off the coast of Pensacola

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Orange Beach & Pensacola Spearfishing All the time - call us 2-day flounder & spearfishing trip

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Panama City Wreck Diving Just got back! This is a trip to some of the offshore wrecks in PC. We will be diving some of the shallow water inshore wrecks in PC. Good opportunity to get your wreck diving certification

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Bonaire March 26 - April 2 Oceanfront Condo & rental trucks

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Belize Live-Aboard Just got back! Great trip! Up to five dives per day, deluxe suite accommodations with private bathrooms, food, snacks, beverages and local alcoholic drinks for adults, tanks, air fills and weights for diving
Turks & Caicos Liveaboard Just got back! All inclusive 5 dive a day Caribbean trip on board your own private vessel. I had the opportunity to dive with this operation in September and it was one of the best overall crew, boat, food and diving I have been on. It also is a piece of cake to get to Provo from Birmingham or Atlanta. We are taking deposits and still have half of the spots available.
Orange Beach Wreck Diving Soon! Recreational wreck diving in The Gulf on a 46ft dive boat
Hawaii Just got back! The big island of Hawaii

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Fiji Live-aboard Just got back! Pacific diving at its' best!

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Utila - Honduras Just got back! Our "Dive The New Year In" trip

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Dry Tortugas - S. Florida Soon! Spearfishing & lobster hunting liveaboard off the Florida Keys!

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Cozumel Soon! Non-stop airfare from Birmingham, oceanfront hotel

(details on the Trips & Travel link below)

Philippines Dec 27th 2016 - Jan 8th 2017 Atlantis Dive Resort - This one is selling out fast, so give us a call!
Truk Lagoon Soon! Now is the time to sign up for this 12 day trip. See photos from previous trips here

**times & dates for all classes & trips are subject to change, please call us for the latest schedules



We have a wide variety of classes starting soon for Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays. All include a 30 hour course with 8 pool and classroom sessions, plus 2 days of checkout dives in Florida


This course is designed for the newly certified SCUBA diver or any diver that needs more experience.  This is a REAL Advanced certification course with classroom sessions & 5 ocean boat dives.  Once you have completed this you will be a more Advanced diver.  This is an ocean diving course, the dives are not done in a quarry, and all five dives are done from diving vessels.  It introduces the diver to several different diving conditions; boat diving, wreck diving, night diving, deep diving and underwater navigation diving.  The course fees include the classroom session at The SCUBA School, two days of offshore boat diving in the Panama City, Florida area, 2 nights in a hotel (double occupancy), and Advanced SCUBA Certification. 

Southern Skin Divers offers this course bimonthly from April until November every year.  This is also a great way for already advanced divers to do some good wreck diving in the Gulf of Mexico.

Passport Member Advanced Certification price $395 - Non-member student price $450 - *Passport Member tag along price $325

*Must have successfully completed an Advanced Diver Course previously.


12 hour course with 1 night classroom session, plus 1 night pool session, plus 1 day boat diving


Topics covered will be assembly and use of the oxygen analyzers, how to analyze Nitrox cylinders, planning Nitrox dives, using Nitrox computers, Nitrox regulators and dive tables. 


For those who do not buy the complete life support package from SSDS

Basic SCUBA Course - $270

Complete audio visual presentations - Unlimited use of pool & air while a student - Use of SCUBA gear for pool sessions (personal gear must be purchased from SSDS, this includes mask, snorkel, fins, booties, & weight system)

Complete set of textbooks (required for each student, no sharing) - $125

Open water dive manual - Diver skills records - Student workbook - 6-month subscription to Dive Training Magazine - SSDS T-shirt and car tag or patch - Zippered deluxe logbook

Checkout dives in Florida - $220 with $50 penalty fee if cancelled or re-schedule

Includes 2 days of diving with 5 instructor-supervised dives in all - Worldwide recognized SCUBA certification card

SCUBA gear rental (Life support must be rented from SSDS for checkout dives) - $60/day

Includes regulator, octopus, gauge, buoyancy compensator jacket & SCUBA tanks

Refresher Course (includes pool sessions  & tanks while using facility) - $150

Audio visual presentations - Classroom session if needed or preferred


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Ask about our Passport Program Special!

Want more info?? Email us for details!

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A True Diving Pioneer Passes - Bill Tant - "Cap'n Scuba"

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SCUBA, prospecting, metal detector & website questions or comments go to SSDS

Southern Skin Divers Supply - 4515 5th Avenue South - Birmingham, AL 35222 - (205) 595-3052

9-6 weekdays & 9-4 Saturdays - Closed Sunday & Monday

Click here for directions and a map

We take Visa, MasterCard & Discover