Undersea Adventures Ltd: Exploring the Depths Since 1989 - St Ives, Cornwall

The Story So Far, A Potted History

2024 marks our 35th Anniversary. Opening in Cornwall, April 1989 beginning as a scuba diving centre and shortly after becoming a PADI 5 Star Scuba Diver Training Centre, Undersea Adventures Ltd. We quickly became established as West Cornwall’s premier diver training centre and a destination offering recreational diving for visiting divers and Dive Clubs from all over the UK and as far away as Holland and Germany. Diving tours began with our RIB – Little Deeper – loads of enthusiasm - loads of dive gear – and limited space to keep it…

Watersports Warehouse: A Journey Through Time

1989 October: Moved to our first proper dive centre and retail premises in St. Ives – wow, loads of space.

1990 October: How did we manage to fill the space so quickly?

1991: Continued to build a solid core of regular UK scuba divers – needed more space.

1992: An excellent year in St. Ives but now bursting at the seams – four instructors working flat out throughout the summer.

1993: More beginners than ever before - looking for new premises – need more space.

1994: Moved to superb new premises in Canon’s Town between Penzance and St Ives, in Cornwall. We’d found our utopia, or so we thought, own pool, offering accommodation for students and beautiful grounds. But unfortunately, were presented with a serious planning headache which, after planning appeal and public inquiry, culminated in having to look for new premises. In the same year, we also opened a small unit on Long Rock Industrial Estate, Penzance, Cornwall for scuba equipment sales and to house the compressor.

1995: This year saw the arrival of a new RIB – Little Deeper’s ‘sister’ - Little Deeper II - enabling us to carry more divers and comfortably cope with difficult weather conditions around the Cornwall coastline. Toward the end of the year, we found an alternative premises to operate from – another larger unit on Long Rock Industrial Estate.

1996: Opening early that year, having moved the whole operation into Unit 15a – where we had more space for teaching, introducing visiting divers to the delights of scuba diving in Cornwall, and offering a full retail operation and associated service.

1998: In two short years, our 'new' premises now bursting at the seams, how did we fill it so quickly?

1999: We introduced Gul wetsuits to our retail product range and expanded further with many other top Watersports brands including; Crewsaver, Bodyglove, Typhoon products, and more.

2001 June: Saw the culmination of three years of work, negotiations, and planning (and frustration) as we opened 'Undersea Adventures Red Sea' in Hurghada, Egypt.

2002 March 9th: Was the launch date for our new online shop –WatersportsWarehouse.co.uk. While the internet was still in its infancy and as one of around 6 serious dive/Watersports competitors, we got off to a flying start offering a wide range of products to purchase directly from us in Penzance, Cornwall.

2003: Massive expansion in the range of products on our website, now struggling to cope with more space urgently needed.

2004: After 15 years of operating the scuba diving and training side, we decided it was time to switch the emphasis. By far the largest part of the business is now the online shop, so we decided to 'contract' out the scuba diving and scuba training side of the business. While searching for larger, more suitable premises for the growing retail business.

2005 June: At last a move to our superb newly built premises in Hayle, Cornwall, 3 months later than planned, but glad to have managed the move, now we really have much more retail space and need more staff.

2005 August: Where oh where did all that space go? We've filled the floor already, at least we have the height to go upwards in this building!

2005 September: Undersea Adventures Ltd gains 'Highly Commended' in the E-Commerce Awards 2005, South West Region. We were very pleased to receive the award in the 'Best Sales and Marketing Online' category for WatersportsWarehouse.co.uk. The presentation was held Wednesday 21st September at the very impressive HP Labs, Bristol. And we enjoyed the champagne – Thank you.

2005-2006: During all the moving and expansion, we also developed our own line of Snorkelling Equipment - Reefwear Masks, Reefwear Snorkels, Reefwear Fins and even a Reefwear Snorkelling & Reefwear 50N Buoyancy Aid.

2006: Adding to our snorkelling range and working in conjunction with a local Cornish surf brand, we designed and launched our first Reefwear wetsuit collection with Junior Wetsuits for Spring Summer - a range of Full suits and Shorties for general waterports use.

2006: Later that same year, we also spread our Reefwear wetsuit range to include Adult suits for Spring Summer and a range of Adult wetsuits for Winter.

2008 July: Wow – we are now up to the roof in our warehouse – well almost. We’ve increased our storage and despatch facility and taken on yet more staff to help with our growing online and IT needs, our retail shop requirements, and warehousing. Our Hayle shop continues to attract visitors from far and wide as we appeal to an ever-increasing customer base here in Cornwall, throughout the UK, and from Europe.

2009-2010: Saw the expansion of our Reefwear range of wetsuits and Reefwear Snorkelling gear we've been able to stay one step ahead of the competition by providing superb dive quality masks and snorkels at superb prices to appeal to the holidaying and 'have-a-go' snorkeller from complete beginner through to Freediving level.

2011: By continually adapting our business, we've developed a huge product range and are able to offer the best selection of watersports equipment from our base in West Cornwall - our aim has always been the same. This could be a tough year for all retailers but we simply keep doing what we've done for the last 20 plus years, we don't stand still, provide excellent customer service supported by a solid base of Watersports brands, and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to aid customers buy the right product and at a competitive price.

The above timeline doesn’t really take into account all the hurdles and tough trading circumstances along the way that we’ve overcome and then some. The Weather….Foot and mouth disease, the financial crash, rushing around the country in the wee small hours to get boat engines fixed ready for the next day, the countless number of stamps used for newsletters – before e-mail /social media became a thing, and the weather !! Not forgetting in recent times the testing period of the Covid years.

Above all our success has been due to the dedication of our team to continually maintain a standard of service and quality of scuba training other diving establishments could only admire. Our advice is often sought by non-divers and divers alike for our ‘insider’ knowledge of the coastal region around Cornwall – everything from the best places to go snorkelling and boarding to providing neoprene to decorate a surgical bandage!! The service previously provided in the scuba diving business carries through to our online business with 99.9% of orders being despatched every weekday due to 96% of our product lines being available in stock, so we can despatch orders as soon as they hit our computer screens, figures hard to beat but as always, our aim is to do better.

We would like to thank all our customers both regular and new.

About Us: 

Tel: 01736 751066
Fax: 01736 751067
Email: team@undersea.co.uk

Watersports Warehouse
7 Hayle Industrial Park
TR27 5JR

We now operate online only, Order online for Click & Collect / Local Pick-Up, Monday-Friday, for collection during normal working hours (excludes weekends, Bank Hols/Public Holidays)

We are available to take your phone calls 9.30am-5.00pm Monday to Friday and you can shop and order online at anytime 24x7, 365 days a year, orders are despatched during normal working hours Monday to Friday (not weekends or public holidays).