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OUR STORY

Owners of Bamboo Reef

Bamboo Reef has been serving Bay Area divers since 1961, and Monterey Bay divers since 1970.  We are proud to be one of a handful of SSI Platinum Training Facilities worldwide, which means we have the experience and knowledge to train dive instructors as well as students. 

 

Founded by Al Giddings in 1961, the business was owned and operated from 1972-2016 by Sal Zammitti; with 5 stores throughout the Bay Area at one point. Bamboo Reef is now owned by the father/son team of Mark and Brian Stanley. 

Brian and Mark have been working in the SCUBA industry since 2004 and have more than 30 years of experience between the 2 of them.

 

Join the Bay Area's most experienced operator when you are looking for diving lessons, equipment, or travel. See what Bamboo Reef has to offer and join us in the world below.

 

MEET THE CREW!

SAN FRANCISCO CREW

 
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Brian Stanley

Owner,
NAUI/SSI SCUBA Instructor, First Aid Instructor, &  NAUI Intermediate Freediver Instructor Trainer

Brian is the Co-Owner of Bamboo Reef and has been scuba diving for over half his life. ⁠

These days, he tends to spend more time free diving and spear fishing. His biggest catch is the 50 pound ling cod (caught in Alaska) that he is holding in this photo! Brian loves anime, sushi and spicy food (especially in large quantities). ⁠

Fun fact: Brian is one of the lucky few to have seen a great white shark while diving!

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Paul Keller

Service Technician

Paul is our service technician at Bamboo Reef San Francisco. He has been with us since 2012 and has been a technician for the past 16 years. He got certified when he was 13 and did his checkout dives at the famous Monastery Beach! When he's not working on equipment Paul is spending time with his favorite person in the world, his 8 year old daughter Avery.

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DEVIN

San Francisco Shop Manager,
First Aid Instructor, NAUI & SSI SCUBA Instructor

Meet Devin: Instructor, Dive Guide, and Staff Member at Bamboo Reef San Francisco! Devin learned to dive in 2014 in the chilly waters of Monterey Bay, and she immediately became a devotee to the dive life. To this day her favorite sites to dive are those with kelp forests, or if she's diving tropical, gorgonian fans. Devin is a water baby through and through, when she's not diving you can catch her sailing or doing some open water swimming! She hopes to work with young people and communities that are underrepresented in the dive industry and help people of all ages learn to appreciate the ocean!⁠

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Liz Ramstad

Social Media Specialist

Liz got certified at Bamboo Reef in 2018. She was hooked immediately and quickly started traveling full time and diving along the way. She has been diving in Central America, Mexico, Mozambique and Egypt!  She started working at Bamboo Reef's San Francisco location this year when COVID brought her back to the Bay Area. She is currently working towards her Master Diver, learning how to freedive, and enjoying cold water diving!

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Alex K. S. FraseR

Training Manager (SF),
SSI Instructor, SDI/TDI Instructor & DAN Instructor

Lexi first breathed off of a regulator while vacationing on St.John’s USVI, and has been smitten ever since. At first it was all tropical, all the time… Belize, Great Barrier Reef, Honduras, BVI, Fiji, Philippines, Cabo San Lucas, Indonesia, Panama… but then decided to take a Stress & Rescue course locally… and discovered an entirely new world and new friends! These friends were a terrible influence as good divers can be, so shortly thereafter the technical and professional training began concurrently... and now Lexi has been helping launch new divers out into the world for about 10 years, and cave diving in Mexico in her personal time for about 8 years, with Under the Jungle, who have been an incredible source of mentorship and inspiration. Racking up thousands and thousands of happy hours underwater is a privilege… and sharing that experience with folks is a passion. The profile photo above was taken in the incredible caves of the Maya Riviera by Natalie L. Gibb.

 

Favorite diving specialties to teach are: Perfect Buoyancy/ Finning Techniques, Navigation & Sidemount

MONTEREY BAY CREW

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Jose Salazar

Monterey Bay Shop Manager, 
NAUI SCUBA Instructor & NAUI Freedive Instructor

José is one of Monterey’s jack-of-all-trades. He is an excellent scuba guide and freediver, and his spearfishing can supply the whole shop with halibut for months. Commonly referred to as our most beautiful employee, he is skilled at carrying doubles and whipping up a trimix or a nitrox cold brew. If he’s not at the shop, José is likely in the ocean with friends or playing with our favorite employee, his dog-hter, Anaya. Next time you're in town, stop by and say hello!

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Alyssa Bellamy

Crew Member,
NAUI SCUBA Instructor & First Aid Instructor

Meet Alyssa, one of our new full-time Monterey shop crew members and scuba instructors. She grew up in Half Moon Bay, CA, and moved to Monterey in 2013 to attend CSU Monterey Bay where she started her scuba diving journey. She graduated with honors in 2018 with a BS in Marine Science and later continued to work her way up to become a NAUI Instructor! ⁠

Fun Fact: Alyssa also competed in the 2019 Catch & Cook Competition and placed 5th for her delicious fish taco recipe which you can find at the link below:

Deconstructed Fish Taco with Avocado Crema & Grapfruit Salsa

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Bret Whitford

SCUBA Instructor

Bret has worked with Bamboo Reef for 20 years as a scuba instructors and guide. He spends his days teaching at Carmel Middle School and is an incredible educator both in and out of the water. His skills outside of diving include feeding the Bam Fam at his delicious barbecues and sharing his love of nature with his daughter. We are both scared and thrilled by his sense of humor, his love of sea hares and banana slugs, and his ability to always keep us laughing. 

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Brandon

Freedive Instructor

Meet Brandon, our newest Freedive Instructor! Brandon made the move from scuba diving to freediving when he was 20 years old and living in Florida. He was hooked, and over the years has continued to practice and take courses, eventually becoming a Freedive Instructor with the goal of teaching safe and effective freediving to the masses. Brandon moved to Monterey to fulfill his dream of spearfishing and freediving in the kelp forest. Fun fact about Brandon…he has two golden retrievers that love the ocean just as much as he does—they just can’t dive as deep! We’re stoked to have him and his pups at Bamboo!

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Timothy Vance

Crew Member

-Master Diver Level

-All Diving in Monterey Area

-Favorite Food: Pad Thai

-Agent of Shenanigans

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Parker Floyd

Crew Member

Moved from fishing California lakes and rivers to the big ocean. Fishing the Pacific is much better. I received my NAUI open water through CSUMB.

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CODY

NAUI SCUBA Insructor

Originally from Ohio, Cody got a taste of diving in Florida and never looked back. He loves being able to share his passion with students and seeing them learn new skills, overcome fears and discover the joy of being underwater.

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Training Director,
NAUI Course Director, SSI Instructor, First Aid Instructor Trainer,
NAUI Freedive Instructor Trainer,
& Freedive Travel Operations Manager

Nick is one of our Freedive and Scuba Instructor Trainers, we are stoked to have him as our Training Director. He is a NAUI Course Director, NAUI Freediver Instructor Trainer, and a spectacular spearo. He has helped create an exciting set of freediving courses for the coming months, and he has even more classes on the way. If you want to learn more about our scuba or freedive programs, come by and talk to Nick!

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Rebecca Torres

NAUI & SSI SCUBA Instructor

Rebecca started her diving journey at CSU Monterey Bay working her way through the program to graduate with a BA in Marine Science, a NAUI dive master certification and an AAUS certification. Her passion for teaching open water students began at CSUMB during her time assisting with the open water classes as well as the master diver classes. After crossing over to SSI and starting work at Bamboo Reef as a tank filler, she quickly worked up the ranks to a dual certified NAUI/SSI Open Water Instructor. She loves to pass on her love for the ocean through teaching SCUBA.

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Giray Yalçın Armağan

NAUI/PFI Freedive Instructor

Giray is one of our NAUI/PFI Freediver Instructors and one of the few Intermediate Instructors on the West Coast. ⁠

He grew up in Turkey and was introduced to freediving and spearfishing at an early age. Every since he was 8 years old he was holding his breath underwater and harvesting fish, collecting inverts or pulling anchors from the bottom. Freediving for Giray isn't just a sport or hobby, it's a way of life, a way to look inside and and be a more conscious person. ⁠

That is why he wants to share his knowledge and passion for freediving with others, so that we can grow a more conscious community. Join him on one of his kayak dives, line diving sessions, or Freediver courses to learn about safe diving and responsible harvesting.

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Dave

NAUI SCUBA Instructor

Dave is a retired British police detective who recently moved to the Bay Area from Illinois. He became a PADI Divemaster in the mid-90s when stationed in the Cayman Islands and crossed over recently to become a NAUI Divemaster! He is currently in the process of earning his Instructor certification through NAUI. When not riding his motorcycle or walking his one-eyed dog, Dave is loving diving in Monterey and meeting new people!

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SAM

SCUBA Instructor

Meet our instructor Sam, who can be spotted expertly leading tours, conducting refreshers and teaching scuba classes. Somewhere between a sea lion and a Cal Poly Mustang (a seahorse?), Sam has excellent water and land skills. Truly a master of trees and seas, he is currently working to complete a degree in Forestry. Next time you’re in Monterey make sure to sign up for a tour or class with Sam!

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Kai Oda

NAUI SCUBA Instructor

Kai learned to SCUBA dive in college at UC Santa Barbara. He went on to obtain his AAUS certification and dive for research labs on campus. He's been sent to retrieve oceanographic instruments in white shark nurseries and swap temperature sensors in the crystal clear waters of French Polynesia. Kai became a NAUI instructor in 2020 and now helps to introduce others to the wonders of the underwater world!

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Nicholas Ta

NAUI SCUBA Instructor & Freedive Asst. Instructor

Nic is one of Monterey’s unstoppable forces. We have watched him become a regulator technician for Aqualung and Scubapro, a freedive assistant instructor, and a soon-to-be NAUI scuba instructor. As he continues to grow, Nic always takes time to help the people around him. He has introduced tons of people to the world of freediving and helped many divers navigate and explore a new site. He is also an avid spearo and artist as proved by his amazing underwater footage and beautiful fish prints. Next time you’re in Monterey, swing by and enjoy the slapping sound of Nic walking around in his fish flops!

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Tyler

Crew Member,
NAUI SCUBA Instructor

Tyler moved to Monterey Bay in 2018 when he began work with projects involving marine science & technology. During his time here he has aided with various projects involving fish migration, habitat, and hydrophone studies for sea mammal conservation. As a scuba instructor, he loves to share his passion for the ocean with his students! 

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Ariella Simke

SCUBA Instructor

Ariella is one of Bamboo Reef’s scuba guides who fell in love with cold water diving and Mola molas when she first dove in the bay in 2013. A kelp enthusiast, Ariella has explored the underwater forests that line the coast from Monterey down through Big Sur. She also works with @finandforage to support the local freediving community and recently caught her first perch while spearfishing! We love that she always comes to the shop with new adventure stories and, maybe soon, some fish tacos.

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Tori Bartindale-Guffey

Crew Member

I am originally from San Diego where I grew up snorkeling and tide-pooling. I moved up here to attend CSUMB and began my diving career there 3 years ago. Now I spend most of my time diving, hiking, and taking my dog to the beach!

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Kacy Cooper

NAUI Divemaster

Kacy's love for scuba diving began when her dad took her diving at 10 years old! She is currently a graduate student studying ocean and coastal resource management, and works on local kelp restoration efforts on the Monterey Peninsula. She loves exploring new dive sites in Monterey and introducing divers to the wonders of kelp forests!

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Mark Leone

NAUI Divemaster,
AAUS Scientific Diver

Mark is originally from Florida but is new to California. He has experience with scientific diving and dive leadership at a university science diving program in Florida. He is currently studying engineering and marine science while finishing up his undergrad degree, and love to lead dives in the kelp forests in Monterey!

OUR LOCATIONS

San Francisco

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Located down the road from Oracle Park, the original Bamboo Reef sits nestled in Mission Bay, San Francisco. With it’s door’s first open in 1961, Bamboo Reef has catered to thousands of divers all across the globe.

Contact:

(415) 362-6694 - info@bambooreef.com

Address:

584 4th St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

Business Hours:

*Yes, we're back to normal business hours now!*
Mon-Fri: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:30pm

Sunday: Closed

Facilities:
  • Classroom

  • Pool (on-site)

  • Changing Rooms

  • Bathrooms

  • Store

  • Gear Repair

  • Rentals

Monterey Bay

Located just a couple of blocks from the historic Cannery Row, Bamboo Reef Scuba Diving Centers Monterey has been voted best dive shop 10 times by Monterey County Weekly! Come to the Monterey shop for…

  • Daily guided scuba dives in the majestic kelp beds of Monterey Bay

  • An air, nitrox, or trimix fill from our state of the art “Big Bamboo” blending station

Contact:

(831) 372-1685

Address:

614 Lighthouse Ave
Monterey, CA 93940

 

Business hours:

*Yes, we're back to normal business hours now!*
Mon-Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 7.00am – 6.00pm

 

Facilities:
  • Classroom

  • Pool (off-site)

  • Changing Rooms

  • Bathrooms

  • Store

  • Gear Repair

  • Rentals

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