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  • Writer's pictureBrian

Welcome to Bamboo Reef

Hi everyone,


My name is Brian, and I am the owner of Bamboo Reef.

I would like to introduce you to our new blog where we will be sharing tips, tricks, advice, thoughts, ideas, and anything else that we find helpful or worth sharing with you.


Let’s Share Some Ideas:

I recently heard someone say, “Information should be free. It’s already available everywhere and gatekeeping that information does nothing to better others. Information should be shared, but if you want real value from that information then invest in training and instruction.”


Now, I’m paraphrasing what was said, but I agree with what they are saying. The information we want to improve our diving is out there. We share it all the time with each other, so to pretend like it’s some big secret is ridiculous. Thus! This is my inspiration to share my knowledge and information with you in the hopes you find it useful and helpful in your diving journey.


But before we get into that I would like to tell you more about myself and Bamboo Reef. If you don’t about Bamboo Reef, then let me give you a synopsis of our history. 



Bamboo Reef Store Front

Dive Shop: The Story of Bamboo Reef

Bamboo Reef was founded in 1961 by Al Giddings. Al Giddings is best known for his work with underwater cinematography in films like James Bond: For Your Eyes Only (1981) The Abyss (1989), The Titanic (1997), and more.


Then in 1971 Sal Zammitti took over the business and successfully ran it for more than 40 years.

Sal started his diving career on the east coast, moving west, setting up dive shop after dive shop for New England Divers back in their heyday.


In 2016, my father and I took over Bamboo Reef and have been running it, working to expand our services and course offerings from simple SCUBA to Technical Diving, Sidemount, Freediving, Spearfishing, Rebreathers and more.


Bamboo Reef has a rich history in the Bay Area and Monterey, once boasting 5 stores: from Walnut Creek to Berkeley, Marin, Rohnert Park, and San Jose. Today we have the original store location in San Francisco and Monterey.


Helping out Mythbusters


My Story:

As for me, I’ve been diving since 2002, when I was a freshman in high school. During my time in high school my dad and I became more involved in diving and eventually worked our way up to Assistant Instructor. After high school I moved to Maui, Hawaii where I worked for a dive store taking people out on tours, doing simple gear repair, and working in the shop helping tourists.


After about 6 months on the island I returned to school, where I realized I didn’t care for college and preferred instead to pursue the glamorous life a SCUBA Instructor! Hahaha! After about a year I moved to Florida where I attended a diving school for 3 months and walked away with far more knowledge than I knew what to do with.


Originally my plan was to try underwater treasure hunting with a friend or maybe pursue the life of a deck hand on an adventure cruise, but I found myself at Bamboo Reef while trying to figure out my next move.


It was at Bamboo Reef that I discovered my real passion for SCUBA Diving and Freediving and after working for both Bamboo Reef, Hollis and Oceanic, I ended up at the top of the helm with my dad, running Bamboo Reef.



Where we are Today:

I would like to tell you that this is where I find my dream come true and all is amazing, but the truth is running a small business is hard, and running a dive shop is even harder. I have to give it up to both Al Giddings and Sal Zammitti for doing so well for so long in the diving industry.


As we all know too well, times are hard. Post COVID life really took the wind out of our sales and put the hurt on a lot of us financially. So, all I ask is that you keep up with us and our new blog.


Don’t forget to share this with friends and family. Invite them out to go diving with you. Come and say hi if you haven’t been to Bamboo Reef in a while. Dust off your equipment and get back in the water. We miss you and we want to see diving again. Get away from the stress of life and simply enjoy the underwater world.


And finally, I wish you all a happy new year and best fortune in 2024. I cannot wait to go diving with you all…even if you find Monterey too cold. Hahaha.


Mark & Brian Stanley - Bamboo Reef

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