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How to Engage Younger People in Diving?

Discussion in 'Scuba Industry News' started by KathyV, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    Are you the piper or the drummer. If you're the drummer, i know where to find the piper and he's recently become a dive master, though I think his piping gigs are keeping him busy.
  2. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Some old coworkers of mine rent out rooms of their houses as AirBnBs specially geared towards divers. Close to dive shops and sites so it's convenient to crash there for a night and go diving in the morning (or vice versa). Some type of moderated spreadsheet could be good where members suggest or name places with info so they can be contacted to verify prices and availability. I guess that's what yelp is for, but a list on here would be nice
    JPipes, KathyV and Esprise Me like this.
  3. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    It might also be useful to compile some information on what you can expect to spend to get certified in various places, both to help budget-conscious students/ young folks just starting out to get a sense of the all-in cost, and also to help them identify a good deal (vs. one too good to be true) and figure out how to trim off a little (e.g. when to buy used.)

    I know I got into diving about 10 years later than I was first inspired to because of the cost. And sure enough, everything has ended up costing more than it first appeared. My friend found a Groupon for an OW course for I think $200. Awesome! But it turned out that didn't include the book, or the rental gear, or the personal gear (mask, fins, snorkel, and booties) I didn't realize I had to buy--I thought it would at least come with the rental gear. I also had no idea how expensive it would be; I'd owned those things before from snorkeling and didn't know the scuba version was different. The rental gear also didn't include any of the safety signaling devices the book told us we must never dive without, though I was apparently the only person who took that seriously and bought a mirror, a sausage, and a whistle. Oh, and then there was the boat cost. The course covered beach dives only, but the weather was looking shifty and they urged us to spring for the boat if we were in a hurry to get certified before a trip, which I was. In the end, that $200 course set me back over a grand. It was annoying given the level of disposable income I enjoy as a professional with no debt; as a student waiting tables, I would've been devastated.

    I just keep spending money, too, though I don't regret anything I've bought. Dive computer so I can get used to one interface and always have it with me? Best $200 I ever spent! Surf-fur so I don't freeze between dives? Best $150 I ever spent! My own complete set of gear so everything fits and I don't have to make two trips to the dive shop every time? Best (mumble mumble) I ever spent... but yeah, I was completely right that I couldn't afford it back then. Heck, I didn't even have a car. Now I can pay extra for the hatchback version and rubber floor mats. (Best $600 I ever spent!)

    I'm a little afraid to actually add up everything I've spent on courses, trips, gear, and other scuba-related expenses. Come to think of it, maybe we shouldn't tell potential new divers what they're in for...
  4. Bigbella

    Bigbella Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Francisco
    What initially sold me on the prospect of diving, were those Sunday programs of "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau," in the 1970s, which were far more interesting to me than the Disney pablum that was shown earlier on those same evenings. Who wouldn't want to go diving?

    Now, there is a constant bombardment of televised, streamed, recorded entertainment product, several orders of magnitude greater in scope than I had ever experienced or could have even imagined, as a kid; and it is far simpler for many now, to live more of a virtual life, and to seldom leave your door. Activity, physical activity, is becoming a harder sell. Why bust a hump, dragging gear to a remote beach, when you can virtually wage war; travel through time; do something still illegal in a few states, in your mom's basement, all while doing the Macintosh Workout, in your tightie whities?

    What the young really need, is probably what I luckily had, as a idle teenager -- someone to literally throw you into the deep end of the pool. In my case, it was an uncle, who was a navy man, who quietly loaded his bomber station wagon early one Summer morning, with all manner of things I had never really seen, outside of TV, and took a few of the willing and not so willing nieces and nephews to a public pool, near La Jolla, without telling us where we were going, or what we were doing.

    Inside of a few hours, we were all swimming on scuba, chasing one another; no one died, though I got a bloody nose, unrelated to diving; and the harder sell, was convincing us to leave, even those of us with very blue lips and toes.

    I still have one of the regulators that we used . . .
  5. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    I'm still diving my first regulator
    Looks like it will also be my last. :p
    Bigbella, lowviz and KathyV like this.
  6. BenjaminF

    BenjaminF Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Israel
    A 109?
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    Sherwood Maximus
    Bob DBF, KathyV and BenjaminF like this.
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hi @drrich2

    There is little to no shore diving in Boynton Beach, West Palm, or Jupiter, other tha BHB. I'm unaware of any budget boat dives. There is shore diving farther South, others could comment on that, perhaps @Scuba_Jenny
    drrich2 likes this.
  9. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    As a club we have quite a good number of younger members. This is probably because a vast quantity of new flats (sorry ‘apartments’) are being built near by and we are one stop on the tube from a few 100k workers earning 3 to 10 times average U.K. wages.

    We also try to lend people kit, especially cylinders and lead, as buying it and particularly storing it is a problem with today’s housing.

    In the U.K. most (and have nothing but personal observations to support this) ‘shop’ instructors (ie not clubs, which is another matter) are older blokes doing it to get out of the house and for discounts on kit. The price of a course is too low to sustain real wages that people can live off.

    From the way that ‘instructors’ post on SB I assume the same is true in the US.

    Mark Powell did a talk on the age issue at a recent U.K. dive show. As I recall his main theme was to encourage young instructors so that young people are not faced with taking a course from someone older than their father.

    SB as a whole is extremely disparaging of ‘zero to hero’ instructors.

    If you are not part of the solution....
    lowviz, Esprise Me and chillyinCanada like this.
  10. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    Buy their gear for them because they can't afford it. :D "Scuba is expensive" is not new no, but that fact that everything else is so much more expensive makes a big difference.
    Bigbella likes this.

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