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How to Engage Younger People in Diving?

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

  1. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    His policies kept a lot of my money out of his cash register and ultimately spent online. He just couldn’t understand that special orders could still make money without gouging the customer. Of course he would have had to understand some people wanted gear he didn’t carry.

    To bad @RJP isn’t around to give us his insight on marketing scuba. A few years back he was involved in several threads like this one. The following links to one.
    Scuba Diving Survey Results

    drrich2 likes this.
  2. JPipes

    JPipes Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Tomball, Texas
    This is a great conversation that I was excited to see started this morning. It is something that I have noticed in my year of diving.

    Just like this morning when I first saw this, it's time to go chase this kids. I'll be back to add my $0.02
    chillyinCanada and KathyV like this.
  3. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Ah-Muzen-Cab ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, New York
    I have noticed, diving in SEA and Maya Riviera, all of the Chinese divers are in their 20's. My experience has been, in fact, a large portion of the newer / younger divers in SEA are from China. It might be a newly affluent generation thing.

    Has anyone else noticed the same?
    Esprise Me likes this.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    A number of issues come to mind...to start with, drawing a question from a lady named Cynthia Tobias elsewhere referencing what to ask when there's a meeting or some such...'What's the point?' What are we aiming to do here.

    Answer for the prospective inductee into diving, though. He/she will want to know.

    Diving itself strikes me as a means to an end. Unless getting into a clingy black rubber suit with huge duck feet, a dorky looking vest and a big, heavy metal tank on your back with a regulator that makes you breathe like Darth Vader strikes you as fun. Oh, and so you can drop 60 feet underwater where if your equipment fails you may just die? On trips that cost a few to several grand for a week, maybe 10 days, assuming you don't want to dive in some low-viz., cold-below-20-feet quarry or lake with a few bluegill?

    Why aren't we having to beat them off with a stick again? There's adventure? Yeah, but why not instead take up:

    1.) Cruising.
    2.) European tourist travels - Buckingham Palace, Rome, the Pyramids, etc...
    3.) African (or Brazilian) Safari/nature trekking.
    4.) Skiing.
    5.) Rock Climbing/Mountaineering/Hiking?
    6.) White water rafting?

    If someone didn't grow up around diving, and doesn't live near southeastern Florida, the answers may not be obvious.

    I liked roaming in nature seeing wild animals, and on t.v. programs the coral reefs, moray eels, barracuda and sharks looked neat. I wanted to fin around reefs directly experiencing them face-to-face. Scuba lets me do that. If I recall correctly, @Marie13 wanted to experience the wrecks of the Great Lakes; scuba let her do that. Some people like spear fishing. Photographing nudibranchs. Or cave diving.

    You may need to sell people on what scuba can enable them to go do. What experiences they can enrich their lives with by it. The online community, sharing trip reports and discussing prospective destinations, experiencing foreign places and cultures...

    Perhaps we should emphasize dive destination topsides more? Try to sell a more wholistic experience?
  5. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    I've noticed a lot of new, young divers getting certified from places like Koh Tao, but I don't notice them continuing on with diving. It looks to be a one-off type of experience than a lifelong sport for most, even if vacation diving is considered lifelong.

    If diving required getting a loan with "easy credit", then I doubt I'd still continue engaging in it. What kind of argument is that? And to say that building credit isn't necessary is ridiculous. Sure, it's possible for anyone to get a loan, but at what interest rates and terms?
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    There are some scuba offerings that are geared toward families, like the DiveTech kids programs at the link below, but a family scuba vacation in the Caribbean is probably most suitable for an affluent family.

    Ben_3 likes this.
  7. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Well, you all have clearly gotten to your conclusions and sagely decided as a group why the lazy, entitled, screen-obsessed youngsters aren't moving off of their couches despite having no other financial problems that you yourself didn't encounter. I guess I'm a masochist for coming back to this conversation, but I will not say that I didn't try to explain why younger people may not be diving, even though no one here is actually listening to what us youngsters are saying.

    First, let’s address what people have been saying about and to me and young folks in order.
    Oh good, you’re doing that thing where you try to politely disagree while mock-agreeing with me to condescend and make me feel bad if I counter you. Please, give me an example where anyone with bad or no credit got a good deal with reasonable interest rates. Since you are trying to speak for an entire generation, I expect large population sizes in your examples instead of one-offs for statistical significance. Also, when the heck was the last time you got an apartment, a loan, or a credit card with bad credit?

    Re: the phones – oh I do. I had a 7 year old HP laptop that I finally upgraded from after I couldn’t even open a Word document and I have a 4 year old phone that I got for cheap when it was already 4 models out of date. If I ever want to get an actual phone plan instead of buying minute by minute, I’ll have to buy a new phone because it isn’t 5G compatible and that’s what everyone is changing to.

    Re: the military. Your answer to people who can’t afford basic necessities is for them to enlist in the army. Yeah I heard of that plan, my ancestors enforced it. It was called slavery. You want people to risk death, trauma, PTSD, sexual assault, and abuse because they can’t afford rent? Wow you should run for government, you’d fit right in.

    What makes more sense to you on a financial scale:

    An activity that requires good local situations or time off of work plus the money for a vacation as well as ~$350-400 for the opening price, or a $20 video game you can get for almost endless hours of entertainment on a computer you already had to get for school or work? That’s just the minimums of everything, not including extra training, personal gear, trips, or game set-ups. Both can be very expensive but SCUBA has a higher entry price than the vast majority of hobbies and sports. It also has a health requirement.

    And again, I will mention that children raised to never be allowed to leave the home without extensive supervision tend to get used to entertainment that they can use in the home, which continues as they get older.

    The ONLY reason I was able to start getting into SCUBA so early is because I am one of those rare cases where I don’t need to worry about my necessities. My parents are affluent, I’m in a local school where my tuition is covered fully by academic scholarships that I worked my ass off to get. I still have been working 2 jobs while being enrolled to afford the gear, the training, the trips, and I keep a tight budget where I don’t spend more than $20 a month on non-necessities except for planned expenses (like a new wetsuit and personal gear when I don’t have any and I’ll be working in 45 degree water for 3 months and the work won’t give me any gear to use).

    Regarding the degrees – the current education system, at least in the US, is geared to prepare children for college. The jobs that are available mostly require at least a Bachelors (unless you have an in with a company or make your own). Your chances at getting hired and earning a living wage go up massively when you get a college degree, so why the hell wouldn’t someone try? Internships are rarely paid, scholarships are generally academic or sports-related, and there are too many students for everyone to get aid.
    tridacna, drk5036, Southside and 6 others like this.
  8. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA

    I appreciate that, but you are in the minority on this thread. I am trying to save for my life – to afford an apartment without aid, to afford health insurance, to not have to worry about having to get a loan if I get injured – and I have no idea what will happen either. The global economy is going to heck, there was a shooting threat and a Neo-Nazi in my city, hate groups and violence is on the rise, and I’m a college student with chronic health issues. I graduate soon, have 3 job offers already, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to afford the next place I live, if I’m going to die going to class, or if my next prescription will be on time and I’ll be able to be functional. And all everyone here is doing is saying ‘Pssh, nothing’s changed! These young kids are complaining for no reason and are just lazy.’ My anger is not directed to you, but to everyone who was curious of the question you asked and quickly dismissed every young person who tried to contribute in a way that didn’t agree with their pre-determined opinions. I don't think I'll ever be able to own my own house.

    ….Who the f*** are you speaking for? If anything, the uncertainty about what will happen encourages people to keep as many doors open as possible and escape the depressing reality when they can.

    They are. My partner got a National Merit scholarship (perfect scores on the major standardized test here), got a second academic scholarship, and has had to take out $30,000 in loans. So no, he isn’t taking on any expensive hobbies anytime soon.

    I was always inside because my parents never let me outside the yard cause they were scared of me getting kidnapped. TV was my way of experiencing the world, and still is. I can’t afford a car and my cheap bike can only take me so far.

    Aye, cause Koh Tao is cheap and most can’t afford it for lifelong until they’re later in life and have built up enough for necessities to be taken care of.

    If you want to get young people into diving – find a way to decrease equipment cost or better ease people into it. Emphasize what people can do through it – photography, science, trash collection, exploration, history, working, science, and show role models. Feature divers with a story to tell kids, and show the underwater environment as a new environment to explore but impress the responsibility that people have. Shoving people into SCUBA is no use if those people have no respect or care for the environment and will be crappy divers.

    I would apologize for my spiel but frankly my dear, I don't give a darn

    lowwall, drk5036, Kamaros and 8 others like this.
  9. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    I've been following this thread with great interest. There is a similar problem with attracting individuals to STEM.

    The exact age when girls lose interest in science and math

    My suggestion is to introduce the whole of both sexes of that age group (above) to diving. High school in the US. No cost, three gym credits towards graduation. There are at least 15 personality types, not all are suitable to become divers. Many will drop out, some will never forget the experience of breathing underwater.
    Midwesterndvr and KathyV like this.
  10. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    I don't know if he meant it to be but I still thought it might be a good idea. We can't become Avatar but we can dive!

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