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Looking for Independent Instructors..about 15 to 20 of them

Discussion in 'Help Wanted' started by danvolker, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. VooDooGasMan

    VooDooGasMan Solo Diver

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    Dan it was your link that reck diver posted I remembered awhile back.
     
  2. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
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    And that sounds smart, but it is more about insurance and the skill in handling students...so instructors it has to be for the moment...Commercial is so much more complicated than what we are doing...If any of you guys saw how easy this is, you would be amazed...it sounds much harder than it is.
    For the non-divers, they just get pure fun, with no work or downside.
     
  3. Rich Keller

    Rich Keller Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Long Island NY
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    I do not know that brand but I made something like it for kayak diving and it is very easy to use. I have on a couple of occasions put people in the water with it who wanted to try scuba. If you are putting an instructor in the water with these people it might not be a bad idea to have him wearing a 30 cu/ft bailout bottle in a Miller harness without the need for a BCD. It would also be a good idea for him to take up the middle position to reduce the chance that the other divers will get tangled up in each others umbilicals.
     
  4. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
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    And in fact, our Standards has the instructor in a normal BC and scuba tank. I like either being on the left or right of the two guests, so I can see both at all times...the middle position works, but to see one, you lose sight of the other....you end up looking left and right like some kind of "bobblehead doll" :)
    If I decide I want to tow them to someplace, I am in the middle and right on top of them ( about 2 feet over them) and have the hoses/reins in my hand.. I take up the slack so that I am pulling and they are not...so this is how I use the middle position.

    One of the nice things about the Tooka, is the Peloton Hose system of Brownies. I would need to show a picture to really explain how the connector works, and how it separates the hoses and divers.
    It makes it very easy to keep the short lengths of the 2 hoses going to each guest tangle free. The one longer primary is about 15 feet long in the use we have at the BHB, allowing a max depth of about 20 feet.

    I am going to be at the BHB today from around 2 pm on, and will have a Tooka with me...but I can not be certain that there will be any diving quality there today with the East wind blowing as hard as it is. Anyone that wants to check it out, just let me know.... my phone gets my email... dan@sfdj.com and I am driving a red Ford Raptor....I park on the South West side whenever possible.
     
  5. Reck Diver

    Reck Diver Regular of the Pub

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    I just don't get this tooka thing. I pay $100 and I'm am tethered to two other "divers". We are positively bouyant and have 10 mins for the learning pitch and 20 mins in the water. All this while the baby sitter/timer hovers above, where due to position and time constraints be very limited to what he can show the "divers"

    I have used a brownie with 3 guys, thirty feet. I know the compressor had trouble keeping up with high air demand. How is air delivery with divers with tank supplied surface air? Can one tank supply two trips?

    For the same price I can do the PADI Discover Scuba and get some equipment training in the pool, a class, then have my own kit and do a beach dive or the bridge. That's an hour in the water at least. The divers would be with an instructor and a divemaster in training. The LDS said most times you can even to an additional boat dive, for the price of the boat trip. This would be to the shallow reefs and even a couple of wrecks from the boca area south. If I'm not mistaken, this can even be used towards OW certification.

    To me nothing worse then trying to dive being positively bouyant. I take many new divers out on my boat. They come out and we try to let them use the tools they've learned and gain experience and confidence in the water. (Then we go to Lake Boca and barbecue and drink beer.) The one think I stress is "never dive light". There is nothing worse than trying to see something on the bottom and having to fight to stay down. A puff or two in the BCD is better than having to stuff your pockets with rocks.

    After last years thread, I didn't hear about a single customer. Nor were dive instructors eager to sign on. I'm sure it's fun, but for $100.00 for 20 mins, at the mercy of the three other people to which you are tethered, I'm not seeing the value. I can only imagine that after listening to the hype and seeing slick ads, the actual event would be a disappointment.
     
  6. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
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    Reck diver, thanks for putting out the DEMA angle on this, which really has to be addressed.....this is what the dive industry just does not get. The Dive Industry has only attracted 1 or 2 percent of non-divers, with industry hype ..to try scuba or Discover Scuba...this is a dismal failure. What the industry does not get, it that the bulk of non-divers DO NOT WANT to have to learn anything on this first experience...they just want to see if they like the underwater experience....As to where the instructor is, the non-divers like that he or she is close by and there for them if needed...afterall, they are not trained, and they are paying to have an instructor "take them on a diving experience". As to what they can see in 20 minutes, at the BHB Marine Park, they get alot crammed in to 20 minutes, as they come to structures and areas of unique life right away, on leaving the beach. The vast majority of non-divers would not really have the fitness to do a great deal more than 20 minutes, as the fin swimming and the excitement level has them optimized pretty well with this time. If they want more, if they got really interested, then the idea of an OW certification and diving as long as they want, suddenly becomes significant to them.

    Even with a low end regulator, supporting 2 divers at 25 feet is easy, with no breathing restriction. The initial Tooka units have high end scuba pros regs, future units will probably skew more toward R 190 types . The two 80 cubic foot tanks, manifolded together by hoses, easily supply the air required for a 25 to 30 minute dive at 18 feet, or to 25 feet if we take a couple of people to the crown of Pauls Reef or the crown of Breakers ( 37 foot depth). The Blue Heron Bridge is still the model for Florida, due to weather patterns--it is good for this almost every day...unlike the ocean here. After each 2 person tour, we instantly replace the 2 tanks....This takes about 2 minutes, max.

    Again, the dive industry misses the boat here....the non-divers do not want any training at all on the first experience...they just want to see if they like it, and if it is something they should "invest in". They have never had a scuba experience, and can only know it costs a lot, it takes a lot of time to get certified, and it seems like either you pony up the big bucks and LEARN DIVING, then hope you like it, or you never will get to dive.....I hear horor stories about the Discover Scuba Experience classes all the time, and have seen many in person....the tank, BC and weights put on the non-diving guest in the Resort course, can make the non-diver 30 pounds negative, or 50 pounds positive....They have no where near the training to be able to reliably regulate this positive or negative bouyancy, and it is always changing, and they are always in a position where they may be better if they make an "adjustment" to the BC by adding or dumping air....often they get this wrong, as do most open water certified divers with 20 to 40 dives under their belt...but the Resort Course non-divers know much less about what is happening or why, and many will become terrified.

    As to boat dives, it is only ideal on a dead flat ocean.....so that no chance of sea sickness is there to interfere with the FIRST DIVING EXPERIENCE. You just don't have alot of this , so the boat dives are not really a factor in a business model.

    You are equating the problems of a non-diver, or newly certified diver, with the Tooka guest...and there is no comparison....The BC and weighting of the Resort course diver can have massively possitive bouyancy effects, almost destroying any chance of them enjoying the dive....the typical Resort course instructor does not want this to happen, so they OVERWEIGHT the poor non-diver, who then has to swim with huge air blown in to the BC, typically with a head up and feet rototilling the sand posture. It is tiring, they learn nothing about scuba beyond what it feels like to breathe underwater...and they are at huge risk if they hit their inflator too hard and end up rocketing to the surface.
    Moreover, there is a fear issue for non-divers that Tooka guests dont have.....the heavily weighted Resort Course Diver knows they are heavy--they feel heavy, and are often bumping along the bottom. They fear becoming tired, or having an air supply problem, and whether or not they "could" make it to the surface. Some will try to swim up and be too negative, and be panicked as they struggle to make the surface.
    The Tooka guest weighs nothing in the water. At the shore, our job is to make them neutral, and then just about a half a pound positive....a weight they would not feel pulling them up while swimming, but if they stopped swimming, they would very slowly float upward the 18 feet to the surface at the deepest point we would have them at the bridge...there would be no exponential increase in ascent speed, as there is NO BUBBLE to grow as in a BC or wing. The Tooka Guest stays calm, feeling far more secure than they ever did while swimming.
    If at any time during the dive the Tooka Instructor feels the Tooka guest could be a half a pound heavier or lighter, there is an assortment of plug in weight pockets clipped to the top of the Tooka rig, ( one of Robert Carmichael's cooler inovations) --- the instructor brings the 2 to the surface, they hold the handles at the side of the tooka, they can chat with each other while the Instructor pulls/unclips the weght pocket(s) and replaces with the desired weight from the top of the Tooka, which instantly clips in to the guest's belt. At the BHB, we try to perfect this in rib deep water, but we have the opportunity to perfect this at any point in the tour, whether in shallow water or 18 feet deep. The guest does nothing but relax, the Instructor has a very easy job of unclipping and re-clipping. The Tooka Raft has over 400 pounds positive bouyancy, and the guests also have the option of pulling up the line to the raft, rather than swimming, if they would prefer. In practice, this is more of a "comfort issue" in their minds, since it is so easy to swim up with no weight, no tank or BC drag to impair your propulsion.....the "Puffer Fish effect" common to the Resort Course divers, is a real problem typically ignored by the industry...how can a person get really comfortable, when they move like an inflated puffer-fish, and their kicking does little to get them where they want to go...In contrast, with the swim suit level drag of the Tooka gear, any use of the fins causes propulsion, bio feedback is excellent, and many actually learn how to kick during one tooka dive....Contrast that to the common Open water diver in Puffer-fish configuration( massively inflated BC with far too much weight, and body swimming at 45 degree angle or worse) , who does not learn to kick properly for years--probably due to the poor bio-feedback.

    Sorry for not posting results.....We began this as a test, with three instructors total. Over 100 non-divers have tried this in the last year. This was not marketed, we still had to come up with the ideal Instructor training plan, the ideal insurance coverage for Resorts, and the ideal way to run the trips. We thinki we have all that now. It is 2 guests to one Instructor...the instructor is on a scuba tank with BC.

    100% of the people we have taken loved the experience, and now we are ready to make this happen in a big way.
    It will be the best "baby step" yet for getting non-divers to see what diving feels like--to know if it is worth the time and effort to get trained. Our instructors will gain a huge network of tooka guests that decided they DO want to become divers, and many will want the Tooka instructor to be their Diving Instructor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  7. Rich Keller

    Rich Keller Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Long Island NY
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    The instructor not attached to the same system makes more sense then what I got from your original posts. What has been the air consumption rate on average for two new divers? Could this be done safely with two divers above 20' for 20 minutes on a single 80 cu/ft tank? What is the advantage of this system over just putting two tanks in a sit on top kayak? A kayak might be a better way to go if you have two tired divers off shore the instructor could clime on the kayak and tow them to shore. What would you charge for two certified divers to take this system out on their own?
     
  8. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
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    Thanks Rich,
    Most new divers will use from 1/3 to 1/2 of the air, after 20 minutes is up. I like having a huge reserve for them. Issues with a kayak for non-divers, is that it is tippy and does not have hand-holds all over it like the Tooka Raft....if the Tooka guests get tired, they can hang on to the handles, keep the regs in their mouths, and I can tow them back to shore.

    The Tooka was not created to be a retail piece of gear...it is for Resorts and Dive shops only. The entire concept was created for non-divers.

    Sure, I can take it out over Pauls Reef with You { see the reef I am referring to ,best-of-palmbeach1a - YouTube } and it would be fun and easy..but this is not what it was created for, and it will not be sold to individuals. If you or one of the regulars here would like, this is an offer I would extend to you guys at no cost other than the boat trip....but this is not the intended use of the Tooka.
    The Tooka Instructors will have guests assigned to them by the resort or the shop, or by us.....

    Brownies actually makes a new product more aimed at certified divers...it has a variable electric moter, and the battery changes out in a few seconds flat...and is charged by the inverter on a boat ( or at home). so you can have a couple of these small batteries. It is quiet, unlike the standard Brownies Third Lung with the Honda engine running. It also has alot of torque, so ease of breathing for 2 to 3 divers is excellent, up to around 50 feet. The whole concept is more practical if the use is for 30 feet or less, even though the units can push enough air down to much greater depths. The freedom is awesome, and the lack of drag is euphoric. It would be lots of fun on Pauls Reef over the crown, where the depth averages 37 to 40 feet deep.
     
  9. Rich Keller

    Rich Keller Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Long Island NY
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    I was thinking in terms of resort guests who were certified but without equipment that wanted to rent this system. I assume the umbilical floats so it is not being dragged over the coral.
     
  10. VooDooGasMan

    VooDooGasMan Solo Diver

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    Dan if Dema is not for it, it is more that they know that once they try it, that would be it and they would not adventure in scuba. Self contained underwater breathing apparatus is the experience, not a pull along snuba approach.

    Also it is unfair to say that discover classes are a bad experience, I have taken a lot of people out diving, with only enough info to get them down to as deep as they are comfortable. Once a diver is passed breathing out of a regulator and breathes for a few minutes, then we kick to deeper water.

    Dema also might feel that what I described is the problem, if people see how easy it actually is with even a short amount of diving knowledge, they will get there own equipment and go diving.

    Dema also has to look at the safety issues, I like that if they die they are tethered to the tooka, and there is no search and recovery, just pull the LP hose up and take the victim for autopsy. Now search and rescue are cut out of there pay.

    I like it myself Dan, and think the only way to achieve what you want is to not defend its purpose to anyone. Go on tours to destinations, take two instructors out and let them experience it, make it where a DM is minimum requirement to be Instructor, and take DM's out.

    In other words Dan just do it as you have started and travel it for demo, brownie can cover cost and once the resorts see how they can get people in there water in front of there resort, it will be a activity. Now a hundred is a bit spendy, for 20 minutes, but $50 for every 30 mins, parents would spend $250 for a DM to babysit there kids while they get time away. and they kids get to spend 2 1/2 hours underwater and with a bit of surface time 3 hours total.
     

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