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A Question for Scuba Divers
ScubaDivaLaura - 4/21/2010 11:09 PM
Category: Training
Replies: 7

Many of you kind people participated in my last diving survey questions and I want to thank you very much. Just so you know, I am conducting my own research in the diving industry and community. It is interesting to me to see things from a clients perspective and another persons shoes.

The scuba diving industry is very similar to the snow skiing industry in many ways with each having its own quicks, nuainces, likes and dislikes.

After reading many of your comments, (again thank you very much) I noticed that many people did not have a very high opinion of professionals in this industry. Maybe they didn’t like the dive shop owners personality or attitude, or maybe the way they conducted business but it has lead me to ask another question for those that care to answer it.

Is there anything in the diving industry or diving community that you have questions about or want to learn things about that you would be willing to pay money for? As well as invest your time in?
steelheadfish - 4/22/2010 12:48 AM
I know it is one of those double edge swords for a dive shop $$, but i would like to see padi, tdi or whoever get a certified repair and maint course that is industry supported by the manufactures to do maint and repair of our regulators even if it only can be used to repair only your own personal gear. I do have faith in my dive shop, but i trust me so much more, and i like to count on me for my life. because attention to detail in diving is everything.
Dusty - 4/22/2010 9:49 AM
I second that steelheadfish. Great idea.
hopeinvalor - 4/22/2010 12:27 PM
What most people fail to realize is that diving is more than just a recreational activity, it is a lifestyle. Most people dive an average of 3 to 4 times a year when they are away for vacation. On the average I get wet at least twice a month. It has become my one and only hobby for the past three years.
I see where Lee is coming from; suggesting a course on proper maintenance on your equipment, but there are certain things that are best left to professionals. Yes, I maintain all my gear. I service my own regulators and I service my own tanks. The only things I don’t do are my drysuit and my computers. I dive with Zeagle regulators and Halcyon tank hardware so I took the courses necessary to work on my own equipment. However there is a dark side to this. Maintaining SCUBA equipment and maintaining SCUBA LIFE SUPPORT equipment are two different things. I can show a chimp how to properly rinse and flush, but when the tools come out and regulators are taken apart it’s a totally different ball game. If a guy wants to rebuild the engine on his car, but ends up over tightening a set screw or leaves a spring out, the worse that will happen is, his car won’t start, engine might blow, etc. Costly yes, is he alive? Most definitely. If the same guy is working on his regulator and makes an even smaller mistake (say all the parts when in properly, all screws and nuts properly secured) and a small piece of hair (the size of an eyelash) fell in, he would have a leak that can result in an uncontrolled free flow.
When I first started diving I had the same mentality. I wanted to do all the work myself to learn how things worked and also to save money. Now I do it because I don’t trust anyone else. At 190 feet, my stuff better be up to snuff. I also own 10 regulator setups, (some are redundant) which affords me plenty of work. Every year I am servicing at least 2 to 4 of them. And of course I start with my ARGON regs just to "refresh" my memory. I recently had a dive buddy (a young 22 year old) who actually works at the dive shop I dive with, service his own regulator. We took the same course, and low and behold he broke his first stage while servicing. Point I’m trying to make is, sometimes stuff like this is best left to the pros. And if not, just be sure you are willing to invest a ton of money, a ton of time, and a ton of UNDIVIDED attention. Was it worth the $300 to take the course? Was it worth the $5000 in tools, instruments, an ultrasonic cleaner and a microscope to be able to service my own regs? At a cost of $70 per setup (first stage and second stage), and $40 for just the first stage. If I serviced all my regs (8 sets, and 2 single first stages) every year it would cost me $640 per year, it’ll be at least 8 years before I recoup the cost. Also bear in mind, repair equipment also needs service as well. (That I send out to take care of)
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that dive shops need to help divers (new and old) establish the right mentality. There’s no harm in explaining how the process works up front. 
hopeinvalor - 4/22/2010 12:27 PM
Most people don’t realize that it takes 3 to 6 hours for a set of regulators to be serviced! Just the ultrasonic bath takes half an hour. It IS what it IS! When I am hanging around my local shop (which is 60 miles from my house), I cringe when new customers say "Oh I saw this on eBay for. . . . " It may sound cliche, but what is your life really worth?
To put things in perspective I usually draw the following comparison: You spend $40,000 on a car and still need to bring it in every few months for an oil change, lube, air filter, tire rotation, etc which cost on average $50. You don’t think twice about it. It’s expected. But you purchase a regulator setup for $500 to $1000, and you pay $70 a year (or every other) to do an complete overhaul; where all the soft internals are replaced and you complain.
Indiana - 4/22/2010 9:26 PM
 I would like to see prices come down alot.Most people dont dive or stop diving because of the price.Just to get started is 3000 or 4000 $.Thats up in the northeast.And that is getting away cheap.
SCUBASMITTY - 4/22/2010 11:43 PM
SCUBA OR SKY- DIVING IS DIVING, some you need a lot of, some you need for a crucial few, bottom line, YOU get what you pay for !
steelheadfish - 4/23/2010 9:31 PM
Indeed I do seee your point, it isnt about the cost of a annual, just because it is a dive shop doesnt mean it will be done right, I would be willing to spend money on tooling up! and training ect 5k isnt that much, really I easily have over 10k in gear now, I just have a hard time trusting someone I do not know. I trust myself, I never send my vehicles to the shop nor Do I have a contractor work on my house, and why poor quaility control when you out source. If you cant or dont have the ability or even doubt your ability I understand to the dive shop you go. But it isnt voo doo magic, and dive shops do make many feel that way.