we were as plankton.....

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Posted by mike on November 22, 2000 at 22:22:56:

In Reply to: Re: hey, money makes the world go 'round! posted by kelphead on November 22, 2000 at 13:55:58:

adrift in a sea of ignorance with the corporate predators of Sport Chalet circling and charging in on us. Our ranks were decimated, but somehow, a few of us survived and lived to dive again, more than just twice a year in Maui, indeed to dive hundreds of times.....in the cold murky waters of So Cal. And we love every minute of it (except the occasional sinus squeeze : )

I went with SC at the time B/C several of my colleagues had gone there, and having been there for kayak rentals, weights, climbing, camping, mountain biking stuff, i had at least passed by the Scuba section once or twice and so i knew of the offering and cost. Prior to that, i may as well have had to join up with Jaques Cousteau for all i knew about certification agencies, training regimen etc. I consider myself lucky for several reasons: 1) SC was NAUI at the time. 2) i had a hard-ass ex-marine who kicked my butt and wouldn't let me or anyone else on to the next step unless we passed ALL parts of the swim test, with absolutely, positively no cheating! 3) SC was having a phenomenal sale of scuba stuff. I got my kit for around $700.00 which included computer, BC, suit, regs, octo... everything but the tank. When i signed up for advanced OW, (i had to bow out, due to getting accepted into grad school and getting a teaching assignment), i had a different instructor, who was just a leetle irresponsible! That experience was what turned towards independent research of agencies, procedures etc...
Unfortunately i fear that the mom & pop stores don't have a chance when it comes to competing for the "average" (and by average, i mean the student who goes in on a whim, because his or her friends said that it was cool) new students. I figure that word of mouth by other clientele is the only real way in which the small shops bring in new divers.

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