My observations of the Scuba Show

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Posted by MHK on June 04, 2001 at 10:46:29:

Many thanks to all that stopped by to say hello, it was great putting names together with faces and internet personas.. I had NO idea how many *lurkers* we had out there.. You guys/girls need to post more often, because we see the same people all the time, it would be nice to get some new posters.. For me that was the highlight of the weekend, seeing how many people are out there and how many are starting to understand the benefits of what we are trying to point out..

The irony of the weekend award must go to being stationed next to the PADI booth, I thought that was Dale's idea of a practical joke ;-), but it did provide a real good opportunity to listen to what is really being pushed by these guys... Since I'm not in the dive business on a day to day basis I didn't really understand or appreciate the level that this 8 year olds learning to scuba would take off. I thought parents would know better.. It was frieghtening to see these cute little kits that are being given to the 8 year old as encouragement to learn to scuba. Little fake tattoos, beach towels with the PADI Seal Team logo's, stickers and the videos with the cartoon characters.. Walker made a good point about this in that he didn't see the difference between the cigarette manufacturer's using Joe Camel ( and that now being illegal) and PADI using the Seal Team Cartoon character.. Until this weekend I didn't fully appreciate how truly scary this whole situation is.. The flip side to that coin is that I was talking to a few instructor friends of mine and I was happy to hear that no matter what they would refuse to take an 8 year old diving..

I'd be curious to hear from some instructors or shop owners out there as to how the local community is handling this latest act of PADI madness....

The surprise of the weekend came from the one and only Dale Sheckler ( editor at large California Diving News) who told me that ( much to my surprise ) he agrees that it is time for him to take his head out of the sand and end the osterich mentality ( his words, not mine ) and recognize that technical diving is in fact here to stay and that he wanted to see ( allow or encourage ) a greater technical presence at next years show.. I asked him if he would then start printing the articles I've written for him in CDN and he laughed and said one step at a time ;-)

I thought the boats in San Diego had a good idea in that they all chipped in a bought a booth together which was a good way to raise their profile with a eye towards economics...

We were only a few booths from the Calif. wreck diver's and I wasn't sure whose booth Frank ( AADiver ) spent more time at, their's or ours.. Big smile ;-)

On a somewhat self-serving note, this was the 1st year that Halcyon had a presence at the Scuba show and I think it was well received inasmuch as many of the locals are still unaccustomed to the Halcyon gear and I think many still cling to a misinformed belief that Halcyon is merely technical diving gear. I was surprised how many didn't even know that Halcyon has a whole line of recreational diving gear...

The Chamber, as usual, was well represented and I'm glad that Karl Huggins discussion was well attended and well received...

I didn't get a chance to get to many of the seminars so I hope someone else may add their thoughts about the seminars...

Overall, I thought the show was busier than last year and I'll be curious to see the final numbers from Dale..

Good meeting all of you and don't be shy about posting on here we generally only beat up Chris and Seahunt ;-)


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