Posted by Calico Jack on August 08, 2001 at 17:50:15:
First, you might enjoy a post that appeared a few days ago on Roadales message board, titled "Serious Investors Only". Check it out (might have to go back a ways).
Have read your latest postings with interest. Don't you think that more than any other single factor, it is DEMA and the retail "dive centers" in particular that are directly to blame for the state of dive training today? Your examples of the Sport Chalet/PADI relationship is the perfect case in point. I'm amazed that no one seems to question the huge conflict of interest issue this creates. But hey, what the hell do I know? However, the last time I checked, PADI still is an acronym for Professional Association of "Dive Instructors"....not "Dive Retailers".
Why not form yet another certification agency and merge with Big 5! Think of the market! I'm waiting for KMart and Walmart to start offering sky diving courses. I think it would pretty much mirror what is out there today in diving, particularly here in SoCal.
I couldn't agree more with the ideas regarding dive training you've put forth, however how do you carry the message of quality instruction and the need for strong watermanship skills to the general public?? This to me seems to be the enigma. I can't begin to tell you how many people interested in diving (who know virtually nothing about it) are convinced by a simple phone call to their nearest dive shop that there is absolutely no difference between their $99.95 course or an extensive course costing in the neighborhood of $500. How do you possibly educate the public that is out there interested? Diving incidents, let alone fatalities, don't seem to do it.
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