Cost vs. Benefits


Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by JRM on August 09, 2001 at 16:34:08:

In Reply to: Re: what about price, Mike? posted by stwally on August 09, 2001 at 16:17:09:

Greetings again fellow travellers. Don't sell the cost issue short, it's amazing what people will do to save a dime.

I was in a dive shop last week, and a young kid (probably 16-17) came in to buy his first set of gear. He wanted "the cheapest." Didn't matter what brand, make, model, anything. He wanted the cheapest BC in the store, the cheapest Reg in the store, the cheapest Octo in the store, and the cheapest guages in the store. He walked out with a hodgepodge of gear that only a mother could love. The owner basically dumped everything he couldn't get rid of on him. I was amazed.

Of course, we won't talk about the fact that he picked up a set of tables and got a quickee lesson, like he'd never seen them before. Then he drops that he lives with his parents at one of our local lakes that's above 3,500 feet in elevation, knows nothing about altitude. His last question was, "tell me again what's dangerous about this. I remember something about not holding my breath."

I almost choked to death on that last one. And the shop owner was deadpan. A once over the tables (no mention of altitude), a thirty second list of "don't do this", and he was done.

Oh yeah, he bought a tank, too. When everything was paid for, the owner again asked for his C-card. The kid didn't have it. The owner told him that he could sell everything to him without it, but if he wanted air in the tank he'd have to have it. So the owner asks the kid, "who'd you get certified through?" I kid you not, the kid looked around, spotted the "PADI 5 star" certificate, and said, "PADI". I thought for sure he was BSing. But after a quick call to PADI, sure enough, the kid had gotten certed at a 1 day resort course in Hawaii.

He headed off to dive in an alpine lake, at altitude, with no exposure protection, and weights in the zippered BC pockets because he didn't want to spend another $8 on a belt.

I mentioned he may want to take a refresher course, which was summarily shot down as too expensive. At that point, after a dirty look from the owner, I decided to shut up and leave.

While I agree that the mainstream agencies have lots of issues, and even fundamental flaws, I think there's a lot of what I witnessed going on in the shops. We all have our opinions about different shops, but what I saw was inexcusable. But like a train wreck, I couldn't look away.

--

JRM

-- I've heard this before, so I can't claim it as my own idea. But I agree... One of the main reasons Nitrox is so popular in warm water locations, and not here, is because NDLs don't normally turn our dives. It's usually cold (for the vast majority of divers), or even PSI. In Florida, you want to stay down all day. Here, there just isn't the incentive to justify the increased BT's, because most John and Jane divers are out *way* before NDL time. Yes, all you manly men and womenly women are exceptions to the rule ;-)


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