Freedom Plate poll

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Posted by Eric S on January 19, 2008 at 11:40:50:

First off,
thanks to everybody who got a Freedom Ptate and believed in the project from the first time they tried on the rig and dove it. You guys are the fuel that keeps me going and also the primer that has made me decide to explore the idea of starting the project back up. There has been more interest than ever in the plate ever since people found out it was no longer being made, isn't that the way it always is?

I've been getting constantly hounded recently by people who have been seeing the plate around; on dive boats, at beaches, even in far away destinations like Bonaire I got a report from a friend that was questioned about it several times while on a recent vacation.

This all has gotten my wheels turning once again complete with the sleepless nights and day dreaming. I have already drawn up new plans for an even sleeker plate which is generally the same in shape but a few measurements have been tweaked to accomodate the new Oxycheq Mach V wing.

Depending on what I can get the material and initial laser cutting done for I'm hoping to be able to sell the plates for around $125 to $150 and a complete rig with a Mach V for around $425.
I wish I could sell the plate for less but stainless prices, I'm finding out, have soared through the roof.

I know many of you bought the close out plates for very cheap but there's no way I can sell these new plates for that price. Materials alone will be more than that.

My question and what I need to know is what do you think people will be willing to pay for such an item.
If I put a few demo models together would anybody want to do a beach dive somewhere down in Socal to try it out? I know once people actually see it and try it they will be convinced.

I see can lights selling for upwards of $1500 and spring straps selling for over $50. Good regs are $600 plus, computers are rediculous, and finally I see conventional backplates selling for $150 plus.
Personally I don't think $125 to $150 is any big deal for a hand made Freedom Plate. The only thing I can see as a limitation would be the fact that you cannot use doubles on it, but then I figure most people already have a separate plate and wing all set up for that purpose.
Maybe those same people would like to have the ultimate plate specifically designed for single tank minimalist diving.

They say scuba diving is a very expensive sport that attracts some of the the cheapest people in the world. I think there might be some truth in that, but I also see a lot of inconsistencies in how and where people spend their money for dive equipment. A plate will last virtually forever and may occasionally need the webbing replaced every ten years or so, why can't people justify the prices when other consumable and finite items seem like not such a deal when compared.
I need all the help I can get on this, please give me some feedback.
The last thing I want is to drop a ton of dough like last time and be left sitting on a bunch of plates that nobody wants or is willing to pay for.

You guys are the customers. Without you there is no business.


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