Posted by seahunt on September 06, 2008 at 09:28:49:|
In Reply to: What's happening to the dive industry? posted by Eric S on September 05, 2008 at 20:08:10:
Early on, dive shops were opened by hobbiests. Some were aerospace engineers who liked
diving and were fascinated by the technology. The earliest divers were mostly hunters
and had the fanaticism of their nature. Dive gear was a lot cheaper obviously. If I recall
correctly, you could get most of your gear for $100 from Sears. It was a Sears ad that
precipitated me getting certified.
A problem is that dive gear is (I hate to say) actually life support gear and so it has to
basically be mil-spec. It doesn't wear out.
The Sport Schalet got into it and it made it very hard on the LSD. At the same time,
not suprisingly, many of the LSDs got far more profit motivated. NASDS worked hard to
bring dive retailing into the realm of business models. I'm not so sure that diving
really fits any business model.
Everything got more expensive. There has been constant pressure on leases. The internet
has put pressure on all dive gear retailers. Hunting has declined and so California
diving is a bit less attractive. International travel has become more common place.
Everyone has tried to expand their markets, but I don't think that's the way diving
Face it. Diving, especially in CAlifornia is either close to being or rather entirely an
extreme sport. Too extreme for some. Extremely fun for others.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt