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Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by OnTheMark, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    Whaaaaaaaat? :wink:

    Yes, pool time is a precious resource, expensive, many pools don't like to deal with scuba classes, and some shops have managed exclusivity agreements. Fortunately, I don't depend on a pool as I have an amazing site on a lake with a gravely bottom. . Allegedly a former shop along the Hood Canal (can't speak for its replacement) used the Hood Canal for confined water. To consider that pool-like conditions is a bit of a stretch.

    That's a fair point.
    Agreed. It is one reason why I publish (in my link of docs) the syllabi for courses that I like to teach. And why I recommend to students to interview their instructor, figure out what they will learn, and what they want to learn.

    Fair points.

    Yup. That's the direction I'm going when I start up teaching again. Also be active in various social media outlets. Show people what they will learn with actual video from training.

    Marketing is so critical. I will never beat the shops on price. Not with a ratio of 1:2, longer courses with flexible schedules. But I can continue to build my reputation and brand. This is a business after all. I can't just teach a great class and expect the students to flock to me.
    markmud and KWS like this.
  2. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    From a students perspective,,,,,,,,,,Its all about what you get for your buck. They themselves can not determine that value upon completion. The make that call when they compare themselves to others with varying degrees of experience so see where they fit in. They compare how they look in the water and how much air they use. I can say that because of both SB threads on of various topics and personal interaction with others. As an instructor you knwo how to read people as comfort goes and how to say trick them into bettering them selves. I have such a project in the near future. I am a POC for an over night dive trip. ThaT MAKES ME THE ENTERTAINMENT COORDINATOR OF SORTS, (DARN CAPS) My in-water entertainment consists of dive games emphasizing skills. such as nav buoy shooting hovering using lift bags to move items etc in contests with prizes. It is amazing how much intra chatter things like that generate. The conversations and the unavoidable conclusions to practice or take more skill classes. etc. Im adding to the list of games back kicking a given distance of 10-15 or so as a timed event. Ive done it once before and the follow up talk about technique and form is inevitable. I don't do things like this to sell classes and am not affiliated with any instructor, I do it to fill teh gap so to speek and to establish in every divers minds their strengths and limits. and what they can benefit from formal training as it applies to them. The most desired course they seem to want is Buoyancy under what ever name the agency goes with. The next is solo, and not for the purpose of diving solo but for the self reliant skills. Third asked about would be rescue. When it comes to AOW it is either a non factor or just a hoop to jump through to them, ln which IMO is a sad out look on the course but an understandable one. Most do not think about AOW as beneficial when the normal waters in my area are 40 ft or less unless they go to lake travis in austin tx or out to the gulf. And when they do it is either no big deal or a major eye opener because of gas usage rates etc that they were not prepared for.

    I like your concept regarding getting business. The videos I think can work well for you. something that will always have a challange for them to conquer. My opinion of AOW has always been mostly a waste of time as application of content goes. It is a great money maker and yet it is perhaps the most important time to pursue to a great degree not just mastering of some skills but to make the introduction of dangers and what they did not know about what they did not know. This is an aspect where one can do intro to deco, tables, dry suits, rock bottom, safety stops with out a line or hanging from a buoy. The type of things that you need when things do not go completely right. Most aspects of navigation can be done solely on land except for distance measurement. There very theory of rock bottom opens doors in the mind and motivate to learn more. Add to that EAD and END as conversation items. nothing grows is a seed is not planted. I have actually had a couple ask about EAD. You can imagine the discussion on that and its relation to computers. Open their eyes about some realities of computers and it will be talked about on every dive they go on. For me overnight trips is a time to talk about all these things. NOt only do they learn something for use now and use later if they persue further training but they find purpose in participation in dive events.

  3. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai UAE
    I've been just a scathing of "pointless speciality cards" and "MSD [insert joke here] in my earlier days. Then my eyes were opened

    Lots (and I do mean lots) of divers can be shy and introvert, and are really not comfortable turning up at a shop and getting teamed up with a stranger, booking a course gives them a reason to go diving and they feel more confident diving with an instructor (fools)

    Hopefully over time they meet people and feel more confident about just going on a dive trip with people they've met and know.

    One could say that inland sites with poor vis and shallow diving with little life and a few old trucks and cars linked with ropes isn't real diving and is a con too. The fact is that's the only diving that is accessible to some people. I'm all for people getting in the water and providing a mechanism that allows that to happen.

    Hate instructors selling (or having to sell)? Guess what Shops are businesses and are there to make money. Only havign one revenue stream is setting oneself up for failure - when the weather's bad and you lose a weekends diving, you can never recover that weekends income by dive trips alone.

    Some shops are more clever at selling than others, Some are quite obvious with upselling, maybe they pressure too much, others are more subtle with for instance maybe having people's names on a board, if you've completed xx certs or certain levels. Some create the feeling of being part of the family to frequent divers, etc. By whatever means they're not doing this out of charity but to increase revenue.

    Agencies - well there's stiff competition to have affiliated shops - shops sell training material earning the agency money. Shops want to protect the bottom line, thus regional reps are always trying to get shops to move to their agency (remember reps are salesmen and have targets too)

    Shops change agencies because it offers them a better revenue opportunity - whether tho be a PADI shop (where everyone recognises the brand) Of to be a different agency to stand out from the crowd

    Whether you're visiting a dive shop or a supermarket, everyone is trying to get you to spend a little bit more than intended
  4. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Perhaps we are the ones being cynical. There is nothing wrong with marketing and we all engage in it to some degree. Many millennials yearn to collect experiences. This is our industry accommodating those desires. Many divers see their cards as souvenirs of fun times. Let's take the Lionfish cert. Too often, divers don't know how to handle these critters safely. They get to learn about the prickly parts to avoid, to also avoid shooting the reef, to constantly check their air and so forth. THEN they get to DIVE with a more experienced diver and see how it's done as well as get to attempt killing the bastards.Did I mention that they get to dive?

    I'm not sure why this offends anyone. Dive and let dive. Not everyone dives the same way. Not everyone learns the same way. It's a big enough ocean for all of us.
    ToneNQ, Bob DBF, Colliam7 and 3 others like this.
  5. Mark IV

    Mark IV Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Georgia
    Well, I guess I have to align myself with the "PADI-hate" crowd, which, in my experience, was a nearly universal opinion of most instructors I knew, (that were more than a year out of their IDC. New instructors fresh out of their IDC tended to still have that PADI glow :D ).
    PADI isn't so much about "diving", or "the environment", per se, PADI is about PADI, and perpetuating their profit margin and their near-monopoly. PADI is basically the Wal-Mart or Amazon of scuba (which ain't a compliment).
    When my brother and I first started diving, running through the courses from OW to DM, with the help of several PADI instructor friends in Cancun, we used to constantly hear all the derisive comments, like, "PADI stands for 'Put Another Dollar In' ", and we never understood the animosity. We thought PADI rocked, and couldn't figure out what they were all grumbling about. It wasn't until I was in my IDC, that I first started to get a sense of what a money-grubbing corporate prostitute PADI was, and understood where our instructor buddies were coming from, and this sense was only reinforced in the following years, as a working instructor in Cancun, Playa, Cozumel, etc.(so I'm speaking from more than a little experience here).
    I was minding the shop one day, talking to another instructor from a nearby shop, when she picked up the latest PADI magazine off the desk, which had a big cover photo of their huge new corporate HQ building, that PADI was clearly immensely proud of.
    This big,brand-new facility looked like the friggin' Pratt & Whitney plant, and had to cost a screaming fortune !!! Well,she expressed complete contempt for it, commenting that she left the stateside corporate world to become a Caribbean dive instructor, specifically to get AWAY from that whole giant, over-polished corporate mindset, and here's PADI dumping huge money into big, expensive (and completely unnecessary) new facility, the cost of which will inevitably creep down to all of us.
    When I got burnt out on the whole scene and decided to bail around '05, I checked into maintaining my instructor license, but in a non-working hiatus, I was surprised to see the greedy bastages wanted the same money as a normal annual renewal, which had already been steadily escalating. Now I'm seeing that the annual renewal fee is over $300 !!!! For a large percentage of instructors, that don't work at large,busy resorts, that's a pretty tough nut, and you can bet, PADI is up there working on their next incremental price hike.
  6. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lyon, France
    I have the feeling that many people consider these cards bu****it because they can get access to this knowledge for free. I believe I could get access to this knowledge without paying a cent too. But this is because these people, me included, spend tons of money on diving, getting high-quality training, knowing many people in the industry, etc. For the average person, this is simply not possible. And here you are, PADI shops offer some fun dives with a basic introduction to some "speciality". Again... different niche, different needs, different marketing strategies; PADI makes money and people get fun, so everyone is happy.

    Not for me, but nothing wrong with that.
  7. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    Bloody hell! I've had buddies that seemed that they were trying to kill me, but i didn't realise it was on purpose :eek:
  8. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    What other agency teaches DSMB diver specialty class? Shouldn't that be included already in basic dive training? Why should you need to take an extra class, and pay more money, to lean what you should have learned the first time?
  9. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Some people may "hate" PADI but I think it's mostly good natured ribbing at the silly array of specialties that are offered and sometimes pushed. Are they fun? Sometimes. Do they make you a better, safer diver? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe just the experience makes you better. Who knows.

    I don't "hate" PADI but i will make fun of their silliness. But I'll do that to other agencies to.

    Now, shops that tell you you're going to die if you dive a MK5/109 just to sell new gear...yeah, hate.
  10. Miyaru

    Miyaru Tec Instructor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: EU
    In tech diving you often read/hear: it's all about the instructor. In most cases, that's also true for recreational diving.

    A couple of years ago, I was teaching for a divecenter, where one instructor introduced himself as a "rusty" instructor who hadn't been teaching for a couple of years. I told him the most important aspect was that he had to teach/demonstrate neutrally buoyant.
    It was the start of a discussion which took some nasty turns and finally I refused to teach any longer for that divecenter. Started my own, where every instructor stays off the bottom. Where every student dives in a BP/W (I don't own any BCDs). And where there's no need for PPB once they earned OW certification.

    Long time ago I considered many specialties as crap. But nobody ever forced me to take one. After becoming divemaster and later on, instructor, my point of view started to change. Because liability becomes a factor when you guide or teach on a dive.
    And while many specialties might sound like BS to you, there are many places around the world where those specialties are taught weekly: the market has been shifting towards eco-holidays during the last decade, and especially city-people with hardly any knowledge of nature really enjoyed those AWARE courses. So yes, there's a market for those specialties, many people genuinely appreciate it and the divecenters are doing what keeps the numbers black: making a profit. Still doesn't mean you have to participate in that specialty.

    As written above, a specialty that I consider BS, is peak performance buoyancy. I know some divecenters sell this course straight after Open Water, but to me it's an illustration that the instructors didn't do a proper job to begin with.

    And then there's the inevitable forum dogs. They will complain about anything. For example, this is my girlfriend:
    The first comment from such a forum dog would be about the fins. Which doesn't add to the amount of fun she had during the dive, in fact such comments won't contribute to her fun in diving at all. There's probably much more to comment on, like the fingers not being straight in the okay signal, or the SPG dangling too low. Anyway, the first thing these people do, is focus on anything they can complain about.

    Other example: this topic about a proposal from PADI for a new hand signal. The topic title sets the negative vibe by using the word nonsense, another forum dog technique. The message of nonsense is enforced by adding off-topic issues like fins touching the bottom and youtube video's about a sculling course director.

    And then there's the inevitable three-letter-agency comment that usually appears on the first page of every tech-related thread. I just smile.....

    You already mentioned that on page 3. Having trouble getting your message across, as illustrated here on page 12? Maybe you should follow some of PADI's marketing webinars. Oh and they're free by the way, you won't have to put another dollar in.

    I do too...
    • signup in buddy-pairs required
    • 50% chance of certification
    • bring-your-own dive knife
    Landau, Raphus, Bob DBF and 5 others like this.

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