Manta Divers-- October 2007
Hope your summer was filled with fun and at least a bit of diving!! Now is the time to start thinking about the tropical vacation you will surely be pining for come January. As part of this musing, you may be thinking about how you will get yourself ready, your gear tuned and how to talk your friend (wife, husband, significant other) into trying diving. Manta Divers can help.
First of all, if you spent the last months doing things other than diving, you may want to consider a Scuba Tune-up class. We are getting reports of more and more resorts requiring divers to go through a review if they have not been diving in a while, so it is a good idea to get that done before you leave. People who complete the Scuba Tune-up get a sticker for their C-card with the date of the class on it as proof that they brushed up on their diving skills. Based on comments from customers who have completed the class, we always find something new to teach them and they liked having the chance to practice skills such as the buoyancy check, mask removal or hovering without the pressure of a bunch of strangers staring impatiently at them. If you don’t have your own gear yet, it is good to review the gear set up and get a little info on what’s new in dive equipment so you have a little idea what you might see in terms of rental gear or the gear an assigned buddy may have. Scuba Tune-up includes a book review and a pool session, all done on one day.
If you own your gear, you know the worst time to discover a leak, blown o-ring, or dead computer battery, is in the middle of the ocean on a dive you just spent $70 on. That is why it is important to give your gear a tune up prior to the trip. In order to keep your warranty in force, many manufacturers require that the owner keep gear on a regular maintenance schedule. Some companies, such as Aqualung, believe so strongly in the importance of regular maintenance for regulators, they include free parts in the warranty, so keeping your regulator working like new is not as expensive as you may think. Remember, too, that your regulator and BC help keep you alive and safe while you dive, so the few bucks you spend on maintaining them is money well spent. BCD’s need checkups periodically, too. We stress after dive care in our dive classes, but if you lack the discipline to properly care for your BCD, chances are it needs a little tender loving care. There are cleaners available for the inside and outside of the BCD that will add years to the life of your investment. After every dive, and especially after a one to two week dive trip, salt can accumulate inside and cause long term damage that a good cleaning would prevent. If you don’t want to do this yourself, Manta Divers can do it for you!
So you have your gear all ready to go and you are ready to go, but you need a buddy to dive with. Your friend has heard all of your stories about how fun diving is, but she is still reluctant to sign up for a class only to discover that she hates it. The best way we have found to convert a reluctant diver is to take them into the pool in a Discover Scuba Diving class. It is inexpensive ($50, $25 each for two or more), and the fee can be applied to the full scuba class after they see that it is easy and fun to scuba dive! Completing the Discover Scuba class here puts the participant under much less stress than doing it as a resort course because participants are not under the time constraint of the boat schedule, the stress of dealing with someone they do not know or an environment that is unfamiliar. The class starts with a short video that describes what is going to happen in the class and teaches a few diving safety principles. Then it is off to the pool. The students learn how to use diving gear, clear a flooded mask and equalize their ears. We simulate a dive in the pool and play underwater, letting them get comfortable, in this safe non-threatening environment. Usually, the students are so amazed at how easy it was to breathe underwater; they cannot wait to do it again. The next Discover Scuba classes are scheduled October 21, November 11 and November 18. Call the shop for details and group rates.
In Other News….
Look for exciting new products fresh from DEMA in the next month. I am particularly excited to try the new Aqualung fins. We are also getting some new rash guards in stock. These are great for under your wetsuit, or just as a barrier between your skin and your BC. They are highly rated as sunscreens, as well, so they are a great thing to wear snorkeling.
Aqualung’s new Pearl i3 BC for women! Now the ladies can experience the intuitive buoyancy control that was only available in the i3. The Pearl i3 is a real beauty and a must see!