How is a dive shop like a coral reef? Both are something divers need and love.
Coral reefs do just fine without people around, but for dive shops it’s the opposite. They depend on a steady flow of customers to cover staffing and numerous operational expenses. It’s a scary time for dive shop owners, but there are things we can do to help – even if we’re experiencing lean times ourselves.
You don’t have to buy a new BC or dive computer to help out your local dive shop (but they would love it if you did); the little stuff helps too. If every diver bought just one small thing, a bottle of defog or wetsuit cleaner, it could make a massive difference.
Whether you have disposable income or just some extra free time, here are 16 ways to support your favorite dive center or resort.
1. Purchase a gift voucher for your future self or someone in your dive crew.
2. Get your dive gear serviced (yes, you really need to do this).
Take advantage of curbside drop-off and pick-up options that many dive shops have implemented or by mailing it to the shop. Check with them before shipping to ensure someone will be there to accept delivery.
3. Use the list of scuba diving essentials (below) to create a gift package.
Do any divers you know have birthdays? Of course they do. Put the items in a dry bag or dry box and add a dive shop t-shirt, water bottle, or dive club membership to make the gift extra special.
4. Postpone, don’t cancel any courses or trips you have booked.
Instead of asking for a refund, let the dive shop hold your money until you can reschedule.
5. Book a dive trip for later this year or next year.
Destinations that are normally booked out months in advance may have unprecedented availability.
6. Enroll in a PADI eLearning course (25 percent off this month, BTW).
Start your training today and finish when things return to normal.
7. Complete an entire PADI course online via video chat.
Some PADI courses can be completed entirely via video chat. Here are three PADI certs you can do entirely online and (bonus!) they count towards your Master Scuba Diver™ rating:
8. Contact your local PADI dive center to start an online course in photo editing, citizen science, etc.
These aren’t PADI certifications, but they help you become a more well-rounded diver from home. If there’s something you’re interested in learning about, DM or phone your shop with your idea.
9. Ask if the dive shop is still doing fun dives from shore (while following social distancing best practices, and local regulations of course).
10. Invest in an air fill card.
11. Sign up for the shop’s dive club (if they have one).
Zero Cost, Massive Help
12. Comment on, like and share the dive shop’s social media posts.
13. Leave a positive review on TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
14. Convince one person you know to try scuba diving when life returns to normal.
15. If you don’t have a save-a-dive kit, why not put one together?
Your future self will thank you. The things you need are fairly inexpensive and, as any experienced diver will tell you, it’s not if but when you’ll wish you had:
- A spare regulator mouthpiece
- Zip ties
- A cutting tool or multi-tool
- Replacement fin strap
- Tank O-rings
- A replacement mask strap
- Regulator port plugs
- A new snorkel keeper
- An extra tank light
16. Now’s a good time to stock up on scuba diving essentials below.
Buy the things you’ll need someday right now, and help ensure a better tomorrow for your local dive shop.
- Drysuit zipper wax
- Wetsuit cleaner
- BCD cleaner
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- BC clips
- Gear marking pen/paint
- An octo holder
Support Your Dive Shop, Save the Ocean
By supporting local dive centers and resorts, we also shore up protection for reefs and waterways. Dive shops are some of the strongest defenders of local ecosystems and we can’t afford to have their voices silenced.
The bottom line: we’re all dreaming of diving once things get back to normal, but we can’t do it without our dive shops. Whether your favorite PADI® Dive Centre is in a tropical location or hours from the nearest ocean, we need your help to sustain these essential outposts of ocean protection.
Can you choose one thing on this list and take action? Show appreciation for the incredible underwater experiences you’ve had, and plant the seeds for adventures yet to come.