Why Wear Such a Thick Wetsuit?
This one I find weird, some divers feel the need to mock others for wearing thicker wetsuits on a dive or even wearing any kind of exposure protection. But, it’s exposure protection and sure you might be able to dive in just a rash vest in that water temperature. Only, what if your boat isn’t there when you surface? We constantly have stories of divers who are lost at sea for hours or even days and if you’re not wearing enough exposure protection because you’re too tough to wear a wetsuit, then you’re going to have a really bad day, especially if the sun goes down.
Everybody feels the cold differently and while the water may seem warm enough when you first jump in, after a few hours of immersion you’re going to get cold. I used to teach in an indoor heated swimming pool that was kept around 28 to 30°C and you would still get cold after an hour or two. If you feel the need to mock somebody for wearing a wetsuit, just keep it to yourself. And if you want to wear a thicker wetsuit so you’re more comfortable, you do you.
You’re a Bad Diver Because of Your Training Agency
There is huge animosity and tribalism when it comes to training agencies and just because there’s a certain logo on somebody’s cert card doesn’t mean that they’re a better or worse scuba diver. All it really tells you is that they completed a certain course at one stage. It doesn’t tell you anything about their experience after that or the quality of diver themselves.
Pretty much anybody can pass certain courses as long as they jump through the right hoops, and you do look at certain divers and wonder how they managed certain qualifications. But I wouldn’t judge a diver solely on their cert card. I’ll judge them on what they’re like in the water, or even just setting up their gear. While I do recommend that some divers experience more than one training agency in their career just to see how other agencies do things, I wouldn’t warn them away from any particular agency.
This is The Correct Equipment Configuration
There are so many different equipment configurations and while some divers and organisations may claim to have the best equipment configuration, it isn’t necessarily the best for every single diver always. If there were one universally better equipment configuration, then we would all dive with that. But some things are better for one type of diving and one divers’ preferences and they may not suit another diver.
Front or back entry drysuits for example. It’s personal preference. Regulator hose routing, most diving regulators when you buy them will come with a short primary hose and a slightly longer octo hose. This works for a vast majority of divers. While a long hose primary donate setup is more practical in most situations, for a lot of divers, that extra hose is going to be a hinderance. If your current gear works for you and your buddy, then that’s the correct equipment configuration. There may be better options out there, but, that doesn’t make yours wrong.
That’s Not What my Instructor Used
There are some new equipment designs out there that have failed because it’s just different to what a diver learnt to dive with or has experience with. If you take a look at the Mares Guardian BCD, that’s the perfect example of a manufacturer going well out of their way to convince divers to try something new or different.
The Guardian lets you fit your inflator to your hip and over your shoulder like a ‘normal’ BCD. There have a been a few hip inflator BCDs and they’re great. But, divers don’t want to risk it because; as Shaun and I used to joke: divers don’t like change. The same with Wing BCDs, some divers have such trepidation when it comes to thinking about a wing-style BCD instead of a jacket only because it’s slightly different to what they learnt to dive with.
Wings Put you Face Down on the Surface
“Wings put you face down on the surface” no. Otherwise every picture of divers on the surface they’d be face down and divers wouldn’t use them. If you’re face down on the surface then you’re not weighted correctly and you have too much gas in your BCD. Most BCDs will put you face down on the surface if it’s fully inflated and all of your weights are on the front.
The whole face down thing really can put some new divers off where there really isn’t a problem. Just deflate your BCD a little bit so that you sink a bit lower into the water, you’ll still float, and just lean back a little. Wing style BCDs are far more popular with higher level scuba divers. If the whole face down thing was such an issue we wouldn’t use them.
I Paid for this Gas I’m Going to Use All of it
This one really annoys me when divers intentionally breathe past their reserve pressure. Now, I’m not expecting you to stop breathing as soon as you reach fifty bar, and if you accidentally breathe past it without noticing, you should be watching your gauges more frequently and know how much gas is in your cylinder at all times. Ignorance isn’t a good excuse. But, there are some divers who purposely breathe their cylinder down to empty and I’ve seen one of these reach the surface with zero bar and then panic because they can’t inflate their BCD.
Any diver can be calm and collected right up until their pressure gauge reads zero. That 50 bar or 700psi is there for safety. If you suddenly need to swim against current and need to breathe heavily or your buddy runs out of gas and you both need to complete a stop, that 10bar left in your cylinder isn’t going to go very far and it’s not worth the extra 10 minutes to pad your dive time.
That Equipment is Rubbish
Some divers can be really harsh on certain dive equipment. Only, it probably wasn’t built with them in mind. That’s why it can be hard to review dive equipment through the lens of a professional diver because you can be handed an entry level BCD and sure, you can tear it apart and point out any flaws only, it wasn’t built for tech divers or professional divers, it was made for somebody just starting out who has different values.
The flip side of it, I used to see returns come back because divers would buy a fancy, advanced dive computer, fire it up, get confused, put it back in the box with the receipt and return it. It doesn’t mean that the computer was bad, it just wasn’t made for those divers and the recommendation for them to buy it was bad.
A Different Dive Centre Filled it the Other Day
Even if your cylinder is in test, whoever is filling a cylinder decides whether they’re going to fill it or not. Just because it might inconvenience you, they are under no obligation to fill your cylinder what so ever. The number of times I’ve walked out to the car park of the dive centre and found a crumpled up date sticker that easily shows a cylinder is out of date, as if that’s going to fool the filler.
When we’re filling cylinders, those date stickers mean nothing. If the date stamps in the metal tell us that the cylinder is out of test, no amount of kicking or screaming will convince us to fill up your cylinder. And if the cylinder is in a bad way, like it’s covered in rust, or it has a nasty dent or a bent valve, we’re not going to fill it until it’s tested. If red-neck Frank is willing to fill it up for you with the compressor in his back yard, great, take it back to him.
We’ve Made this Women’s BCD, Let’s Make it Pink
The colour of dive equipment can be tricky but, as soon as a piece of gear is made specifically for female divers, chances are it comes in pink, purple or light blue. Granted, some divers like those colours so, it’s great that they can find equipment that suits them. But for divers who want equipment that fits their body shape better but, don’t want “girly” colours, it can limit their gear choices.
Selecting colour options for dive equipment is a huge investment for the manufacturers but, they do often hedge their bets and also make a more subdued black option for women’s dive gear. But, one common complaint I see online when it comes to women’s dive equipment isn’t about the features or the fit, it’s that there’s a guarantee that it comes in pink.
Is There Any Discount on That?
Running a dive centre is tough and margins on some of the gear really isn’t worth the effort. I’ve lost count of the number of times somebody has found a piece of equipment on an obscure website from lord knows what country and asks for a price match, only that price is cheaper than I can buy it directly from the manufacturer so it would cost us money to sell you that item.
If everybody keeps demanding cheaper prices from their dive centre then they’re going to continue to close and you’ll struggle to get an air fill from a foreign dive shop. If you rely on your local dive centre then support them, don’t go out of your way to make them give up what vital margin they may have left.