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Diver drop out after certification

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jan 10, 2004
Hi People

As we all know that there is around a 80% drop out rate after scuba instruction finishes. I would like your thoughts on:
1. Whats are the issues involved in this drop out
2. What can the industry do to cut back the drop out rate
being that in your profile you didn't post your location I can't say that the following reason applies to your location. But here is a major reason in our area:
I just recently again, heard of people that went on some southern caribbean trip (read: clear and warm water), got mesmerized by the snorkeling, took a weekend certification course, came back to the mostly dark, cold, and silty waters of home (mind you not all the diving is like that in Minnesota) all excited to dive again but decided if they never dove again.. so be it.

Well, here is what I offer up as a solution. Down in South Dakota, along the eastern border, they have some deep quarries, the result of mining granite out. Fill 'em up with salt water, place a solar dome of some sort over the top. Bring in all kinds of tropical fish and plant life. Get a circulation pump going, and a huge water heater.. warm that water and dome up to tropical climate. Place some palm trees in strategic locations, a little palapa providing your favorite beverages, etc. You'll have divers from all over the mid-upper west U.S. (maybe even the world) clammering to come a divin'.

I'm sure the fall out rate would drop dramatically if the dive industry would just provide more pleasurable diving conditions/locations a little closer to home.

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I would agree with the comment on local diving in the north, but there's an even bigger concern. As a married father with a mortgage and car payments, I can barely scrape together enough money to get my OW cert class much less continue to dive after I finish. This sport is an expensive one, and in order to dive regularly you need to be able to throw some money around. I think that's a big reason that people who certify for vacation trips don't dive when they get home. Who wants to pay for their own equipment or rentals when all they can dive are quarries?
The “bad local conditions” argument is a major part of the equation but it doesn’t always make sense to me because a lot of divers still drop out soon after training even when local diving conditions are reasonable.

I think it comes down to the fact that diving is just a pastime for most people.

They do it for the experience and some love it some much that they become hardcore divers who dive whenever they can. The vast majority however don’t fall in love with diving and end up diving occasionally, either when it suits them (on holiday perhaps) and/or when they can afford it. A lot just put diving on the shelf and go on to the next hobby.

Major factors that I think affect the decision to give diving up are:

*Bad training leaving divers uncomfortable after their OW course.
*Bad experiences during training - including substandard rental gear and seasickness.
*The cost of getting all the equipment.
*The ongoing costs of continuing to dive, especially in areas where there is no shore diving (or lousy shore diving).
*Difficulty in finding appropriate buddies.

Diving is already marketed as a safe but exciting sport with a major “feel good” factor, which gets people in the door to have a go but I feel that the industry will always have an uphill battle to fight in terms of retaining divers.

I don’t have any real solutions to increase the number of divers who keep diving regularly. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone in the industry does because the drop out rate has been a factor for ages.

For me it boils down to two factors -

Cost and cost....

Cost of gear (renting or buying), cost of going anywhere where the diving is worthwhile (In the middle of Germany there is NOTHING available unless you like going to puddles that are 5 meters deep with 0 vis - why bother?).....

If the "industry" really wants to lower the drop-out rate, there have to be some exciting reasons for people to want to continue that, in this era of economic uncertainty, they can feel comfortable with paying for. I would LOVE to go to the Red Sea which is only about a 5 hour or so plane ride from here but I don't have 1000 Euros for plane fare, room and board, diving gear, and the dive center.....

i have a bunch of friends who are dive certified, ok i had three, and all three ran in different circles, and the biggest thing that kept them from diving was not having dive buddies they were comftorable with. Well now that me and a few other buddies finally got certified, they are all stoked cause now they have dive buddies that they can go with. So while most of them have not dived in the last two years, they are all starting to dive again, get reintroduced to the water that they all love. it also helps we are in hawaii with great water and an abundant sea life.

I can also see the point of cost cost and cost. I am waiting for my tax returns to buy gear. the thing that is helping me dive every weekend is my instructor. He did our OW for 200(we did a group of 4, and we are sending more buddies his way) and he is doing our AOW for 25 dollars a dive. That gets us two tanks and twenty dollars goes to our AOW course which he is also charging us 200. So if you can work out a deal with a private instructor that may help out with the cost.

I also agree lack of locations are a big concern. I don't know if I would want to dive in Cold waters and well ya know. Call me spoiled because I am diving in Hawaii, I am moving to Cali this coming july to go to law school and I am bummed cause I know the diving will be ok, but its not like hawaii ya know.

anyways just more of my nonsense i like to toss around.
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