I was sorting through some articles I had prepped and ready to go, trying to figure out which would be best when a petition for a unified dive industry hit my feed reader. I haven’t had time to research the background on this petition, but I will fully admit my ears are perked just at the idea.
Why Start Now?
When I was first getting certified as a SCUBA diver, it shocked me to observe the blatant NAUI vs. SSI vs. PADI rivalry going on amongst SCUBA professionals. It left a fairly bad taste in my mouth (like bad air). Then observing the Aqualung vs. SCUBAPRO vs. DiveRite arguments. Dive Shop A vs. Dive Shop B. Then split fin vs. hinged fin…you get the idea. I even received some attacks here.
Luckily, the people who trained me didn’t play into these games. Sure, they had their preferences, but they understood the importance of not damaging our industry and didn’t speak poorly of competing agencies, stores or equipment.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
The non-diver market is HUGE. I believe we have more to gain by helping each other than fighting each other. I fully agree that for a Marketing Association, DEMA isn’t keeping up. I’m hoping to be proven wrong in a few weeks. And if not, I’m going to keep pushing and prodding to do what I can to help this industry evolve.
Without even knowing the full back story, there are some big names (and reputations) that have signed on to this petition including Aggressor Fleet, Apollo Sports, Rick Stratton of all of the regional Dive News magazines, SCUBAPRO, SDI/TDI, SSI and USIA (to name but a few).
I will definitely be keeping my eye on this to see what evolves.