So what is the hottest, coolest thing to do in scuba diving other than to explore over 73% of planet? With changes to travel regulations, airline baggage rules and technology,scuba diving has stayed the same but how you make your scuba diving trips more efficient and easier seems to be the 2012 trend.
Every year scuba equipment companies come out with the latest and the greatest, some making it some not. This year there are some notable equipment trends that we think will stick around.
Fin straps – How many of you are broken a fin strap or fin strap buckle? Some buckles are easy to replace some, not so much. 2012 is seeing a new trend in fin straps for open water divers where the straps are elastic making removal and adjustment of fins easy, fast and less open to damage or breakage. Think of a Keen shoe where you slip into your keens and they adjust to your foot automatically. Fins are now doing the same thing, with elastic straps. Slip on, slide off, no buckles or clips, no breakage.
Dive bags – With baggage restrictions on all airlines and sporting goods no longer free on most airlines, the traveling scuba diver as an issue. There is no need to ditch clothes for scuba gear, you would look pretty silly going out for dinner in a bathing suit and BCD, dive bags are getting lighter, smaller and more efficient. Scuba equipment companies are listening and they are finding solutions to scuba divers traveling challenges. At least someone is listening and looking for solutions, not trying to charge more money for our favorite sport!
1. Sharks – Sharks are the number one dive travel trend in 2012. Here in the Riviera Maya we have been conducting observation dives with sharks for years, so shark diving is not a ‘trend’ to us. What we are hoping is that the shark observing we have been doing taking sustainable dive practices into consideration and teaching divers how to observe sharks without chumming or feeding, has shown other divers that sharks are a wonderful thing to watch underwater. If done right, there are no incidents. If you disrespect their habitat or the sharks, they are sure to bite back!
2. Celebrity diving – so the Hollywood crowd has discovered scuba diving. Shape magazine ran an article in January 2012 about the benefits and fun of scuba diving featuring the Hollywood stars who are now personally taking on the mission of sharing the story of scuba. Look out for the new trend as celebrity watchers may start scuba diving in hopes to see their favorite celebrity underwater or be their scuba buddy. Geez.
1. Online scuba courses – PADI and SSI have been doing e-learning for a few years now but this year we have seen a jump in e-learning for divers. Gone are the days of sitting in a dive classroom in a church basement or scuba store, though we loved our beach classroom. Scuba theory and videos can be done online before you start the skill and open water diving portion of your course. For those with a crazy schedule, you can now study at home and conduct your theory online. Super time saver and flexible! It is even great for kids.
2. Lionfish hunting specialty – We all know the issue of lionfish in the Caribbean, Atlantic adn south to South America. The incident off the coast of Florida in the 90′s is now showing large populations of lionfish in these areas. To help save the local fish populations and stop the growth of the lionfish, scuba agencies are building Lionfish specific specialty courses. The courses are for sustainable oceans in the Americas we support the courses!