Deep 6 Gear

Deep Thoughts

Pontifications from Chris Richardson, Chief Diving Officer

  • The hard working local dive shop- support them please.

    Recently I ended up dealing with a customer service situation that revolved around a local dive shop that as far as I can tell was somewhat upset that a former student bought Deep 6 equipment and brought it to the shop.

    I don't want to rehash it all here but you can see the whole thing play out on Scubaboard here (https://www.scubaboard.com/community/threads/quality-question.545157/)

    The business model here at Deep 6 is a direct to consumer model, but make no mistake, while we believe (obviously) that that model has many merits and is a great choice for many consumers, it may not be the best choice for ALL consumers.

    There are some really fantastic local dive shops, shops that make the entire experience around diving a pleasure, who go out of their way to educate, equip and entertain their customers in an exemplary fashion. They deserve to be supported, they earn your money and frankly they deserve a premium.

    Having an awesome local dive center will enhance your life, from trips, to mentoring, to dinner and drinks while talking "deep" stories around a table of fellow ocean lovers and more. You'll develop lifelong friendships and great memories from your interactions with them.

    However, having a poor local dive shop is more than likely to frustrate you, turn you off diving and make you question why you ever got involved. Don't keep banging your head against that wall hoping they will change.  You can find much of the offerings of a good local dive center either at another good dive center or even online! Mentoring , friendships, the names of some amazing quality instructors and more are just a touch screen away! Make sure you look at the independent instructors and demo centers that we have listed and work with, we turn away the majority of instructors that want to work with us, instead only wanting the very best. You can find them here (http://www.deep6gear.com/storelocator).

    Ultimately, diving is amazing, you get to explore the water planet in a way most never do, have amazing experiences both underwater and above, escape from the mundane of everyday life and for me at least, I am never more ALIVE than when I am in the water!

    Thank you for the support we have gotten, and please, keep on diving.

    Chris

  • Happy New Year!

    I need to write a new blog post, I have no idea what to talk about.

    The recent spat of dive deaths make me want to talk about too far too fast ..but it's been beaten to death. Just take time to broaden your experience gradually, both with courses and outside them. Enjoy diving for the long haul OK?

    I could address DEMA getting all pro shark feeding... but I see both sides of the coin and have fed sharks, and currently I'm against it. So, I can respect if not agree with those that feel it is OK. However, I am fairly confident they are on the long term losing end in that position..I once was.

    I seriously considered a blog on customer service. I have had a couple of customer concerns with their gear where exactly how it broke isn't quite clear to me... I noticed that the customer seemed to be concerned that I would be looking for a reason NOT to sort them out. Honestly, if you get gear from me and it breaks lets work the problem. If it's a true manuf. defect tell me right away that you think it is. If you broke it by setting a tank on it, taking it apart to "get a look" (or lose a piece doing so) or if the dog ate it, just tell me that right away. I like to tinker with stuff and I can be distracted and clumsy (ask me about my flooded camera) as well. In other words, I have broken lots of new and expensive stuff that I just bought and couldn't afford to pay to get it repaired. Just tell me what happened and I will do everything I can to make what was a "OMG what did I just do!!" moment into one that is as painless as possible. Beyond me having done the same, it's just about the cheapest relationship building and hopefully word of mouth marketing I can do. Seriously, just lay it out there. However be prepared to send pictures so I don't end up feeling like somebody is trying to let no good intentions of mine go unpunished.

    Speaking of distracted, last weekend I was expecting to teach an Intro Cave Class, I had been lead to think the student was Cavern already..well it ended up being a Cavern class. Anyhow, that class is demanding both for the student(s) and instructor and I made the mistake of keeping my phone on. It blew up all weekend and I got distracted as heck. Thankfully the student is a friend and another instructor was around that gracefully stepped in and helped me out as I was engaged in dealing with some crisis type stuff in something I volunteer my time for. Thanks Edd, sorry Jerry. Bottom line, I ended up upset with myself for letting me get distracted and doing a sub standard job as an instructor. Folks, I took for granted that with my teaching experience I could juggle it. I couldn’t. When teaching or taking a course, you need to disconnect and be in the now and here. I knew that,  but got complacent and a wee touch of hubris. Good to get to get reminded how those two nasties can sneak up on us as instructors and divers.

    Thank you for everybody that has supported Deep 6 these first 6 months of selling gear, it’s been an exciting, scary,  fun, not so fun, rewarding and annoying time. We have tons of new products and new ways of doing things in the plans, I look forward to taking that journey with you.

    Chris

  • Our take on servicing

    One of the most frequent question we field, and one of the most common arguments we see (mostly local dive shop owners) against somebody considering buying our regulators is servicing. The availability worldwide of parts so when you are traveling to get service if needed, the ease of service when you need it and more.

    Being a new brand that is breaking new ground by eschewing the traditional dive industry model ( factory/suppliers to brand, brand to distributer who sells to the local dive shop) and being a direct to consumer brand it’s a natural question in the mind of our potential customers and an easy way to sell FUD (Fear uncertainty and doubt) If you aren’t familiar with that technique, lucky you! But here is the wikipedia entry on FUD Selling https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt. Rest assured that Deep 6 doesn’t subscribe to that sales approach. Beyond finding it offensive, we don’t believe it helps us, our customers or even the dive industry in general. It also assumes that the customer is not aware enough to seek out truthful information in a period of time when information is virtually at our fingertips on a 24/7 basis. Being open and honest and sharing information allowing customers to make informed decisions is much more important to us. Here is an interesting article that examines using FUD in the current market that is pretty interesting and in many(most) ways reflects our beliefs. http://www.inc.com/eric-holtzclaw/selling-fud-redefined.html

    One of the first things a new purchaser of Deep 6 regulators will notice when they receive their product is that they come with spare service kits. Those kits aren’t there to encourage you to do your first service on your own! (we’ll circle around to self servicing in a bit). Those kits are so that when you are traveling and have a issue that needs repair/servicing you can provide the parts to the local service facility. You see what the FUD sellers don’t tell you is that even with the large established brands when you are in a dive destination, even popular ones, finding a shop that carries the service kits in stock when you need it is very rare. Having the kits allows you the ability to provide the technician with them so they can hopefully service it. The nice thing about our regulators is that they are simple to service, we don’t void warranty when any trained (by any brand) repair technician services our gear for you. Send in your spare service kits when you send your reg for service and we will use them in the service and send you fresh spare service kits back!

    Let’s move away from the subject of what happens when traveling and you need repairs to the more common case of regular servicing. We recommend servicing your regulator every 2 years or 200 dives, whichever comes first. Your first service is on us! That’s right, when you buy a Deep 6 Regulator from us you get to send the regulator to us and we’ll do the first service for free. We also recommend that you inspect your regulator annually or before every dive trip, we’re working on a video that we will share with you on how to inspect your regulator, because it isn’t difficult or requires any special skills.

    After the first free servicing you have a few options.

    Option One-You can send your regulator to us for servicing simply by buying the service online at Deep6gear.com and sending it to us. The turn around upon arrival is a guaranteed 3 business days or the service is on us! Being the brand, we’ll always have parts on hand (or again the service will be free) and who knows the regulator better? That means that most times between ground shipping(in the continental US) and service you will be out of hand for 5-10 business days. When you send us your regulator for service there is never any charge for parts (except hoses if they need replacing). All you will pay is the rate you saw when you visited our website and bought the service. Truthfully, this service option will often e quicker then when you bring your reg to the LDS (local dive shop) for service, they often need to order parts, send it out themselves and the average turn around at far too many shops is dismal. Plus, at the shop they are seeing many types of regulators and while some shops have superb technicians, many are simply OK. We are the brand, NOBODY knows our product better than we do!

    Option Two- You can bring your regulator to one of our demo centers and or some select independent instructors that are close to you and have them service it. They will be happy to look after you and again, the parts (except hoses) are no charge, just labor as agreed between the demo center/instructor and you.

    Option Three- You can decide to learn to service your own regulators! Our service class has been approved by TDI (www.tdisdi.com) as a specialty that you can take from our Demo centers, select independent instructors and from us at scheduled times and locations thru the year (normally around consumer shows, demo days, DEMA(the annual Industry trade show). I want to e upfront, unless you are a technical diver or have a whole big family of divers the economics of this likely won’t save you money..and certainly not time. But if you enjoy fixing things and like the feeling of accomplishment and security of doing it yourself, we understand and want to make it possible. If you take this option we will provide (for shipping costs only) a no charge service kit once every two years upon request for each stage that you have purchased. If during the service you discover issues bigger than a service kit then you’ll need to get in contact with us and we can figure out together the next step (in others words, if something breaks that is a manuf. defect it’s a Deep 6 issue, if you simply broke your stuff somehow… say “I broke it” and we’ll bend over backwards to get you and your reg back in the water.

    International Customers- As time goes on we will be establishing demo centers and independent instructors in your country that will be the “go to” for servicing (and teaching the service class)so you can avoid international shipping, duty issues etc. That process isn’t overnight but if you know a great pro that you think could be the right gal or guy, reach out to them and us! We’d be happy to talk with them.

    I hope this helped you understand our philosophy and approach to servicing, remember diving is actually supposed to be fun, making servicing a pain just makes it less fun. So our goal is to make servicing as painless as possible, get you diving again as quickly as possible and not cost you a fortune while doing so.

  • What makes Deep 6 regulators different?

    Lately I have had several questions about how our regulators are different from other offerings out there, so I thought I would sit down for a minute and write a brief blog post to summarize a few of the innovative new concepts we have integrated, as well as the bonuses we are offering.

    Lets talk about our first stages first... Inside the first stage, a teflon O-ring is used in the first stage balance chamber along with the HP seat poppet being teflon coated versus chromed. This gives a better overall response and lower IP swing during the breathing cycle. Other improvements include that the diaphragm is also new, designed to be more responsive and stronger, and the reg is Chrome and PVD coated to be more resistant to corrosion and getting scratched up. The HP ports are 90 degrees, not angled, providing for optimal hose routing, the DIN wheel is also metal, not plastic, and the DIN cap comes with a spare O ring recessed into the back.  If you are into yoke, the yoke knob is metal not plastic, and features our awesome logo etched into the wheel.

    As for the second stage, the poppet is redesigned, and the the exhaust port is as well. It's much smoother than a standard second stage poppet thus less disturbed gas, as the gas passes thru the "turbo" it creates a venturi that increases gas flow, which reduces Work Of Breathing. The other bonus is there is no more aligning needed of the poppet to the lever arms to assemble.

    With regards to service kits, our regs ship with spare kits and the first service is on us anyway. We really feel like we are leading in the industry here by providing our customers with a spares kit that can be used for repairs in a pinch, while on vacation for example.

    Also, the reg just passed CE and CE for cold in early August, none I have in stock are so marked (because I made them before the test was done) but future ones will.

    Dont forget all of our regs ship in our hard case for free, and you get free parts for life if we service it as part of one of our service plans!

    Ultimately it's up to the buyer to decide if what we are offering is good value or not. I certainly have tried to make it the best value I can, and I feel we have created a superior reg with better performance, durability, and reliability than other offerings available to the consumer.

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