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.