Irvine, CA 4/9/2009 6:10:25 AM
Recession woes get scuba divers down…about 60 feet down
Add scuba diving to the list of sought after recessionary activities.
“I am very pleasantly surprised to report that we have seen only a small drop in sales, and much of that is attributable to a lower average transaction total” reports Melinda Herndon. We all braced for the worst here and what seems to be happening is that people are motivated to make more out of their recreational pursuits lately.
Scuba.com is the biggest E-Commerce player on the Internet, offering a full line of scuba diving and snorkeling equipment by all major brands that are sold on the web. In addition, they maintain a retail store that provides the normal services like onsite equipment repair and air fills.
“The way that you can really tell that people are committing more time to the sport of scuba is by the number of air fills that are being done”, according to Herndon. “We have filled a record number of scuba tanks this year. We are getting more questions about local diving conditions and selling more books related to Southern California diving.”
This year, Southern California has experienced unseasonably dry La Nina conditions for all months except February, and that helps to create clearer diving conditions.
Additionally, scuba divers have a demographic that may be more recession proof. The average diver is a 30 year old male who has two weeks of holiday a year and holds a professional job. Post baccalaureate degrees are more common than not. “I’m not sure if it is due to the time and knowledge requirements of the certification process, but we tend to be a pretty sharp group, by our own account.” says Herndon.
Attribute it to the desire to have more adventure during tough economic times, or a variety of other possibilities; but one thing seems certain. Even a recession cannot keep scuba divers from getting down…and staying there for a look around.