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What a Diver really wants for Christmas

By: John Chandler

Date Posted: 2000-12-15

SCUBA Divers, a sub culture of water sports enthusiasts, are easily entertained by gadgets. This makes us some of the easiest people on earth to do Holiday shopping for. I can say that honestly based on years of personal experience, both as a giver and a receiver of gadgets, all focused specifically on diving or diving support equipment. I hope that the following summary may aid your quest in finding the perfect, or not so perfect but equally appreciated, gift for your favorite diver. I have divided, then sub divided each shopping area hoping that it will allow you to rapidly reduce the possibilities into to the perfect (or near perfect) gift as quickly as possible. As of this writing there are only ten shopping days until Christmas so here we go.

Really important (therefore really expensive) stuff:

1. Dive watch ($300). Go for the Citizen Hyper Aqualand. This is a great addition to any diver's ensemble. When you get this watch your diver instantly becomes the surface equivalent of Jaques Cousteau (in their minds of course). This may be the best gift of the season since the Citizen Hyper Aqualand Dive Watch keeps track of everything your diver is doing and can actually prove the exact time they went, or did not, go diving. Even allows the diver to download all the dive information into a computer eliminating the need for all those bulky paper logbooks hanging around the backseat of the family car. Available at Tsunami Gear.

2. Titanium Regulator by Atomic ($1100) Are you kidding me? An $1100 regulator! Well if you have that kind of money, or you adore your diver that much, you will make your diver the envy (and target) of every other diver on the island. This regulator is the equivalent of the Nike Sneaker phenomenon that high school kids have had to endure.

3. Steel Air Tanks ($220 to $370) that range from 80 cubic feet in volume up to 120 cu ft. These beasts can be safely pressurized up to 3500 psi. These pressures and increased volume really let your favorite diver stay down a lot longer than those nasty old beat up aluminum 80s that all their dive buddies have to rent and drag all around the island in the back of their rusted out dive vans. All this plus you get to wear less weight too! You just cannot beat the smile you will find on your diver's face when they awaken and see a set of steel 120's under the Christmas Tree. Go steel or go home and be sure you convert them for NITROX too! Both Tsunami Gear and Torii Beach have a nice stock of these little stocking stuffers.

Neat stuff to wear before, during and after diving:

1. Do not let your diver leave the house on Christmas day without a great windbreaker (less than $45) that has a dive shop name or logo embroidered on it. They are easy to find at every dive store too! These are the equivalent of a biker's colors and are often worn with that same kind of pride when visiting other dive stores. My pick here is the great emblem found on the windbreakers at Torii Beach because they are the only ones that have the old-fashioned dive helmet in their emblem.

2. Titanium wet suits (less than $150) are all the rage right now and I would not sell mine for any price. You just cannot send your diver out the door with anything less than Titanium fiber in their wetsuit. Fathom's Dive Shop in Sunabe has had a steady supply of these modern day hot water bottles for divers and my recommendation would be to get down to Sunabe as soon you can.

3. Fins, fins, and more fins. Make it simple and just go by the Twin Jets by SCUBA PRO (less than $150). These are clearly the coolest, and most practical, set of fins to come along since its predecessor, the Jet Fin by SCUBA PRO was introduced back in the 70's. These even come in a black rubber and grey graphite. Buy the graphites because they are really cool and they float. From what I have seen this has saved a few divers from having to take the search and recovery specialty when they lose their fins. At that price I think I would buy the ones that float wouldn't you? You can find these at Torii SCUBA Locker and Tsunami Gear.

Things that will make diving more fun:

1. Sealife Reefmaster Camera ($400 w/flash) This is a real breakthrough for divers that have become bored with following their buddies around the island and never get anything to show for it. Think about it. You can't spear fish or take shells. What else is there to do? PHOTOGRPAHY. Underwater Photography used to be a game you could not get into for less that $1,000 and then along comes this beautiful little point and shoot camera in a yellow thermoplastic housing with a great, really great, external flash. I wouldn't go diving without this rig and the great news here again is that IT FLOATS TOO. You'll find this at Kadena Marina.

2. Weight Integrated Buoyancy Compensator Devices (BCDs). You will find these in the $475 and less range. Dollar for dollar the integrated BCD has improved diving more than anything else in the past ten years and that includes the dive computer too. Make sure your diver is begging you for this before you buy. Their begging indicates that they are sure about what they want plus their nagging reveals what you should buy! Do not shop around, buy exactly what they ask for. Men may be asking for anything by Zeagle and women will be looking at the Athena by Genesis or the Diva by SeaQuest. These are the really hot ones again this year. Get your diver integrated and do it quickly. These are available at all the dive shops on the island.

Merry Christmas. See you under the Christmas Tree worm.

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