I can still remember the first time I mentioned to a new class that we would be wearing them on their first sea dive. Amazingly, although some of these males were rather macho, every student seemed to breathe a sigh of relief and statements followed like “I’ve been paranoid, but just didn’t want to broach the whole shark thing.”
From then on I realised I did not have a problem, and the word got around that we were offering “Shark Free Dive Courses.” The product was moved to a high visual area in the shop and customers we did not know walked in and bought it. This year we have sold many units, which has impacted well on our bottom line.
Our sales are to existing divers, surfers, swimmers, snorkellers and new dive students. One of the things that has helped us with sales to new and certified divers is the use of Ocean Guardian products for training and on the deco bar.
I personally have been diving for many many years and it wasn’t until a few months later, after wearing shark protection, that I realised that I too was even more relaxed. Sharks have never stopped me from diving, but they took the edge off sometimes.
One of the most disappointing aspects of my business is the time spent on training a novice only to see them not continue with the sport I love. I believe that shark protection will give them the confidence, after leaving the safe confines of the instructor, to venture by themselves.
This new technology will have a significant effect on all water users in the future.