Diver Demographics

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ArcticDiver
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Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:49 pm

I know this subject has been explored in the distant past. But, I'm wondering if anyone has an insight on the current situation.

What percentage of scuba divers are still active on at least an annual basis at 2, 5,7, 10, 15 and 20 years post-OW certification?

Or, for that matter, any convenient breakout that would be meaningful.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ldevore » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:54 pm

Interesting question. Can you put a poll up? (FYI -I'm 15 years post OW...but really only started hitting the nitrogen hard about 5 years ago.)

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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by LCF » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:05 am

Well, to get meaningful numbers, you'd need to put the poll somewhere where people who no longer dive would see it . . .
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by Joshua Smith » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:17 am

LCF wrote:Well, to get meaningful numbers, you'd need to put the poll somewhere where people who no longer dive would see it . . .

So, internet dive boards would be an excellent place to start!
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by Waynne Fowler » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:26 am

ArcticDiver wrote:I know this subject has been explored in the distant past. But, I'm wondering if anyone has an insight on the current situation.

What percentage of scuba divers are still active on at least an annual basis at 2, 5,7, 10, 15 and 20 years post-OW certification?

Or, for that matter, any convenient breakout that would be meaningful.


Ya won't get anything meaningful from here I don't think.
We ALL dive. You'd have to post this somewhere
where those that no longer dive can chime in.
Perhaps somene with some statistical experience (maybe that's you)
Might know a way to extrapolate a meaningful answer but I'm thinking
Any number dirived from answers givin here would not be very accurate

Here's a link to an old study.
.http://www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/dive_magazine/2007/HowManyDivers200705.html
Last edited by Waynne Fowler on Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ldevore » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:34 am

Agreed - you can't get the stats on those that are no longer active. However, you could get the stats on those who consider themselves active.
Recently, during a post dive discussion, with apropriate beverages in hand, this topic came up. Someone mentioned that they thought PADI (or one of the other agencies) defined "active diver" as doing 6 or more dives per year. Don't know if this is the case or not???? ...of course, many on this board would just consider 6 dives as a slow week :supz:

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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by spatman » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:38 am

you can create a poll on scubaboard.

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/faq.ph ... tlesonly=0

and i'm sure there are several way to do it on facebook as well.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:48 pm

Guess I didn't do a very good job of describing what I am after so let me explain, I hope.

Hard statistics are not only very hard to get, those that are published are very suspect. After all there is no licensing or periodic review or anything that would, with any reliability track diver numbers. One LDS I dive with at least once a year and often twice tells me I am the only non-local who is a recurring diver. They say folks just don't stay in the sport unless they live in an area where there is a vibrant diving community.

But, using something analogous to the Delphi Method we can get a pretty good idea by asking people about themselves and those they know.

So, of all the people you knew when you starting diving how many are still diving?

Of the people you meet at parties and other events how many are active divers today as differentiated from those who say they are divers, or who no longer dive?

I'm sure I haven't covered the waterfront. But, maybe you can add?
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by LCF » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:44 am

Of the people in my OW class, to my knowledge, three of the twelve of us are still diving (five years later). All three are DMs or higher.

Of the group of people I dove with when I first went DIR, six out of nineteen have quit diving, and two of the others are not very active.

Of the people to whom I have spoken, I would say there are at least five who once dove (defined as got certified) for every one who still dives at all -- but most of the people I talk to who "dive" make a few dives on a warm water trip every year or so. I'm sure I know at least twice as many people who do that, as people who dive locally at all.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:44 pm

What LCF says seems to square with my personal experience and with what I've been told by numerous others in a variety of places.

Any other comments about demographics?

Any ideas why divers don't stay in the sport?
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by LCF » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:00 pm

In talking to the many people who I have discovered have at one time been divers, I have found a number of things: Life intervenes. This is responsibility for many of the dropouts from my "DIR" group -- people get married to non-diving spouses, have children, change jobs, or move away from attractive diving. Sometimes they have exigent financial circumstances, and any expensive recreational activity takes a back seat.

A LOT of people I have talked to basically got certified for one trip. One woman got certified because her kids were, and she thought if they ever took a tropical vacation together, it would be fun to be able to dive. A lot of people have no intention of diving in Puget Sound from the get-go (I didn't) and if they aren't traveling, they aren't diving. To my sadness, I have had a number of people tell me that they were never very comfortable in the water, and never felt confident diving, so they drifted away from doing it.

As Bob likes to say, the competition for the local dive shop isn't the dive shop down the road . . . it's the rest of people's lives, and all the other things there are to do that DON'T involve getting up at the crack of dawn to get on a boat in 27 degrees, to struggle into two-inch-thick underwear and a heavy suit, thick gloves and hood, and a ton of weight, in order to jump into 47 degree water with 8 feet of viz, hoping to see a few white suckers that indicate an octopus at the bottom of the hole you're peering into. Putting it that way, is it any WONDER that people quit? :)
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:02 pm

I've heard that old saw that "life gets in the way of diving" and I don't buy any part of it for most people. Oh, there are exceptions, as there are to most things, but overall what the person is really saying is that scuba doesn't interest me enough. The same people who roll out the "life excuses" are the ones who have taken up Harleys, or bowling, or golf, or, to cite a specific individual, bicycling, or skiing, or any number of other activities.

When a person says: "I don't have time" they are telling the truth; just not the whole truth. The whole truth is: "I don't have time when compared to other things I'd rather do with my time and money". Most people would say the whole thing except they don't want to offend so they use the socially acceptable language.

Like one person said: "I wanted to go on the trip. I went on the trip."
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by spatman » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:13 am

ArcticDiver wrote:I've heard that old saw that "life gets in the way of diving" and I don't buy any part of it for most people. Oh, there are exceptions, as there are to most things, but overall what the person is really saying is that scuba doesn't interest me enough. The same people who roll out the "life excuses" are the ones who have taken up Harleys, or bowling, or golf, or, to cite a specific individual, bicycling, or skiing, or any number of other activities.

When a person says: "I don't have time" they are telling the truth; just not the whole truth. The whole truth is: "I don't have time when compared to other things I'd rather do with my time and money". Most people would say the whole thing except they don't want to offend so they use the socially acceptable language.

Like one person said: "I wanted to go on the trip. I went on the trip."



most of the people i know who don't dive as much because of "life" are ones who now have babies, or new relationships, or strenuous jobs.

so what if people choose other hobbies over diving? who said that diving has to be the primary interest in everyone's social life? maybe riding that Harley is more important to an individual than diving and the new job/baby/relationship does squeeze out the remaining time that was allotted for diving. that's their choice, and we are all entitled to our own.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by Tom Nic » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:35 am

spatman wrote:so what if people choose other hobbies over diving? who said that diving has to be the primary interest in everyone's social life?


:eek: What?!? You're kidding, right?! Say it isn't so!

All right, who the heck hacked Spatman's account?!
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by spatman » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:38 am

i blame Fishstiq.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by kat » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:03 pm

i have not been diving for a while, due to a few reasons. allergies in the summer for one, but mostly being unemployed. i just do not have the cash for much of anything. this incldes scuba, golf, snowboarding, motorcycling, or anything i enjoy that comes with a pricetag. i imagine that there are quite a few in that boat right now.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:06 pm

spatman wrote:
ArcticDiver wrote:I've heard that old saw that "life gets in the way of diving" and I don't buy any part of it for most people. Oh, there are exceptions, as there are to most things, but overall what the person is really saying is that scuba doesn't interest me enough. The same people who roll out the "life excuses" are the ones who have taken up Harleys, or bowling, or golf, or, to cite a specific individual, bicycling, or skiing, or any number of other activities.

When a person says: "I don't have time" they are telling the truth; just not the whole truth. The whole truth is: "I don't have time when compared to other things I'd rather do with my time and money". Most people would say the whole thing except they don't want to offend so they use the socially acceptable language.

Like one person said: "I wanted to go on the trip. I went on the trip."



most of the people i know who don't dive as much because of "life" are ones who now have babies, or new relationships, or strenuous jobs.

so what if people choose other hobbies over diving? who said that diving has to be the primary interest in everyone's social life? maybe riding that Harley is more important to an individual than diving and the new job/baby/relationship does squeeze out the remaining time that was allotted for diving. that's their choice, and we are all entitled to our own.



Never said anything was wrong with a person deciding they would rather do something other than scuba. I was just pointing out the fallacy of the life gets in the way argument while suggesting there are other reasons why people make those choices.

Also, since there are no reliable hard number statistics I'm trying to get a handle on diver longevity in the sport by using an equally valid method. So far, from this and other sources, it seems the overwhelming majority of new divers don't stay with the sport. Perhaps that is no different than any other sport. I don't know.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by spatman » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:23 pm

ArcticDiver wrote:
ArcticDiver wrote:I've heard that old saw that "life gets in the way of diving" and I don't buy any part of it for most people. Oh, there are exceptions, as there are to most things, but overall what the person is really saying is that scuba doesn't interest me enough. The same people who roll out the "life excuses" are the ones who have taken up Harleys, or bowling, or golf, or, to cite a specific individual, bicycling, or skiing, or any number of other activities.


Never said anything was wrong with a person deciding they would rather do something other than scuba. I was just pointing out the fallacy of the life gets in the way argument while suggesting there are other reasons why people make those choices.


so you're just saying it's wrong to say "life gets in the way" instead of "just don't don't have the time" when it comes to scuba?

i don't get your point here. either people chose to make time for it or not. how they phrase or vocalize their choice in the matter is inconsequential.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:39 pm

There are two different voices in the statements. The "I don't have time" is the excuse by the person themself. The "life gets in the way" is used by someone else who is trying to explain why people don't stay with the hobby but doesn't want to acknowledge that not diving was a choice, not a result of exterior forces.

Another way: I say: "I don't have time...." You, not wanting to acknowledge my choice say: "He'd be diving but life got in the way". i.e. I didn't have a choice, life did it to me.

Certainly there are circumstances where a person doesn't have a choice. But, as far as I can determine those are a very definite minority.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by lizard0924 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:23 pm

ArcticDiver wrote:I've heard that old saw that "life gets in the way of diving" and I don't buy any part of it for most people. Oh, there are exceptions, as there are to most things, but overall what the person is really saying is that scuba doesn't interest me enough. The same people who roll out the "life excuses" are the ones who have taken up Harleys, or bowling, or golf, or, to cite a specific individual, bicycling, or skiing, or any number of other activities.

When a person says: "I don't have time" they are telling the truth; just not the whole truth. The whole truth is: "I don't have time when compared to other things I'd rather do with my time and money". Most people would say the whole thing except they don't want to offend so they use the socially acceptable language."


I don't think it is as simple as you want to believe. I love to dive, but....I love to do other things, too. It isn't that scuba doesn't interest me enough...just the opposite. But to be totally honest, since I have to hold down a full time job (ah...the unfairness of life) in addition to pursuing my hobbies, sometimes diving has to take a backseat so that I can pursue other things like mountain sports or travel to non-diving destinations. Perhaps it is easier for me to tell you that "I don't have time" or "life gets in the way" because I don't want to get into a big philosophical discussion with you about the "why's" behind my decisions at that particular moment. Sort of like someone telling you they are "doing fine" when you ask them how they are. Maybe they aren't fine, but they don't want to get into the details with you.

Life has a lot of diverse activities to offer. I find that when I obsess about diving to the exclusion of other things I love (snow, mountains, etc.), I get off kilter and start to feel a bit obsessive - and not in a good way. Then I need to correct the situation. That doesn't mean I love diving any less, just that I need balance in my life.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ArcticDiver » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:35 pm

Liz: A very articulate dscription of exactly what I was talking about. You, like all of us, made a choice. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I admire someone who takes responsibility for their own life and does deliberately decide.

The other categories I think could be generally categorized:
>I did for for someone else, or for a special trip. That's done and I'm moving on.
>I thought I'd try it. I did and I don't like it/ don't think it is worth the effort.
>I don't like the people. They are nice enough for the most part; but they are not my kind of people.
>I never was taught how to properly equalize and it hurts too much.

Those just about smmarize the reasons why the people I've talked to have relegated the sport to somethng less.
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Re: Diver Demographics

Post by ldevore » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:07 pm

ArcticDiver wrote:Liz: A very articulate dscription of exactly what I was talking about. You, like all of us, made a choice. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I admire someone who takes responsibility for their own life and does deliberately decide.

The other categories I think could be generally categorized:
>I did for for someone else, or for a special trip. That's done and I'm moving on.
>I thought I'd try it. I did and I don't like it/ don't think it is worth the effort.
>I don't like the people. They are nice enough for the most part; but they are not my kind of people.
>I never was taught how to properly equalize and it hurts too much.

Those just about smmarize the reasons why the people I've talked to have relegated the sport to somethng less.


One more...
>I really like to dive, just not in challenging/uncomfortable environments. So my diving is reserved for the tropics. (I know several folks like this)

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