Young and scuba diving : a complicated association?
Scuba diving evolves and, with it, its audience. It is far from the time when it was reserved for an elite of guys (there were few women) young and in (very) good physical shape. Today, thanks in particular to the evolution of the equipment and the knowledge diving is open to a wide audience and no longer comes in an athletic mode. And we can only be happy. However, while the seniors sometimes start diving late, the young seem to sulk at scuba diving. Young and scuba ? Maybe
So would scuba diving have become an old-fashioned thing?
That’s the question I’ve asked myself sometimes. Of course, in our waters, it is mostly men over the age of 30 who are found. But elsewhere, how does this happen?
Diving versus windsurfing
One year, while diving on an island far away with people whose average age was well over mine (I had already turned 40), I decided to discover the island.
As is common in this part of the world, diving was done on the west coast, sheltered from the force of the ocean. But my wanderings took me to the other side of the island.
To the east, the ocean was more violent and the waves were crashing with force on the torn volcanic coast. The warm wind was swirling in my hair.
At noon, to eat, I made a stop in a kind of wide bay. Here, no divers. Here I am in the middle of the incredible world of windsurfing.
I watch the practitioners indulge in their favorite sport.It is so different from the atmosphere of scuba diving. Oddly enough, I'm in no hurry to leave, I feel good here. I want to stay.
I observe a fun world where surfers of all ages evolve with relaxation. Very young children are starting to practice while seniors come back smiling from the sea. The bars and restaurants surrounding the various clubs play modern music. Outfits are colorful. Menus are attractive. People are clearly there to have a good time, to have fun even though I am a few tens of minutes from the dive base where there is a greater seriousness.
I can’t help but make comparisons
Although some OEM’s in the diving world are starting to make their equipment a little more fun, in Europe it is the black that still dominates.
The water bodies are, in our activity, largely occupied by people over forty (here or during my travels). I already hear some of you say to me: but it’s not true, in my club we are a group of friends of 25 years … blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, I can tell you there’s a lot of gray hair when I look at picture on the internet. Although I find it wonderful that older people can indulge in the magical practice of diving as I explain here.
Diving clubs are most of the time anything but attractive (no music, no colors,…)
And the activity itself still often presented as too serious, dangerous, requiring a mass of impressive theory… In a few words… it’s annoying.
Therefore, I am not surprised to see so few young people in this universe outside of the pool classes offered year-round. And I start to dream that Asia, which I have not yet explored, is perhaps the place for a more fun dive.
This reminds me of my discussion with Hélène de Tayrac for whom the absolute dream would be to arrive on a cruise ship and see that the average age is 25 years. I tell myself there's work to be done, but it's possible. Moreover, young people and diving is the theme of the next dive show in Paris.
Young and scuba diving: why is it important for them to start scuba diving?
Perhaps there is no answer to that question. Perhaps young people will move more quickly to disciplines such as free-diving for example. Activity in which they will find a “challenge”.
However, in addition to the benefits of diving among younger people, scuba diving has the advantage of rapidly raising an ecological awareness about the importance of preserving the underwater environment. Right now isn’t this urgent?
Another interest (in my opinion but perhaps not for those of young people) is that this activity allows them to “disconnect” from the rest of the world during the time of immersion.
It provides a beautiful moment of relaxation and makes sometimes great friendships.
Young and scuba diving: why are they deserting it?
When I ask young people who were diving in their childhood, they say:
- Diving is an old stuff (yes, if I heard that)
- It takes too long
- The courses are cr****’
- I’m bored
- It’s expensive.
- I don’t feel like I’m playing sports
- To get dressed and undressed is boring
➡️ Why do we DIVE😉
We don’t have a lot of leverage to change the “not feeling like we’re playing sports”, but maybe we could do something else.
Young and scuba diving: 5 ideas to make it attractive
- Make the activity more fun: whether it’s from the material, the decorations,…
- Changing the way of learning: no it is not useful to dispense as much theory as is still often done to make learners diving with pleasure safely. In my opinion, especially among young people but not only, using a maieutic attitude like Socrates and letting the learner build his material is far more fun. It doesn’t take much longer. Just another way of doing it. Use the playful side too, … not just in the pools.
- Use social networks to promote the fun side of the activity
- Finding young mentors
- Change our view of the after–dive and make it a friendly moment… for the younger ones too.
Do you have any other ideas? How would you do if you were in charge of making the diving activity attractive to young people?
Tell us in a comment directly below
And above all… don’t forget to be happy 🤗