Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

ECOLOGICAL DIVERS TENERIFE

Ecological Divers Tenerife has a new logo

Posted 14/7/2017

Yes, after nine years, we have changed our logo. Many will ask themselves why… and I don’t even want to know what some badmouthing people might have to say… The explanation is simple and brief. For a long time, I had wanted to create a new, modern logo, but had no time so far. However, the more important question is why I felt like having a new logo. At the beginning of Ecological Divers in 2008, I had asked a friend to create a logo, who then designed the well-known logo of the last years. What I had not known was, that this logo had been created using a photo, that was not by me. Even if this photo was not recognizable and there was no copyright infringement, I did not like this. So, I had always played with the idea of changing the logo, even tough I often was advised against that.

Now, with the new Dive Shop and our new MARES / SSI XR range, it was time to design a new and modern logo. And I dare say it was done very well.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 YEARS SSI-MARES

Posted 25/4/2017

Three years ago, the sports equipment manufacturer HEAD bought the SCUBA diving training organization, Scuba Schools International (SSI). At the time, HEAD announced that Mares, a subsidiary of the group, would join with SSI as Mares-SSI. A few weeks ago I read an online publication written by a regional manager of SSI.

Quite honestly it felt, to me, more like a personal advertisement than a personal reflection of the past 3 years. It did, however, inspire me to think. Being an instructor and an SSI dive centre owner, I feel I have a very different perspective on this collaboration than the regional manager.

 

Manufacturer buys training agency - does it work well?

Three years ago, the sports equipment manufacturer HEAD (you should write what that stands for) bought the SCUBA diving training organization, Scuba Schools International (SSI). At the time, HEAD announced that Mares, a subsidiary of the group, would join with SSI as Mares-SSI. A few weeks ago I read an online publication written by a regional manager of SSI.

Quite honestly it felt, to me, more like a personal advertisement than a personal reflection of the past 3 years. It did, however, inspire me to think. Being an instructor and an SSI dive centre owner, I feel I have a very different perspective on this collaboration than the regional manager.

A little more than three years ago, the diving world was turned upside down by the news that SSI had been bought by Mares. A diving equipment manufacturer buys a training agency? Unusual! This was however only half the truth as it was not Mares but rather the group HEAD that had acquired SSI, and was thus the owner of both companies, Mares and SSI.

Some time later I was visited by the Spanish Mares business manager Marc Mayoral, it was clear from the outset that Mares and SSI were interested in SSI dive centres working with Mares material and vice versa. Anyone with a good sense of business management could easily understand this expectation. I, however, personally had a problem with the idea.

When I opened my dive centre in 2009, the Mares representative in Tenerife at the time, made me the best offer. Thus, I completely equipped my new and very small dive centre with Mares. Unfortunately for me the promises that were made by the Mares representative were not adhered to and I made the choice to buy a different brand. At the time we were working mostly with VDST (German Underwater Federation) and with SSI on the odd occasion. Because of this unfortunate experience, you can understand why I was sceptical about the visit from Marc Mayoral.

After a convincing conversation and being given his word that the original problems would no longer be an issue with the new representative in the Canaries, I felt confident that this merge could be to my advantage. I then embarked on the new adventure: Mares-SSI.

After three years of cooperation, we have successfully become a Mares Dive Centre and the only SSI Diamond Instructor Training Centre in the Canary Islands! It may seem like everything always went great but it didn’t, we were just so committed to making it work.

Everything went great? Not always, but it goes ahead.

This blog is about the development and cooperation between both companies in the last three years. I intentionally say both companies as they are largely traded separately.

SSI is represented by the regional manager for Spain, David Perea. Mares is represented by Juan Carlos Rivera here in the Canaries.

I cannot fault Mares much, the service is good, the equipment is good, and with the new XR material came a great extension for the TEK world. Unfortunately, the Canaries is somewhat isolated which can sometimes cause supply problems which we are working toward eliminating. We are fortunate enough to have diving season all year round in the Canary Islands whereas the rest of Europe starts season from April. With the material being produced in Italy for the general European diving season, it is very challenging to acquire material before April. All in all, however, the cooperation is extremely positive.

At the same time as the purchase of SSI by HEAD, the SSI training system was fully digitized. Surpassing a few initial teething problems, we find it an enriching part of our training. Anyone wanting to take a dive course on vacation, are able to learn the theory beforehand at home and enjoy the practical exercises when on the vacation. This was not previously possible unless the learning material was sent to the potential student via mail.

From an ecological point of view, digitization offers advantages, the amount of paper and manufacturing of unnecessary plastic cards are greatly reduced. The courses are constantly updated online and the customer always has the latest manual on hand. Registration and certification is done digitally which optimises the work flow of the instructor.

My Opinion: Simply top now with continuous improvement! A huge benefit for us is that you no not need to keep a physical stock of course material.

 

My conclusion - the cooperation

All in all, I can talk of a recommendable and positive cooperation, with both companies. But not everything is gold that shines. And as I had written before, there were also some personal disappointments. Very often I felt that other dive centers and instructors were preferred. But also, this problem was solved with time and eliminated. It is important that you talk to each other - as so often in your life.
In hindsight, when you look at such matters at a distance, you realize that you have a better view of things on the ground than a big company with the headquarters in Italy. What happens here on the spot with the individual dealers, mostly remains unfortunately hidden from the management of the company. Those who know the diving industry know what I mean and what I'm talking about. But as time went by, much truth came to light, and in the end, everything more or less was on the way it should be. Also, there are often still delays, but they are always trying to solve the problem either via Barcelona or Italy. As I said, you are finally on an island and this has its advantages, like the eternal spring, but also its disadvantages.

My conclusion - the training

Back to the new SSI teaching system. Better or not, this is a point of view. From the ecological point of view, it is definitely better and also for the sales of course to tourists. Is digital learning better or not? This is also the viewpoint again. A few days ago, I could see how a former SSI instructor had a very bad opinion about digital learning. But is it a disadvantage? Not at all. Apart from the fact that the material is directly available in all languages, the instructor can also check online whether the student really learns and makes the repetition questions. Previously this was not possible. And it does not mean that the theory is lost, but it can shorten it, according to the course and the student, and you can take more time for the practical exercises. Unfortunately, many courses have not yet been translated to all languages or are still not online.
Obviously, this is a matter of priorities. Someone would like to have as soon as possible all recreational diving courses online, I personally would prefer Cave and Advanced Wreck. But you cannot have it all at once, especially when it needs to be translated into so many languages. This also causes errors in the digital courses, which are then repaired as quickly as possible. Is digital theory better or not, does it make better or worse instructors? In no case, the quality of an education still depends on the instructor, whether digital or analogue teaching material.
In the end: Digitization is the future and more ecological. Has there happened anything special in the dive sector due to the union from SSI and MARES? No, everything goes on as it was. And who was MARES and didn’t wanted to be SSI, he isn’t. And who was SSI and didn’t want to work with MARES, does not have to and must not.


But he is missing a lot.

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

MARES REGULATORS - LOOP 15X & XR R2S-VR

Posted 25/4/2017

Recently the two new Mares regulators, LOOP 15X and R2S-VR were introduced on the market. New or improved regulators are introduced every year by diving sport manufacturers, and this year was Mares’ turn. A regulator with a vertical hose connection.

Of course one gets the hear doubts from all sides, as is always the case when something new is introduced on the market. I too had my doubts, but also a great curiosity. My doubts were as follows: First- Whether the hose guide at Backmount is comfortable or whether it could stick to the BCD; second – whether the mobility of the head is restricted or not by the hose connection downwards; and third – how the customers will react to it.

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating” so I tested the XR R2S-VR several times. The R2S-VR is delivered with the well-known and long-established first stage R2S, only DIN300, in a version for air as well as in a version for up to 100% O2. This is probably because this regulator is designed for the Technical Diving area whereas in TEC Diving there only use of DIN. The LOOP is delivered with the first stage 15X which has only recently been put on the market replacing the predecessor 12S. Both INT and DIN300 were supplied, both models only for air, although upgradeable to O2 pure. So, in the first stages there are no innovations. Two good and well-known mid-class 1st stages, which has already been on the market for some time.

Now to the 2nd stages. Is there a difference between them? I don’t think so. The VR and the LOOP look identical and both weigh only 199gr. Without disassembling them, I think that these are identical models, which are marketed with different names and for supposedly different uses within sport and technical diving.

 

 

As I mentioned before, I tested the VR in the Atlantic, both as a Backmount and as a stage regulator. I was very pleasantly surprised, especially with the Backmount.

The breathing resistance is gentle as with other Mares regulators, thanks to the S-VAD on the 2nd stage and the DFC connection on the 1st stage. In addition, the second stage weighs only 199gr. and is hardly noticeable under water. Also, the mobility of the head is not restricted by what it is now the vertical hose connection of the 2nd stage. Anyone who dives with Sidemount or Stage can directly imagine the benefits. Long hose guides fall away, the regulator is easy to connect left or right, also the delivery of the 2nd stage to his buddy can be done without a lot of circumstances, just turn around. The loop or the VR is also good as an octopus or a secondary regulator to use. This simple handling of the regulator reminds me a little bit of the MARES Octopus MV.

In Backmount use I had my doubts as previously stated, but I was very positively convinced. The hose line under the arm through was comfortable, the freedom of movement of the head continued and if I think about Wreck or Cave Diving is less of a sense of danger. Also, my concern that the hose could stick to the BCD has been expelled. Everything quite problem-free and top.

Conclusion, in the field of TEC diving whether for the stage or Sidemount, the new vertical hose guide is an absolute improvement in diving comfort and safety. At the Backmount, I also see a more comfortable hose guidance and therefore a better safety aspect. For me personally these two new regulators are an absolute top, as far as Sidemount and Stage are concerned. Better and more comfortable is impossible. The only thing that surprised me about these new models is, that no one has ever come up with the idea before.

For me personally, the new regulator for the stage and Sidemount, quite clear.

Read the rest of this entry »

Newsletter April 2017

Posted 5/4/2017

Dear Friends of  Ecological Divers Tenerife 

A lot has changed since I wrote my last news letter, hence it is time to update you all. Many of you might have heard, or seen on the website, that we moved from Guimar to Los Abrigos. The location of our new shop is far more convenient, being only 50m from the beach. We might have lost the charm of an isolated Canarian Finca and we are no longer able to offer accommodation but we are a lot closer to many new, as well as our old favourite, dive spots. And there are many good hotels and holiday-lets close by. Our clients have stayed at “Apartments Isla de Oro” or in the hotel “San Blas” just across the road.  There are many Air BnB in and around Los Abrigos. So with regard to accommodation we have many a choice. Los Abrigos is situated well on the island and well known for its fish restaurants. Despite of being so popular it is not a place overrun by mass tourism.

 

Th harbour from Los Abrigos with the Fish-RestaurantsTh harbour from Los Abrigos with the Fish-Restaurants

 

Of course, many more things are new with us. We are now closer to dive spots in the South of the island and can offer trips to places we hadn’t dived before. We have overhauled and extended our equipment, including equipment for technical diving. We are now able to teach almost every course SSI has to offer within their recreational and technical programmes. We are also proud to announce that we have received the SSI Diamond for the third time running and are the only SSI Diamond Dive Center and Instructor Training Center on the Canary Islands.

 

Our shop is bigger than before and we are proud to stock the entire MARES range and we are an official MARES Service Center. 

  

Our ShopOur Shop

 

Soon we will be able to offer many new special deals. We are working on a Tenerife Wreck and Cavern Package and other packages. We also plan to organise short trips and day tours to the other islands, like we have done in the past. We will send more exciting news soon.

Hoping to see you all (again) soon.

With the best wished form the island,

 

Frank

 

Los AbrigosLos Abrigos

Read the rest of this entry »

DIVING & TENERIFE

Posted 8/8/2016

Soon I will publish here articles about Diving and Tenerife

Read the rest of this entry »

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?