Diving & Divewear…do divers really have bad taste?

October 12, 2014

Diving & Divewear…do divers really have bad taste?

During a holiday in Bali someone told me that “divers have bad taste and therefore there was absolutely no point designing clothes to make them look stylish. They just haven't got it in themselves”.

That came from two well-travelled scuba instructors who had been thinking about starting a clothing company aimed at divers and then rejected the idea exactly on that ground.

I wasn’t shocked by that statement but as I told them to 'speak for themselves', I quietly asked myself how they could have possibly come to that conclusion. There could be some truth in that statement after all.

Let’s look at divers...who are we and what do we like?

We are probably a very mixed, eclectic bunch of people and good luck to anyone who’s interested in doing a market research from scratch. Our demographics are hard to pinpoint, ranging globally from 18+ to possibly 70+.

It looks like the average diver is about 40 years old but that doesn't help us much understanding divers fashion style preference. Today’s 40 years old market resemble a reef with more diversified species than you could imagine and 40 years olds are probably too busy with their lives to get involved in market researches or playing games on social media platforms (unless they really want to).

We can however try and identify a few distinctive traits that divers seem to share:

1. We all like to travel and explore new places

2. Some of us have a tendency toward being rather tidy and organised, we try to travel light (but often fail) and probably plan our clothing choice accordingly

3. A good number of us could be described as geeky. We embrace technology and appreciate innovative solutions, it's a good thing!

4. We value quality but have a personal idea of what quality is

5. We like top notch gear but often just go for that 'middle of the road' option (unless we’ve been badly bitten by the bug of UW photography)

6. Style is important but practicality and function are probably even more important

7. When on a diving trip, we’re quite happy to let everyone know we’ve dived here & there. It's a good way to start a conversation too

8. We are busy people. Maybe we are not always cash rich but more than often we're time poor. Spending hours shopping for clothes might not exactly suit us

9. We appreciate a certain degree of comfort & style when travelling, sleeping and dining, on land and at sea, hence we might indeed need some style

10. We are rather social and friendly creatures, we like to express ourselves

Can any of these traits give us the idea that we could have bad taste when it gets to choosing our clothes?
 Could it maybe be that the combination of geekiness, the need for practicality and lack of time lead to unstylish choices?
 That could very well be.

A few months ago we did a survey in which we asked divers to give us some clues about their likes and dislikes. The results looked like this...

 DS survey 1

DS survey 2

DS survey 3 

Well, it does look like we appreciate a bit of style after all.

At Divesangha we think that diving, as in Scubadiving and Freediving, can be considered both sports and lifestyle. We also think the universe of divers is even richer than the universe of surfers but they certainly have a lot of fashion designed for them! 

Probably it was the stereotype of the surfer that helped, the idea that all surfers are handsome, free spirited and fearless, able to enjoy countless days on those beautiful beaches riding the waves…the infuriating thing is that some surfers fit exactly that description and have become the poster perfect image of the sport. You might not look like one of them but when you’re riding your (50cm) waves and walking along the beach with your board under your arm you feel cool.

As for us divers, do we feel cool, before or after a dive? 

Do we feel cool in our diving gear?

I think it’s time for us to show the world who we really are...