Each season the folks at DUI, manufacturers of some of the world’s finest drysuit systems, take a note from the Indian Valley Scuba Demo Tour, and run around the country conducting demo day events. Known as DOG Days, named for the DUI Owners Group, these events historically bring out as many as 1,000 divers to test dive the latest in drysuit offerings from DUI, get a great lunch, talk face-to-face with the DUI factory folks, and socialize with many other DUI owners and wanna-be’s. They also learn about new options, upgrades and other promotions that DUI is running. And the event is staffed by local participating dealers, so once the divers have been convinced that a DUI is in the future for them, they know just where to buy one. How amazing is that?
This weekend found the DUI folks at Dutch Springs for a three day event. Friday was devoted to Public Safety Diving, and the tent was full of firemen, police officers, commercial divers and rescue divers from teams all over the region. Faith Ortins was the MC and lead speaker for the event, educating, informing and getting the crowd involved in hands-on demonstrations of the latest PS Diving suits, swiftwater rescue outfits, decontamination products and equipment, and new government regulations and standards that impact this industry.
Saturday and Sunday is dedicated to the general public for test diving DUI suits, and test dive they did! Over 150 people showed up for the opening of the event on Saturday morning, and the crowd remained steady all day long. For anyone who has never attended a DUI DOG Day, it was truly an eye-opener with the efficiency of the process that has evolved over the years. From registration to fitting to diving, each step is handled at a separate station, in a logical order, so the numbers of divers that can be run through in the course of a day with minimal delay is absolutely amazing.
Hmmmmm..wheels are turning here……maybe my blue shirted friends from the TSA should attend a DOG Day and learn how you can be both thorough and efficient at the same time! But I digress……
Indian Valley Scuba was well represented at the event this weekend, with Dave on site Friday for the PS Diving seminars, then Joyce Kichman, John Glodowski, Chris Perry, Steve Holak, Felix Gryn, Frank Gabriel, Bill Zyskowski, Mike Parzynski, Tricia Arrington, Pam Schools, Chris Muller, IAHD Diver Karen Swisher and her son Christopher, and others joining pitching in to help make this event a great success. We thank each and everyone for helping us this weekend.
The event this weekend was one of the busiest yet, so busy in fact that the DUI folks ending up borrowing gear off the IVS Dueling Drysuits Demo Trailer! How’s that for cross-pollination? Ooops, I meant cross-promotion! In any case, it just helps illustrate how different members of the industry can work together to build a better diving community for all. Remember, a rising tide floats all ships…..yet some shops and dive industry professionals just never get it!
More than 150 divers test dove DUI suits on Saturday, and 75 or so more did it on Sunday. This was one of DUI’s biggest weekends ever, and boy was the energy and activity non-stop in the demo tents. The crews worked well together, and in spite of a little rain Saturday afternoon, and a lot of rain on Sunday morning it still was a great weekend for all.
Camp IVS was busy too, with divers joining us all day long on both days. And of course training was rampant, with Brian Laspino and Amir Stark completing their Rescue Diver certifications, Joyce Kichman, Mike Parzynski and Rich Peterson wrapping up their Intro to Tec cert, and Doug Ellis getting some of his Open Water Instructor Development Course training out of the way. Multi-tasking – it’s a way of life at IVS! And our own Steve Holak stepping into the line of fire as grillmaster for the weekend, and his meat-handling skills were top shelf. Now, we need to get his “fixins bar” setup skills in order! What a great weekend of laughter, good food, local diving and friends – does life get any better than this?