An Austrian company recently introduced a new way for kids to learn how to scuba dive.
Snorkel Dive Innovations presented their new product, the STEPDive, at the BOOT2017 dive show in Dusseldorf, Germany this month.
While the STEPDive might remind one of the SNUBA system, what makes STEPDive unique is that it sports a patent-pending, variable-depth control feature. Prospective divers can explore the ocean via 6-meter/20-foot-long air hoses, yet at the same time they can be safely blocked from going any deeper than their age or experience permits. You can float along the surface or dive down as deep as 5 meters/16.4 feet.
STEPDive‘s founder and inventor, Tiemen van Dillen, developed the system for his own kids to focus on training scuba safety and technique first:
“I learned to scuba dive when the age limit was still 14, but even then, I remember being very preoccupied with my equipment — my BCD, my air, depth, and time, and the overall complexity of it all. It wasn’t until after my 10th or so open water dive, that I was comfortable enough with my own equipment to focus on good technique like being a good buddy, breathing, buoyancy, etc.
“In retrospect, I found this very backwards, and wanted to find a way to ensure that my own kids are experienced technique divers before they become SCUBA divers.”
Before the company launches the STEPDive to the general public in the April/May 2017 time frame, the company was at BOOT2017 looking to set up pilot programs at dive schools and dive centers, according to van Dillen:
“The system is unique tool for isolating specific training elements and building up experience. Our unique depth limitation system allows users to set up a variety of specific, secure depth limits matching a youth’s age, training, and experience.”
The STEPDive will retail for around 800-900 Euros/US$864-$972. For more information, check out the company’s website at www.snorkeldiveinnovations.com.
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