Whilst trawling through the Internet a few months ago, looking for the best UK dive site to help me choose a good dive school and buy some equipment, I was sucked into the clicking for longer than I wanted to be. Suddenly I found myself lost on the web for hours and finding nothing. Frustrated and completely lost, without a sign of a visa swipe or date booked for a scuba trip, I decided to get organised. You must have all been in the same position at one time or another and this article should help you to find the most helpful sites on the net.
Now we all have different tastes, so the details I have compiled will hopefully cater for you all, and in the process will be able to enlighten you to some of the worst too.
My first port of call was ye olde trusted site www.google.co.uk. I don’t know about you but this is my favourite search engine. It always seems to come up with the goods. I called up dive sites UK, and spent a while wading through what was listed for me.
Now what are we talking about here? Dive sites that help you find more dive sites? Individual sites that represent the smallest dive school in the universe? I don’t think so. We want some meat, something worthwhile, something that is going to cause us scoobies to get excited about and have lots of pretty pictures to look at with some useful information too.
Take a look at www.divernet.com. Now yes, this site is basically the Diver magazine site but it is bursting with information and not just what is in the magazine. You will find yourself browsing through the sites’ pages witnessing a wealth of information that will keep you going for quite some time.
The other of my favourites is the not so pretty but very comprehensive www.subaqua.co.uk; which not only incorporates a search index for companies, buddies and publications but you can also check the weather in the area you want to dive in. Another area of the site, which deserved a "wow", was the Calculation page. You can choose the Archimedes principle area and it will calculate your cylinder buoyancy. Don’t know about you but I thought that was pretty cool. Personally I think this is an invaluable site for divers certainly worth a visit.
Another interesting site I stumbled across was www.ukdiving.co.uk. It has many sections, mainly forums and also a great area for finding UK and international dive centres, but navigation around the site is a bit of a drag.
One site that stood out as a "Nice idea boys – but not so great" was www.divinguk.com. What a beautiful site, and definitely deserved a "wow" from me but when navigating around the site, I found that half the areas of the site were impossible to get into. I don’t know whether that is because the site isn’t set up properly yet but the design is nice and inviting and it seems a shame.
My favourite UK dive centre Website, which took a while to choose is www.diveuk.com. It is a Website for the company Reef Scuba in Gravesend. Its well designed and has plenty of information on their diving trips.
Unfortunately it looks like not many people know of the site and the forums page is nearly empty, nevertheless, it’s a straightforward site that is easy to use.
For diving shopping you cant get any better than the products on www.seventenths.co.uk and the all-new www.fourthelement.com. This site isn’t amazing but I can vouch for the products, as I have some myself, so take a visit, you can’t order online yet but its worth a look.
I could go on all day, but to cut a long story short, the best way to find what you want on the web is to know where to look, and how do you do that? Get your fingers at the ready and click onto these invaluable diving search engines: www.divingwebsites.co.uk and www.uk-divingdirectory.co.uk these will help you find what you want instead of searching blindly and wasting time on the all too full internet.
By the way I didn’t mention the best diving site of all www.deeperblue.net, but hey, if you are reading this, you already know that.