Thursday, April 28, 2011
Well, now that we have our shop up and running 9-5 every day it's time to put together a gear rental program.
Looking at masks... it looks like I'm gonna offer 5 different masks for rental: kids, a S-M that'll fit the bigger kids/smaller adult faces, a M-L that'll fit most faces, a large and an XL for the broader cheekbones and temples. I just can't see getting buy with just 2-3 mask choices, there's no such thing as one size fits all, and I want to be able to fit everyone coming in. I've still got to figure out how to do more than one size of prescription mask so I can offer a choice for larger faces.
Snorkels... I've got to bring in a bunch of decent dry snorkels next week to really be able to do this, both kids and adult sizes.
Fins... I've already brought these in. I'm going to try something differnt than many of the rental places by using adjustable fins with soft foot pockets made to take bare feet. Nice thing about 'em is the adjustability for fit and the ability to wear fin socks on all sizes and the ability to wear reef shoes on some of the sizes (gotta figure out to make it all sizes, but I'm gonna have to look for other fins to make that work with big feet). I've also brought in some decent full sized open heel adjustable scuba fins that'll fit over dive boots for rent. I won't be renting fin socks, reef shoes or booties though... lots of extra sanitization involved in that one to make me feel comfortable about it, I think I'll pass.
Wetsuits... we'll have both 3 mil shorties and 4/3 mil (3 mil in some sizes) full suits for rent. Shorties will do awesome for snorkelers wanting more thermal and sun protection, as well as helping keep you nice and floaty. The full suits are great for diving and 4/3 seems to be about the right thickness for most people much of the year here in Hawaii.
BCDs... we brought in a bunch of weight integrated BCs that have been working real well for us this year. In the past I had pouch problems with a couple of brands I used for rental on the boat, this one seems to have solved the lost pouch problem.
Regulators. I brought in several regs that have been holding up for us real well. They're a Cressi reg with a piston first stage and adjustable second stages, very nice. I need to bring in more for rent. All of our boat rental regs have computers, I'm not sure if I'll put computers in the ones for shore rental.
I still gotta deal with the who boogieboard/viewboard thing as well as a few other accessories. I'm gonna have fun coming up with package prices and rental policies the next few days. The goal is to roll it out over the course of May 2011 and be up to full speed by the start of summer. I'll have pricing on my Hawaii scuba diving business' website.
I'm hoping that being on the highway between town and the airport makes us a convenient place for people to do thier snorkel and dive gear rental business. Having a shop now on top of the dive charter business is getting interesting... more to deal with. Fun.
Here's a group of yellow tangs, whitespotted tangs and a few other fish grazing on the reef down at "Two Steps" outside the Place of Refuge. It's one of the state's top snorkel and shoredive spots.
EDIT September 23, 2011: We've decided to change strategies on the retail store and won't be manning it full time, please read the link for more information.