Once customers have found what suits them, and are never let down by their choice, they tend to be remarkably loyal. That’s why we’re unlikely to see wholesale changes or serial surprises in the rankings from year to year – in essence, you know what you like.
For the winning businesses, the handsome trophies they are entitled to put on display give them a cachet beyond calculation. They like winning and they want to do it again and again.
So you know that the names you see on these pages will be a good bet when you come to part with your cash for diving products and services.
TV’s Monty Halls handed out the prized trophies and certificates publicly at the NEC Dive Show in late October.
DIVER Brand of the Year
Which badge on your dive-gear speaks volumes about quality and reliability? No change at the top – but Scubapro is back in the top three as runner-up.
“A huge thank-you to everyone who took time to vote for us,” said Landon Helsby, Apeks Managing Director. “A brand is nothing without its customers, so your support means everything to us.
“2018 was the year that saw us introduce our new lightweight compact regulator, the XL4. We also launched the hugely popular MTX-R sidemount regulator set.
“We’ve had another record-breaking year in terms of sales and we’ve recruited more staff to keep up with demand for Apeks products around the world.”
DIVER Product of the Year
Which was the most exciting item of kit to emerge recently?
1st Suunto EON Core computer
“We at Suunto Diving UK are very pleased to hear that the Suunto EON Core has won this award,” said
Alec Jones, Suunto UK Sales & Product Support Global Community Manager. “2018 has been a challenging year for us with lots of staff changes, but we have strived to keep our high level of customer service going throughout.
“When we launched the Suunto EON Core at DIVE 2017, we received lots of great feedback from the public at the show, and winning the award has confirmed their belief in the product and us as a company.
“We have some exciting times to look forward to in 2019, so keep your eyes peeled and ears to the floor.”
2nd Aqua-Lung Rogue BC
3rd Shearwater Perdix computer
DIVER Tour Operator of the Year
Which company excels at arranging diving package holidays? Your hierarchy is unchanged from last year but each of these companies is a many-times winner.
1st blue o two
“What a year it’s been for blue o two!” said Company Director Jason Strickland. “It wasn’t without its challenges, but 2018 has brought phenomenal growth, change and progression for the company. We continue to strive to be the number one choice for divers, offering a gateway to worldwide scuba-diving destinations.
“Winning Tour Operator of the Year is an achievement we’re all exceedingly proud of, along with the relaunch of the new-look blue o two.
“We can’t thank our divers enough for their support as we move forward into 2019.”
2nd Scuba Travel
DIVER Dive Centre of the Year
Which centre, anywhere in the world, just seems to get everything right for you? Once again, the names in the frame are unchanged from 2017, so they must be keeping you happy!
1st Andark Diving & Watersports
“Andark is delighted to receive the Dive Centre of the Year Award for 2018 and to come third in Retailer of the Year,” said founder and director Andy Goddard. “I can only thank
the staff and helpers for their commitment and hard work, and our customers for their support.
“The instructional team, headed by Alex Hayward, have worked hard during the year to make the diver training fun and as enjoyable as possible. Going forward, we’ll maintain our high standards and look forward to seeing our customers qualify and go diving!”
3rd Stoney Cove