Your Drysuit Diving Journey Starts With Happy Diver
Drysuit diving, especially for the novice, can be fraught with challenges. Improper fit, poorly-maintained second-hand gear and the wrong selection of undergarments can all conspire to make drysuit diving a particularly unpleasant experience. And, of course, they are expensive. Fortunately, Guy Melville and his fiance Katie came up with a solution – a mobile, full-service drysuit rental scheme that costs as little as £30 per diving day. We spoke to Guy to see what Happy Diver UK has to offer – apart from, of course, Happy Divers...!
What is Happy Diver UK?
The idea behind Happy Diver is simple – to provide the best possible rental drysuit diving experience. We do this by providing excellent customer care and high-quality equipment. Our purpose-built stock of Otter Cordura-D drysuits was designed in tandem with Otter Drysuits to provide a comfortable, flexible fit. Our use of Fourth Element and Otter undersuits ensures our divers stay warm in the Scottish diving climate. Our unique customer care provides expert instruction on donning and removal, covering all the needs of the first-time drysuit diver with a huge attention to detail. One thing that particularly sets us apart is our on-site hospitality service – freshly cooked, hot food provided for divers to keep up their internal warmth.
What’s the Happy Diver Story?
We first came up with the concept of Happy Diver over a pint of beer and glass of wine after helping some university students with their open water drysuit training. This was February in Scotland and the water temperature was 5°C. The students were enthusiastic but had brought a fairly typical selection of rental gear, suits bought from eBay or borrowed from generous club members. They had brought street clothes as undergaments and once the suits were on, all the usual issues began: poorly-fitting suits, loose seals, small feet in big boots, poor maintenance. Katie spent an hour waxing zips that day.
They emerged from the water soaking and shivering. Katie (a trained staff nurse) helped them out of their wet clothes, found them drier attire and shared her flasks of hot soup and tea. We thought after that day that there has got to be a better way than this, so we came up with Happy Diver UK's mobile drysuit rental service. We're now in our second year of operation with a growing reputation for excellent service.
Why choose Happy Diver?
For Happy Diver UK, people come first. We care about your dive. I have over 15-years of drysuit instructing experience while staff-nurse Katie (a recently qualified Sport Diver) brings compassion and awareness of the trials of the new drysuit diver. Our quality drysuit packages are designed to give divers the best possible drysuit experience in order to progress their skills. Kubi and Sitech interchangeable seals and telescopic suit bodies ensure a good fit with minimal skin irritation. The rock boots ensure a good fitting foot no matter your body shape. We provide specialist thermal two-piece undersuits with excellent insulation to keep divers warm so that they can concentrate on skills and scenery. Their diving is more enjoyable and they progress faster.
What do your packages include?
Our complete drysuit package includes drysuit, hood, gloves, two-piece undersuit, drysuit feed hose, rock boots and changing mat. We also have a complete selection of masks, fins, hoods & gloves for all our suits, so you really can 'try before you buy'. Our mobile service provides on-site technical support and catering.
Where are you based?
We're located in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, about half an hour's drive from the ferry terminal that services Orkney and Shetland. Our mobile service covers most of Scotland.
And finally - how much does it cost?
Prices vary depending on location and diver requirements, but they start from £30 per day or £50 per weekend. Group and club package deals are available. We also offer 10 per cent discounts on the sale of Otter, Fourth Element, Apeks and Aqualung gear for divers who have rented with us before.