Proud To Be A Mares Man
A few years ago, I approached the Mares contingent at the BOOT Show in Düsseldorf, Germany requesting them to consider Yap Divers for membership in the Mares Dive Center Program. From the moment they accepted us, I have been dedicated to the Mares’ brand – because they make good equipment, they stand behind what they make and the people working at Mares are some of the finest I have met in the dive industry. As part of the agreement between Mares and Yap Divers, our rental equipment is Mares, our staff all use Mares gear and of course my wife Patricia and I use Mares gear. I believe they want me to use their gear because 1) they hope that I will influence other divers to use Mares gear and 2) they want me to test their gear and give them feedback.
Over the years, I have had the same arrangement with two other brands and I always thought that part of what they wanted from me was feedback regarding their gear. To my surprise, neither of those brands ever listened to anything I suggested. I have now found a company that does just the opposite. They want feedback and they listen. Case in point is the new Mares Icon integrated computer with an HD color screen. This is the top of the line computer for Mares and from the moment I started using it, I had concerns which I expressed to the appropriate people at Mares. The more I tried to use the computer, the more concerns I had until I finally told them that I simply couldn’t recommend the computer to my customers. I returned my Icon to the Mares staff at the Scuba Show in Long Beach this year and changed Mares computers for a dive trip I was taking to Indonesia aboard the Dive Damai live-aboard fleet (www.dive-damai.com).
One thing about Mares is that you get to talk directly to the people responsible. At Long Beach, I gave my computer back to Sergio the person who designed the Icon computer and the person whom I had been sending my concerns to. The next day Sergio brought my computer back to me and told me that he had installed the latest firmware update which took into account my comments, as well as comments from other Mares gear testers. The screens looked better, they performed better and my main concern, battery life, was fixed and fixed in grand style. I couldn’t believe that a simple firmware update could complete change the entire computer.
I am proud to say that the “new” Icon is 1000 times different and better than the older version, that Sergio has done a tremendous job with the computer and to my way of thinking the Icon is the world’s best dive computer. It now does everything, and more, that I wanted in the first place and I am proud to have played a small part in the evolution of this computer. If you are looking for dive gear, do yourself a favor and try the new line of Mares gear. If you live in the United States and are under the belief that Mares has problems with their product, you are living in the past. An entire new set of people are now in charge, new distribution center and much better service all around. The new Mares Company is a force in the market and I am very proud that Yap Divers is a Mares Dive Center. Come visit us and dive with new Mares gear.