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As is reasonably clear from my user name I like scuba diving, and as with many divers I obtain alot of inofrmation on the sport through reading dive publications of which there are three main ones avaliable in the UK. this is possibly the best, it isn't affiliated to any of the diver training organisations, but each has its merits and I subscribe to all three.
This review is mainly concentrating on a recent issue's content.
The covers are usually brightly coloured and I have to say tempt me back in to the water as its almost always clear and with gorgeous bright fish.
Ok back to the real world now where the magazine is just a picture and I am not underwater!
The features tend to include travel both UK dive sites (cornwall;coast to coast) and abroad (Bali Beasts), information on improving dive technique (Deco Plans), equipment reviews (Far Fetched Fins), and more random things which this month is a feature called Divers in Space as well as Which RIB?
The top of the cover has the name of the magazine in bold white type which stands out beautifully against the blue background, with the website, month of issue and price below it.
Inside there are 114 pages which for a cost of £3.80 is reasonable for a speciality magazine. But for your money you are buying 32 pages of adverts which again is a relatively small number compared to 'celebrity' magazines.
The regular features in Diver are
First In; The editors summary of the month.
Off Gassing; Readers letters, if you write in and your letter is choosen as the letter of the month you can win some very good prizes.
News; This is a summary of the months diving and aquatic news although by the time the magazine is published you will probably have read most of it online.
Mystery Diver; The Mystery shopper section.
Beachcomber; A section devoted to exposing poor dive and environmental practises.
Blackford and Trewavas: Two very different colunmists if you don't like one chances are you will the other.
Whats Bubbling; Diving holiday news.
Diver Tests; The most upto date kit is tested by divers writers.
Just Surfaced; New kit not yet tested
Wreck Tours; This isnt counted as a feature but has been present as long as I have been reading Diver. This month it is a tour of the Kimya tanker - although once at the wreck tour page its a totally different wreck featured (The Elsa), a rare boob for them.
Deep Breath; Which ends the magazine is usually written by a guest columnist and can be about almost any topic this month its about Drinking and Diving.
Of course there is a comprehensive directory of dive centres in the UK and abroad, classified ads, and the advertisers index.
The quality of the writing throughout the magazine is excellent, written in the main in clear 'diver-ese' that is to say its easily understandable as long as you have some level of diving knowledge. The pictures are stunning, from the comparatively simple clear water pictures to those more technically challenging in murky or deeper waters, with contributions from many award winning underwater photographers. Throughout the articles and features you are aware that the writers are all divers who love the sport and are genuinely interested in their subjects. The magazine also excells at pointing novice or inexperienced divers towards suitable dives rather than focussing on the deepest, coldest, most challenging ones, although they do generally have a full range of dives to all levels. Not just tempting us with exotic holiday desinations but ones closer to home which is something some of the other magazines can sometimes omit in the rush to show the exotic expensive destinations.
There is of course a subscription option either 24 months for £59.95 currently you will also recieve a Gear bag and a Dry Bag, this has been the same offer for almost 2 years, I recieved both when I last renewed and both are of a high quality. Or you can subscribe for 12 months for £32.95 with a free Torch, I can't comment on the quality of the torch but it is a fairly good brand. I would recommend subscribing as its quite hard to find the magazine outside of WHSmiths or Borders stores and of course it will save you quite alot of money (between 27% and 34% on the magazines alone taking in to account the value of the gifts and it is substatially more).
I can honestly recommend this magazine to anyone who has an interest in diving, or who wants to know more about the diving world to keep up with a diving partner, of course if you have no interest in diving or are scared of water this may not be publication for you.
The scuba diving world is not exactly over whelmed with choice when it comes to diving magazines however Diver is one of the three main ones and is my favourite for a couple of reasons, the first is that it has some excellent features which are well written and the second is that unlike the other two it is not affiliated to either of the big training organisations in the UK which are BSAC and PADI.
This means that you can be confident when reading articles particularly when it comes to ones about training and safety as the magazine is not constrained by the training ethos of the affiliated organsiation nd is quicker to reat to changes in diving technology and can review the commercial course available then tend to appear well before BSAC or PADI get around to sanctionin a course, the case of re-breather diving is a perfect example of this.
The magazine is issued on a monthly basis and retails at £3.80 and whilst it is unlikely that your local corner shop newsagent will stock it amongst the copies of Hello and Readers Wives you should be able to find it in the larger outlets of WH Smith and also most dive shops carry a few copies. The best was to secure a copy though is to take out a subscription, firstly this means you will never miss out and also not only do you get it at a discounted price per issue but also a get a free gift in the form of a diving watch which is valued at £65. In total a one year subscription is just £34.40 whilst a two year subscription costs £59.95 and comes with a gear bag and a dry bag. I have had my watch for a couple of years and it has performed without fault on dry land and under the water.
The magazine itself is quite a substantial read running to 115 pages or so each issue and produced in a glossy format on quality paper. The real stand out for me is in the quality of the pictures that pepper the pages, it is all very well getting a nice shot of a clown fish (Nemo to you lot) hiding amongst the coral in a crystal clear Red Sea but it is entirely another matter and skill level to capture the vivid colours of a plumose anemone in the turgid waters off the English coast. Due to the sheer range of features in each edition you are guaranteed to see some jaw dropping pictures from the best under water photographers in the business in a wide range of locations, there are always some tropical locations coupled with some pictures of wreck dives off the UK coastline.
Each issue has a number of regular features including a news section that rounds up all of the key events and a section called Off Gassing which is diver speak for the letters page where readers write in to debate key issues, have a moan or sing the praises of some dive operation or person, they have even been known to publish my own ramblings. One of my favourite sections is called Beachcomber which is where divers grass up other people they have seen abusing the waters or carrying out some dodgy diving practices. This is a very amusing section and often results in the offending party being invited to pay a fine towards the RNLI or face the threat of being named and shamed in public, some of the issues raised are quite serious and in a couple of cases has seen the culprit being censored by the diving agency they belong to particularly when it involves the vandalism of wrecks and the removal of items from war graves. The Receiver of Wrecks is a role known to divers long before the Napoli made the headlines.
Monty Hall is a regular contributor to the magazine and there are also regular columns for Louise Trewavas who is the Debbie Harry of the diving world and Andy Blackford who always writes an amusing column. In addition the magazine features a Mystery Diver column which mystery shops a dive shop or diving operation and reports on its findings, warts and all.
By far the best features though are the articles that review dive destinations; the range is excellent and includes those close to home to ones in every far flung place you can imagine that has water. By far the most interesting for me was the one on ice diving in Finland which had some stunning photography however all of the articles are well researched and provide an excellent resource when you are planning your own trip or just looking for ideas. There are also a lot of articles which focus on the diving of a single wreck and these are excellent as they give a great idea of the features to look out for and also useful tips on the best time to dive them and in some cases the operators that cover the wreck.
Finally the magazine also covers the reviewing of equipment and often it will review a number of items at one time and compare them, these are really useful when it comes to the time to make a purchase, certainly when I had to upgrade my dive computer to include mixed gas settings I relied heavily on the reviews written in Diver which compared the available models on the market before deciding on the right one for me.
I would certainly recommend Diver to anyone who is into scuba diving as it is packed with features and very entertaining. Even the adverts are of interest most of the time as they feature new products and also advise when a dive shop is having a sale.
If you want to check out some of the articles go to ww.divernet.com and have a look.
Thanks for reading and rating my review.
I am a big fan of scuba diving and subscribe to the magazine 'Diver' which is obviously all about scuba diving.
Why I First Bought " DIVER" Magazine.
I started buying "DIVER " magazine about 3 years ago when I started to learn to scuba dive in India where I completed my Open water Dive course. I chose it because it looked easy to read as I am not a very big reader! It is more expensive than other magazines but it is a specialist magazine and they always tend to be more expensive.
I first used to buy it in WHSMITH but it could be difficult to get if they had sold out as it is only available at big newsagents so I now subscribe to " DIVER " and get it delivered to me. It is a monthly magazine and the current price per issue is £3.80 but works out far cheaper if you subscribe. A years subscription is £26.75 for 12 issues (instead of £45.60) saving 41% or a 2 year subscription is £51.75 for 24 issues (instead of £91.20 ) a saving of 43%. You can guess which one I go for!
Why I Like " DIVER " Magazine.
It is full of lots of interesting articles. The "OFF GASSING "pages are for people to write letters to on any views to do with scuba diving issues. If your letter is chosen to head the page there is a diving related piece of equipment you can win.
There is also an article called "The Big Question "in which readers are invited to vote Yes or No to a particular question and are invited to leave a comment on a hot topic and again you can win another piece of diving related kit.
There are features on diving in various locations around the world which is really useful if you are thinking of booking a diving holiday. They give a guide on the ease and type of dive sites, type of accommodation you can stay in and the type of marine life you can expect to see.
There is usually a feature on a wreck from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world with a detailed picture of the wreck itself. The article gives a detailed history of the wreck , where it is located, what type of qualification a diver needs to dive the wreck, accommodation, dive schools nearby etc.
There are reviews on many different types of dive kit in Kit Q&A which is really useful when you first learn to dive because scuba diving clothing /equipment is quite expensive and different things suit different people according to the person using the kit and the type of diving that the person is going to be doing e.g.: warm or cold water, and weight of equipment itself if you are diving abroad dive kit soon eats into your luggage allowance although some airlines do allow a bit extra for dive kit if you are a certified diver.
There are lots of advertising on many dive schools at home and abroad which again is really useful if you are planning a holiday diving. You can contact schools direct and see if they offer the type of diving / course and for what the cost is before you decide where to holiday. You can even book online and some centres offer an online discount.
The whole magazine is written for divers of all levels whether you are a beginner or Divemaster . Its an interesting read and well worth the money. If you are interested in learning to scuba dive or are already a diver, then this magazine is definitely worth a read.