A brand new scuba diving magazine has been launched in the UK this month.
‘Scuba Diver’ is the brain child of Mark Evans and Ross Arnold.
Mark Evans is no stranger to the scuba publishing industry. He has edited Sport Diver (UK) for the past 18 years, growing the monthly publication from 76 pages to 148 pages. (Other dive magazines tend to be approximately 116 pages). During his tenure he published a monster issue of 220 pages.
“I wanted to mark a significant Sport Diver anniversary with a spring edition comprising of some long 16-page special supplements in it. It was fascinating producing such a big magazine”.
Mark Evans’ journalism career began when he was 18. He initially worked as a newspaper journalist on a number of daily and weekly newspapers, including the Yorkshire Evening Press, before joining PA Listings. This was a TV listings company – it supplied ready-made TV guides to national papers.
“At the start of 1999 I was working at the Goole Times when I spotted an advertisement in the Press Gazette for ‘an editor for a water-sports magazine’. It turned out to be a ten-year-old magazine called ‘Sport Diver’.
I started as Editor in March 1999, taking over from Gavin Parsons.
At the time I was the youngest editor of a dive magazine in the world – I was aged 25 – so my appointment caused quite a stir.
I quickly learned that there is a massive difference between writing for a newspaper and editing a magazine. But being a proud Yorkshire man I got stuck in.
My love of diving began when I was 12. My uncle was a commercial diver. He introduced me to this amazing sport off the coast of Anglesey in North Wales. A place that I still love diving today! As with many of us, I was immediately bitten by the bug. So landing this job was my dream come true. I was able to combine my hobby with my job at Sport Diver (UK).”
Over the next 18 years Mark Evans and his team built Sport Diver(UK) into a highly regarded major magazine, winning respect from the industry and a EUROTEK Media Award.
At the start of this year Bonnier – the American owners – took the business decision to close Sport Diver (UK) and just run with their USA version of Sport Diver. It meant that the British team (Mark Evans, Ross Arnold, Matt Griffiths, Will Harrison and Sam Wren) were made redundant. Subscribers were given two choices – receive Sport Diver (US), or have their subscription refunded.
However Bonnier liked Evans’ work. They wanted him to join their senior editorial team in Orlando, Florida. However, with the chances of getting a H1B professional-level visa less than 30% (the annual quote of 65,000 is vastly over-subscribed, to the tune of 350,000 plus people, meaning it goes to a lottery process), he felt it was too much of a risk with his family’s future at stake.
“I couldn’t risk my family’s future on such long odds – I didn’t want a lottery to decide where I went from here, so I thought that I ought to do what people had been telling me to do for the past 15 years or so. Set up my own media company and our first title is….Scuba Diver magazine! I’m working with the core team from Sport Diver UK – Ross Arnold (co-founder and advertising) and Matt Griffiths (art designer) – and the first issue will be landing in key dive centres in the next few days.
I am very proud of what I achieved at Sport Diver (UK).
I was there exactly 18 years. My first issue was March 1999. My last issue was March 2017. It was very disappointing when the title closed, but now the Scuba Diver team and I have a bright future to look forward to. The support from the industry has been nothing short of spectacular, and I will be eternally grateful for that.
So what can readers expect from Scuba Diver magazine? At the end of the day, diving is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable activity. So I try and keep this at the core of everything I have done, and intend to do.
It is especially important in this day and age, when we are competing with the likes of kite surfing and mountain biking, etc, which has a youthful and exciting appeal. Diving has got to move with the times to attract younger people. I can’t wait to get stuck in!”
The print version of the inaugural issue of Scuba Diver will be arriving in a dive centre or club near you in the next couple of days, so check out the list below to find out your nearest stockist and go pick up a copy for FREE. This list will be updated regularly as new stockists of Scuba Diver come online.
If you can’t wait to pick up a copy from one of the stockists listed below, you can download a digital version of the first issue of Scuba Diver Magazine here.
Scuba Diver Magazine Stockists
- Above and Below Dive Centre, Hull, East Yorkshire
- Anglesey Divers, Holyhead, Anglesey
- Aquaholics, Portstewart, Northern Ireland
- Aquanorth, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland
- Aquanaut Scuba & Snorkelling Centre, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey
- Aquasport International, Solihull, West Midlands
- Aquatechnique, Enderby, Leicestershire
- Atlantic Scuba, Prenryn, Cornwall
- Big Squid, Clapham, London
- Blue Orb, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
- Blue Planet Aquarium, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
- Bolton Area Divers, Bolton, Lancashire
- Calypso Diving, Redcar, Cleveland
- Cameras Underwater, Ottery St Mary, Devon
- Canary Divers, Blackburn, Lancashire
- Capernwray, Over Kellet, Lancashire
- Chesterfield Adventure Centre, Derbyshire
- Christal Seas Scuba, Norwich, Norfolk
- Commercial Diver Training, St Austell, Cornwall
- Coral Cay Conservation, Tongham, Surrey
- Cork Dive Centre, County Cork, Ireland
- Dark Water Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex
- Deep Blue Sports, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear
- Divecrew, Crowthorne, Berkshire
- Dive In Scuba, Dublin, Ireland
- Diveline, Ipswich, Norfolk
- Dive Machine, Tonbridge, Kent
- Divemaster Scuba, Aspley, Nottinghamshire
- Divestyle, Wokingham, Royal Berkshire
- Dive Wimbledon, London
- Diveworld, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
- Divers Down, Babbacombe, Devon
- Divers Down, Swanage, Dorset
- Dives Warehouse, Bradford, West Yorkshire
- Diving Unlimited London, Bexleyheath, Kent
- Dream Divers, Rotherham, South Yorkshire
- Euro-Divers, Male, Republic of Maldives
- Extreme Marine Diving, Bristol, Somerset
- Fin Divers, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
- Fins Scuba, Preston, Lancashire
- Fourth Element, Helston, Cornwall
- Glaciere Diving & Sailing, Liverpool
- Go Dive, Derby, Nottinghamshire
- H2O Divers, Hindley, Wigan
- Island Divers, Cowes, Isle of Wight
- Kent Scuba, Margate, Kent
- Lakeside Diving & Watersports Centre, West Thurrock, Essex
- Lumb Brothers, Moston, Manchester
- Miflex Hoses and KUBI, Enderby, Leicestershire
- Mikes Dive Store, Chiswick, London
- Mulberry Divers, Selsey, West Sussex
- Narked At 90, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
- New Horizons Scuba, Macclesfield, Cheshire
- Northampton Scuba School, Northamptonshire
- Ocean Addicts, Cork, Ireland
- Oceandivers, County Wicklow, Ireland
- Oceanic, Honiton, Devon
- O’Three, Portland, Dorset
- Ocean Leisure, City of Westminster, London
- Ocean Turtle Diving, Basingstoke, Hampshire
- Orca Scuba Diving Academy, Basildon, Essex
- Otter Watersports, Dudley Hill, West Yorkshire
- Overland Underwater, Harrogate, Yorkshire
- Overland Underwater, York, Yorkshire
- Oyster Diving, Hove, East Sussex
- Planet Divers, Eastbourne, East Sussex
- Planet Scuba, Bishop’s Stortford, Essex
- Porthkerris Divers, St Keverne, Cornwall
- Probe Diving Services, Oldham, Greater Manchester
- Professional Diving Academy, Dunoon, Argyll
- Puffin Dive Centre, Oban, Argyll
- Reefers and Wreckers, Barrow, Lancashire
- Robin Hood Watersports, Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire
- Sandford and Downs, Plymouth, Devon
- Scuba 2000, Uckfield, West Sussex
- Scubadive West, County Galway, Ireland
- Scuba Dream, North Cave, East Yorkshire
- Scubaducks Dive Centre, Aylesbury, Buckingham
- Scuba Leeds, West Yorkshire
- Scuba Zone, Finchley, London
- Severn Tec Diving, Shewsbury, Shropshire
- Sunderland Scuba Centre, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
- Sussex Scuba, Sevenoaks, Kent
- TAL Scuba, Christchurch, Dorset
- The Cornish Diving School, Falmouth, Cornwall
- The Dive Centre, County Clare, Ireland
- Triton Scuba, Southsea, Hampshire
- Underwater Explorers, Portland, Dorset
- Vale Royal Sub Aqua Club, Winsford, Cheshire
- Vivian Dive Centre, Caernarfon, Wales
- Vobster Quay, Radstock, Somerset
- Wavecrest Scuba, Newquay, Cornwall
TV adventure personality and Brit scuba diver – Monty Halls – received Sport Diver’s 2016 ‘Outstanding Contribution’ at last month’s Sport Diver Awards.
Mark Evans, editor of Sport Diver Magazine, explained how the judging team had made their difficult decision, because there were a number of worthy names on the list.
“Monty is not doing epic diving expeditions. Instead he brings diving to the masses and into our homes. He has probably done more for diving in mainstream television programmes than any one else at present. The programmes may have been seen as a bit ‘cheesy’ by hardened divers, but they were watched and loved by the general public. This award was quite special for Monty Halls. It is the first time his work has been recognised and he got quite emotional when he received it.”
Robert Parrington from Wakatobi made the announcement at the award ceremony.
“This is an award recognising a person or company that has gone above and beyond in the name of diving.
For 2016, the judges chose a truly worthy winner, someone who has arguably done more than anyone to get scuba diving in front of a mainstream audience on our TV screens.
Over the past ten years, he has taken viewers around the world, from exotic destinations such as Indonesia, Japan, South Africa and the Great Barrier Reef, to closer-to-home but no-less-beautiful locations like Ireland, Scotland and Cornwall. In between these televised adventures, he has found time to pen several books, write numerous magazine articles and do the odd spot of motivational speaking.
Along the way he has been upstaged by his faithful dog Reuben (sadly now departed), met and married his lovely wife, and had two wonderful children.
This year, the Outstanding Contribution Award goes to Monty Halls.”
2015: Fourth Element and Ocean Positive
It is two days and counting until the UK diving event of the summer! This Friday (15th August) sees the start of the Anglesey ScubaFest.
The weekend event, now in its third year, showcases British diving, and to this end brings together like-minded divers from all agencies to enjoy some great diving, trial new equipment and techniques, tuck into some great food, listen to some live music, and just generally have a good craic over some apres-dive beers. Download the packed 2014 Anglesey Scubafest Schedule here.
For non-divers this ScubaFest is the ideal opportunity to learn all about scuba diving and meet key people from the leading diver training agencies; BSAC, PADI, SAA and SSI.
For certified divers, there is a packed schedule of diving with plenty of shore diving on offer. If you want to boat dive, there are still a handful of RHIB diving spaces left – go to the website to secure your spot.
You can also try something new. Curious about freediving? There are four Static and Dynamic Apnea Freediving clinics running morning (10am) and afternoon (2pm) on the event beach. All you need is a wetsuit and a pair of socks to take part. Everything else will be provided.
The same goes for sidemounting. Sidemount supremo Garry Dallas will be running Sidemount workshops and will be bringing rigged cylinders, harnesses and regs a-plenty
In between times you can refresh your rescue skills by getting up to speed with CPR!
There is plenty to keep the kids occupied with BSAC running Beachcomber and ‘Beach Snapper‘ events on both days. And children aged 12 and under get free entry into theAnglesey Sea Zoo during this ScubaFest. Just say the two magic words at the ticket office; “Anglesey ScubaFest”!
Representatives from manufacturers including Apeks Aqua Lung, Huish Outdoors, Liquid Sports, Mares, Suunto and Weezle Diving will be on the beach at Porth Dafarch near Trearddur Bay, or Newry Beach in Holyhead (final location dependent on the weather), and will have plenty of shiny new gear for you to take for trial dives.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a snapper, then the Northern Underwater Photography Group (NUPG) has a special category for The Anglesey ScubaFest sponsored by AP Diving. This is free and anyone can enter. Simply take images of the ScubaFest event, i.e. divers getting ready, equipment, people having fun along the shore or at the event. You can enter a maximum of 2 images by 6.30pm on Saturday evening at the Outdoor Centre.
There is still some space for camping at the Outdoors Centre – check out the website for details. Of course no ScubaFest would not be complete without some great entertainment. Two fabulous live bands are lined up to play on Friday and Saturday night, so come and grab a drink and dance the night away.
For more information, to book your accommodation, a band ticket or space on a RHIB dive, check out: www.theangleseyscubafest.com