Building a Scuba Community

By Bill Doran


Building A Community


This month we would like to focus on a dive business with a focus on building a community based on a unique offering.


Since 2008 Relaxed Divers in Curacao has been owned and run by Rob and Petricia Botbijl. In addition to their diving skills, Rob’s background was with the Royal Dutch Navy, while Petricia has a background working as a nurse. From their location inland, they teach and guide divers from many beautiful dive sites on the island of Curacao.


Relaxed Guided Divers offers a full range of scuba services, and in this article, I will focus on a unique offering and how they use it to build their community of divers around their business.


The unique offering by Relaxed Divers involves the use of full-face masks. They offer discover scuba sessions in a full face mask and an open water course in a full face mask.


Why Full Face Masks and what are the benefits of offering a discover Scuba in a Full Face Mask?


Discover Scuba Diving using an Integrated Dive Mask.


Many people are curious and want to see what lives beneath the surface; however, they sometimes have concerns holding them back from scuba diving.


Here are a few points that came up in my discussion with them:

  • Some people have concerns about water in their faces and mask.
  • Others may have dental issues or do not like the idea of holding a regulator in their mouth may hold them back.
  • People may also not find it easy to breathe through the mouth.
  • Many people already use a full-face snorkel mask, so transitioning to scuba is easy.
  • No water comes in the mask, so there is less stress there.
  • They find the advantages of using this mask as the person can breathe through the nose, just like on the surface.
  • They also find that this makes the equalizing of ears easier and has more options to choose from for equalizing.
  • Since no water will come into the mask, the student does not have to do the mask-clearing exercises.
  • Also, recovery skills exercises are not required since it is impossible to lose your regulator.
  • Just breathe and enjoy!


They offer the use of the OceanReef GDivers Integrated Dive Mask for Discover Scuba sessions as well as Open Water Dive Courses.


How does this build a community?


Relaxed Guided Divers are located on an island with more scuba stores and instructors than you would want to count. How many of us are concerned with our area’s local dive shops and instructors? However, Rob and Petricia have found and used a unique offering to get themselves noticed and used. I ran into couples two times that had used Relaxed Guided Divers groups; neither couple knew that I was writing this article, so it was great to get their opinion on their experience and add those thoughts to my notes. One couple was a first-time customer, and both couples planned to be repeat customers.


Relaxed Divers of Curacao has and continues to build its dive community with local and international guests by using unique offerings involving full face masks.


Check them out at:


Yours in fun, safe diving, Bill

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