We're a passionate bunch of divers at Mike's so we thought we'd ask the staff for their recommendations for the best Christmas gifts this year. Plus we asked them to make a video too.
The results are a mixed bag (!) but if you'd like to find out what we all like personally then read on. Then watch too (but only through your fingers)...
Clinton Mulder (Store Manager)
Clinton hails from sunny South Africa and his Christmas recommendation is the Apeks Thermiq wetsuit. Perfect for colder water dives, the Thermiqs only drawback is that it makes the wearer look quite seal-like. A fact that won't do Clinton any favours when he enters the shark infested waters of Gansbaai in search of Abalone this Christmas....
Tristan Arnold (Store Supervisor)
Tristan is also from South Africa and his recommendation is the Scubapro Mk25 S600, a regulator so ubiquitous and popular that it could probably be called a modern classic. Tristan is also hoping that the smooth and easy delivery of the gas through the regulator will aid him when it comes to out-swimming the sharks although he is also aware that he only needs to outswim his buddy...
Alex Griffin (Sales Director)
Alex has been diving for quite some time now and whilst he enjoys wrecks and fish his most recent passion has been investing in equipment that prevents water from making contact with any part of his body through the use of drysuits and drygloves. Imagine how happy he was to get his hands on the Ocean reef Neptune 3 full face mask! Now as well as an improved field of view and a free and natural breath, no water makes any contact with his face at all!
Troy Macdonald (Warehouse Manager)
You might watch the following video and think that instead of recommending the Fourth Element Storm Poncho, Troy can barely bring himself to look at it. However he has informed us that this is because he wrote some notes on the back of the door before filming... Rest assured that despite how it might sound, Troy actually really does rate the Storm Poncho and so will you!
Jenna Beale (Customer Service Manager)
Jenna loves all things Suunto, even to the point that if Suunto brought out overcooked brussels sprouts, Jenna would want to take them diving. Her recommendation is the Eon Steel Black, which to be fair, is a pretty fantastic dive computer!
Dan Nott (Customer Service Coordinator)
Emerging from the dust and devastation of the once proud Castle Apeks, a lone figure strode forth and declared 'I am Dan Nott and this Christmas, I recommend some latex drygloves as they're really good at keeping your hands warm'.
Shem (Content Creation)
Shem is also a scuba diving instructor and a rebreather diver, and his open water students will be asking Santa this year for a fantastic Fourth Element Hydra Drysuit. All the Elves like this drysuit because the Hydra is an exceptionally comfortable and well-made drysuit that will allow beginners and advanced divers to enjoy diving in cold and temperate waters all year round. The Fourth Element Hydra is tailored out of 4mm crushed neoprene and features warm neoprene seals, a flexible polymer zipper, high-quality Apollo valves and comfortable technical boots. I am particularly impressed with the quality of seams that are taped, stitched and fused - one of the best long-lasting solutions on a neoprene drysuit at this price range. The Hydra works best with all Fourth Element Undersuits like J2 base layer, Xerotherm and Arctic undersuits - one drysuit to take you through all the seasons.
Ella Robinson (Warehouse Assistant and Social Media)
When she's not being a warehouse whirlwind, Ella also does lots of UK diving, which is why her recommendation this year is the Fourth Element Arctic Hoodie. It's all about not going hypothermic at the dive site in winter!
Gediminas Labukas (Shop Assistant)
Gedi recommends the Garmin MK2S this year because despite being a fantastic dive computer, it's multi sport functionality is useful for heart rate tracking, apparently when running from the police...
Alistair Barr (Warehouse Assistant)In the following video, Alistair recommends the Suunto SK8 compass as a Christmas gift this year. Light-hearted joke or sinister threat? You decide!