Why I Own 101 Tubes of Scuba Goop

The first time I saw scuba goop was at Dive Club. Every new member gets a tube when they join. It looked vaguely familiar but I didn’t give it too much thought.

The next time I saw it was in the local dive shop. I remember thinking, that stuff looks a lot like the 3D fabric paint I use in art projects.


But, I reasoned, Scuba Goop was probably slightly different. After all, I knew from trial and error that it does not stick well to surfaces that are not material. How on earth then would it work on dive gear? Yup, it had to be different.  Still, I thought, maybe it would work. I hadn’t tried it so who was I to say? So, rather than buy a $10 tube of Scuba Goop, I decided to go home and use one of my own $3 “Scribble” 3D paint tubes to tattoo my mask, fins and snorkel.

Imagine my lack of surprise when after just one dive my name had vanished. I shrugged it off and decided to put Scuba Goop on the long list of scuba gear “to buy” in the near future. Months passed and I forgot about it.

Then, a few weeks ago, I had my first spot of luck at Dive Club. At the end of the night, when they were awarding raffle prizes, I won a dive slate and Scuba Goop.

The first thing I did when I got home that night was apply it to all of my dive gear. Everything except my dry suit. Then, a week later, I went for a fresh water dive in Woahink Lake. When I came out, half the writing had rubbed off of my fins and mask, and all of the writing had rubbed off my flashlight.

I went home and examined the goop. It really did look exactly like my fabric paint and hang on just one second…that website URL in tiny print on the bottom of the tube…I recongized that. That was the company that made my 3D paint! Keen eye that I have (yes, I’m sure you agree), I noticed that the Scuba Goop marketing was just a sticker. I peeled it back. And what did I find? Yup, you guessed it. This paint was no different than my other 10o tubes of 3D fabric paint. It was in fact, exactly the same. Right down to the brand, Scribble.

So, my advice to you: Before you go ahead and shell out on an expensive tube of Scuba Goop, accept a couple of facts. If you’re applying it to a non-fabric surface, it will rub off. And, if you’re applying it to a fabric surface, use a heavy hand. If you’re a perfectionist and want to print neat 3D script all over your gear, good luck to you–it won’t stay labelled long. It does however work well on weight belts, crushed neoprene (like the stuff some drysuits are made of), gear bags, and the likes.

And then really, if you are going to use it to label fabric stuff, do yourself a favor. Save some money and buy it from Michaels, Jo-Ann, or any other craft shop. It’s going to save you $7. Other shops do sell 3D paint but Scribbles is the best one I’ve come across to date.

Written by Candice Landau
I'm a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor, a lover of marine life and all efforts related to marine conservation, a tech diver and a member of various scuba organizations in the Pacific Northwest. I write articles related to diving and spend my non-diving time writing and providing digital marketing services to nonprofits and businesses.