DEMA SHOW 2010–LIVE–Day 4 and Wrap up

    More than the last two years, we heard glowing reviews  about this years DEMA show from both vendors and attendees.  Many vendors reported doing much better this year; several reported record sales.  The overall mood was upbeat, smiles were frequent.  We left with a glow in our heart, feeling the success of the event, tired but happy.  Here’s our final day report and summary.  We’ll be writing in-depth articles in the weeks to come.

  • Update on Nautilus  Lifeline Marine Radio with GPS – as we reported, the radio will be sold retail through DAN in March 2011, as well as through the Nautilus company.  Wholesale distribution will be through Dive Alert.

  • Beuchat, a well known French dive equipment company, is opening U.S. distribution through Spirotech starting with the Beuchat regulator line, by the beginning of 2011.  Also new from Beuchat is the Focia wetsuit, which comes with a hood and built in computer holder in the wrist of the garment.

  • We interviewed a sales rep at Spyderco, a well known knife and knife sharpener company. Their dive knife line features the H1 alloy, a non-rusting metal. Even the internal parts and spring in their folding knives are made with this no-rust alloy.  We asked why they used H1 alloy when so many other knives are made from titanium. The Spyderco rep answered that titanium has a good side and a bad side – it’s great that it doesn’t rust or corrode, but it is very soft and will not hold an edge as well as the H1 alloy.

  • Analox, mostly known for their hand held O2 analyzers and compressor gas monitors, showed off their new CO analyzer – msrp $390. It comes in the same easy to use handle case as the O2 analyzer. Since this is the first device to allow divers to check for carbon monoxide in their tanks, we are curious to see what the results will be when tanks are tested. Up until now, even some training agencies recommended that divers smell their gas, but carbon monoxide is completely odorless this could be giving a false sense of security to many divers. Analox also show us a new Trimix analyzer for tech diver divers that 1/2 the width and 1/2 the weight of their previous model – msrp $1019

  • Atomic Aquatics showed their shipping version of their new OLED dive computer, called Cobalt.  The unit is air integrated with an attached hose, handles nitrox, extensive dive planning and has a built in full tilt compass. They had planned to ship early last year but took time to re-design the high pressure hose attachment to prevent problems with interference. With an msrp of $1200, the unit is shipping now and  comes with MAC and PC software and sync cable included. Certainly one of the strong suits of the Cobalt is ease of use and, of course, the beautiful display of the OLED. The Cobalt uses the same OLED display as the UEMIS computer and we will explain the differences in our upcoming full review.

  • SiTech, who won the ScubaGadget Best in Show last year for their silicone seals (co-designed with Waterproof), has refined their neck ring system to make it more pliable and comfortable. It has less height than their original version and is narrower. A tester with Whites Manufacturer said that this new ring system is now flexible enough to install in their Fusion drysuit and who want to use the silicone neck seal. SiTech is also bring out an oval silicone wrist system.  It only supports pull-over gloves.

  • Waterproof, co-designers of the silicone seal, has a unique drysuit ready for market. They call it the D1 hybrid suit.  In addition to having silicone seals all around, it includes an integrated, patented 3D-mesh inner liner. The liner is non-compressible and works like a thermos to maintain a consistent airspace inside the suit even without adding air. The inventor for the mesh told us he got the idea when he wondered how the air condition seat in his Mercedes worked. He found that the auto industry uses this type of mesh for various applications in cars.

    While not a new product from Waterproof, their 10mm but very comfortable neoprene hood has been a big seller this year.

  • At first glance, we thought the AquaStar underwater scooter was going to be a joke.  But when we interviewed inventor Tally G. Sayag, we learned that the AquaStar is a good way to get the non-diver as well as experienced divers under the water in a safe and easy manner. Looking like the a wheel-less land scooter with a diving bell hood, the AquaStar allows the non-diver to drop down to around 10 feet (an experienced diver can take the scooter down to 40’), drink an ice tea or other beverage, listen to tunes on their iPod and enjoy the 20 minute exploration into the undersea world.  The AquaStar is  also perfect for those with disabilities, too. The disabled person gets strapped into the back of the two person scooter while the instructor sits in the front.  Currently in use in Ft. Lauderdale, you may soon see them at your nearest resort.

  • Galiso wants to offer dive shops a chance to increase their cash flow and profitability by becoming full-service tester facilities. They have plans for leasing or purchasing their fully integrated test equipment that will allow shops to both do their own testing in-house and offer services to other local dive shops. Their brochure examples claim a payoff within 3.5 months.

  • OMS (Ocean Management Systems), like other long term tech equipment manufacturers, is reaching into the crossover and recreational market. They’ve added two recreational BCs: the RDS and, like other equipment makers, a travel BC called the Featherweight, weighing in at 5 lbs.  Both will be out later this year.

    More typical to their tech line, they showed us a new side mount system that can be added to any backplate; a low profile tank valve/manifold; and their relatively new soft single tank adaptor that holds the tank closer and more securely to the wing, and doesn’t have the weight of a steel STA.

  • SpareAir, a household name in the dive industry, has been reminding us for 30 years that “self-rescue is the ultimate buddy.” And because they’ve been around so long, their patent has expired…and because so many divers love their spare air, XS Scuba has decided it’s a good time to copy the product.  When asked for comment, the SpareAir folks said, “It’s flattering but remember our product is made in the USA and the XS Scuba product is made in China.” As you may remember from last years DEMA (2009), XS Scuba was involved in a patent kerfuffle with the creator of the Vindicator tank valve. FOLLOWUP: 11/29/2010 I spoke with Mark, one of the owners of XS Scuba, today. He said that their new self rescue device, due in March 2011, will not be copy of SpareAir, will be assemble in the US and will have features (to be announced) that will make give it added value.

  • A few of our scuba buddies get seasick quite easily, even in ocean surge. We stopped by the booth for QueseEase, a new product that is listed as 100% pure and natural and supposedly provides immediate relief from seasickness. Developed by a medical professional, the product smells quite pleasant. We plan on giving a sample to one of our seasick prone ScubaGadget testers.

  • Neptunic, the shark protection suit people have released a new model designed for the female form.