DEMA Show 2012 Day 3 Coverage

<<< photo credit (Jill Heinerth)

Here is a summary of what we saw on day three of the 2012 DEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. We will have end of day coverage throughout the show as well as live tweets and Facebook posts during the day. This year we have a larger team on the show floor including Chris Chambers and Chen Yu Hsu. Chris and Chen are new divemasters and first time DEMA show attendees. We will have a special report from them on DEMA show as seen through the fresh eyes.

At the end of the show we will have a full wrap-up with “best of show” and other awards. In the coming months we’ll bring you in-depth reports and live-dive test of some products.

We welcome input from all readers, at the show or not. Please let us know what you would like us to cover and, if you are at the show, please let us know your pick for “best of show” and “oddist of show.” You can follow and contact us via http://www.facebook.com/ScubaGadget and @facebook on twitter.

  • We met with Jill Heinerth and spoke about her We Are Water program, a campaign to make people think about where their drinking water comes from and do more to protect their most precious resource – water. We will be having a longer report soon.
  • We visited the DEMA DiveCaching booth and learned that it is an underwater variation of “Geocaching,” a game which has been played around the world for more than a dozen years by adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.  DEMA has made a new arrangement with Garmin’s geocaching website, Opencaching.com, to promote the real-life environmentally-friendly, in-water game of DiveCaching. Many shops that promote DiveCaching have Geocaching locations hidden in their stores and then help divers find a local DiveCaching spot. DiveCaching can help divers extend their skills in navigation while having fun.
  • We stopped by the Cetatek booth and met with Simon Morris to get more understanding of the revolutionary new Aquabionic Warp1 fins. We are currently testing the fins and will have a full report soon. Aquabionic has also added masks and snorkels into their line so you can outfit yourself with the package. Additionally, they are working on some new proprietary designs for the next generation of masks and snorkels. We also heard a story of a special services officer who reported that he finished their measured course 40% faster with the Warp1 fins.
  • At the Fourth Element booth, #147 we saw quite a few new products from this always innovative company.
    • They are making their first foray into the dry suit market with their Argonaut shell drysuit that comes in two flavors: a smooth, flexible cordura (not stretch) and a breathable kevlar suit.
    • Both are front zip suits using the newer TiZip zippers.
    • They also have a ladies Halo undergarment.
    • We’ll be testing out the Thermocline neutrally buoyant system thermal protection system, which uses state of the art materials to maximize performance without compromising on comfort.
  • My visit to Seahorse cases was very enlightening. Their cases match or exceed the Pelican cases in style and specs but cost 45% less on average. They also have a “dummy proof” no-lose zero profile pressure relief valve. To top it off they are made completely in the USA.
  • The DiveLogz company that introduced their customizable dive logs last year, has found a niche in supplying custom log books to businesses and especially resorts. Along with the easy to use log pages, resorts add features such as pictures of local fish and maps of the local dive sites.
  • Advanced Inspection Tech was showing a rod mounted camera/digital gauging tool to measure pit depth while doing visual inspecions on scuba tanks. One advantage of this tool is that it eliminates arguments when returning a tank to the customer that failed because of pitting. MSRP $1950
  • Dive Assurance  – When you think of dive insurance, usually divers think of D.A.N. However we found that Dive Assurance may be a better fit for some divers. This company which partners with Duke Dive Medicine, has much the same services as D.A.N. but is a primary provider as opposed to D.A.N. which is a secondary provider. This means that Dive Assurance pays directly for your needed services whereas with D.A.N. you cover your services and D.A.N. reimburses you. Additionally, Dive Assurance has policies tailored to divers who may only dive one or a few times per year.
  • Diver Guard is a new product that the manufacturer claims can save you in case of respiratory distress, even if your diving buddy is not aware of your condition. It monitors your breathing, alerts your buddy and, if necessary, returns you to the surface, with no action required on your part. The unit does this by replacing your BCD inflator.
  • Waterproof , one of the most innovative exposure protection companies we know, was showing off a new W4 wetsuit in both men and women styles. We also saw their new G1-5mm kevlar wetsuit gloves with kevlar palm, stitching and fingers.
  • Nepteau.tv, a dive shop in Montreal, Quebec that has branched out and started Nepteau TV to provide diving related videos for the Quebec area divers. Just recently, they decided to come and film the DEMA show. If you speak French you can visit their view their videos on their site.
  • We’re always excited to visit the Si Tech AB booth to see their practical innovations. This year they had the Antares ring system, a follow up of their oval Modular Quick Change Solution QCS Oval, which is designed with oval rings with minimal volume and ergonomic design. This gives the diver a slim, comfortable and ergonomic Dry Glove System. The design follows the arm, wrist and hand anatomy and the system feels like a natural component on the drysuit. Additionally, they now have their comfy silicon neck and wrist seals in sizes that fit women.
  • Tusa was showing off their new BCJ-8000C X-WING with A.W.L.S. II; the next generation of their unque weight system with a newly designed ergonomic handle grip and quick-lock feature. You can release the weight cartridges with ease by simply turning the handle grip vertically 90° in either direction. We also saw their new SF-22 Solla which incorporates their “ForcElast technology” which softens the resistance compared to a typical blade fin.
  • We are seeing a trend in fins. There is even more of move away from split fins with only the most popular remaining. The still strong pivoting blade fins are remaining steady. But manufacturers are tweaking their standard paddle fins, as with Tusa above and Mares to give a bit less resistance than typical blade fins.
  • DUI was proudly displaying their long awaited heated undergarment system. BLUEHEAT is a product that has taken over 3 years of diligent research and development and the help of many test divers. The mission, which they have fully accomplished, was to provide a system that truly provided core temperature warming in a completely safe and reliable manner. This system really highlights the band-aid approach used by others providers of undergarment heaters which often just warm the skin. The BLUEHEAT system heats both the torso with four independently monitored panels and the hand and feet. All have separate sensing and shutoff circuitry. It uses a huge battery that can also power a canister light and still provide warmth enough for a diver to remain comfortable for 2 hours in 40 degree water. The take away ah-ha moment is this. If you want to have a heated undergarment, there is no fooling around – you need a serious and safe  system. The BLUEHEAT is that system and there is nothing they even comes close. We will have full report later. MSRP for the system with all features is around $3500. DUI has also released their silicon neck zip-seal. They claim it is more durable than competitor’s models and the inside of the seal is acid-etched that makes it easier to don.
  • MARES was displaying some hot new colors for their X-Steam fin. Like Tusa, they have made a slight modification to their long beloved Quattro blade fin to slightly soften the resistance but maintain power. They have brought their Sunrise line of mask to the US market. They discovered that these masks  originally designed to fit an Asian face, were actually very comfortable to many Caucasians  I was surprised when I tried one on and found that it immediately and comfortably held to my face without a strap or inhaling. Additionally,  they have begun packaging their Head branded masks in a mask box previously only provided with high end masks. This will cut down on the throw-away package bulk. Mares also has their own version of the SeaCure moldable mouthpiece under the JAX label  This is possible because the US SeaCure patent has expired. Just one of the features included in the new Instinct regulator is an angled geometry and purge plate that  protects against free-flow from current pushing on the purge.
  • The Nautilus Lifeline waterproof marine radio which is already saving diver’s lives now comes in 6 colors: green, purple, orange, red, black, hot pink, and the original cream color.
  • We picked up one of the (new last year) Surface Marker buoy with the webbing deployment systems for an upcoming live dive test report.
  • ScubaPro is celebrating their 50th anniversary and besides having a full ScubaPro history museum at their booth they are offering and elegant 50th anniversary commemorative watch. Other new products include special edition and extremely durable gold version of the MK 25 /S700 regulator, new long sleeve and black editions of their popular loose-fit rash guard, a full foot version of the Sea Wing Nova fin and a 6.5 mill wetsuit boot.
  • We were excited about the new SubGear roller bag. This generous dive roller is great for local dives as well as travel. It is big enough for 2 sets of full dive gear + clothing. It include two side pockets for fins and large zippered pockets on the front. We also like their matching carry-on bag which is, as they say, “not  small, it’s compact.”

We will have more tomorrow as well as our show wrap-up with trends and best in show awards.