Here’s our report from Day 2 on the showroom floor at #DEMAshow:
- In keeping with our theme of “are canister lights dead?”, UTD Equipment offers a choice in both worlds with their VIS Light System. This is a modular light head which allows you to attach either a canister light style cabled battery pack or an integrated battery that snaps directly on the light.
- Met with Jack Schmidt, the new leader of Edge-Hog. He outlined the changes they’ve experienced of late and discussed his new vision for the company. Schmidt took over when Chris Richardson left to pursue other ventures. In the past, Hog was pure tech and Edge was all recreational. Schmidt will bring the two lines together into one cohesive brand to better serve both technical and recreational divers. He also cleared up a myth for us that Edge sold repair kits directly to customers to do their own regulator service. He said “The truth is they don’t prohibit customers from buying regulator parts but strongly encourage dealers to only sell parts kits to customers who have taken the special TDI edge regulator repair course.
- In a step up from Scuba SUP (stand up paddleboard) offered by UTD, we found a company called SwitchSup, which offers a specially configured Scuba SUP. The Scuba SUP has everything you need to get near dive sites including a tank holding bracket, dive flag & holder, and a tank cradle, tie downs, gear storage seat, and adjustable pontoons for added stability once you arrive at the dive site.
- Huish Outdoors, which now includes Zeagle, Bare, Stahlsac, Atomic, Liquivision and more, were showing the following:
- Zeagle – now offering their first ever jacket BCD with a redesign ripcord weight release system that is much easier to deploy and reset. It also includes a depth compensating cumberbund. Additionally, they’ve added a new sport line of BCDs that offers cost conscious consumers Zeagle quality from $599 or less. These BCDs don’t employ the ripcord system but instead offer the more common ditchable weight pockets. Zeagle is bringing out their first new regulator in a long time – the F8 second stage was designed by the famous team of Dean Graf and Doug Toth. It has 23 new features.
- Atomic – a unique new Venom frameless mask with gummy bear soft dual component silicon designed to be super soft yet not collapsible.
- Stahsac – offering their Moyo GoPro cases in 3 sizes which hold different configurations and includes a dry bag for complete protection around the water. These cases are impressive, a clean design and cute.
- Bare is still proving to be a top innovator. Their new reactive ultra warm wetsuit line includes a mixture of 13 thermoreacitve minerals combined with the neoprene which offer better heat retention, and can actually keep you 5 – 9 degrees warmer than other wetsuits. The line comes in all the usual thicknesses and the suits are built with Bare’s NST (no stitch technology) borrowed from their drysuit line. This means a complete seal along all the seams with absolutely no water passing through. Bare also showed an innovative tech dry suit called X-Misson designed by a cave diving team with streamlined cut, very light and flexible, and job specific cargo pocket with an easy grab edge. Bare used a 20-women team to design their new NIXE and limited edition wetsuit line. The NIXE line is very stylish with flattering lines. The limited edition includes a unique thumb loop feature and a percentage of sales goes to national breast care charities.
- ScubaPro has added an anti-skid surface to the underside of their Seawing Nova Fins. Also, they now offer a 700 lumen dive light.
- Sealife is showing off the Sealife Micro HD camera which we’re anxiously waiting to review. They’ve added an AquaPod mini which is a lighter and shorter version of their popular AquaPod.
- While walking around, we ran into a fellow with a sphere filled with GoPro cameras on a long monopod. This new product called 360 Heroes allows you to take completely immersive video and re-experience your dives on your cell phone and even virtual reality devices.
- Another fascinating product is the Aequus (latin for neutral). It’s a hands-fre buoyancy control device that uses water pressure along with natural body control and positioning to regulate buoyancy. Aequus did not have a booth but Mike Miller or DaVinci systems was here at the show meeting with major manufacturers about integrating their product into BCs. They’re going to send us one to try so we’ll have more to report soon.
- Light and Motion – our meetings with Daniel Emerson, CEO of Light and Motion are always enlightening (pun intended). Dnaiel has spent years encouraging the light industry to come together for standards on lumen ratings. He told us the next battle is beam angle claims. We learned that many manufacturers are stating the beam angle of their lights in air, which makes no sense for divers who need lights under the water. He showed us the test results for one prominent manufacturer, listed as a 100 degree beam angle, but was actualy onlly 40 degrees in water. All Sola light beam angle are stated in water ratings.Some of the new Sola offerings include: the Sola Video Pro 8000, with a graphic display indicating the exact minutes left on the current charge while using or charging; the Sola 3000 F with a 90 degree in water beam has all new electronics including an integrated charger so it can be plugged into any 12v power source; the new Tech Sola Laser incorporates a green spotting laser perfect for pointing out sealife; they’ve also added a straight up Sola 1200 lumen spotlight; a unique rectangular GoPro light with spot and flood beams perfectly integrates with the GoPro camera.
- All White’s drysuits are now branded with the Aqualung name. They’ve added a technical/commerical version of their popular Bullet drysuit – the Apex KVR. The outer shell is all kevlar. It also includes other features that are being added to the Bullet line such as a new pocket suspension system; ankle drains; gaiters; zippers to make it easier to don the suit. Their new fit women’s drysuit includes lavender silicone seals, Both the dry core and outer compression layers are cut to fit a female body. They now have a new two piece base layer called SCafe, cleverly named because it’s made with coffee grounds which help prevent the growth of odors and bacteria. It incorporates channel stitching to increase moisture wicking.Aqualung is replacing it’s popular TitanLX regulator with a new model called The Core.
Aqualung restyles their wetsuits on a three year cycle. This year the Hydroflex gets a new look with an asymetrical design. The Hydroflex includes one 1mm and 2mm skins and 3mm shorties.
If you need beefy pockets for your wetsuit or drysuit, check out their Apex cargo shorts.
- After years of listening to Pod Diver Radio, we had a chance to meet Joe Cocozza, John’s inspiration for starting ScubaGadget. Joe was here covering the DEMA show and prepping for the relaunch of Pod Diver radio. We urge you all to listen.