Here’s our report from Day 1 on the showroom floor at #DEMAshow #DEMA2015:
- SeaLife HD 2.0. SeaLife is on a mission: To offer extremely simple to use cameras that produce video and photos which elicit a “Wow, you took that?” response from the viewer. The SeaLife 2.0 is their latest successor to the HD+ It comes in a 32 or a 64 GB version with improved hardware to offer higher quality 16 megapixel still photos and even better video than the HD+. The major shift is a move which will herald the end of point and shoot flash underwater cameras replaced by compact video/still cameras using high lumen video lights to take still pictures as well as videos. More on this soon. Note: SeaLife was inspired by our recent article and told us they will now be listing their beam angle ratings for both in-water and surface beam angles for their video lights.
- Integrated snorkel full face masks have been born. We’ve already seen offerings of these revolutionary snorkel systems by both major brands and companies producing Asian knock-offs. OceanReef and Mares are both showcasing a model made by Tribord (owned by OceanReef). The OR brand is called the Aria EX Breath and retails at $110. The integrated snorkel is completely dry and has separate inhalation and exhalation tubes to prevent CO2 buildup. One of the clones produced by H2O Ninja Mask (New Gear, LLC) claims to be lighter, has a GoPro mount and offers kids and children’s sizes. We’ll have a full report on these soon.
- OMS (Ocean Management Systems) has a new clip which caught our eye. We met Beau the booth boy who said it was an “extra meaty activator” they’ve added to their clips. Here is what the website says: “OMS BigGrip™ clips have an extended section on the gate that allows for easier use of the clip. Available on all size and style clips available from OMS.” We recently started sidemount diving and really think these will make life easier.
- I had my always-enlightening annual confab with Daniel Emerson of Light and Motion. He showed me their new offerings and we discussed many aspects in the dive and underwater photo/video lighting. He agreed with our SeaLife contact that recreational underwater still imagery is moving away from using synchronized flash units and towards the use of flood lighting. He said macro photos can easily be taken with as little as 1200 lumens. Among the new products were a 2500 lumens spot flood light, the still new SideKick GoPro light and a new compact flex arm system from BackScatter for only $29. We saw a new GoBe 850 flood light and a new lower price of only $129 for the GoBe with the 500 spot light head. If you think of Sola as a high end and high priced light you’re only half correct. They have again lowered prices at least 25% across the board. Now they are high end and very reasonably priced lights. They now offer an external battery for all their fast charge lights (video and the Tech Light). The external battery allows three full charges while out on the boat. These lights also can be charged from your car with an included dongle. The Sola Imaging high lumen video lights have been transformed and taken on a dual identity. They can tank on a heat-sink adapter which makes them the first un-tethered cinema quality lights in the world.
- The big surprise and a certain contender for Best in Show this year is the revolutionary ScubaPro BCD Hydros Pro. It truly warrants the title of “Game Changer.” The BCD has so many new and well thought out features, including instant dry and durable Monprene straps and back plate, on-the-go configuration, specialized fits, modular design, our heads are still spinning. They even created specialized fits for women. But this is just a teaser so you will check back soon as we tell you more about this amazing product.
COOL NEW STUFF (from the New Product Showcase)
- AAK Diving Booth 223 – AAK dive mask offers 180 degree, dome-like lens. It boasts full view with no distortion, unlike a similar mask on the market a few years back which required divers with normal vision to wear contacts. It also has a quick opening clip on the strap that extends to rest around your mask without choking. Impressive!
- Voice of the Sea, Toucan Talk Booth 536 – This might win our silliest product award. First of all, we’re not joking in our description. It consists of a long, soft tube, much like an elephant trunk, with a really wide section at one end, and a funnel shape on the other end. Diver A puts the wide section next to his or her ear. Diver B takes a breath, removes his regulator and quickly babbles a sentence, then swiftly replaces his regulator. We asked how safe this would be for beginner or even intermediate divers. The sales rep said, “Think about it. How much practice do divers get in removing and replacing their regulators without freaking out?” We asked what the need was that caused them to develop the device. The sales rep said it can help divers working underwater for communicating a change in plans. What could go wrong?
- Blue Locar Locator, Booth 2017 – A safety system which locates injured divers and greatly speeds up rescue. We’ll have more on this soon.
- Goumba Dive Flag, Booth 859 – The website states: A 360 degree on boat flag. GOUMBA™ 360 Dive Flags’s sole purpose is to make SCUBA diving, snorkeling, spear fishing and all other water sports safer. They’ve created an innovative flag that is more visible and sturdier which allows all boaters to see you from anywhere — even in the dark! The GOUMBA™ 360 Dive Flag is aradical re-interpretation of what a dive flag should be. It’s sleek, it’s safer, it’s more visible and it’s healthier for the environment with its smaller ecological footprint. In every way, it’s better.
- Aqwary Transducer, Booth 2257 – The website states: Aqwary Link is the interface between the divers below and people above surface, giving them an opportunity to know the depth, air level and distance of all divers. And should an incident occur, the people will be notified at the same time as the divers, giving all an opportunity to act and interact. Connect your tablet or laptop into the subaquatic network via the Aqwary Link using wired technology and interact with the divers below via your standard browser.It interfaces with their smart dive computer which we reported on last year.
- Stream2Sea, Booth 420 – For the eco conscious diver, Stream2Sea offers well tested Biodegradable body lotion, sting and sun relief, conditioner, and sunscreen.
- NEMO Power Tools, Booth 978 – The world’s first underwater drill! From the website: The Nemo V2 DIVERS Edition (DDV2-18-3Li-50) offers commercial, research, and recreational divers a salt-water ready tool for a variety of tasks, such as tagging coral reefs for research and cleaning barnacles off of boats and yachts. The Nemo V2 DIVERS Edition has a maximum operating depth of 50m (164ft). This drill boasts a salt-water resistant black and red paint job and comes with a durable carrying case, a battery charger, a pressure valve and a Nemo pump to pressurize the drill, and two 18V 3Ah Lithium Ion batteries.
- Customatic Optics, Booth 603 – Customatics is offering a set of color correcting and polarized lenses that stick to the outside of your scuba mask with tiny suction cups, enhancing the colors of the sea. XS Scuba had a more refined version of this type of product. They are offering modified scuba masks with a slot that holds the filters in place. Both companies filters can be changed on the fly as conditions change. XS Scuba offers a stylish and handy case that can be strapped to your arm.
- XS Scuba was offering quite a few new items. The above mentioned SWITCH mask has a unique slot in the top of the frame that allows the diver to quickly and easily drop in a variety of functional lens filters. The drop-in lens filter resides in front of the mask’s permanent lenses. Optional accessory products include the SWITCH lens filter caddy for taking your lens filters into the water with you and the SWITCH mask bag for storing and protecting your mask and lens filters.They also have two new BCDs with an integrated peripheral lighting system. On the SeaBlazer and Phantom BCDs come with a string of micr-led lights outlining the jacket. It will provide excellent visibility and and make you stand out at your next underwater disco party.Their new RECOIL fins have robust 316 stainless springs built into the side ribs allow the blade to drop back on the upstroke while positioning the blade at the optimal power angle on the down stroke.
Other XS Scuba offerings include the INSPIRE high performance and balanced second stage octo and the FLO snorkel for the very trending free-diving market.
- Whip Fins, Booth 1077 – If there was a tenacity Hall of Fame certainly Morphin Corp. CEO John Melius would lead the pack. A Whip Fin by any other name is still the same fin he has been trying to sell as a new product as long as we’ve been attending DEMA shows. Each year, he either changes the fin slightly or changes the name (e.g. Morfin > Dolfin > Whip Fin) so that he can display the same old fin in the new product display section. We tested and reviewed these fins quite a few years back. Many people thought they were designed by Disney animation and testers were not impressed.
- Beuchat, Booth 734 – To meet the needs of traveling European divers who are accustomed to redundant systems (e.g. Y valves), Beuchat has designed a unique twin first stage design, consisting of 2 first stage systems integrated in the same body.
- Tropical Seas, Inc, Booth 527 – ReefSafe by Tropical Seas now has biodegradable mask defogger and Gnarly spray on conditioner. Coming March 2016 – plant derived bottles. Additionally, they offer a new Duc mascot educational system to help teach about keeping the oceans clean of debris.