Here’s our report from Day 3 on the showroom floor at #DEMAshow #DEMA2015:
- You may remember a few years back – a small device that stuck to your mask called the Buddy Link, which, if you touched it, would flash lights and sound on your buddy’s reciprocal device. We thought it a great idea, but it cost around $400 — too expensive. Today we saw a product called Buddy Watch, which goes on your wrist like a dive computer and has one button to alert your buddy with a strong vibration on their unit. Good news – it only costs $199 for a pair. The devices sync so you’re only talking to your buddy. You can also get a master unit which can communicate with a dive group or students. The unit lasts for six to eight dives and is charged with a standard USB charger.
- DUI showed their new DUI app which allows you to completely customize your new DUI suit and get pricing. They’ve also streamlined their app to make it easier to pick your suit. All suits feature the same zipper.
- Deep Six “is the world’s first brand of Scuba Equipment that from the inception was intended to be marketed exclusively through use of the Internet, Social Media and word of mouth.” This venture, founded by Chris Richardson, formerly the head of Edge and Hog Gear. sells only “expedition dive gear”, which means only the highest quality gear available. Initial products include lightweight jet/rocket fins in the company’s signature orange or black, a powder coated stainless steel backplate, with polyurethane coated webbing, and silicone low pressure hoses. Richardson claims these hoses will be much more durable and have the flexibility of the MiFlex hoses.
- Spree Expeditions is the first US based and US flagged liveaboard providing Cuba dive adventures. An all charter organization, they feature local guides, clean accommodations, a professional crew and three dives daily on this liveaboard adventure. Charters board in Key West and clear into Hemingway Marina just west of Havana. Trips include a guided tour of Havana and diving off the north shore of Cuba for the week’s adventure. Dives are live boat from the Spree.
- We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to catch Lauren Kieren’s SDI/TDI/ERDI sponsored talk entitled #Inside the #Millenial Mind – How to Connect With Millenials and Increase Business. This fascinating presentation was one of the first times we’ve heard a positive spin on his oft misunderstood generation. Lauren approached it as if explaining a foreign culture to the baby boomer crowd. We all came away with a greater understanding and less anxiety about our future interactions with our millenial students and customers. We heard that the talk may be available to all form the TDI/SDI website in the near future.
- Like the other major vendors, Mares is rethinking the BCD. They’ve focused on the weight system, making a very easy to slide and secure weight pocket system which makes a clear audible snap when clicked into place. It also has a visual indicator for your buddy check.The unique cruise system bag which we saw last year, is now shipping.They’ve made quite a few upgrades to their freediving line, including the Viper mask, the Concord freediving fin with smaller foot pockets for women. Their new and improved Razor Aqua midrange freediving fin is their penultimate fin of the line, just under the carbon fiber fin. They’ve also vastly increased their offering of freediving wetsuits. Freediving is here to stay.As we mentioned, one of the hottest items of the show, is the new full face mask with an integrated dry snorkel. the HEAD branded version is called the Sea Vu Dry and is made for them by Ocean Reef.The most exciting development at Mares is their new XR (extended reach) complete line of products designed for that blurry line between recreational and tech diving. Others have called it “Techreational” but Mares, like their partners SSI, want to convey that there should be no limitation and a smooth transition while advancing to higher levels of competence in scuba. The line includes a revolutionary VR (“vertical regulator”) regulator which has hose connecting to the center bottom of the regulator, instead of from the side. The minute you look at this reg, you “get” that in a share air situation, you’re never going to hand this off upside down.Also, other regs in the line include the DR (“deep regulator”), with high flow capabilities; and a CR (“cave regulator”), designed to be easy to disassemble and clean underwater.The new XR drysuit has its own Mares designed valves challenging the oligarchy of Si Tech and Apex, who currently rule the drysuit valve world. The drysuit also uses the newer and much more flexible Si Tech quick change neck ring system and silicone seals in Mares gray. As we said, this is a full new line for Mares with many other products. Definitely worth a look.
- Fourth Element is now shipping their environmentally conscious ocean positive line of swim suits, made from material recovered from ghost nets.
- Santi (distributed by Halcyon in the U.S.) showed us their Magic Rings system which can be used on any drysuit. It’s an innovative system of oval rings for drygloves. This set of rings can be used in any one of six applications.
- Putting drygloves on a suit with an integrated seal
- Fixed assembly of drygloves to a drysuit sleeve
- In the field repair of damaged seal
- Assembling a dryglove with its own seal
- Quick, easy, self-donning gloves with an integrated seal
- Building your own dryglove seal system
Because of their care in building drysuits for women that fit well over a woman’s curves, 35% of their drysuits are sold to the female population.
- TekTite showed their new Mark Lite Strobe – the smallest diver’s LED strobe on the market. This small strobe has the same power as their previous Xenon strobe.
- Zayak told us their Zayak sea-sled is now selling well and being used in both warm and cold waters. It allows anyone the benefits of snorkeling with no training needed, and have a much warmer experience.
- Tank Titan is the first inflatable dive tank holder for boats and land vehicles. It can do double duty as a tank based hookah system. Prices range from $199 for the Tank Titan two pack, to $299 for the Tank Titan six pack.
- Mobby drysuits are back! Out of the U.S. market for years, they’re back with line of custom and off the rack drysuits with a sixty color palette.
- Si Tech featured two new products. The first, called the Virgo, is a simplified and easy to clean pee valve. The second, the Vega Power Inflator, is specially designed the cables for heated drysuits such as those from Santi and DUI. Now that their much more flexible second generation Quick Neck ring system has proven popular with divers who want silicon seals or the ability to change seals at the dive site, we are completely baffled as to why Aqualung continues to ship their Fusion suits with the old, stiffer ring system (SLT). They must have a big box of them somewhere.
- UK (Underwater Kinetics) is making it a no-brainer for any diver to carry a powerful LED primary dive light. Their SL3 has been bumped up from 125 lumens to 450 lumens for only $67.99. This light also has the classic rubber coating, making it much more durable than many of the new metal dive lights. Powered by three disposable C batteriesComing soon from UK — a carbon fiber pole for your GoPro which eliminates any thought of corrosion. They also have some unique, simple, circular mounts for the pole: the Duo mounts holds the light in the camera; the SpaceStation mount can hold up to four GoPro cameras for any combination of cameras and lights.
If you read our article on the SeaLife lights, discussing underwater beam angle loss, the UK Aqualight Pro accommodates for this using a unique dome port over the LED chip. The 1200 lumen model is $289.00 and has a Gobi style replaceable head.
- OTS (Ocean Technology Systems) has a new Stealth System full face mask which incorporates a second stage regulator with an easier work of breathing and higher flow rates.
- Our favorite little ROV, Deep Trekker, is offering a unit with a dive-able controller, which allows divers to send the unit into hazardous locations and control it while diving. It only adds $38,000.00 to the $6000.00 Deep Trekker ROV.