Here’s our report from Day 4 on the showroom floor at #DEMAshow #DEMA2015:
- Poseidon showed a new Black Extreme second stage regulator, identical to the Extreme, but with a black finish requested by divers. Also, their new M28 dive computer, designed for both recreational and tech diving, open circuit and CCR is available with a multitude of features displayed on a rich color 2.8 inch TFT display. The first thing that stood out, was the aircraft-like display combining compass and pitch and yaw feedback. Other indicators favor dials instead of digits. Our booth guide explained the dials make it easier for your brain to pick up the information and react quicker. While it has dive-by-wire integration with Poseidon Pod System’s, HUD, and HP sensors, it is not air integrated. The computer supports wi-fi access, Bluetooth, IrDA. Priced around $1500.00.
- Pinnacle Aquatics, well known for their merino wool lined suits, is steadily growing after their shaky return a few years back. They showed us an upgrade from their well-liked 7/5 semi-dry. It’s now an 8/6 with a softer, stretchier neoprene and chimney seals all around. They’ve removed some of the merino lining from the back, to improve flexibility. We also saw merino socks and glove liners for under wet or dry suits. Their Inferno line is a Lavacore like suit, but includes merino lining to add warmth. They claim this neutrally buoyant, thin suit is equal in functionality to a 2.5 neoprene. They also have new rash guards with merino lined pits to prevent stinkiness.
- Hollis (AUP) had a new travel sidemount system, known as SMS Katana. They also have the F1 light fin, which is a bit shorter and lighter than their F1 fin. It comes in other colors, including pink.
- Oceanic (AUP) is shipping the new ski-strap masks, which are just like it sounds – a dive mask with a ski-goggle style strap instead of a silicone style strap. They’re getting great early reviews. Their Ocean View masks are all using super clear glass and come with changeable lenses. The Sure Fit model has a “space band” which attaches to the mask strap and allows for equal pulling of the top and bottom of the mask. Out booth guide explained that many masks pull more on the top, leaving the bottom of the mask looser.Their new, extremely stylish Manta Ray fins has the fin pocket below the blade for an ergonomic thrust. They come with a unique, easily replaceable/adjustable string strap. The strap can be adjusted 1.25 inches on each side. Labeled the EBA, which stands for Easy Buckle Adjust.
Their OCL watch style computer has a new low profile design and will retail for $600.00.
The big news is their Pro Plus X dive computer. A hose/air-integrated computer with a brilliant TFT screen, Bluetooth and all other features found in their BTX computer. They claim the screen is very readable in sunlight. It has a form resembling Atomics Cobalt dive computer.
Note: All other products formerly found in the dropped Aeris line are now re-branded Oceanic.
- TUSA is coming out with a whole new fin which has features that will take it into the future. It’s a paddle fin with a bit of snap to add power and comes with bungee straps and tiny super reflective accents that pick up your buddy’s light. Not quite a replacement for their split fin, but they did insinuate split fins may be phased out by attrition.One of the most unexpected masks we’ve ever seen, is the M1002, or Tina mask. But we shouldn’t have been that surprised since TUSA is a Japanese company. The mask is the first entry of the Japanese Kawaii culture ( “lovable”, “cute”, or “adorable”) is the quality of cuteness in the context of Japanese culture), into U.S. dive equipment. The Tina features a tiny row of rhinestones and a cute logo tag. They also have a new mask, the mini Kalea, built for small faces.
Their Conquest BCD, like other major brands, has a redesigned weight pocket system. This weight pocket snaps into place with a loud, audible click and is ejected with a twist of a lever.
- Big Blue dive lights have upgraded their whole line of economical LED lights by increasing the lumens about 10% at the same price or lower as last year. The AL1000 is now the AL1100 (lumens) and sells for $159.00. Their AL450 comes in both wide and narrow beams. The narrow beam is priced similar to the UK light we mentioned yesterday, but is a metal light. All their lights have replaceable lithium ion batteries. Our booth guide showed us three years of their 15,000 video lights which has shrunk way down to almost handheld dive light size. We discussed the topic of listing in-water beam angles and they promised to consider this soon.
- PADI demoed their new Freediving Touch eLearning program. This is a full freediving course designed specifically for your pad. It can be viewed offline and will sync when you logon. The highly, professionally designed, slick app has full screen videos and features training by the world’s top freediving experts. In comparing all of the eLearning offerings, from the various agencies, we note that PADI is certainly the prettiest. We’ll have more on this soon.
- Dive Rite‘s Jarrod Hires showed us the upgrades to their Optima rebreather, which include a new Kydex cover and Starboard foot to decrease the overall weight. They also have an oft requested packable canister option.They have a new special edition Transpac. $100.00 from each purchase is donated to coral restoration.
- Although we can’t talk about new products from a travel whole-seller, we want to recommend the folks at World of Diving who have always come through with friendly service and great prices when we travel. Call them to find out about DEMA travel specials.
- We talked with Watson Devore, U.S. President for RAID Dive Training Agency. We learned of their newly designed dedicated mobile sites for their programs. RAID is the rapidly expanding new kid on the block in U.S. and Europe. Their training includes in-depth focus on buoyancy from the beginning through graduation of new students. This comes from research about buoyancy being a major factor in most dive emergencies. Additionally, in previous discussions, they pointed out a significant correlation between the drop in dedicated new dive students and the introduction of quick weekend, short course trainings. RAID aims to reverse this process by turning out new divers with an increased competence level.
- We will post of Best in Show, Favorite and Silliest offerings soon. Stay tuned.