Here is a summary of what we saw on day 1 of the 2013 Northwest Dive & Adventure Travel Expo in Tacoma, WA.
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- Eric Morris of High Tide drysuits showed off a prototype drysuit made a new type of material called Quicksilver (see photo). Our best description is that the material is like neoprene but the slick outside coating feels and acts something like Teflon. It absorbs no water and i impervious to fuels and acid and isn’t damaged by UV like other suits. It also has a limited self-healing feature when poked with a sharp object. e will be constructing a few suits to be tested this summer and if all goes well could be making this unique new suit shortly thereafter.
- We were really impressed with the new ladies only mask from Aqua Lung’s stylish Details line for women. The Linea mask has an ultra thin frame, which is not only stylish but allows the lens to come close to the face, maximizing the field of vision and reducing the volume for easy clearing. The Linea lens, skirt and frame are molded together in one piece as opposed to other masks where multiple pieces are snapped together. The mask uses Aqua Lung’s unique cardonic buckle which is like a universal joint and provides a much greater range of motion. Additionally, only on the Linea the buckle is extended to prevent the hair from tangling in the buckle.
- Also at the Aqua Lung booth we finally got to try on one of their Wrapture system harness with a real scuba tank attached. We found that it actually does, as they say, pull the tank much closer to your back reducing back strain and allowing for better posture.
- We were fascinated by the powerful, incredibly inexpensive, new Archon Diving Light offered by Light and Beyond. The smallest model is over 750 lumens and is well under than $200. Their video lights range up to 10,000 lumens.
- The DIABC, the Dive Industry Association of British Columbia, besides doing an amazing job of showing off the world class diving in BC, is previewing their new Wreck Trek program. The PASSPORT will be a 24-page souvenir booklet you can use to track your dives on the various wrecks throughout BC. Once you complete a featured dive, the sponsor operator will stamp your Wreck Trek PASSPORT. Once you’ve completed all the featured dives, you’ll be eligible to enter the Wreck Trek draw. Stop by the DIABC Booth (#224) for all the details on this new venture for BC. While you’re there, book a trip. You won’t be disappointed.
- Submersa is a new Montreal dive apparel company that promises a clean look and high quality shirts all made in North America. The apparel is said to appeal to both divers and non-divers alike.
Many vendors commented that the attendance seemed a bit light today compared to previous years. It was an interesting change to have the seminars right on the show floor. A few attendees said that this was fine, but one of the seminar areas lost their PA which made it hard to hear the speaker over the din of the show. We’ll have more tomorrow from the show floor.