The worldwide dive industry descended on Sin City for the 40th annual Diving Equipment and Marketing Association show. Mark Evans went for a wander...
News of the DEMA trade show in Las Vegas, the launch of the new COSMIQ+ dive computer and a new British freediving record.
The DEMA trade show is now in its 40th year, and while the rise of the internet and other outside forces have meant that the event is not quite the behemoth it once was, it is still a sight to behold, especially when the layout meant the show floor resembled a giant bowling alley - not that wide, but so, so long! With attendees walking in excess of 15-16km per day cruising the show looking at new product releases, taking part in on-booth workshops, listening to talks, seminars and discussions, there was plenty to keep you occupied.
Most of the world’s major brands were in attendance, and showcasing some of their 2017 releases. Hollis had the Explorer 2 Sport Rebreather, which boasts a new LSU featuring a metal handset, improved cables, and an all-in-one unit that incorporates the CO2 sensor, O2 sensors and the temperature stick. Best of all, it can retro-fit into an original Explorer, so everyone can benefit.
Scubapro provided a splash of colour, with mannekins displaying several vibrant co-ordinated gear ensembles comprising matching ear warmer, mask, snorkel, BCD, fins and dive computer. They were also displaying a funky white wetsuit that stood out from the crowd.
Aqualung won the prize for the best named product - Outlaw - for a new modular BCD which can be fitted with various bladders and accessories. Perfect for travelling, it is a robust, neat piece of kit.
Atomic Aquatics, well known for their regulators and fins, have now entered the fray with an eye-catching BCD. Utilising some unique fabrics and production elements, it is a good fit with their existing products.
The Brits were doing their bit as well. Fourth Element had their new 7mm wetsuit aimed at dive centres, etc, as well as a wide selection of Ocean Positive swimwear and rash vests, sweaters and jackets.
OTS were showing off pre-production examples of their new entrylevel full-face mask, which can be used with any second stage regulator. The nifty design means it resembles a normal mask with an additional section moulded on the bottom, so there is still a pocket through which to clear your ears by pinching your nose.
There were plenty of scooters and DPVS on display, but the Seabob was something else. With glossy paint jobs more akin to a supercar than a diving product, these up-to-six speed underwater jetskis were a true thing of beauty. Capable of some pretty mind-blowing speeds - up to 11mph underwater! - they put the James Bond element into the show.
SWES Technology might be a new name on the scene, but their saltwater-powered dive light could just well be the biggest breakthrough product in many years. Just think - no more floods, no more drained batteries. Expect to see this technology rolled out everywhere in due course.
And then there was the more-wacky stuff. Spare Air were showcasing a snorkel-cum-spare Air combo, and even a version pairing a snorkel with a back-mounted pony cylinder. And then there was Voice in the Sea’s Narrator, which attaches to the back of your Gopro and allows you to narrate your underwater videos as you shoot them. And to make sure your ‘stars’ know what they are doing, the Toucan allowed you to talk to them during the dive.
NB: The next DEMA show will be held in Orlando from 2-6 November 2017.
In the December issue of the magazine it was incorrectly stated that Egypt and Thresher Shark Divers won Sport Diver awards for Best Destination and Best Overseas Centre respectively. The actual winners were the Maldives and Prodivers.