DEMA got underway with a big bang here in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The usual throng on people waiting to get into the show at opening seemingly was larger than normal which bode well for the show as well as the industry in general. Talk of the economy was on the tip of everybodies tongue but seemingly show traffic is up for this year and numerous exhibitors have commented on how well the seem to be doing in foot traffic.
The DeeperBlue.com reporters have been fanning out across the show floor and are working hard on bringing you the latest and greatest being demonstrated at the show. Here are the highlights from today.
Keep your eyes peeled to our DEMA Show Coverage section at http://www.deeperblue.com/dema-show/
To link to the coverage, please use the following URL: http://www.deeperblue.com/dema-show/
Tom Ingram and Al Hornsby
Al Hornsby, DEMA president, spoke with DeeperBlue.com in an exclusive interview today at the opening of the 2008 DEMA Show. Hornsby spoke about the efforts his organization was taking to mitigate the effects of the faltering economy on the dive industry.
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NEDU – Nay Experimental Diving Unit
NEDU, the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, is the world’s premierdiving and hyperbaric research, test and evaluation unit. And perhapsthe world’s best kept secret. A field activity of Naval Sea SystemsCommand (NAVSEA), NEDU is located on the northern coast of the Gulf ofMexico in Panama City Florida.
NEDU tests and evaluates diving, hyperbaric and other life supportsystems and procedures. And they conduct research and development inbiomedical and environmental physiology. Can’t you just feel Jack Bauerabout to enter stage left?
The current team is run by old military saturation divers, “We’reGuinea Pigs, that’s NEDU!” chuckles Chief Petty Officer and Deep SeaMedical Technician, Stephen Allain. Along with Master Chief BryonVanHorn, 60 civilian researchers & scientists, and 90 othermilitary staff, Stephen’s focus is to ensure the most rigorousevaluation of biomedical & bioengineering solutions for underseamilitary operations and extreme environments. Whether they are pushingthe envelope to identify breakthrough capabilities for rebreathers ordefining work load limitations for gas masks to be used in the ariddeserts of the Middle East, NEDU applies the same focus and precisionin exploring technologies that pose a potential benefit for improvingdiving and extreme environment operational capabilities.
Feel like being a Guinea pig?
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Every year at DEMA, we find Mares bringing forward true innovationin their dive equipment; this year is no exception. Touted as the firstregulator ever made with carbon fibers, the new Mares “Hero,” otherwiseknown as the Carbon 42, boasts a sleek design and many technologicaladvances. A compact first stage and a lightweight second stage areconnected by a brand new superflex hose that is softer and lighter thanrubber and has passed rigorous Mares testing. The second stage is madeup of carbon composite pieces that maintain the integrity of theirphysical, chemical and thermal characteristics even after longexposures to extreme temperatures and corrosive environments. What thisall means for divers is an unbelievably durable and reliable regulatorthat is super lightweight. A new “mesh grid” cover system on the secondstage even reduces the impact of water flow over the diaphragm, whichmeans no more free-flows when diving in currents.
And the good news for all of you cold-water divers is that thecarbon second stage’s thermal conductivity makes it perfect for thosecooler temperatures. We can’t wait to get this regulator in the waterand try it out oursleves. But we warn you that all of this highperformance won’t come cheap – like the first iterations of the iPhoneand other new technologies, the sticker price is not for the faint ofheart. You can expect to pay many hundreds of dollars for thisregulator, probably just under US$1,000.00.
Speaking of high performance, DeeperBlue.com was pleased to find Mares TeamAthelete Dave Hochman on hand at the Mares booth. Dave holds thecurrent spearfishing world record for striped bass. On July 4th of thisyear Daveshot an enormous 68.4-pound striped bass on a reef in Block IslandSound near Rhode Island. The fish was an amazing 55 inches long with a32.5-inch girth. Diving in 54 feet of water, Dave was armed with histrusty Cyrano 1100, wearing a 5 mil suit and his new favorite pair ofMares Razor fins. Dave is the father of 3 kids: 15 yr-old Jessica, 11yr-old Jacob, and 8 yr-old Zachary; a chiropractor by day, he claims tobe 100 percent hunter at heart. While he wouldn’t reveal to us theexact location of his favorite hole, he called it an area of manypinnacles with drop-offs to depths of 75ft, lots of current and asloping pebble bottom. Dave describes the look of his Striped Bass asprehistoric: “I think it is extremely rare to get that close to such abig fish – a fish of that age. They lose the curiosity factor when theyget that old. They don’t slide in on you when they know you’re there.”Obviously that big bass didn’t know Dave was waiting at the base ofthat particular boulder – he was just about 4 ft away from her when thefish looked him in the eye and he pulled the trigger.Dave Hochman’s bass weighed 3.3 pounds more than the previous record —a 65.1-pound fish, shot in 2007 year by Dan O’Neil. Finding anotherstriped bass in that size range won’t be easy, but Dave assures us he’sgoing to beat his own record – and chances are he’ll be using his handyMares Cyrano gun when he does.You can check out Cyrano spearguns and Mares whole line of spearfishingequipment at www.pureinstinct.mares.com
Beach Buddy Scuba GearTransporter
Often times, transporting scuba gearfrom the car to a boat or the beach can be quite a frustrating task,tank weight, fins, camera equipment and more, all adding up to over50 pounds can become too much for a single diver to bear. To makematters worse, you may have to haul the gear over multiple terrainssuch as rocks, grass, and sand, risking personal injury to yourselfor damaging the gear. With Beach Buddy divers can now take all theirgear in one trip without having to carry any of it. This wheeledsystem is streamlined for easy diving by attaching to the scuba tankwith its integrated wheels, yet these wheels are easily removed andstore under the scuba tank during the dive. Upon exiting the waterthe diver merely reattaches the wheels to the Beach Buddy and is onceagain able to easily transport the scuba gear. For a betterunderstanding of the Beach Buddy product visit www.beachbuddy.com.
Atwater Surface SupportStation
There are plenty of circular floatsavailable on the market to divers however Atwater Concepts SurfaceSupport Station was developed with additional features not found anywhere else. Included is a sand grabbing anchor for securing thefloat in sandy or silty bottoms. The key feature which distinguishesAtwater from its competition is the instant deflate valve integratedinto the rubber inner tube which allows for quick and completedeflation, thus allowing for very compact storage when transportingto and from the dive sight. For detailed information please visitwww.atwaterconcepts.com.
Witz Sport Cases
Witz sport cases are practical,compact, waterproof cases to protect your personal valuables. Unlike other protective cases Witz sport cases offer a streamlineddesign making them perfect for wearing around the neck, slipping intopockets, stowing in backpacks or clipping onto other bags. Made formstrong, durable ABS plastic to protect against crushing and impact,all cases are quality made to endure even the harshest environments. Perfect for protecting wallets, cell phones, car keys, and sunglassesfrom the elements. For detailed information on Witz products, pleasevisit www.witzprod.com.
Pelican 1090 Case
The well known manufacturer of watertight cases Pelican has added a new series to its lineup aptly named“Hardback”. The Hardback series is designed specifically for thestorage and protection of laptop computers. Now divers can feelcomfortable taking their laptop anywhere with this tough, watertightcase which includes a comfortable nylon shoulder strap. For detailedproduct information visit www.pelican.com.
Specialist wetsuit and thermal protection divewear company Fourth Element have announed 2 new wetsuits in their Proteus range.
Developed using a combination of superstretch and thermocore neoprene, the proteus offers surprising thermal protection and comfort.
Incorporating the unique hydrolock (patent pending) neck seal and long glideskin seals at the wrists and ankles, the Proteus suit eliminates almost all water ingress and provides superior thermal protection with excellent ease of movement.
Glideskin seals ensure the suit is easy to get on and off, and the dura mesh panel on the torso ensures that the chest dries quickly, reducing wind chill after a dive.
The original Proteus was only available in a 5mm thickness but now can be purchased in 3mm, 5mm or 7mm.
For details on the products please visit www.fourthelement.com.