With the first day of the 2002 DEMA tradeshow completed, the report I have for the freediving section of our coverage has been very interesting to say the least. The sheer size of the convention center here in Las Vegas is quite overwhelming to say the least. If you can imagine the size of an enclosed building the length of 2 city blocks by at least the same size in width, filled to capacity with all sorts of vendors ands companies related to the sport of recreational diving, you can begin to appreciate the importance of the industries largest single tradeshow.
Both Stephan and I have had the opportunity to meet with many of the luminaries of the sport. Tanya Streeter, Kirk Krack, Mandy-Rae Cruikshank, and others within the sport have all had the recent death of Audrey Mestre on their lips – and emotions.
In the next few days, we will be bringing you daily reports regarding what is occurring in the freediving sector of this large gathering of all who are involved in the recreational sport diving industry.
Much has to be said regarding the interest in digital imaging while freediving – we will be bringing you a a complete update on the companies who are utilizing the very latest technologies to allow you to bring your digital still and video cameras underwater with you – and what companies we feel are meeting a need that we as freedivers are asking to be filled with small, compact housings and equipment for imaging. On the other end of the spectrum, there has been an increased number of specialty speargun companies looking to fill the requests of the most popular activity done while freediving – that of envronmentally responsible game gathering while freediving. Riffe, Sea-Hornet, AB Biller, Omer, and many others are present here.
The realm of equipment offerings seems to always be a popular topic of discussion amongst freedivers – Omer, Sporasub, Esclapez, and Cressi-Sub are all present with their latest offerings to entice you to update that piece of equipment you have been thinking about.
With the current state of the economy, it has been a rough year for the dive industry – many whom we have talked with regarding this topic seem to feel that it is a natural part of a cycle for the industry and that it will make a return to better times – especially now that the best part of the dive travel season is soon to begin.
We’ll bring you more on these topics in the next few days.