London International Dive Show 99

I’m a young diver, in both years and experience, but I fully intend to reach my instructor qualification in the future. For this reason, it was great to visit the London International Dive Show this April, to see what’s going down in the world of diving, find out where do dive, with who, and with what strapped to my back.

One of the first things that struck me was how easy it was to find. The Hammersmith Olympia is the ideal location for the show, with very acessable train and car routes.

I was then overwhelmed by the sheer size of the event, and there was an almost carnival atmosphere as I strolled wide-eyed around the historic exhibits, discount drysuit companies, tanned holiday reps, and the indoor remote-controlled airship (no, really!).

The show is a great place to buy new equipment, and many divers wait all season just for shows like this one to pick up a serious bargain, which there were plenty of! Whether you’d like to start from scratch, or simply upgrade a rusty cylinder, or a faded stab jacket, there’s something for everyone.

I resisted the temptation to buy such novelties as flashing LED lights, folding knives, shot belts, fins and colour-matching octopuses at vastly reduced prices, and resigned myself to watching the remote camera submersible demonstration at the vast water tank in the center of the show.

After the Camen Islands slide show was (unfortunately) cancelled, I took time out to read through some of the many handouts I’d collected, and take stock of the whole affair. I’d had a great day out, the time had flown by, and I’m sure with a little more money in my pocket, or a mission on my mind, then I could have come away with some serious deals and loads of information. And there’s always next year…

To sum up…

The Pros’: equipment prices, innovations, holiday deals, contacts, location, parking/train facilities, seminars.

The Cons’: long time spent standing/walking, few seating/rest areas, high price of food/drink.