View Full Version : DEMA 2008 Report Las Vegas

The Publisher
11-08-2008, 11:19 PM
We have had a chance to once again attend and cover the DEMA Show (http://www.demashow.com/), which this year was in Las Vegas.

For those that don’t know what this show is, DEMA stands for Dive Equipment Marketing Association. This is the umbrella association of dive retailers, manufacturers, dive travel specialists and dive certification associations.

The DEMA show held every year is not open to the dive public. In the past, I’ve had to employ my legendary gate crashing schemes to gain entrance to the dive eye candy, but fear not all you out there in scuba-land, now that we’re legit, you will not need to refine your gate crashing skillsets as we’ll bring what is new at the show to you. Coming shortly will even be an HD podcast of what is new at the show.

The DEMA show is held typically in Orlando, Florida every other year and switches alternately with Las Vegas. The show is the largest diving related show in North America, and represents the best opportunity to meet and network with manufacturers, dive resorts, and training agencies.

Both Orlando and Las Vegas represent opportunities to bring friends and families who may not wish to spend their time during the day at the show, or want to do something with you after the show. Neither location will disappoint those, as I had the opportunity to visit an indoor firing range and shoot on full auto hundreds of rounds through an AK-47, an H&K MP5 and an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. It turns out that the bin Laden lifesize paper targets were no match for my ferocity.

On one day I visited the free Norse god animatronic statue show inside Caesar’s Palace, and another day I went to the Flamingo Seafood Buffet, which was $15 less expensive than the Rio Seafood Buffet, and since the all you can eat opelio crab legs of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch fame at the Flamingo were sliced open lengthwise unlike the Rio’s, I was actually able to fill myself up with crab meat rather than leaving half my knuckle skin on the table.

I rounded out my shenanigans by revisiting the scene of the crime at the Luxor pyramid hotel where I reminisced how 10 years ago I snuck past the insecurity guards, made my way up the off limits service stairway all the way to the top inside, and proceeded to spend about 20 minutes one by one dropping plastic army toy men with plastic parachutes to the delight of squealing kids down below, that is till the security guards who apparently had declared a fatwah on fun came running for me. Note to hotel security: redo your basic math studies, as 2 running security guards sent after a nimble weasel with 4 escape “inclinators” (as the Luxor calls them) that are within sprinting distance eliminates your chances with someone who can subtract 2 from 4 and duck down below the railing & run so you don’t know which of the two I picked.

The Las Vegas Convention Center hall and show itself is huge and had a proper placement of food establishments so you never had to walk too far. Near the entrance was a buffet style eatery with lots of different dish types, halfway down the hall was a sandwich establishment, and at the far end were snacks, donuts, sandwiches and drinks. The Philippines Department of Tourism, whose huge presence we will talk about later, sponsored a large quiet area where attendees can network in a more peaceful place.

Although the DEMA show is packed with a huge amount of attendees, DEMA really does their homework and you never feel like you’re in a crowd, with ample isle ways and courtesy golf carts cavorting about. They have press rooms for us to get on the Internet while sipping complimentary drinks, and Continental Airlines has a complimentary Internet kiosk for those who are not press.

But since we were at DEMA to see what was new, including items in the way of underwater imaging gear and rebreather gear, DEMA once again delivered.

The first place we went to was the huge Philippines Department of Tourism Pavilion. Although I took some photos before the show proper was open, during the regular hours it was packed.

Two Philippines newspapers, the Philippine Star and the Philippine Daily Inquirer interviewed me for Philippine readers. I also finally got to the right Philippines DOT people who handle the U.S. market for dive tourism promotion, and I am pleased to announce they are really up to new, great things to share one of Nature's Wonders with the diving masses and we will contribute towards that.

It was nice to see familiar friends like JR Calanoe of ActiVentures (http://www.activenturespi.com), a Philippines dive travel service, where I am pleased to announce now has a really nice resort in Anilao, Philippines they work with called Acacia ( http://www.activenturespi.com/gallery/) that we will be reviewing and shooting an HD video production at in the future. With Acacia Resort photos as shown below, we eagerly await visiting.


We also met several other resort owners we will be working with, including one in Dumaguete where we’ll be shooting & producing an HD dive tourism video.

The Philippines Pavilion featured a huge flat screen monitor with still images and videos looping, and they had traditional costumes and dancers doing their thing. I privately joked with the staffers that if they wanted to expose Americans to the most quintessential Philippine past time, we needed to bring out the karaoke machines, so you can be embarrassed how they know American rock song lyrics far better than we do.

In the back area of the Phils pavilion were massage tables set up so in case you didn’t want to wait to travel to the Phils and get a daily after-dive professional, quality massage averaging $5-$10 for the hour, you could get one for free at the Phils pavilion.

I finally dragged myself away from my friends in the Phils pavilion and headed over to the Poseidon booth where I poured over the new finalized production version of the revolutionary fully automated $6000 Cis-Lunar Mark 6 Discovery closed circuit rebreather designed for non-tech divers.

Check back shortly, as we’ve done a new part 2 HD video interview with Dr. Bill Stone of Cis-Lunar Developmental Laboratories, Mark 6 chief designer and rebreather community legend. This new HD video is going to smash the misperceptions thrown about by self anointed experts, and you will see for the first time the handset booting up along with an explanation from Dr. Stone himself explaining everything you will see. Look for that part 2 interview shortly in the Cis-Lunar section.

Further on the rebreather market, we visited InnerSpace Systems Corp of Megalodon rebreather fame and saw their new $4000 travel Meg.


Chief managing partner of Ambient Pressure Martin Parker was there showing their new travel frames along with their North American rep Silent Diving Systems, where I scored AP’s new “Open Circuit Bailout mouthpiece or OCB as they call it.


Deep Outdoors displayed their new CCR they're distributing with a really nice DO wing and harness system, and Jetsam of KISS CCR fame had their new travel rebreather.


Other notables in rebreathers was Alex Deas of Open Revolution with their new Apocalypse CCR, of which will be on our HD podcast. I spied an axial thermistor array in the scrubber for scrubber heat monitoring as well as an interesting mouthpiece system that if you spit it out underwater it will automatically close the loop to prevent flooding. He also showed their new CCR Co2 monitor which is the Holy Grail of CCR desired features. Look for more photos including the internals we took of the Apocalypse in the Rebreather Specific Forum section here.


Closed Circuit Research, manufacturers of the highly regarded Oroborous and Sentinel CCR’s had their new compact wrist controller computers on display.


Barry Coleman and his lovely wife were at their RAID ( http://www.diveraid.com) booth, or Rebreather Association of International Divers. They have online training for the academic portion of CCR training. In talking with Barry , I was really impressed with the results of their investment of thousands of hours programming the online testing interface using significant input from psychologists and testing experts in development of their online academic testing and student/instructor training testing and tracking. As you can see below, even Jeff Bozanic of Mastering Rebreather's (http://www.jeffbozanic.com/Bookstore/Page.htm) book fame was there.


On the underwater imaging front, the RedOne 4K HDCam was there along with housings from Gates and Aquavideo. Gates had the external HD monitor case there too. Better get out your credit cards with the limit set to the stun setting! We’ll have Gates explaining the RedOne housing in the upcoming DEMA 2006 HD podcast. Look for more Gates and AquaVideo housing pics in the video forum section.


There were other interesting housings and accessories out there, from a new generic housing made by a Spanish company named Aditech who also had a slick underwater tripod, Titan’s new high output LED video lights, to really nice housings with good pricepoints.

On the still imaging front, Subal and Aquatica had their Nikon D700 housings. We even saw a new port manufacturer that had an internal flip down white balancing disc.


Of course, the full frame sensor of the Nikon D700 12 megapixel camera pales compared to the Hasseblad 50 megapixel medium format digital camera, but finally there is a manufacturer named UltimaDigital that now is producing an underwater housings for it. Look for more photos in the underwater photography section here.


Artomedia displayed their new 3d style of wreck dive maps and online interactive wreck maps. What a slick setup they have.


We even saw an interesting booth that sold Megalodon fossilized teeth which were huge! I was surprised to learn of just how far back hip-hop culture has its roots from, as even seen below, Megolodon sharks were in on pimping their grills with bling from that era.

The Indonesia Tourism authority also had a large pavilion filled with traditional costumes and dancers and our local friends Dale Sheckler and company from California Diving News from Socal were there.

Thursday evening DEMA held their annual show awards banquet, where they properly paid tribute to past and present legends in the underwater community capped off with a band and a killer buffet.


All in all, it was another great show, and we look forward to the next DEMA Show in 2009 in Orlando, Florida, where diving attendees can drive an hour away to Crystal River and dive with wild manatees like we did last year.

In the meantime, stay tuned for an HD podcast of the DEMA 2008 show we are producing.

See you in Orlando!