View Full Version : DEMA 2009 Show Review with Photos

The Publisher
11-10-2009, 02:09 AM
We once again had the opportunity to attend the DEMA Show in Orlando Florida.

DEMA, or Dive Equipment Marketing Association is the largest dive related show in North America, although it is for the profession only and it is not open to the general scuba diving public.

But fear not intrepid divers, we were there with our eyes tuned to what is new in the way of anything dive related.

The liberal press likes to sell fearmongering for fun and profit, so as they transition from the economic-sky-is-falling into the fraud of the whole swine flu non-issue, hey, that sort of rhymes....one sure couldn't tell from the 2009 DEMA Orlando show attendance that we are supposedly in the largest U.S recession since WW2.

We usually get into the show 30-60 minutes before opening each day so we can conduct scheduled interviews with manufacturers and take photos when they are not too preoccupied. That proved to be rather interesting when we went to one manufacturers booth that had one staffer there prior to opening. They had a new, slick dive computer with a visually attractive readout, so we were going to take photos. The woman at the booth asked me what we were doing, so I reiterated the rather obvious; "taking photos of your new products" to which we were told that we could not until she got permission from the upper management.

Forget that we had a press pass badge, which translates to the "free publicity people". I found that all rather amusing, so thanks to the ever-vigilant booth staffer guarding against level orange security threats, you won't be reading or seeing anything about that new dive computer. Not to worry, there were plenty of other dive computers that will surely tempt you!

One notable housing manufacturer is a Belgium based company that produces housings for the amazing Hasseblad digital large format camera that currently tops out at 50 megapixels. For studio photogs that can afford it, the Hasseblad sets the current bar.


We had seen these housings 2 years ago at DEMA, but they look far more refined and "ready for prime time" as we say.

UEMIS, a Swiss company displayed their nicely illuminated new dive computers that do just about everything, with an exceptional battery life even further extended by the photovoltaic cells right on the wrist-set so you can charge on that tropical dive trip even though you forgot spare batteries.


Speaking of computer gizmos, a Los Angeles based company called Shb Instruments is producing a new GPS wrist computer called the Navimate (http://www.shbinstruments.com/Navimate.htm) that keeps track of where you are. Yes, GPS signals will not penetrate salt water, but when it is above the surface, it takes its sat-map coordinates and overlays it over a map. As you move about underwater, it keeps track of where you are in relation to that satellite fix.


I wonder how they accomplish that...gyros? accelerometers? The unit sure was compact yet with a nice size display screen.

During one of the interviews we did, we heard this country sort of singing guy with a pretty nice voice, so we ambled over to the crowd and there was this character singing songs with dive related lyrics while playing acoustic guitar. In front of him were some girls in mermaid get-ups, and to the right was a mermaid girl in a tank. It was fun trying to shoot HD footage with characters deciding that they were going to stand in front of this huge videocam and tripod so they can get their photo-op with the mermaid-girl.


I did admire how long she held her breath.....I hope that water was not too cold, but people sure had a good time getting photos taken with her and she was a real sport about it all posing with people.

The video housing manufacturers were in full force again, with Gates showing off their slick Red housings, and Equinox (http://www.equinoxhousings.com/) showing off their versions for the same camera, as well as their new housings for the Sony PMW-EX1 and EX3. They also had their standard compact housings that are designed for several different cameras all using the same housing.

Light and Motion showed off their new compact housing line that is a little more universal in nature than their previous offerings, so as the ever changing new models come out, you keep the same housing.

We were REALLY impressed with their new full power Sunray 2000 LED lights with their proper color temperature and lumens. They are just the ticket for traveling videographers who desperately need lighter, more compact gear without giving up anything over our high powered HID lights.

The rebreather crowd keeps growing larger each show. I ran into someone I previously interviewed and produced in HiDef, Dr. Richard Pyle, who needs no introduction to the rebreather community. I stood next to him while he was yacking with someone and when he turned to see who I was, I finally looked at him and feigned surprise, telling him I did not recognize him since he was not speaking in his helium voice, which is a joke derived from his now famous viral video titled "Hypothermia Induced Tourrettes Syndrome".

Thanks to Jonas and Jens of Poseidon, we had a chance to dive the revolutionary Cis-Lunar Mark VI Discovery at Crystal River. We keep finding out more and more of the advanced technology that goes into that unit, like the integrated mouthpiece and bailout reg unit with the HUD in it, the latter of which has a magnetic sensor in it so if a diver bails out to open circuit, when rotating the lever, a magnet rotates into proximity to the senor in the HUD and that communicates to the controllers that the diver has bailed out. REALLY slick!

It was hilarious when sitting down on the boat bench all geared up, and I went to go stand for the first time with the Cis-Lunar Mark VI Discovery on my back. I put too much effort in it expecting it to be closer in weight to the CCR I dive now. I almost lost my balance exclaiming; "damn, this thing is light!

And yes, we're going to be taking a Mark VI on some pending HD video productions in Asia soon to really put it through its paces, so expect a full report on the Cis-Lunar Mark V6 Discovery soon along with some HD footage.

The Jetsam people were there with 2 new rigs with some excellent price points. Here Pam explains the operation of the unit to 2 attendees.


We swung by the Drager folks and saw some of their latest oxygen rebreathers.


They shared a booth with a company that produces some of the slickest, most innovative diver propulsion vehicles I have seen. We HAVE to get some of their footage of divers using it that they displayed on a large flat panel HDTV.


The ISC people had their Meg line out with 2 new offerings, with Leon Scammahorn here showing a new rig to DEMA attendees. They had a new coating on the scrubber housing that reminds me of the Rhino lining" I see on some truck beds-durable and ready to keep the nice anodization on the scrubber housing from getting all scratched up.


ANDI has quite a booth with various CCR's that they run certification courses for. I ran into Ed Bett's, the gas physiology rocket scientist and author of many technical gas and dive training manuals. I introduced myself and told him I was the character who found a UT-240 CCR for sale on E-bay with the ANDI gas test cylinder hang tags with the initials EB on it so I had taken a wild guess and called him up and sure enough, it was his stolen rig.

Speaking of CCR training, The RAID people were there with their combination online and in person instruction for various CCR's. Barry Coleman along with his lovely wife showed off their new refillable scrubber cartridge for the Cis-Lunar Mark VI Discovery rebreather. For those of us who need the ability to use loose Sofnolime, that was just what the doctor ordered.

About 4 months ago I called the Silent Diving Systems guys and asked if I could get a scrap OCB body to forward to Seacure, the moldable mouthpeice people. After chatting up the Seacure people at their booth, sure enough, there was that OCB body dropped off by SDS.

We swung by the Closed Circuit Research booth, manufacturers of the well regarded Boris and Sentinel CCR's and checked out their new Sentinel Expedition model, and get this, it has a patented C02 sensing and operator display function that uses a low power consuming LED that is so sensitive, it can sense C02 through the hydrophobic membrane without having to dry the sampled gas or dynamically drive it through the membrane. Drying the gas without causing battery issues or loop drying issues has always been some of the C02 sensing hurdles, so the Closed Circuit Research people may have solved it.

There were tons of seminars on every topic. I has a chance to attend 3 on Philippines dive travel, our favorite all around exotic dive destination. The Philippines Department of Tourism sure has stepped up their presence that last few years. Of course once you have traveled there to dive and experience their warmth, hospitality, culture and amazing natural sites, you will be hooked for life.

We'll be doing a spectacular Philippines dive presentation in HiDef for future scuba shows that is going to really going to wow audiences.

The Indonesia Government Tourism staff REALLY rolled out the red carpet for us and thanked us repeatedly for what we have done for Indonesia dive tourism promotion. That was a welcome, gracious thing to do! It was refreshing being immediately introduced to the 2 right people, them eagerly giving us their undivided attention, and being told whatever we needed, they will take care of.

THAT is why DEMA attendance is so valuable, it is not just the scuba eye-candy, it is the information you give and receive with manufacturers, it is the people you meet and the relationships you form that makes the DEMA show so costly to NOT attend.

Next year DEMA will be back in Las Vegas and we'll be looking forward to being there.

11-17-2009, 04:39 AM

The Publisher
11-29-2009, 08:17 PM
Thanks Laura!