The annual DEMA (Dive Equipment and Marketing Association) show is being held now in Orlando, Florida. More than 600 exhibitors are displaying their products, travel opportunities and training programs to industry professionals. The show is not open to the public (but we’re here to share with you all the good stuff).

Below are some photos and product briefs from the show today (Thursday).

The show floor at the Orlando Convention Center is huge! There are more than 600 companies here, and over 1,000 booths. An estimated 10,000 people will be attending the show this week.

National Geographic displays their own line of recreational dive and snorkel gear. Sporting the classic yellow and black color scheme of the organization, the gear is available at dive retailers across the country. National Geographic has also teamed with PADI for a special National Geographic Diver Certification, available at PADI training centers. All of National Geographic’s net proceeds from the PADI National Geographic Diver program supports exploration, conservation, research, and education.

Dave Hancock and his team from Dive Alert are here, showing off their latest Dive Alert Plus. They are also the U.S. Distributor for the cool new Nautilus Lifeline GPS VHF Radio for divers. Every diver (especially those diving off boats) needs a Dive Alert – I’ve had one since 1994 and have one with me on every dive. The newer PLUS unit also has the ability to alert other divers underwater as well as on the surface.

Michelle from Fourth Element showed me the latest in thermal protection, including their Halo 3D line. Unlike many drysuit undergarments, the 3D has strategically placed insulation panels for maximum warmth with minimal positive buoyancy. The Fourth Element gear is not just practical – their design and features are also stylish (and check out their logo)!

Shawn Gibbs of Beneath The Surface showed me his new large pivot tray at the show. The tray is made for the Sea & Sea housings for full-frame SLR, and allows the user to rotate the camera from landscape to portrait orientation without changing the position of your strobes. It weighs 1lb, 9oz in freshwater (without the housing) and will retail $479. It will be available after Christmas. Visit their website to see their other products and place your order for this tray now.

Stacie at Beach Buddy demonstrated their new Scuba Buddy tank dolly system. The Scuba Buddy allows the diver to easily transport their gear to the water, and the unit actually goes on the dive with you so you don’t need to leave anything on the beach. The Scuba Buddy is lightweight, neutrally buoyant, and all metal is stainless 304 or higher. It’s made in the U.S., and all components are made for extreme durability in saltwater submersion. You can find more information on their products on their website, and this addition will be available starting in December.
How cool are these? Poseidon has new dive boots made in the style of the classic Converse All-Star shoes. I want a pair! These will be available in 2012 from Poseidon.
NAUI is in the house with a great floor display and NAUI member update meetings on Thursday and Saturday. They’re also having a panel discussion with the Roddenberry Dive Team, and had a party on the opening night of the show called “Diving with the Stars”.
Barry and Max from Luminox at their booth, having a great time. Included in their display is the Scott Cassell limited edition watch. Scott is featured on the cover of our November/December issue of California Diver Magazine.
GoPro is releasing their new flat port housing – and this may be the very first photo of it online anywhere (it’s not officially released yet, but they gave us the go-ahead to snap a pic). The $50 housing allows you to take sharp, clear images underwater without any vignetting or distortion, at all resolutions. Look for it in January.
I met Rex Hargrave from the U.K. today, and he’s created a new flare system that can be safely taken underwater with you. The flare is contained in a plastic case with a quick release latch, and when lit it will burn an intense red light for 1 minute at the surface – the same way boaters in distress get the attention of rescuers. It’s tested to a depth of 42 meters (132 feet), has a shelf life of 3 years, and very easy to carry with you on your dive. See more at
If you’re not having fun diving, maybe you should dive with the “Happy Walrus”. It’s actually an underwater 1 or 2-person personal submarine, with it’s own electric motor and diving planes for controlling depth and direction underwater. Marketed to resorts, this unique vehicle allows non-divers to dive as deep at 60 feet. Read more by clicking here.
I met with Alex of Scuba Solutions who has invented a tank strap that makes it easier to attach and release your tank. With the Easy Tank Strap, you won’t have to loop nylon webbing through the buckle anymore or worry about your tank slipping – just insert the tail end into the slot and lift the handle to rachet it tight. It retails for $44.95 and can be ordered from their website, or at your local dive store in 2012.
More to come…check back soon!