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November 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Anything New at the DEMA Show?

photography and technical diving dominate

from the November, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Despite its name, the annual DEMA trade show, produced by the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association and held two weeks ago in Orlando, FL, has almost turned into a dive travel show, with booths from every possible destination vying for business. While a press release from the Indonesian tourist office describes the remote Raja Ampat as "well-known," it seems like only yesterday that I made my way to West Papua's Bird's Head peninsula and the only dive operation in the region. Now, the Indonesian government is limiting liveaboard licenses in Raja Ampat to 40. How times change.

Suunto EonSteelIs the Sport Diver Taking a Back Seat to Tech Diving?

DEMA provides a good sounding board for what equipment manufacturers are thinking, and this year, it looks as if they are marketing more products to existing customers rather than to those who might be tempted to take up diving for the first time. For example, a plethora of booths proudly exhibited improved and refined closed-circuit rebreathers, such as the Inspiration Evo, with its modernized handset and display (, and an apparent obsession with all aspects of technical diving. Most of them seemed to have given up on providing anything new for the ordinary single-tank leisure diver, because those who adventure into technical diving buy a lot more equipment. Why sell a single regulator to a leisure diver when you can sell four to a techie?

A decade ago, a Mares executive swore to me that his company would never entertain the techie business segment because it represented such a small percentage of its potential market, but now it has proudly launched the comprehensive XR extended range product line with the headline, "Farther. Deeper. Beyond." (

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