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Scuba Show 2009, Long Beach CA Debrief
June 1, 2009 - After the Show
By John Flanders
Cool mornings, cloudy days and big crowds marked the Scuba Show weekend in Long Beach (www.scubashow.com). I can’t think of too many ways I would rather spend a weekend than looking at all the cool new products and talking Scuba diving. OK, perhaps I would rather be Scuba diving. But, this was a good second.
A lot of folks used the weekend to spend one day in the water in Catalina or Laguna and then one day at the show. A great combination! For the most part, there were a lot of happy divers enjoying what they love the most - Scuba.
There were many ‘highlights’ to the 76,000 square foot Exhibit. The over 200 vendors were very positive and uplifting. Occasionally, you could hear some whispered conversations about the state of the industry or the economy, however most folks felt that things were improving.
Of course, while it is always a pleasure to see old friends and visit the booths , the real excitement of the show is going from booth to booth and seeing all the new Scuba gear and hearing about all the exotic destinations that want you to come visit them. We had a lot of folks from the Academy of Scuba, in Phoenix AZ, at the show (customers and staff). And, after two days of browsing through every booth in the convention hall, I could write about each and every one of them, I wanted to take a second and write about the more interesting conversations and unique products we had and visited.
One of our first visits on Saturday morning was to the Divers’ Platform Booth. Harry Wood, president of the Divers’ Platform, was smiling and larger than life. He had all his platforms out on display with an impressive stand that truly demonstrated the capabilities of this amazing product. The Divers’ Platform is more than a buoy or dive-flag. The Divers’ Platform is a surface workhorse for the diver or the dive professional. And, Harry keeps innovating more and more utility including his bailout bottle and 30 foot hose. For those of us who like good old American ingenuity and construction, the Divers’ Platform is a great tool. I own two of them. http://www.thediversplatform.com
We spent a lot of time at the Bonica Precision Booth (http://www.bonicadive.com). I have been using the Bonica HD camera for over a year. Nice unit, low cost makes it a eye catcher, in my book. The had their light rigs on display and spent a lot of time talking about how instructors are using it in their Underwater Videography Course. It was worth the stop and the great discussion. They even handed me a nice CD filled with files specific to instructors.
As always, it was great to see our friends at Atomic Aquatics (http://www.atomicaquatics.com) and talk leading edge regulators. They had their ST-1 on display and we got a good look at that. And, we spoke quite a lot about their fins and the great success they having with them. Nothing earth shattering, but always a good experience and learn something new.
Bonaire was well represented at the show, with the Bonaire Tourism Association, Captain Don’s, Buddy Dive, the Divi and more. (http://www.ilovebonaire.com) If you are looking to go to Bonaire, it seems like there are a lot of great deals between now and October 1. I spent a fair amount of time speaking with the folks from Captain Don’s (Bonaire and Curacao). Captain Don’s has an Inter-Island special on a two week stay, on both Islands, they pick up the inter-island air fare. Further, they said there are programs where the government is offering airline incentives. Of course, you would want to contact Captain Don’s directly about these programs. I am sure there are conditions and expiration dates.
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