Rich is back from DEMA 2023 which returned to New Orleans for the first time in about two decades. He is excited to talk about some of the new products and things that he learned and is especially excited to talk about the Garmin Descent Mk3 dive computers that he has been product testing for nearly a year with his family.
Hello and welcome to Divers Sync, the NetCast and podcast for scuba divers. My name is Rich Synowiec and you're listening to episode 518, recorded on November 30, 20 23. And I am back from DEMA, which is the diving well, I think it's Diving Equipment and Marketing Association. It might be diving education and Marketing Association now. They've changed the name quite a bit. But I am back from New Orleans and the DEMA Show, which is the largest industry only show, and I've talked about it over the past ten or 20 years and I talk about it a lot. And one of the favorite episodes is what you see when you're there and lo and behold, there were a ton of people there. It was a really busy show. It was one of the best shows that I have been to at least in the past three years. But it's in my recollection that it's as good, if not better than the 2018 2019 shows, which were huge. And I can't remember the last time I was in New Orleans, but it was something else. Anyway, it was a great place to have a venue. It was a great place to be. The city was a little bit rundown, but I think that's expected. Every big city now that COVID has taken its toll and things are still not quite back to where they are. But the first day of the show, I mean, the first day were there, I did my DEMA or my PADI update for course director and that was pretty exciting. That's always a good time. They're launching a brand new technical diving program and it's basically taken the tech diving program and put it on Elearning. Now, I haven't gone through it all yet, that's one of my projects for the next month. But the materials look fantastic and the concept looks fantastic and they have made some improvements to the things that we get. So that was kind of one of the pre show highlights that I was enjoying. And so when we look at what that was there, I mean, I got to see some really cool people and I got to see some good friends. But then the second day, the morning of the second day, first day of DEMA, the coolness happened. I can finally talk about it. If you've been following me on YouTube, you've already seen some of this because I was so excited about it. I made videos, I made a couple shorts. I'm trying to do that a little bit more. And the podcast is kind of going to be the pillar, but it's not quite there yet. But the Garmin descent Mark Three was announced. And this is exciting for me because my family and I have been testing it for over a year. We've been on the beta team bad except of coffee. We've been on the beta team for this and the struggles of what we had to make it one of the coolest watches on the planet has turned into being really something. So the idea of this watch, I know you guys have heard me talk about the descent Mark Two. The descent Mark One was part of the big 2020 thing, the descent Mark Three. They've knocked it out of the park. The screen for you guys that are watching on video, the screen is super duper bright. And the idea behind what it can do has gone astronomical. Little things like it has videos on how to exercise, it has a huge amount of space to put music on. It'll attach directly to your headphones for music. The diving is spectacular in that it's really bright. And the screen is now OLED. It's about three or four times. I mean, you can noticeably see how much brighter it is even on the highest level for the Descent Mark One and Mark Two. But the biggest, cool thing is the diving part. Now, what they've done is they've taken and changed the transmitter to a transceiver. And I know that sounds weird, but bear with me for a second because I'm trying to make this something that people can understand.The watch, and this is what we've been testing on, is a full dive computer watch that you can read the transmitters of all the T Ones and now the T Two. But if you have the T Two, you can now read the depth and the distance. Well, that's coming. It's still in testing, but the depth and the distance to other divers. And it can read up to eight transmitters. And it's all done through sonar. And so right now, working on the model that we have, you can get into it and you can see everybody's pressure. And for you guys that are sure, I don't know what just happened, but I lost all of my fees. So where was I? This is back to the old days of when were trying to make this work. And now I'm back to the old days of trying to make it work again. So what we've got, though, is you can read the pressures of up to eight people. Now, for you guys that are shearwaters is where I was going with it. Shearwater or oceanic fans or the transmitters that are out there, like the data mask. And there's been a transmitter out there for a lot of years. I'm not sure about the Suntos and the scuba pro ones. That's not my forte. But for the transmitters that are out there, if you remember, you had to put in a code and you'd have to find the serial number on the transmitter. You have to put in the code. It was kind of a pain in the ass. The coolest thing about these transmitters, and it was on the T One, but they've kind of improved it on the T Two in that you walk up to the T Two and then they descent mark Three. And as long as it can read the transmitter, you can add it and then you can edit it to put someone's name by it. And the only one it requires you to have a serial number on is your own. So if you say it's on my tank, you have to put in the last two digits of the serial number. If you say it's on someone else's tank, they really don't care because that's not going to be life threatening to you if you run out of air. So it's kind of a really cool program for that. Now, the other really cool thing is that I think it's announced. I hope it is, because I'm going to NDA, but they're going to be able to see the depth and the pressure along with the depth. Now, you can do this with the T One. This mark three will read the depth of the other diver that you're with. So if you turn around and you can't see him and you go, well, shit, I'm at 60ft. Where's he and you look down and you check he's got pressure, he's in the water still. You can see that he's at like 40ft. And that's a really cool thing. Now it's been announced, but it's not released yet. The other cool thing is if your budy has a descent Mark Three and you have a descent Mark Three with a T Two transmitter, both of you have T Two transmitters. Because the key is in the transmitter, you will be able to send simple messages, direct diver to direct or to a group. And so you can ask the whole group, Are we okay? Or you can ask the whole group, can you come to me? Right now, there's only four things that we're doing just because we're testing the connectivity of it, but that is going to be just so there's a lot more coming as they build this thing up. They actually put in their mapping program, because Garmin is all about their maps and all about locations. They actually put in their mapping program, Bethymmetry.And Bethymmetry is meaning that they're going to show you the depth contours of some of the dives that you want. So you can actually go into your watch because it's touch screen now. It's a touch screen sapphire crystal. You can go into your watch and you can actually drag an icon over to the spot that you want to go down on and you can navigate to it. So I'm going to be playing with that next week, hopefully. I have or next month, hopefully, because I'll be in Bonaire for next month. I'm teaching technical diving training, and then I have a week where we're doing nothing but videotaping and doing testing on this watch, which is kind of cool. So that's the big talk at DEMA. I was really excited about it because I know so much about the watch and I haven't been able to talk about it. It sucks when you sit there and you've got one of the coolest products on the planet on your wrist and somebody eventually catch you. Oh, that's the other thing that is cool. And I'm going to show this to people that are watching it on video. I don't know if I'll ever get this on video because it's going to be the audio. But that's the flashlight. And you can put in a bunch of different levels of the flashlight, but the watch itself has a flashlight and they've also taken and changed a lot of the ways that the terminology is. They don't have a big one and an S anymore. They have a big one and small one. It's a 50 1 mm or 47 millimeter. The S doesn't have the flashlight, but it has everything else and it's in a smaller body so it fits better for smaller statured people, basically. But you're going to hear more about this because I really like it and it's probably my biggest everything that I've put out on The Descent, mark II has so far been my most viral thing that's hit on instant on social media. And that brings up something that I learned while I was there because I go to DEMA not to see the products, although that's a secondary thing because I usually know a lot of this stuff before I get there. But at DEMA this year, I went to a lot of classes and one of the classes showed me that social media has changed. It's a 50 1 mm or 47 millimeter. The S doesn't have the flashlight, but it has everything else and it's in a smaller body so it fits better for smaller statured people, basically. But you're going to hear more about this because I really like it and it's probably my biggest everything that I've put out on The Descent, mark II has so far been my most viral thing that's hit on instant on social media. And that brings up something that I learned while I was there because I go to DEMA not to see the products, although that's a secondary thing because I usually know a lot of this stuff before I get there. But at Dima this year, I went to a lot of classes and one of the classes showed me that social media has changed. The social media companies now want social media to go back to being social. And if social media has going back to being social now, what we have to be is social. So that means you can't just go and like you can't just go and follow. You can't just go and oh yeah, thumbs up, everything good. You've got to say something, you've got to talk to something. And more importantly, the creator has to answer you back. So if there's a one and two, the point system that they're using is a one and two different level kind of thing is that you get a point if you post something, which is always the most important. But you get more points if people interact and it goes viral and it gets shared and all that kind of stuff. So please feel free to share stuff. Please feel free to put stuff out there. I'm trying to be what I I mean, this is all for self promotion, but I do really like it. The challenge of being able to create something nice like this has really been part of my I have an artistic background, so it's been part of my genre that throughout forever. I've loved making signs for the stores, I've loved making videos, I've loved doing stuff like that. So this is more so my kids are getting dragged into being cameraman, so it's not their full time profession. So it does sometimes suffer a bit. Other things that I saw, Waterproof had another dry suit, and the dry suit was the Waterproof D Seven Evo. It's a little bit different material than the Nylotech, but if you guys know, I dive the D Seven Nylotech from Waterproof, and Waterproof is a great company as far as, like, they have it together and nonsense. They make one of the best suits out there. They make the best hood on the planet, in my opinion. That one, I can tell you that I would put that up against anything, but that was another thing that was announced at Dima, that it may be coming. Waterproof had a really good program, a really good showing of what they've got. I did take some small videos of Snippets. There's stuff on YouTube, if you want to look through the shorts. But Shearwater came out with the turn, and I think the turn I turn X one's, a transmitter one. And what it is the turn is the recreational level of the Terric. So they kind of stepped back from the Tariq a little bit in that Tarek is a good computer. They don't have the social media that the Garmin has. The bright screen is still there. The Mark Three is as bright as the Tariq. If you guys are out there and you've made that decision because of the brightness. That was something that the Mark Three has now to compete, but the Tariq is not. Now, some of other the stuff that wasn't at it, but it was announced at about the same time, is oceanic now has released their Oceanic Plus dive housing for the iPhones. Really cool how that works. I'm going to do a whole segment on that as soon as my iPhone gets I got to order an iPhone. I'm not an iPhone guy, so I ordered an iPhone to be able to use this housing, to be able to show customers how it works. And so we'll see if that comes up. And it's a cheap one, so it's an iPhone eight and they're on like the 15, so we'll see if I can actually get it to work. But it should be it should work just fine. So the other thing that came out, that was neat, it's really nice because I've reached a point after nearly 40 years doing this, that most of the manufacturers that I do really business with, we're on a first name basis. I know all the presidents of the companies. I know a lot of the people that are there, that are running it, and most of them are just small businesses like mine. They're doing millions and millions of dollars more than me, but because they're on scale, they're doing something for a bigger audience than I do. But the Poseidon guy, james, he is the president of Poseidon USA. He said, Rich, let me get done with this. I got something I got to show you. And we walked over and I'm a big Din fan. Now, I wish this product would have come out 100 years ago, but they are back to having they have the extreme first stage. So the extreme first stage that I like the newest, latest, greatest cold water first stage, they now have in a fixed yolk style. So you can buy the first stage now as an option for fixed yolk. I'm not sure if we're going to do that because we've gone to Din and almost everybody's gone to Din, and by the time they get to a Poseidon, I want them in a Din. But it was something neat to see. It was something showing that people are trying to innovate. The Poseidon regulator has not changed drastically since the Extreme came out. And I think it's a great machine. It's one of the best machines on the planet. I mean, if you guys want to go through a real quick list of what I dive the waterproof D seven Nylotech as a dry suit. This is this week. I dive a SEOs mask from Tucson because it's got the Bifocals. And I got new contacts that I go pick up today, so hopefully those will be cool. There was Bifocal contacts, so we'll see how that works. I dive a shearwater petrol two on my rebreather, which is the Hollis Prism two. And my primary computer is the Garmin Descent, Mark Three and the Shearwater Predator, because I have that and I have a bunch of sharp. I have three or four Garmin products that I use when I travel just because they're easier to use. I like the big numbers of the Shearwater. My regulators are almost all Poseidon jet streams. And the only reason I don't have X streams is my jet streams are paid for, which is the best in my opinion, the best feature of any piece of scuba equipment is that it's paid for. When I'm doing open circuit in the pool or open circuit tropical I'm using the oceanic travel BCD and then I use Oceanic TDX Titanium first stages, which you can't get with an EOS second stage. And then my primary BCD is the HDF two. I got lots of little things that are in there. My Hood is a Waterproof, best hood on the planet. My gloves are waterproof. My family dives with DUI. My family dives with all of my Undergarments are Fourth Element. I still think Fourth Element has a pretty good suit. I think their price range is a little bit off for the comparison. If you're looking apples to apples, the Waterproof D Seven Nylotech is about the same one as their Argonaut. Their customizing is really a neat idea, but I fluctuate way too much to have a custom suit. My suits always have to be big on me, but that pretty much brings it to the end of episode 518. The DEMA show was great. Some of the things that we saw in New Orleans, went to the Sazerac Distillery and I didn't realize that New Orleans was where the term cocktail was invented. Okay, propaganda being what it is, the Sazerac Distillery says that's what they did. Sazerac Cocktail was one of the first cocktails they used bidders at the time. They had a pretty good speakeasy business during the prohibition, using it as medication because bitters were medication, but they were also alcoholic. That was a really neat worth it to do it. We had dinner at the Waldof restoria down there as a family. That was kind of a I went with the guys from Utila Dive Lodge, which we are going to. That show ship was almost sold out. I got to hang out with those guys. They're some of my favorite people. And so we're going to be going there in March and that trip is almost sold out. We only have three spots left, but we almost have the whole resort. All but one room. We have the whole resort, but we got to have dinner with them. That's always been kind of a family tradition for every demon now. But went to the Waldorf and that was spectacular. And it wasn't as expensive as I was afraid it was going to be, but it was just neat. It was loud because it was an older building, but it was cool. And then on our final day there, my family and I, went to the world War II museum in New Orleans. And we had heard that it was one of the finest world war II museums around. And I'm going to say that it was just that. Oh, and we did riverboat. We had dinner on a riverboat. We did it through a couple of the organizations that we do pretty well with. So I'm pretty excited about that. We were invited as a family to the Cayman one and you need to go Grand Cayman. That's my plug. Because they were great to us and they have really good they've been working really good with the airlines, making sure people can go. And that was kind of what the announcement was. And then they threw dinner on a riverboat with us and up and down the Mississippi was kind of a cool thing to do when you're in New Orleans. So I am headed to work and I'm off to do the next thing that I got to do. I'm headed for Bonaire for this week. I'm going to be there for a month. Hopefully I do another podcast from down there. I'm not sure how that's going to work. I'm going to do my best to try to do something, maybe video because I finally got that figured out. As far as the shorts are concerned, I'm not sure what my memory it's going to do a long form one like this. But until next time, we'll see you.