Most recreational divers out there spend very little time trying to understand what goes on behind the scenes at the myriad of companies that manufacture the equipment that they use. Nor should they really, the stuff works and provides an amazing dive experience. Or should they? The acquisition of White’s manufacturing by Aqualung is one example that could be easily dismissed by many divers, but to most it really means something! This molding of two great the time honored entities stands to change the dive industry as we know it. The question is, how? Well, to understand it let’s take a quick look at the two companies.
White’s manufacturing started off in 1956 as a small dive shop in Canada that manufactured wetsuits and later went on to become the first manufacturer of drysuits in North America. Led By Frank White-the Son of the founder, the company boasts a strong research and development team of active divers who understand what the average diver wants and needs in a solid, well built drysuit. As an example of this, the team at White’s manufacturing saw an industry need for a more flexible and streamlined drysuit. This desire led them down the path of taking a drysuit shell and covering it with a thin neoprene skin that would take the brunt of the abuse a diver would put on it. This is how the “Fusion” drysuit was born and since then has become a staple of the drysuit industry.
Aqua-Lung has maintained its status as one of the longest lived and most well respected dive manufacturers out there. As I learned in my NAUI Scuba Diver course many moons ago, it was began in 1943 as a joint effort between two Frenchmen, a Navy Lieutenant named Jacques Cousteau and the engineer Emile Gagnon when they invented a self contained apparatus that allowed a man to breathe underwater. The units were marketed and sold from a sporting goods store in Southern California by Rene Bussoz. A few twists and turns later, the name Aqua-Lung was patented and the rest is as we say…history. Since that time Aqua-Lung has been constantly striving to stay at the cutting edge of the dive and watersports industry.
So, what does the synergy of these two powerhouses in the dive industry combining forces mean for you as the “diver in the water”? Well, as I see it this is the coming together of two companies with a solid background of research and development of some of the most advanced equipment out there. First, with White’s and their know how on dry goods and second to none manufacturing protocols as well as a team of active divers designing some of the most solid drysuits out there. Secondly Aqua-Lung with their longstanding reputation along with a commitment to producing the best and the most advanced products in today’s dive market. I’m confident that you would agree that there is quite a bit of opportunity for us to benefit from this!