About this time of year we list the top 10 most popular products for the previous year for the main sales departments so here are 2012’s. There are some clear and obvious winners but also a few surprise entries that I didn’t foresee.
BCDs Not much has changed in the top 10 BCD line up compared to 2011 with the Cressi Travelight as the clear number one selling BCD. We predicted that Mares would be one to watch for 2012 and we have seen Mares BCDs move up in the top 10 with three BCDs listed. I predict that 2013 will be similar with Cressi, Mares and Scubapro taking most of the slots.
Dive Computers You might as well think of this as the Suunto top 10 products as they will quite clearly dominate the top 10 dive computers. Both Oceanic and Cressi are started to make upward movements but they have some serious work ahead to muscle Suunto out of the top 5 positions. Suunto’s very clever ‘free transmitter’ promotion obviously smashed the November and December 2012 sales. Mares dropped the ball slightly with the retirement of the very competitively priced Puck computer during the year. Oceanic will be a brand to watch for 2013 who have their sights firmly fixed on Suunto’s hefty market share and will be releasing some new computers to take on the giant.
Fins We didn’t report the top 10 for fins last year but just out of interest I have listed them. The list is for open heel fins only. A real mix up of brands but the clear winner was the Mares Avanti Quattro. The new plus version has big shoes to fill. Interestingly the monster Hollis F1 Fins was only a couple of spots out of the top 10, not where I thought a fin intended for the tech market would finish. Perhaps it would have even been in the top 10 if there wasn’t an availability hiccup during the year when demand for Hollis equipment went skywards. No massive developments and releases in the fin market this year, just a few colour changes and minor tweaks that primarily target the lovely lady divers out there.
Masks Again not something we reported last year. The winner had almost twice as many sales as second place which is no real surprise as the Oceanic Shadow Mask is just a superb all round mask that fits well, is light, low profile and packs into a pocket as a spare as well. TUSA were pretty dominant throughout the top 10 with five masks. The Hollis M1 could easily have made it to second place if more stock had been available for the massive demand. Considering the high cost of the Atomic masks it was a surprise for the Frameless mask to make the top 10 and even more so for the Venom mask to be sitting just outside at 11th place. I would predict Cressi to make a little come back in 2013 with the release of some new masks, colours and new attractive matching snorkels later in the year. Oceanic also has some good looking masks in the pipeline so watch out for those.
Regulators Apeks regulators have done well this year (helped by the late upgrade), claiming five of the top spots with five other brands each sneaking a regulator into the top 10. Travel regulators were popular in 2012 which isn’t surprising given the terrible season we had in the UK but those that braved the weather did so with rock solid, high end specification regulators with not one of the regulators featuring in the top 10 being considered as an entry or mid level regulator. The rain ruined our prediction for Mares and Oceanic making more of a show this year, instead divers opted for the tried and tested models.
I think 2013 will start to see a shift in power as the smaller, incredibly keen and hungry brands begin to nibble on the heels of the big players. After all they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 2013 will also see the much anticipated release of the Hollis rebreathers into both the tech and recreational side of diving. Interest is astronomical (especially in the Hollis Explorer) but what will the actual uptake be like and will there be a noticeable drop in high end equipment sales as divers switch over to closed circuit diving? I have high hopes for this diving season….if nothing else we might actually be able to get in our seas for a few dives if the weather is kind. Do you own one of these top 10 products? Leave a comment to explain why it is so good or visit the product page and write a short review to give divers around the world your feedback and thoughts.