Scubapro - A Brief History | Mike's Dive Store
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Scubapro - A Brief History

Scubapro - A Brief History

In the early 1960s Gustav Dalla Valle (an importer of Cressi and Beuchat) and Dick Bonin (a US Navy SEAL officer) bought the rights to the name Scubapro for 1 US dollar. Gustav continued to say he overpaid for the company his whole career!  Revered as the Rolls Royce of scuba diving, Scubapro spent more money on Research and Design than any other company. They hired the best engineers, many of which were instructors and rigorously tested potential products for performance and durability.

The Scubapro tag line is “Deep Down You Want The Best”.  Below are some key moments in the company history:

In 1963 The MK2 regulator is introduced, considered the most reliable 1st stage in diving. The MK2 is still in production today at the Scubapro state of-the-art R&D facility in Italy.

1965 The Jet Fin brings a new approach to efficient underwater propulsion. After 55 years the Jet Fin is still popular with both technical and military divers.  It is one of the most copied Scuba diving products ever sold. Ironically, Dick Bonin said they were the ugliest fins he had ever seen!

1971 The first Stabilizing Jacket - known as the “Stab” Jacket - revolutionizes the BCD market with its classic style.  This was the first jacket style BCD for widespread distribution.

1972 The Quick Disconnect Inflator enables divers to use the air from their tanks to fill their BCDs -  the first of its kind.

1977 In the film The Deep, Jaqueline Bisset wore the first ever silicone mask which was designed by Bonin.  The film quickly gained popularity for the “Hypo-allergenic mask” across the globe.

1979 The AIR2 - the first alternate inflator regulator - integrates the BCD inflator with the octo reg. The Air2 is still in production today and is in its 5th generation.

1981 The Super Cinch Tank Band cam action buckle system redefines tank security.  It is still the secure system used on many Scubapro BCDs today.

1985 The first 2nd stage to feature an adjustable balanced valve is introduced to the diving industry.

1986 The G250 becomes the most imitated 2nd stage in diving. Succeeded by the G260 in 2013, this is one of Scubapro’s most durable regs.

1987 Scubapro / Uwatec’s first wrist mount design dive computer - the Aladin Pro - quickly becomes a diver favourite thanks to its easy-read screen. Uwatec joined Scubapro in 1997 and continue to be a leading innovator in the industry.

1990 The first frameless mask becomes a favourite with professional divers the world over.

1996 The Seahawk is Scubapro’s first weight-integrated BCD. Today the Seahawk 2 uses the same streamlined and reliable bladder as the previous model, but the rigid backplate has been substituted for a reinforced soft backpad and twin cylinder strap system.

2003 Scubapro announces the Ladyhawk, its first back inflation BCD designed specifically for women.

2007 The Galileo line of technologically advanced wrist-mount dive computers is introduced.

2009 The A700 second stage offers effortless inhalation and easy exhalation in a precision full-metal package. Hand-welded, this regulator was designed for extreme cold water use.

2010 The award-winning Seawing Nova fin quickly becomes the industry standard for fin performance.

2015 The MK25 EVO becomes the industry’s premier high-performance cold-water regulator. It has a patented Extended Thermal Insulating System (XTIS), along with other freeze-inhibiting internal components and coatings.

2017 The HYDROS PRO becomes the most modern and customisable BCD on the market. The full-colour Galileo G2 wrist-mount computer marks the birth of a new generation of advanced dive computer technology.

2018 The streamlined G2 Console is introduced. Scubapro also brings to diving the first “Green” wetsuit, made of Naturalprene.  This neoprene blend comes primarily from renewable rubber trees.

2019 The hands-free Galileo HUD is a revolutionary mask-mounted dive computer experience unlike anything else in diving. The GO Sport Fin “boot-fit” design ushers in a new wave of innovation for scuba fins.

2020 The D420 regulator combines the iconic heritage of the original D-Series reg with the very latest advances in breathing performance technology. The HYDROS X offers a fully injection-molded Monprene® thermoplastic harness, allowing the shoulders to conform to the body like a tailored fit.  

 

Today, SCUBAPRO remains a premier manufacturer of scuba diving equipment. At least one in every two of its employees are divers and over a third of them are instructors. Scubapro and Uwatec are Johnson Outdoors Companies, but it is rumoured that Gustav sold them the company against Bonin’s wishes in 1974! See our Scubapro packages here for the best combination of many of  the items mentioned above. 

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