ADEX 2017 - Surf sports make their debut at the groundbreaking Asian dive show!
The Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore, is an unlikely place to find the KTA Media team, but for once they swapped out the flip flops and boardshorts, brushed the sand off and headed into the urban world on a mission. It's not often you find this crew working off-beach, but with a new season comes new opportunities and the blend of dive and surf was something not to be missed.
And was also an excellent opportunity to grow the sport and expand awareness.
ADEX- Asia Dive Expo is Asia's largest and longest standing expo of its kind and this year John Thet, and the Asian Geographic crew that mastermind the show, were looking to grow and broaden the horizons. New brands and organisations from the world of surf, SUP, windsurfing and kiting were invited to make their debut. Among which where a number of familiar names from the kite and surf world: Naish, Starboards, Airush, Kitoons, Jet Surf, Ripcurl, Gul, Lieuwe Boards, and of course the KTA.
ADEX has been running for nearly 23 years, making it one of the most established conventions in the industry, and certainly in Asia. It's far less a typical commercial expo- less wheeler dealer mentality- more of a think tank, more of a communal gathering. Each year ADEX assigns a theme to the expo - this year was 'Confronting Climate Change'.
This meant that amongst all of the expected brands, equipment and tech on display, there would also be a number of speakers - in total 148 were scheduled, so lot of new knowledge was out there to be gained. The range of speakers was huge - free-divers, marine conservationists, underwater photographers, musicians, artists, adventurers, kiters, surfers, paddlers and explorers, even mermaids (yes, mermaids…).
Among the seemingly endless list of speakers, one of the most notable was that of Sylvia Earle, National Geographic's 'Explorer in Residence'. Sylvia, at first glance is a slip of a woman just shy of 82 years old, but despite her age she has incredible presence and a passion for her cause, one that simply can't be ignored.
Like many of those in attendance this year, Sylvia took the chance to educate and inspire the crowd at ADEX about all issues concerning climate change, marine conservation and what we can do about it. Echoing her words, and recounting his own stories and causes was Jose Ramos-Horta, the former President of Timor-Leste, who the KTA Media team managed to secure a private interview with after his keynote-speech delivery.
On the kite side of things there were speeches from Kathrin Borgwardt and Paula Rosales, both KTA regulars, as well as a mega crowd inspiring talk from 11 year old Kacper Lepicki. Kacper gave a rundown on how he managed to become the Under 11's World Champion, by bringing us along for a look on his road to success and showing us exactly what goes into getting to his impressive level of kiteboarding skill at such a young age.
But it wasn't all speakers and the floor of ADEX 2017 was itself a showcase of all of the latest cutting-edge tech in the dive world- wetsuits and masks, rebreathers, underwater photo/video equipment, the list goes on. Also among the traders were tourism companies, resort reps from some seriously exotic locations (Fiji, Wakatobi and Solomon Islands to name a few) and of course plenty of dive school owners.
It's always powerful and engaging to see the various components of the water sports world come together, especially when it's to contribute to a greater cause like confronting climate change. For the KTA Media team it was quite a special experience to witness this union and to follow the stories of all of the inspirational people who drive their cause or sport forward with such determination.
A convention like this deserves a footprint beyond just its daily footfall (an impressive 60,000 over the 3 days) and social media output. So in collaboration with the Outdoor Channel Asia, the KTA Media team are putting together a full TV documentary show that will cover not only the essence and atmosphere of the show itself, but also delve fully into the background stories of the characters behind the show's Eco message. So look out for this future output which will be bringing kiteboarding adventures, dives below the Artic shelf, cross-Pacific Ocean swims, plus mermaids swimming with crocodiles and Great White sharks direct to your screen.
Now there is something not to be missed…
For further information:
ADEX Video News Reports - https://vimeo.com/album/4532405
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Name: Neil Godbold
Organization: KTA Media
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