A year in review by Travis Hogan
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year with their families and that you are ready for a big and exciting 2018, we certainly are!!
This year marks 20 years that Aimrite Spearfishing has been operating and manufacturing in the spearfishing industry as well as the 10 year anniversary of the “VENOM” series. We are extremely excited for what this year brings including a heap of new products and using the latest technology to improve the products in the current range we have.
As some of you may or may not know last year in November we settled our debt to Rick Bettua (previous owner of Aimrite). These past 5 years have tested us both mentally, emotionally and financially but we are happy to say it was all worth it!! Rick is still involved in America but for how long we don’t know but we wish him and his family all the best...
Cass and I took some much needed time out over Christmas/New Year to take a deep breath, relax and spend some time with our families. It was good to get away and spend time with my brother and his family who I rarely get to see as they live in Darwin. With all the contracts behind us we can really focus on the business now, building the brand up on the great foundations we have paved over the past 6 years!
Lows of 2017...
Some things didn't work out for us in 2017 unfortunately. The Signature Series wetsuit order and design was "retained" by the manufacturer... Maybe our design was just too cool for them to give up ;) Not to worry, our new design is complete and samples in production already!! Below is a sneak peek of the new camo and the new wetsuits are due for release in April!
We had to put a hold on the Super Venom Limited Edition speargun as we were waiting for the handle to be produced which turned out taking MUCH longer than expected. This year it will be released, get in quick there is only 100 of them!
There was also several spearfishing incidents and deaths amongst the NQ community including shark attacks, croc attacks and blackout deaths which have impacted the region hard. This is a timely reminder that we should all dive with a buddy using the 1 up 1 down technique where you can watch your buddy at all times and vice versa. Please be safe and promote the team spirit amongst spearfishing this year as no fish is worth your life or your buddies.
Unfortunately it was the worst year for diving weather we have seen for a number of years around Australia especially up here in NQ. Last year I decided to take up Bowhunting which is something I have always wanted to do, mainly to keep fit and enjoy the outdoors during bad periods of ocean weather!! I feel Bowhunting has a lot of similarities to Spearfishing for elusive reef fish in that spot and stalk style of approach where the animals and fish you target are very flighty and wary of your presence. Hopefully the weather is much better in 2018!
Seems I am not the only one who has taken up bowhunting... Hunters first bow and arrow from Santa - which Santa immediately regretted... Sorry Rudolph!
Highs of 2017!
One of the biggest high for us was obviously paying off the business! This relieved a LOT of the pressure and stress that was on us personally!! Now that we have moved past this point in time we feel the sky is the limit with our brand and we can also focus on baby Hogan number 2, due April 2018!! Exciting (and crazy) times ahead!!
2017 was also the year for colour and the response was overwhelming especially for our Toxic series of USA latex rubber!! Poison Pink rubber has sold by the tonne, with Biohazard Green a close second. The Aluminium Venom X Camo barrels and red rubbers were also a huge hit far out selling the plain coloured barrels.
It was also the year of BIG fish for a few Team Divers! If you aren’t following @wattbry (Bryson Sheehy and Nikki Watt) get on it, they spent the last year travelling to the likes of Costa Rica shooting BIG Cubera and Norway shooting GIANT Halibut! Well worth a look at the video too and their adventures are only just beginning! We also had Joey Atzeni and Matt Parker in Nuie shooting big Wahoo and Dale Brisbane and Timmy Knight on the South Coast getting a Striped Marlin over 100kg each! Brisso also managed a few nice doggies overseas as well!!
I guided back to back trips in the Coral Sea where our customers and friends landed a LOT of firsts, PB's and quality eating fish to take home! Check out a few pics from the gallery below, blog coming soon!
Whats in store for 2018?
This year we have a lot happening and a few products that we feel very confident in will be released during the year. I will also be travelling during the month of February/March to visit our dealers to hopefully broaden the range within each store, giving our customers access to see (and feel) more Aimrite products than ever before!
These are some of the products Aimrite International will focus on this year;
- Super Venom Limited Edition Speargun - 100 only
- Brand new carbon fibre barrel design and construction - Stronger and potential mono block construction with ergonomic handle grip.
- New wetsuit design with matching apparel (Hats, Shorts, Shirts, Hoodies) - New designs and colours
- New lightweight reel - Smooth click drag system and heavy duty line guide
- New roller muzzle - lightweight SS bearings and heavy duty screws and guides
- Potential new handle and reverse mechanism - Exclusive to the roller series
- Bluewater Bungees for serious game fish - 2m, 3m, 5m and 10m
Well that's about all from us now, if you would like to subscribe and join our newsletter click below. This year we aim to provide our friends and customers with up to date information on new products, how to's, spearblogs and competitions which we will try to run monthly keeping you up to date and informed on what is happening in the world of Aimrite International...