Journal

Becoming Aquala, Our First Dive into History

Bill Barada If you’ve had a chance to read the history section of our website, you’ll know that Aquala was the silent manufacturer for Bel-Aqua Watersports until 1959. Bel Aqua was founded by Los Angeles firefighter Bill Barada in 1950, but Bill actually created the first civilian drysuit in 1947. It took the next three…

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Aquala Moving Forward Toward the Past

After being at the helm of Aquala for 17 years, last February I decided it was time for a change. Not a change in a typical progressive way. No, a change in a completely regressive way. I know at first that doesn’t make sense, but given our almost 70-year history, the most logical way to move forward…

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Evolving the Modern Drysuit The Cordell from Aquala

When I took over Aquala in 2000, in all honesty, I knew very little about drysuits. The history of Aquala was what captured my attention and having already been in business as well as an experienced diver, everything else I knew I could learn. Some say a lack of drysuit knowledge would be stacking the…

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Aquala- Diving the Antarctic Since 1961

Aquala Stories of Exploring the Antartic by Ty Alley A few years ago, Peter Brueggeman contacted me with something that he said I might find of interest. Peter, who is now retired, was the library director for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and through contacts made there, he went to the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica,…

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Diving 20,000 Leagues with Pat Regan of Vulcania Submarine

It’s funny how things come together. Little bits and pieces come to light, and over time those bits join together to finally form something truly remarkable. That’s the way Vulcania Submarine and Aquala’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” project came to life. Little bits here and there, to form something that hadn’t been accomplished in…

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20000 Leagues Under the Sea Adventure Part 2

It had been eight years since Pat Regan and I first discussed this project. There were many emails and messages sent back and forth; but like many things, slow and steady won the race. We had done what others had dreamt of but no-one else had ever accomplished. We brought Harper Goff and Fred Zendar’s…

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Aquala and DOXA

If you’ve had a chance to view the location photos of our suits, you might notice a common element amongst all the shots. Yes, our suits share common signature features, like the “Water green” color and the round reinforcing patches, but there’s something else. That something, while standard equipment in its day, is almost non-existent…

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The Global Family of Vintage Diving

When I decided to refocus the line, authenticity and detail were key to the new direction. While we’ve had a “historical” model, which was essentially the same as a Coronado since 2002, we didn’t have a suit that bridged the gap between our very first tunnel entry design, and our current triple seamed, pressures valved…

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One Reason I Dive

Over the years, I’ve been asked many times, “Why do you dive?” The answer is normally, “How much time do you have?” The answer is never simple. Sometimes I dive for adventure, sometimes it’s for time spent with my boys. Sometimes it’s for simply getting away, and sometimes it’s for putting food on the table.…

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Honoring Vancouver PD Marien Unit

A few days ago, I received a notice that Facebook had created a video that I might like to see. They do this on occasion by pulling together random photos that one posts, to make an interesting presentation. This video’s theme was community. You might have received one as well. Social media can be aggravating…

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