Beware Spare Air Counterfeits & Knock-Offs
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” was first printed back in 1824 by Charles Caleb Colton. We understand that Spare Air is a great way to save your own life in an out-of-air emergency, and it is natural for others to try and make a similar product at a cheaper price.
Submersible Systems has spent 40 years perfecting a product we are extremely proud of. It is difficult to copy what we have learned, and reverse engineering a Spare Air does not supply anyone with the knowledge gained from years of experience. Spare Air is made in the USA by Submersible Systems. Many of the components are produced in our Huntington Beach factory to very tight specifications. Utilizing proper test equipment to maintain rigorous standards, Submersible Systems only produces high quality life support equipment designed to save your life in an out-of-air emergency. Trust your life to professionals!
Submersible Systems, LLC specializes in making “The Original” Spare Air for Scuba Divers (read why Larry Williamson invented the Spare Air) and HEED (Helicopter Emergency Egress Device) for military applications regarding waterborne emergencies. We don’t make anything else that would distract us from our commitment to making the most reliable redundant emergency SCUBA device.
But recently we have discovered some obvious examples of knock-offs that we worry can result in injury or death – they just don’t measure up. One actually copies our marketing message, and we don’t want you to be confused about the difference between products.
February 12, 2020
SMACO appears to look very much like the SCORKL. After receiving a SCORKL package, our impression of the quality between the two brands is easier to compare. Both are made in China, but the SCORKL appears to be of better quality than the SMACO, yet neither compare to the quality of a SPARE AIR. The manufacturing standards of the SMACO may add additional risk if the model you receive is not of good quality.
October 7, 2019
From the smacotanks.com website: “The SMACO can operate to 20m but is only intended as shallow diving equipment. We recommend not using below 10m.” SMACO really does not compete with SPARE AIR as it cannot be used at recreation diving depths, but they do use long established marketing messages of Submersible Systems.
Over 20 years ago, Spare Air used the term “A diver’s reserve parachute” to emphasize that when an emergency happens at 2,000 feet up or 80 feet underwater, your life depends upon your backup systems. Used mainly in magazine advertisements over the years and is currently part of our marketing message, SMACO uses the phrase running down the side of the bottle.
Also over 20 years ago, we started to place the message “THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT” on the label we use on all our SPARE AIR bottles. SMACO places this same phrase in the same position on their label.
Again, we don’t want you to confuse their product with ours. It also looks remarkably like the next product…
February 11, 2020
SKORKL is now taking active orders and delivering product worldwide. The tanks produced for SKORKL are not DOT certified (and have not received a DOT stamp) making them illegal to use in the USA. Reputable dive shops will not fill or support this product.
Submersible Systems takes your safety very seriously and is worried that consumers will see this product as a replacement for proven, established products like Spare Air. The quality of the SKORKL, along with slow or non-existent customer support, leads us to offer a warning that even though SCUBA diving is inherently dangerous, SKORKL may add additional risk if the model you receive is not of good quality.
SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The SKORKL makes claims to not be under this category because of the shallow depth limitations it places on the use of this device. The SKORKL wishes to expand the time and depth that a snorkeler can spend underwater using a breathing device. That is SCUBA diving. Submersible Systems recommends you become certified in SCUBA before using any underwater breathing device that is designed to be used at depth for any length of time.
October 7, 2019
Introduced on Kickstarter in 2017, the SKORKL raised over $800,000 USD as of September 25, 2019. Still taking pre-orders, we have not yet seen this product brought to market. But many other websites have pronounced this product as dangerous because, much like the SMACO, any compressed gas cylinder is dangerous to use underwater without proper training. It also claims “The SKORKL is only intended for shallow water use. We recommend that scuba-trained users not use the SKORKL below 10m and that non-scuba-trained users stay above 3m in depth as mentioned above.” (taken from their Kickstarter webpage), well above the standard limits of recreational diving.
Yes, it has a hand pump that can refill your unit anywhere, but it is very difficult to use and takes a great deal of effort. We offer a hand pump on our website to users who don’t have access to electricity to operate a breathing air compressor, but recommend using the other methods of refilling whenever possible.
We will revisit this product when/if it ever comes to market.
Source: Spare Air Website – https://www.spareair.com/info/info-beware.html