Interview by editor Dave Moran with Luca Rossano
I love it !
To relax with a cup of coffee and have the pleasure of discussing how future products are brought to the market place by a major European diving manufacturer is a fairly rare opportunity.
A group from Mares including Matthias Dorsch, the Head of Sales and Marketing for the Asia Pacific region, were visiting New Zealand and they kindly gave me the opportunity to interview Luca Rossano who is in charge of developing the Mares range of freediving and spearfishing equipment.
Luca has a vast range of experience competing in spearfishing competitions, coaching spearfishing teams and advising on what equipment and training is required to obtain top results. Heâs also an accomplished freediving and scuba diving instructor in various disciplines.
It was a pleasure interviewing him – his English was not too bad either!
Dave Moran (DM): Luca what do you at Mares?
Luca Limongi (LL) pictured left: The Mares headquarters are a couple of kilometres from the sea and 30 kilometres from the historical port city of Genoa in northern Italy. It is a great location to work. Mares have a product manager for every single branch of the organization. I am in charge of spearfishing products. With our team I evaluate the spearfishing world market. We research the spearfishing requirements for the countries to which Mares supply product. This way we are better able to develop a range of spearguns that we consider fill the requirements for specific markets in each different country.
I develop a speargun from an idea to the final product. With our technicians we evaluate the costs, materials etc and see if it is marketable.
DM: Do you work on the complete range: spearguns, wetsuits, masks, fins etc?
LL: I work on developing a complete rang from guns right through to clothing accessories. All Mares equipment is tested and has to pass laboratory and practical tests for durability over short, medium and long term testing.I am the first person to test the prototypes and if itâs something interesting we pass it to professional spearfishers, athletes and technicians who continue testing and evaluating the product. Then they report back with their comments and they may also suggest refinements that we could consider. After this process I again test the product and when we approve it samples of the product are spread throughout the world to be tested.
DM: Have you found it exciting; the evolution of products due to the new materials that are available now?
LL: The evolution of materials is obviously very important in the development of new products and also for improving existing product lines. For spearfishing we have to develop equipment to overcome the difficulty in spearing fish due to the fact that there is less fish and their behaviour has changed over the years. For example, in the Mediterranean the fish are very wary of divers, recognising the danger and therefore are difficult to catch. Whereas in New Zealand and Australia the fish are less disturbed and easier to catch but they are very big. So the gear has to be adapted to best suit the conditions where it is going to be used.
DM: Do you see the evolution of the speargun changing dramatically or in small percentages in the coming years?
LL: Changes/improvements in our products are constant. For example Mares introduced a new spearfishing range a year ago and itâs going very well. But we will always continue with research and further development of that range because that is what the market requires. We make sure that the gear can be used successfully all over the world satisfying requirements in specific markets. For example; during my visit to Australia, I noticed that the spears have a bigger diameter compared to those used in Italy. It is important to understand the reason for this. For example, we are working on a version of our gun Phantom specifically for the Australian and New Zealand market where the big fish need a 7mm shaft for greater penetration.
For the full interview see the Dive Pacific digital version at