Founded in 1989 by scuba dive buddies Russell Kitt and Geoff Skinner. Australian Underwater Products (AUP) started out modestly in the back shed of the Kitt's family home in Sorrento, Victoria, before emerging today as Australia's leading scuba & watersports distributor and manufacturer.
Russell was one of the first cave diving pioneers in Australia, exploring and mapping some of Victoria's magnificent inland underwater limestone caves in the 1970's. In those early days, quality Scuba diving equipment was difficult to come by, and much of the equipment was either homemade or found overseas. In 1989 Russell first met Bob Hollis founder of the renowned Oceanic, Hollis, Aeris and other leading dive brands (Bob is also a true diving pioneer becoming inducted to the "International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame" in 2002). The two soon became close friends through their love of diving of which eventually lead to a partnership, to distribute Oceanic scuba equipment to the Australian marketplace.
The original company Oceanic Diving Australia (ODA) soon grew beyond the garage shed, and in 1991 purchased a small warehouse in Sorrento's industrial estate. It wasn't long before the company then built a 2000sqm custom warehouse distribution centre in 2007 with a second warehouse opening up in 2011. Over the recent years ODA added more great brands to the portfolio, and expanded into other watersport markets and categories. Following this expansion, in 2012 ODA changed its name to Australian Underwater Products. With head office and warehouse located on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula surrounded by some of Victoria's great dive spots, many of the staff regularly take to the water before and after work.
Today, Australian Underwater Products (AUP) is still owned by the Kitt family. Though Geoff has since moved onto other fields, Russell is still Owner and CEO of AUP and continues to actively dive.
At Australian Underwater Products we wholesale, manufacture, and distribute quality scuba gear, snorkeling, spearfishing, surf, and other watersport based products. We have suppliers and manufacturers all over the world sourcing the best possible materials and products, which we distribute to hundreds of our retail partners throughout Australia and Asia-Pacific.
We don't just sell brands - we build them! Every brand we represent we believe in and continually develop to guarantee their ongoing success. This was recognised by McNett cooperation awarding AUP as "International Distributor of the Year" in 2012.
The brands we represent are the same brands our staff use when we're on or below the water, this how we assure that our customers are getting a quality product that is tried and tested.
We promise to provide quality products, competitive pricing, and the highest standard of service to our customers and partners. At AUP we realise that our dealers and customers are our most important asset, and because of this, we provide an on-going Customer Support Program which is second to none in the Australian Diving and Watersports Industry.
Our support to our retailers is reflected online too. Any online sales generated via AUP websites are automatically directed to the nearest AUP authorized dealer of that brand, for sales processing - the retailer does not lose that sale. As important as our retail partners are to us, so too are our consumers. Our commitment does not end when you buy an AUP product. Long after the initial sale, our service department will provide prompt and professional after-sales service to keep your gear working well and looking good, honouring our unsurpassed industry warranty policies. Our service technician's will handle any returns and repairs promptly, and give expert training and advice to our partners.
Our marketing and design team work hard to make sure you will be supported through all channels of marketing including Point of Sale, advertising & online, and working directly with our retailers on promotions. Our brands at retail level are often asked for by consumers - we are proud to have the largest social media following and engagement in Australia for our market.
We are very proud to share close relationships with all our retail partners. The formation of the "Oceanic Scuba Centres" program with our dealers is envied by our competitors, and the "Annual OSC Conference" founded in 1998 was the first of it's kind in our industry.
Our aim is not to be the biggest - but the best!