Ludovico Mares was born in Istria in 1898 where he “invented” diving spear fishing since he as young, together with primordial equipment with which he dived, modifying and improving them, year after year.


At the beginning, his spear fishing gun looked more to a sling, able to launch uncertain arrows obtained with umbrella sticks; his mask seemed welding goggles. With the time, his own-made fins became enough efficient as those preserved at the Goreé museum in Senegal, made of waxed fabric and cane. Professional diver for many years of the Austrian Navy, after the Second World War he came to Italy as refugee, setting up in Liguria. In 1949, he founded Mares Sub in Rapallo, a company immediately dedicated to the manufacturing of rubber masks such as monogoggle and wooden guns with bands. The upscale models were marked Api, as we can see in an advertising of the company Ghilardi in 1951.


Few years later, he was among the first to manufacture pneumatic guns and, in the ‘60s, the company broadened its activity rapidly in Europe and in the world. In 1971, at the top of his fame but aged, Ludovico Mares sold his group to the American group Amf. He died in 1989 at the age of 91.

Intended to grow more and more, Amf Mares bought the very well-known American brand Voit-Swimaster that, in the following decade, gave to the Austrian Head, changing its name in Mares Htm Sport, which acronym is formed by the initials of Head-Tyrolia-Mares. At the end of the 1990, the company moved from its historic manufacturing plant of Cerisola Borghetto street in the Rapallo hills to the most modern headquarter near the highway exit; it got bigger, buying the American Dacor and the French Sporasub. Currently Mares is part of the European group called Head Nv.