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Abyss Board: carve it up beneath the waves

By

December 11, 2011

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

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The watersports world has been a little spoiled in the last week with news of the Zapata Flyboard breaking - but even though that one's going to be very tough to top, we thought the Abyss Board was pretty unique and fun in its own right. Towed quite slowly behind a boat, this simple device lets you steer yourself around under the water. With separate control of right and left side wings, you can dive, rise, bank, carve and barrel roll your way through the water. As you're underwater the whole time, you don't need to be going fast to get quite a motion thrill - so in a way the Abyss Board is a reasonably eco-friendly rush. I tell you what though, I wouldn't want either of my brothers at the boat throttle while I was playing with this thing - and they wouldn't want me driving either!

So here's how it works: you hold onto the Abyss board at two handles on the left and right, each of which you can rotate with your wrists to tilt the left and right wings of the device.

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

You tow it behind a boat at a maximum of 10 mph (16 km/h) - so no faster than a jog, really, and the rider uses the considerable drag of the water at that speed to steer around beneath the waves.

You can use it with a snorkel, or just keep popping up to the surface to get a breath. It's relatively safe, in that you can just let go if you like, or if your psychotic brothers are hitting the gas too hard for you to hang on.

The feeling is described be the manufacturer as something like personal flight - and I can believe that, in a mild sort of way.

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

The attached video is unlikely to do the company too many favors with adrenaline junkies, but for people with kids this could be a pretty nifty experience without too much risk. At US$395, the Abyss board isn't super cheap for what it is, but then it comes in roughly between a kneeboard and a wakeboard in price, and it offers a fairly unique ride.

Personally, I require all my leisure activities to come with a distinct chance of hospitalization, so I'll stick to drooling over the Flyboard for the moment.

While watching the video below it's worth keeping in mind that, due to the slow motion effect of being underwater, this is probably one of those things that is a whole lot more fun than it looks.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
8 Comments

In practical terms this is one stupid idea:

"Clem, can you see him down there?"

"Nope."

"Hey, ya think there are any submerged rocks around here?"

"Don't know."

"Think he's OK down there?"

"Well, we're still draggin' something."

John Date
12th December, 2011 @ 09:17 am PST

I don't know John. Looks like a cool concept to me. Would be really fun to maneuver under the water like that. I'm sure 10mph feels a lot faster underwater while barrel-rolling!!!!! Would be sweet to try one of these out!

Creightness
12th December, 2011 @ 10:05 am PST

I love the idea although does have that somewhat sketchy feel to it but most extreme sports do. I could see this being a very useful tool in search and recue for missing divers. They could cover a lot more floor bottom being dragged on this board.

The Tom
12th December, 2011 @ 12:33 pm PST

Tasty shark lure!

Hendricks Weatherborne
12th December, 2011 @ 02:17 pm PST

Keel-hauling with flair

Christian Lassen
12th December, 2011 @ 02:26 pm PST

well, there are some obvious obstacle to overcome, er, watch out for. But the concept looks like it could be fun. A bit expensive on price, though.

But I have to say, while I don't need an extreme, hear-my-pulse-in-my-ears video to evaluate a product as worthy of something, the production quality of the "video" was rather low. That to me is indicative of an overall lack in several areas. But at least with the sale of one board they be able to recoup the whole cost of making that video - so bonus for them, I guess.

James Davis
12th December, 2011 @ 04:40 pm PST

shipwreck hunters have used a similar technique for finding wrecks for a long time

David Anderton
12th December, 2011 @ 05:45 pm PST

For the well trained.

Dawar Saify
16th December, 2011 @ 04:53 pm PST
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