With the introduction of products like a self-inflating electric board and paddleboard-tent, the inflatable stand-up paddleboard (SUP) market has seen its fair share of innovation. Now the inflatable SUP accessories market is getting some serious innovation of its own. Two German companies have teamed up to create an inflatable windsurfing set-up called the Arrows iRig One. This all-in-one board sail packs small and light, inflates quickly and puts the power of weather into your board.
The Miami International Boat Show started this week, and that means there's an all-new powerboat dressed up like a high-performance Mercedes. The Cigarette Racing Team and Mercedes have teamed up once again, picking up where they left off with last year's GT S-inspired boat to create a GT3 boat. If this 2,200-hp (1,640 kW) open-top harpoon doesn't bring the thrill of car racing to the open seas, few vessels have a chance.
The Ford Model T wasn't the first car to ever be commercially available, but it was one of the very first to be mass-produced. This meant that its price could be kept relatively low, allowing for purchase by people who would otherwise have never been able to afford an automobile. Well, the DEDAVE could be to autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) what the Model T was to cars. Created by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation, it's claimed to be "the world's first autonomous underwater vehicle to be developed from the outset with a view to series production."
While simply gearing up and jumping into the water may be one way for kids to learn to scuba dive, Snorkel Dive Innovations believes there's a safer method. Its patent-pending approach incorporates a tethered system with adjustable depth limits of from 0 to 6 meters (20 feet), giving young divers the opportunity to build experience and technique while becoming more comfortable with diving at their own pace.
Traditional Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) are an important part of water safety, but they can be entirely uncomfortable to wear in or out of the water, especially during activity. While inflatable belts and wristbands provide potentially sleeker, more comfortable alternatives, they still require the wearer to add extra accessories that may or may not be that comfortable. To further improve comfort, startup Aegis Lifeshirt integrates inflatable protection into the shirt you're wearing anyway.
The introduction of Rand Boats' Picnic and Picnic Sport motorboats now offers a lightweight, large-capacity, electric-powered alternative to traditional gas-powered boats. Able to seat up to 10 people and weighing in at a relatively svelte 280 kg (617 lb), both models can sail for up to 16 hours at a maximum speed of 13 km/h (8 mph) depending on the choice of motors and batteries.
Wearable tech has had a variety of interesting twists and turns over the years. Perhaps the most interesting is the category of wearables that turns you into a piece of action sports equipment. Jetpacks and wingsuits are a couple common examples, and we've also seen a wearable sled and underwater jetpack in recent years. The WaveWrecker joins the category as a wearable surf suit that turns the bodysurfer into his own board.
Boats are as old as human civilization, but that doesn't mean there's no room for improving the design. Case in point is the SkiSea, a new hull concept out of Australia that uses special skis to provide hydrofoil-like lift. SkiSea creator Trevor Payne says this approach allows for greater fuel economy, stability in rough waters, a shallow draught, and higher speeds while generating minimal wash or bow waves. Gizmag spoke with Payne about his design.
We've already looked back at some of the most fun off-road toys of 2015. Those are great for big kids that like to play on land, but what about those folks that prefer to get their feet wet? Luckily, 2015 had plenty of new designs and innovations for them, too. We've plucked our favorite motorized toys, paddle-propelled watercraft and towables from our 2015 coverage to whet the appetite of those anxious to get on the water.
Lockheed Martin has announced who will build its latest autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) – the Marlin Mk3. The new vehicle boasts some impressive capabilities, including an operational depth of up to 4,000 m (13,000 ft).