Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Watercraft

Gizmag's Loz Blain comes to grips with the Sea-Doo Spark (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag.com)

The PWC market has been in decline for a number of years, possibly because jet skis have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry that they've stopped appealing to younger folk. Sea-Doo is starting to turn that around, though, with the release of the Spark. Half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange jet ski, the Spark delivers 90 percent of the fun of a more expensive PWC in a way that's much more accessible and attractive to newcomers … and burns nearly ten times less fuel than the big boys. If it's newbies the Spark is hoping to attract, then we've got a total newbie on the team to test it. The completely inexperienced Loz Blain and the moderately experienced Noel McKeegan take to the water to see how she goes. Rejoice, dear readers, that Loz didn't fit into a wetsuit, and is thus not depicted in skin tight clothing.  Read More

The electric-powered Quadrofoil

Unlike the U-boat Worx HP Sport Sub 2 that’s designed to outperform octopi under the water, the Quadrofoil has been developed to provide hydrofoil performance above it. When Gizmag first reported on the Quadrofoil back in 2012, the Slovenian craft was still in its prototype stages, but now it’s ready for production and available for global pre-order.  Read More

According to Hydros, the HY-X is capable of 30 kn

Retractable hydrofoils have been quite in vogue throughout this year's boat show season. Major shows like Cannes and Monaco have hosted several retractable hydrofoils, including the shape-shifting Kormaran and the Sunreef 40 H. Now, Swiss hydrofoil outfit Hydros has demonstrated its HY-X, the prototype of an eventual 41-foot (12.5-m) yacht that will be able to motor across the water or fly above it.  Read More

Monohull, catamaran, trimaran and hydrofoil become one

The Kormoran from the Austrian company of the same name can speed on (and above) the water as a catamaran, trimaran, monohull and hydrofoil, making it one of the most versatile vessels to ever hit the high seas. A pair of hydraulically actuated hulls allows it to transform before your eyes, even while in motion.  Read More

The Radinn in action

Wakeboarding sure looks like a lot of fun, but it does have at least one limiting factor – you need to find someone else to go out on the water with you, to pilot the boat. Swedish entrepreneurs Alexander Lind and Philip Werner decided to do something about that, and created the Radinn electric wakeboard. While it doesn't provide you with a wake on which to do tricks, it does let you go out when and wherever you want.  Read More

The AlumaSki is intended for recreational use, along with rescue and defense applications

Jet Skis are certainly able to squeeze into narrow waterways, although you probably wouldn't feel comfortable scraping one's hull against a rocky riverbed. Steel-hulled jet boats are considerably tougher than Jet Skis, but they're not nearly as nimble. Alaska-based Mackinnon Marine Technologies' AlumaSki, however, attempts to combine the best of both worlds. It has the form factor of a personal watercraft, along with a one-piece quarter-inch-thick aluminum hull.  Read More

The Old Town Predator XL kayak

Sometimes you feel like a paddle; sometimes you don't. The new modular Predator XL kayak from Old Town keeps you happy in either case. With the help of a drop-in electric motor module, you can leave the paddle onshore and navigate the water with 45 lb (20.4 kg) of thrust and a foot-controlled rudder system.  Read More

The CruiserBoard can be paddled from a sitting or standing position

As popular and fast-growing a sport as stand-up paddleboarding has been, sometimes you just need to sit down and take a load off. A cross between a kayak and paddleboard, the CruiserBoard is a sit-down, stand-up paddleboard that gives paddlers more versatility than ever.  Read More

The Schiller X1 in action

Last year, US entrepreneur Judah Schiller crossed San Francisco Bay on a bike – and no, he didn’t ride that bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead, he mounted it on a Shuttle Bike kit, which adds pontoons and a propeller to a user-supplied bicycle. Since then, Judah has been working on designing an all-in-one "waterbike" of his own. The result, the Schiller X1, was officially unveiled this month.  Read More

The DeepFLight Dragon eliminates the complex ballast and weight drop systems found in conv...

No one with red blood in their veins buys a sports car and hands the keys to a chauffeur, so one of the barriers to truly personal submarining has long been the need for a trained pilot, not to mention the massive logistics involved in transporting, garaging and launching the underwater craft ... until now. Pioneering underwater aviation company DeepFlight is set to show an entirely new type of personal submarine at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show next week, launching the personal submarine era with a submersible that's reportedly so easy to pilot that it's likely to create a new niche in the tourism and rental market.  Read More

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