If you’ve ever been scuba diving, or seen someone doing it you’ll know that it’s not the most graceful of activities.
Weighed down with one or sometimes two large tanks, a weight belt, inflatable jacket, wetsuit, fins. If you’re just looking to visit a shallow coral reef this can be a lot of hassle, and in some cases complete overkill.
AirBuddy is a gadget that’s hoping to solve this problem allowing you to dive without any gear, just a single mouthpiece and a floating air compressor on the surface.
To be clear, this hasn’t been designed to replace scuba diving, instead it’s offering a product that sits in between snorkeling and scuba diving.
It can’t offer the depth, control and precision that scuba diving provides yet at very shallow depths it could offer a solution that’s more convenient and flexible.
So how does it work? Well there’s a powerful floating air compressor that stays at the surface. The battery is rechargeable and can provide you with up to 45mins air at depths of 12 metres.
The compressor has been designed in such a way that its weight is low and perfectly centred, making it “close to impossible” to capsize.
Leading from the compressor down to the diver is an extendable supply hose which then connects to your conventional regulator (mouthpiece).
With over $255,673 pledged on Kickstarter AirBuddy has already well exceeded its $169,000 goal.
Designed to be “grab and go” convenience in mind it’s clear that AirBuddy serves a definite market. While the company markets it for just about anybody, it’s probably a safe bet that if you were considering it you should at least get some light scuba training under your belt. At the very least it’ll stand you in good stead should anything go wrong.
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So when can you get hold of one and just as important, how expensive is it? Well we’ll give you the good news first: It does ship to the UK and they’re expecting to deliver by Summer next year.
The bad news: It costs £2,043. If the odd snorkel is all you’re after, we’d probably stick to the mask and fins for now.
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