No matter how good a swimmer you consider yourself, you'll never have the fluid, natural grace of a dolphin. The Nautboard from Aquanaut International claims to close the gap, allowing you to swoop smoothly up and down underwater like a true creature of the sea. All it takes is a tow vessel and some rope.
When we covered the Subwing several years ago, a common complaint was that it was too expensive. The Nautboard is similar in intent but uses a much simpler, cheaper design. In place of the expensive fiberglass/carbon fiber, dual-wing construction of the Subwing, the Nautboard uses a single piece of polypropylene that is described as "unbreakable."
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Nautboard use appears as simple as its design. The board requires a tow watercraft being driven at 2 to 5 knots (3.7 to 9.3 km/h). The rider is towed behind on 30 to 100 ft (9 to 30 m) of rope, holding onto the dual side handles. He or she simply tilts the gull-wing-shaped board – up to go up, down to dive – gliding beneath the water surface at depths of over 23 ft (7 m). The faster the tow boat goes, the more extreme the "dolphin" effect is, allowing for sharp dives and acrobatic tricks. If the rider lets go of the Nautboard, it's designed to float back to the top.
The Nautboard is available worldwide for a retail price of US$129.99. Single units can be purchased through eBay.
Unfortunately, Aquanaut doesn't have any HD videos on its website, so we're stuck sharing this rather grainy footage of the board in the water.