Looking like a cross between a raft and a massage table, the Zayak Sea Sled is a new snorkeling alternative. It opens up the same type of underwater views, only without the need to submerge your face and breathe through a tube. You can explore the sea without getting a single strand of hair wet.
The Zayak, developed by Florida-based Tropical Paradise Plastics, is described as a "dry snorkeler." It's designed to bring folks that are uncomfortable with scuba or snorkel gear into the water, opening up a new way of exploring. Not only does it give them a stable platform to float on, it eliminates the need for breathing gear, providing a simple window into what's below the surface of oceans, lakes, rivers and beyond.
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The Zayak's large, transparent window is on the underside of its front end. The "zayaker" puts his face into the depression over the window, and a Neoprene "dry mask" seals out distracting ambient and reflective light. He or she can paddle and kick around and enjoy up-close views of the sights of the sea. The Zayak also allows for a more hygienic experience because you don't put your mouth on it the way you do a snorkel.
"The recent outbreak of norovirus in the Tropics has many people uncomfortable with renting snorkel equipment," Tropical Paradise explained in a press release. "Most providers of snorkel equipment are meticulous in their efforts to wash and rinse the snorkel equipment between rentals, but the general public either doesn't know this or doesn't want to take the chance. No part of the [Zayak's] dry mask is placed in the user's mouth, making it exponentially more hygienic."
The Zayak launched earlier this year, and it's been making the rounds at trade expos, including last week's Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) show in Las Vegas. The vessel comes in three different models, which retail between $295 and $375. The $295 A-1 base model and the upgraded $325 A-1 XL are available now, and the G-1 PRO "prosumer" model launches in December 2014. All models include carry handles to assist in transport.
Product page: Zayak Sea SledView gallery - 10 images