Marine

Abyss Board: carve it up beneath the waves

Abyss Board: carve it up benea...
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
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View gallery - 14 images

The watersports world has been a little spoiled in the last week with news of the Zapata Flyboard breaking - but even though that one's going to be very tough to top, we thought the Abyss Board was pretty unique and fun in its own right. Towed quite slowly behind a boat, this simple device lets you steer yourself around under the water. With separate control of right and left side wings, you can dive, rise, bank, carve and barrel roll your way through the water. As you're underwater the whole time, you don't need to be going fast to get quite a motion thrill - so in a way the Abyss Board is a reasonably eco-friendly rush. I tell you what though, I wouldn't want either of my brothers at the boat throttle while I was playing with this thing - and they wouldn't want me driving either!

So here's how it works: you hold onto the Abyss board at two handles on the left and right, each of which you can rotate with your wrists to tilt the left and right wings of the device.

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

You tow it behind a boat at a maximum of 10 mph (16 km/h) - so no faster than a jog, really, and the rider uses the considerable drag of the water at that speed to steer around beneath the waves.

You can use it with a snorkel, or just keep popping up to the surface to get a breath. It's relatively safe, in that you can just let go if you like, or if your psychotic brothers are hitting the gas too hard for you to hang on.

The feeling is described be the manufacturer as something like personal flight - and I can believe that, in a mild sort of way.

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun
The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

The attached video is unlikely to do the company too many favors with adrenaline junkies, but for people with kids this could be a pretty nifty experience without too much risk. At US$395, the Abyss board isn't super cheap for what it is, but then it comes in roughly between a kneeboard and a wakeboard in price, and it offers a fairly unique ride.

Personally, I require all my leisure activities to come with a distinct chance of hospitalization, so I'll stick to drooling over the Flyboard for the moment.

While watching the video below it's worth keeping in mind that, due to the slow motion effect of being underwater, this is probably one of those things that is a whole lot more fun than it looks.

Underwater Flight

View gallery - 14 images
8 comments
John Date
In practical terms this is one stupid idea:
\"Clem, can you see him down there?\" \"Nope.\"
\"Hey, ya think there are any submerged rocks around here?\" \"Don\'t know.\"
\"Think he\'s OK down there?\" \"Well, we\'re still draggin\' something.\"
Creightness
I don\'t know John. Looks like a cool concept to me. Would be really fun to maneuver under the water like that. I\'m sure 10mph feels a lot faster underwater while barrel-rolling!!!!! Would be sweet to try one of these out!
The Tom
I love the idea although does have that somewhat sketchy feel to it but most extreme sports do. I could see this being a very useful tool in search and recue for missing divers. They could cover a lot more floor bottom being dragged on this board.
Hendricks Weatherborne
Tasty shark lure!
Christian Lassen
Keel-hauling with flair
James Davis
well, there are some obvious obstacle to overcome, er, watch out for. But the concept looks like it could be fun. A bit expensive on price, though.
But I have to say, while I don\'t need an extreme, hear-my-pulse-in-my-ears video to evaluate a product as worthy of something, the production quality of the \"video\" was rather low. That to me is indicative of an overall lack in several areas. But at least with the sale of one board they be able to recoup the whole cost of making that video - so bonus for them, I guess.
David Anderton
shipwreck hunters have used a similar technique for finding wrecks for a long time
Dawar Saify
For the well trained.