Powered kickboard is claimed to deliver a better boost
Some people simply are not fast, powerful swimmers, and it is for such people that electric kickboards were first invented. A new model, the SWIMN S1, features what its creators claim is a more efficient, user-friendly propulsion system.
The SWIMN is manufactured by ePropulsion, a Hong Kong-based company that previously specialized in electric outboard motors. It features a 250-watt electric motor that takes users weighing as much as 176 lb (80 kg) to a top speed of 2.5 mph (4 km/h).
One 2.5-hour charge of its 4,400-mAh lithium battery should reportedly be good for 22 minutes of continuous use, or 50 minutes of more typical "mixed" use. The whole rig weighs in at a claimed 8.2 lb (3.7 kg), and can be used in fresh or salt water at temperatures ranging from 32 to 104 ºF (0 to 40 ºC).
To activate the motor, users simultaneously press two buttons on either side of the front of the board – it stops when they let go. Those buttons are said to be sandproof, so they shouldn't get jammed up at the beach. Additionally, a safety grille keeps fingers away from the twin impellers.
And yes, the propulsion system is a little different than normal. According to the device's designers, other powered kickboards typically deliver thrust straight back into the rider's body. Not only can this be off-putting to the user, but it's also an inefficient way of propelling the board forward. By contrast, the SWIMN delivers its thrust in a V pattern, going to either side of the rider. Supposedly, this arrangement addresses the drawbacks of the traditional setup.
If you're interested in putting that claim to the test for yourself, you can currently get a SWIMN S1 via its current Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$169 is required (planned retail $249), with shipping estimated for next March – if it reaches production.
It can be seen in use, in the video below.