$200 lightweight underwater breathing device raises $1m
Scorkl is a compact, lightweight breathing device for quick shallow dives. It can be topped up using a hand pump, and lets the user swim underwater for up to 10 minutes at a time. Having reached its funding goal within just four hours, the Scorkl has just ticked over AUD$1 million of backing on Kickstarter, and is set for delivery this October.
Although it's not a direct replacement for a full-on scuba breathing apparatus, the Scorkl is ideal for those underwater scenarios where a snorkel doesn't give you enough time to work. It offers up to ten minutes of air – that figure will depend on how heavily you're breathing – but there should be plenty of time to unjam a propellor or retrieve a wayward pair of sunglasses without resurfacing.
When the air runs dry, owners are able to refill directly from a scuba tank, or using an (optional) high-pressure hand pump. Because it's hand-powered, and has a built-in air filter made of the same materials as mechanical compressors normally use to refill scuba tanks there's no risk of air contamination by moisture, oils, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.
Scorkl recommends non-scuba trained users stay shallower than 3 meters (9.8 ft) when using the apparatus, but scuba-trained divers can use at their discretion above 10m. A prominently displayed pressure gauge makes it easy to tell how much air is remaining in the tank, too, so there's no excuse for running out of air underwater.
The Scorkl is currently live on Kickstarter, but there's just three days remaining on the campaign, which ends 6pm July 7 EST. Pledging AU$269 (US$199) reserves you a Scorkl and scuba tank attachment for refilling it, while AU$538 (US$399) adds the unique Scorkl hand pump to the mix. If you don't need the pump, that same price will also buy you a double pack of Scorkls.
Deliveries are set to begin in October. Scorkl is planning to offer more cylinder sizes, colors and bodystraps down the track, along with carrying cases in a range of different sizes.
More information: Scorkl