We’ve all had the Superman fantasy, or in my case, the Ironman rising from beneath the water after his house was used for missile target practice to kick butt fantasy. Now we can actually do it — the flying part, that is. The new JETLEV R200x Water Jet Pack uses a water jet tethered to a floating pump mounted on what looks like a surfboard. Once you strap into the jetpack, hit the button to actuate the twin water jets, and the next thing you know, you’re literally flying above the water. The inventor based the JETLEV on the jetpack James Bond wore in Thunderball (a movie filmed a long time ago in The Bahamas that’s definitely worth checking out). Since he couldn’t find a James Bond jetpack, he created JETLEV. The result is mobility that is hard to comprehend; with minimal instruction you can fly anywhere you could operate a PWC, towing the propulsion unit behind you, as you soar across and above the water; $68,500, JETLEV.com.
Imagine if you and a goldfish could switch places: You inside the bubble, the fish outside swimming around. That’s the idea of the SEAmagine Ocean Pearl submersible. This 2-person sub positions you and a passenger inside a clear, dry, comfortable bubble, allowing you to explore the wonders beneath the surface…without getting wet. With a 6-hour air supply and a depth rating of up to 1,000 meters, the Ocean Pearl is powered by electric motors that propel you at a stately 3 knots. That may not seem fast, but it is perfect for getting an up-close look at the reefs, shipwrecks, sealife and everything else below the surface. Unlike most subs that require a degree from Annapolis to operate, the Ocean Pearl has intuitive controls that’ll have first-time submariners confidently navigating the depths in a short time. Because the cockpit is clear and circular, the view is panoramic and claustrophobia is not an issue, unlike other mini-subs that more closely resemble a cigar tube. But the best feature? The ability to interject the phrase, “…my submarine..” into conversations; $990,000 for a 500-ft depth rated model; SEAmagine.com.
PWC’s are about as much fun as you can have on the water without involving Carmen Electra, but, just like Carmen, they require a bit of effort to get them to the water and then back home. Imagine if you could tuck a PWC under your arm, stroll to the water, toss it in and ride away. That’s the Kymera Electric Jetboard. Weighing 48 pounds and roughly the size of a small surfboard, it fits into most car trunks, eliminating the need for a trailer and all the adventures related to using a trailer at a boat ramp. Powered by an electric motor and rechargeable batteries, there’s no need for smelly fuel or any engine maintenance. A full charge of the batteries gives it a runtime of about an hour at speeds up to 10 mph. Speed is controlled by a trigger; to steer, simply lean in the direction you want to go. It only holds one person, so tell Carmen to get her own; $3,850 (pre-order); $4,200 (MSRP); KymeraBodyBoard.com.
The main problem with a paddleboard is that, due to the fact that they are long and large, they’re tough to find room for at home and a headache to get to and from the beach. Making it inflatable would result in a model that was easier to transport, but until now, inflatable paddleboards were mostly toys that couldn’t support the weight of anyone larger than 5 years old. The JP-Australia Air SUP Inflatable Paddle Board is named after surfing world champ Jason Polakow and offers the first high-performance inflatable paddleboard on the market. Made using high-tech materials and designs that rival epoxy models, the Air SUP Inflatable can be stored in any closet or car trunk when not in use. The multi-layer construction results in boards up to 6” thick that are lightweight yet very stiff. Best of all, they are durable and stable all-round cruising and touring boards recommended for every rider level. These are probably the fastest inflatable boards available today. They are also safer than traditional boards, making them ideal for beginners; 10’ 2”: $1,179; 11’ 4”: $1,279; 12’ 6”: $1,379; Adventure Sports; 2750 SW 26th Ave., Coconut Grove; 305.591.3559; AdventureSports.us.
The biggest problem with a PWC or an ATV is that you have to choose where to ride: land or sea. An ATV can slog through thick, gooey mud, but when you encounter water deeper than 18” you need a PWC. Now, however, you can have it both ways. The QuadSki by Gibbs Sports is an ATV that you can drive anywhere the wheels will roll. Then, when you get to the side of a pond, lake or river, drive into the water (relax, the QuadSki floats), hit the button and a few seconds later, with the wheels in the retracted position and the waterjet engaged, you’re ready to blast across the water in PWC mode. Once you’re ready to return to dry land, the wheels come back down, the waterjet disengages and you drive away. Powered by a beefy 1300 CC BMW motorcycle engine, the QuadSki has a top speed of 45 mph on land or water. Pretty slick indeed; $40,000; GibbsSports.com.