Splash Into Fun!
Looking for extra excitement on the water this summer? Here's our roundup of new watersports toys to consider.
Go It Alone
There's nothing quite like the Bass 100 from Johnny Boats. Part paddlecraft, part kayak, and part skiff, this one-person craft is ideal for fishing or exploring. Use a paddle for propulsion, or extend the range with an optional electric outboard. The Bass 100 tips the scales at 77 pounds minus motor, so two people could heft it onto a roof rack or into the back of a truck. The stable boat (the manufacturer claims you can stand up to cast) measures 10 feet long and 3 feet wide. It’s made from roto-molded polyethylene, so maintenance is limited to a quick rinse after use. Comes in a range of colors.
$899 | jonnyboats.com
Want to get towed behind the boat but don't have the patience, stamina, or skill to waterski? The Hydroslide Revolution kneeboard could be your answer. Suitable for teens to adults, the board features deep, padded knee wells and a 3-inch-wide hook-and-loop strap to keep the rider secure. A neat feature is the Hydrohook — a spring-loaded retractable hook that the towline handle can be tucked under to help get the board up on plane without having to hold the towline. Once underway, the rider can grab the handle and the hook retracts into the board. The board weighs 14 pounds and is just over 52 inches long by 22 inches wide, so it is easy to transport and carry ashore or aboard.
$129.99 | obrien.com/hydroslide
Stand-up paddleboards offer a whole-body workout, plus they are great fun. But most versions are too big for the younger crewmembers. The Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior SUP is an inflatable short board aimed at paddlers weighing up to 165 pounds. When deflated, the board packs neatly into a travel-friendly backpack, ideal for storage and carting it to and from the boat. There are three fins at the back of the board, which can be inserted and removed without tools, to aid directional stability. Included is a three-piece carbon shaft paddle that's adjustable from 68 to 84 inches and weighs just 2 pounds. The kit also includes a 10-foot double swivel coiled ankle leash, inflation pump, and repair kit. Constructed from tough PVC, the board weighs 19 pounds and comes in either blue or pink.
$499 | thursosurf.com
The JBL Charge 3 is a waterproof Bluetooth stereo speaker that's perfect for smaller boats, canoes, paddleboards, or when you want to take your tunes on the go. The speaker has a 20-hour run time between charges, so you can use it all weekend without running out of juice. Its internal lithium-ion battery can also charge smartphones thanks to a built-in USB port that's covered with a waterproof cap when not in use. Audio output is 10W per channel, and you can wirelessly connect an additional Charge 3. Available in five colors, the Charge 3 also doubles as a hands-free speakerphone.
$99.95 | jbl.com
Dive Like A Dolphin
Yamaha has entered the electric sea scooter market with its Recreational Dive Series. Divers and snorkeling enthusiasts can get more out of their time in saltwater with the Yamaha RDS 200 Seascooter. Powered by a sealed lead-acid battery, the RDS 200 (the entry level model) is rated for 65 feet, weighs 13 pounds, and cruises along at 2 mph for up to one hour. Operating the RDS 200 is simple: flip the power switch, grab the large D-handles on each side of the Seascooter, squeeze the trigger, and go explore.
$475 | yamahaseascooters.com
Room With A View
The AquaVue Voyager snorkeling raft is fun for kids ages 3 to 103. Lie face-down and look through the clear bottom for an unobstructed view of what’s going on below the surface. The manufacturer says the raft is rated for riders up to 185 pounds but is tested to 300 pounds without failure. It has a painter eye with pull rope on the bow and durable safety handles on the sides that double as oarlocks (oars not included). The AquaVue Voyager weighs just 4 pounds, measures 5 feet long by 3-1/2 feet wide when inflated, and has two air valves equipped with backflow prevention and a quick-release air valve that accepts a number of electric pump attachments for fast inflation.
$39.99 | siecodesign.com