When the Norwegian inventor Simon Sivertson was midway through a round-the-world boat trip, he noted how similar the experience of underwater swimming was to flying. While, being towed behind his family’s boat, he sought to develop a way for him to better control his movement through the water, rather than simply hanging on to a rope. Several years, and many prototypes later, the end result of this idea was born: the Subwing.
Consisting of two ABS polymer or carbon fibre wings, connected to each over via a swiveling joint, and towed by a slow moving boat, the Subwing looks both futuristing and extreme. The Subwing allows the user a huge amount of flexibility as they move through the water, and works through similar mechanisms to wings on a plane.
Tilting the wing up or down will cause the user to dive or ascend in the water, while rotating one wing up and the other down will cause the user to turn in a given direction. More extreme twisting of the device allows the user to perform elaborate spins and tricks, in a way very similar to that of a dolphin or seal moving underwater. For level swimming (or flying) an experienced user can also grip the Subwing with one hand via a separate handle.
While a user is nonetheless limited to spending short amounts of time underwater, as the product is intended for free-diving rather than with SCUBA gear, it nonetheless recreates the feeling of flying through the water. Users can navigate between obstacles, surface to take a breath, and then once again dive and barrel roll to the bottom.
The product itself has won several design awards, in both Sivertson’s native Norway, as well as Germany. Currently it is available for order for between $300 and $900 depending on what model is chosen.
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