SCUBAJET – A Watersports Jet Engine

Swiss engineers have developed a compact jet engine for watersports enthusiasts.

When Patrizia Giovanniello became a parent she scaled back her water activities on Lake Constance in Switzerland. With her boyfriend and daughter she enjoyed time on the stand up paddleboard (SUP) but was worried about unpredictable weather and currents stranding her family far from shore. Armin, her boyfriend, and his father found a solution to this problem by developing Scubajet, the flexible jet engine for water sports.

Scubajet can connect to stand up paddleboards, small dinghies, canoes, kayaks or divers. The engine can achieve a speed of up to six knots, runs for 1.5 hours on a single battery charge, and the campaign page says that the device is completely free of emissions. The engine says that it can run up to 1.5 kiloWatts.

Several adapters are available to connect the Scubajet to boards, dinghies, or kayaks. Starboard, Simmer Style, SIC, JP-Australia, Sevylor, Mistral, RRD, Fanatic, Hobie, Red Paddle Co, and Naish have all partnered with the company to confirm that their current equipment can be fitted with a Scubajet. The campaign page says that testing is being done on diving equipment to develop adapters that will give divers some extra propulsion power.

The unit itself is 25 centimeters long, 80 centimeters wide and weighs 2.4 kilograms. The system was designed to fit in a backpack when not in use, but videos on the campaign page shows the unit strapped next to a user’s backpack. An auto-shutoff tells the engine to stop right away if the user falls into the water. The Scubajet’s remote gives the ability to start, stop, and change the unit’s speed.

I’m viewing Scubajet with a healthy skepticism. There’s a bit of culture difference in the specifications but I’m much more comfortable knowing an engine’s horsepower than a wattage or max speed callout. The idea of a propulsion system that’s much more compact and practical than an outboard motor is great, and the adapter system looks elegant and seamless on all of the demonstration gifs on the campaign page. The campaign will be funded on September 1 if its €150,000 goal is met, and units will then ship in December, 2016.