Subwinging: The hottest new watersport

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Vicky Philpott

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27th Jan 2014
Written by: Mary Short

Subwinging: The hottest new watersport

Ever wondered what it felt like to be a fish?  

Norwegian sailing fanatic, Simon Sivertsen, has developed a new way of travelling underwater to simulate the fastest of fishies.

Just hold on to the wings of the Subwing and allow yourself to be towed along by a boat at speeds of up to 5mph. Water is 800 times denser than air so high speeds are not necessary to achieve the feeling of speed. Master the skill and you can soon learn the tricks; twisting, turning and cracking out the acrobatics as you go.

Two separate wings are connected in a rotatable swivel and the user can control it in all directions, including downwards to dive and upwards to resurface. The device is attached to a boat by the world’s strongest rope – Dyneema.

Simon came up with the idea on a sailing trip when he was 18. ‘When sailing through the Greek islands, I was astounded by the clarity of the water, it almost felt like flying when diving, just missing the speed and thrill,’ he’s said on the Subwing website.

‘The first ideas of an underwater wing, towed behind a boat, started emerging deep in the right hemisphere of my brain.

‘The idea worked and I was able to control the up/downward moment without too much effort. But it was far from perfect and felt somewhat static, like a 2D videogame, it was missing a third dimension,’ he said.

Users will need a good lung capacity for this as you’ll need to hold your breath while you’re under, you may also want a well-fitting scuba mask to ensure you get the best experience.

Simon’s development company says that the way the ropes are attached to the wings forces a balance between the user and the tow ropes, which reduces the energy required to operate the device and allows divers to hold their breath for longer.

Depending on your lung capacity, beginners typically spend up to 15 seconds underwater at a time. Most people will be able to go down to three metres, but can soon learn to go further. If you want to buy a Subwing for yourself, you’re looking at around $490 (£295) for the cheapest model. You can also get a few accessories to make the most of your Subwing experience, including a lighting system for dark waters and a GoPro camera mount to catch the experience on film.


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