Jet-skis are a lot of fun, but they’re also pretty awful for the environment; it takes a lot more energy to push through water than to push through air, after all. Fortunately, we’ll soon have an electric alternative, mixing the jet-ski, the body board, and the catamaran into… well, OK, actually it’s designed to save lives, but come on, tell us you wouldn’t want to ride this thing.
The essential plan for the Asap will be familiar to Kickstarter fans. Designer Ross Kemp is planning to put it on the leisure market in order to subsidize getting it to lifeguards, who currently have the same advanced technology to save lives that we use to amuse small children in pools. Yeah, lifeguarding is not state of the art in some respects.
And in fact the design is built from the ground up to make it easier and faster to rescue people. First of all, it doesn’t need to be gassed up, which saves time, money, and at least some fossil-fuel emissions. If it’s needed in a remote location, it can be powered up by anything that generates electricity, such as solar or wind power, although most people will probably jack it into the nearest outlet.
Secondly, unlike a jet-ski, it doesn’t need a group of people to launch it onto the water; a lifeguard can haul it into the water, fire it up, and get over to a person who needs their help at speeds of fifteen miles an hour, which only sounds slow when you’re not the one being paddled over to on a small boat.
The Asap is currently still in testing: Kemp has some prototypes headed to Australia. But soon enough these little boats will be saving lives, and probably also zipping around the beaches of the world.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.