Imagine a versatile water toy that you can use not only as a dive scooter, but also that you can securely attach to your kayak, your stand up paddleboard, or even your boat.
Of course, you’re thinking this thing must be big enough to ride like a pony, but you’d be wrong; the Bixpy Swim Jet is the size and almost the shape of an high-power portable drill. It even has a pistol grip and trigger and only weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilos) while being just under neutrally buoyant and depth rated to 30 meters (98 feet).
That got your attention, didn’t it? Now you’re thinking it has to cost as much as your first car, but it’s priced at just US$775 (~626 Euros). Of course kayak and SUP adapters are additional, but that just makes sense so you’re not buying accessories you don’t need.
The Force-E Scuba Center booth at the 2018 Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo had Bixpy representative Erik Tamayo on hand complete with a horse trough of water with their kayak propulsion system on display. Attendees were invited to try to hold the unit while Tamayo used the handy remote to move through the various speed settings on the unit. DeeperBlue.com’s own Asa Johnson started having difficulty holding onto the unit as it clicked past the #6 setting (it goes to 10 despite Spinal Tap fans lobbying for it to go to 11). Imagine the batch of margaritas you could make with this unit after a hard day of diving!
Jokes aside, while the Bixpy looks small and unassuming, it works as advertised. With 45-115 minutes of run time depending on your speed setting, it pushes 130 gallons (492 liters) per minute and will pull a snorkeler/freediver up to 3 miles (4.8 km) per hour and a scuba diver about 2.5 miles (4 km) per hour. Even better, the 147-watt hour battery meets IATA restrictions (no more than two batteries of no more than 160-watt hours) so you can take it on commercial flights. The unit only takes about two hours to charge, and additional batteries are obviously available. There is also a 98-watt-hour snorkeler version that is sold for US$725 (~585 Euros). Clip it to a retractor or a harness so it’s conveniently attached to pull you along. When you’re done thrusting, you simply let go of the trigger and the unit sinks slowly out of the way. If you can drill a hole with a portable drill, you can operate a Bixpy.
We had hoped to be able to do a real-world product review of the Bixpy, but the company cannot keep them in stock. They are presently back-ordered through May 2018. We’re looking forward to putting on of these through the paces, but feedback from Force-E customers has been stellar thus far. I definitely see some great surfing dog videos coming in Bixpy’s future.