UBA takes snorkeling to a new height, er, depth

The Premise. Nothing quite compares to scuba diving, but it’s not without its challenges. Without a scuba license, underwater enthusiasts are limited to snorkeling. While a fun activity, snorkeling has its limits. It doesn’t allow for diving too far beneath the water’s surface and presents the constant risk of inhaling saltwater water into the tube. Perhaps the solution lies in removing the first two letters from “SCUBA.”

The Product. UBA offers a more evolved and versatile version of the traditional snorkel. The UBA looks like a traditional snorkel, except with a  much more flexible tube that has a red fin attached to the top. Inspired by the anatomy of dolphins, UBA’s floating fin-like apparatus keeps the top of the tube above water no matter what position the diver is in and hides the top of the tube well enough so that water can’t get in. The fin on top also shuts the tube when underwater, giving the diver a little pocket of air for deeper diving. When resurfacing, the tube opens up again automatically. In addition, UBA includes a separate valve that allows for easy water purging if necessary, unlike traditional snorkels that need a big exhalation of air to clear out.

The Pitch. UBA’s Kickstarter campaign isn’t quite as cool as its product. UBA’s creators would benefit from including a better explanation of their product’s different features. The video showcases UBA in action, with swimmers on and below the surface of the water using UBA. UBA hopes to raise $50,000 in its campaign. More information can be found on the product’s Web site.

The Perks. UBA offers several early-bird reward tiers in addition to a regularly priced tier. For $55, $60, $65 (the early-bird prices), or $70 (regular price) backers get a UBA with travel bag from UBA’s first production run. The top tier goes for $1,000 and includes not only a UBA with travel bag, but also a chance to help UBA’s creators test new products as they come out. Estimated delivery is set at May, June, August, September and May 2014 respectively for the reward tiers listed above.

The Potential. There are no other well-known snorkel alternatives quite like UBA. UBA allows for range of motion and other conveniences that a traditional snorkel simply fails to provide. In addition, UBA presents a much cheaper alternative to divers who can’t afford or don’t have the time to get their scuba license. Its flexible tube and unique fin make it a must-have for water enthusiasts in summertime or on vacation.

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