Tech

Riding this "underwater scooter" was one of the greatest things I've ever done

I jumped into a tank of water in the middle of the CES show floor to try Sublue's Mix Pro and it was totally worth all the embarrassment.

CES is a huge show. Something like 175,000 people — engineers, designers, buyers, media, influencers, etc — dropped in on Las Vegas to this year to get a first look at the future of consumer tech.

This year, it was easy to get swallowed up by 8K TVs, foldable screens, and electric car stuff.

This is my ninth CES and after nearly a decade of being jaded from covering iterative versions of existing gadgets, CES 2020 brought back the weird. Like the Sublue's Mix Pro, an "underwater scooter" that you grab with two hands and it propels you through the water.

Naturally, when I saw the huge water tank Sublue had installed in its booth, I couldn't resist jumping in to try out the Mix Pro for myself. Sublue didn't need much convincing and the next thing I knew, I was in a back room changing into a wetsuit and climbing up the water tank's stairs for a demo of the "underwater scooter."

60

The number of minutes Mix Pro lasts on a charge. It's the same amount of time a scuba diving tank lasts, which means you can fly underwater for a very long time. However, most people will probably be using the Mix Pro for shorter bursts and coming up for air.

Just right

First, some basic info on the Mix Pro. Sublue been selling these "underwater scooters" (despite the name, there are no wheels) for years. The Mix Pro slots in just between the company's $549 WhiteShark Mix and $999 Seabow. And, it's just better. It's lighter, faster, and the battery lasts longer.

4mph

The Mix Pro's top speed underwater doesn't sound very fast. But remember: you're underwater and your body feels lighter when you're gliding by, so it's not comparable to land or air speed.

LEDs on the top of the Mix Pro tell you how much power is left.

Like the Segway S-Pod, Mix Pro is dead simple to use. It's that easy.

The two motors spin up and you're gliding underwater. To decelerate, release the buttons. There's zero learning curve.

The tank I was in wasn't very large or deep so I didn't have much space to really glide more than a few feet forward and downward. But that's not important because the Mix Pro basically replaces flippers and the need to kick your legs. It's pretty awesome the second you're pulled forward with the motors.

Wheeeeeeeee 😂

I normally wouldn't go out of my way to spend time in water, but I could do this all day. Like seriously all day. It's quite relaxing letting your body fly underwater as you admire the fishes (in my case, all the gawping CES attendees).

Hug the Mix Pro sideways and look over your shoulder and you can perform an underwater spin.

I tried spinning a few times and failed every time! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's tougher to learn how to do underwater acrobatics like this. Even with coaching from a professional diver, I couldn't get it right. Granted, I only had about 30 minutes to demo play with the Mix Pro, I found it hard to hug the device and look over my shoulder so that the motors could spin me.

Rotating in water is hard, even with a motorized underwater scooter.

Practice makes perfect. Until I can get more time with the Mix Pro, I'll leave the underwater tricks to the pros.

Tech reporters aren't supposed to have this much fun at CES. But damn, the Mix Pro was so much fun to test.

There's also an action camera mount on the front for attaching selfie sticks, action cameras, and other accessories.

As well as LED lights attached to each motor. These will be sold separately.

Sublue hasn't announced pricing or release information for the Mix Pro yet. The only thing that has me concerned is that they're crowdfunding it on Kickstarter in April. Now, Sublue has already proven itself with the underwater scooters it currently sells, but we all know crowdfunded products can end up wonderful or completely disastrous.

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