Much of the Liftoff’s appeal may be found in its simplicity. With so many inflatables going over the top in terms of extras, the Liftoff sticks to the basics. It’s essentially a 6-foot2-inch-by-6-foot-2-inch filled-in doughnut, devoid of any angles and lacking the multiple extras that so many manufacturers seem intent on adding to the mix. Even the colors and graphics were the simplest of the bunch. Rather than eyeball-searing colors and wacky words and pictures, the cover offers screened images of, wait for it, pineapples on a solid-color background to boot. The only real tweaks to the simple shape are a squared-off tail (Radar notes it provides better stability in rough water and when being whipped outside the wake) and an inflatable wedge on both the left and right side that offered a welcome dose of security to our passengers. Testers noted the placement of the latter was especially beneficial for the legs to keep them from flying off the surface when aggressively sliding.
Though seemingly simple, our test crew found the Liftoff could also be big fun. Yes, its flat profile could occasionally result in the unpleasant splash to the eyeballs, but the inflatable’s versatility could please both timid and aggressive riders. The former could enjoy its stability; the latter could use body English to easily accelerate and maneuver the tube across the water.
Rather than individual sewn-in pads to provide rider comfort and protect against abrasion, the Liftoff features Radar’s marshmallow soft top, a foam-backed neoprene that covers the entire top surface of the tube. Our test crew found it ultracomfortable, noting that the nylon of other models could occasionally chafe.