RADAR LIFTOFF

Boating - - MOTORHEAD -

($220)

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.

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