Managing Editor, Brian K. Lind, looks at how you can expand your floating surface area and your access to the water with this inventive inflatable swim step.
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban bears witness to all sorts of sales pitches on his show, “Shark Tank.” One of the worst pitches ever might have been the one given by Stephan Aarstol, who choked during his presentation and went silent for over a minute. But Aarstol recovered, and by the end, Cuban was persuaded. Cuban agreed to fork over $150,000 to acquire 30% of Aarstol’s company, Tower Paddle Boards. And Cuban has gotten quite the return on his 2011 investment. By mid-2016 the company was on course to net $10 million in profit.
It was curious, then, to see the company launch a Kickstarter campaign in mid-January. It was even stranger to see the campaign’s modest goal set at $30,000.
This new product, a floating dock/swimstep, was inspired by the experiences of Tower Paddle Board’s design team, who found themselves always skipping the dock or boarding ladder and just using their paddle board, tied behind their boats—or to the dock—as an intermediate step to get out of the water. Utilizing the same design skills that have made their paddleboard line so popular, the designers came up with an inflatable “swim step,” 5’ x 10’ and complete with a faux teak deck to simulate a real swim platform.
While originally designed to aid getting on and off a dock and onto a paddleboard or kayak, the raft is actually a great addition for boaters seeking to create more space right at water level. Easily stowable and quickly inflated with a foot pump, the platform is rated for up to 1,000 pounds, sturdy enough to support a couple of beach chairs or as many as five adults. If your swim step is small or blocked by a dinghy davit, the rigid raft will provide a perfect extension of your boat, whether you want to soak up the rays or use it as a water toy boarding platform. Or both.
As far as we can tell, though, is it’s not Jaws-proof.
$500 via Kickstarter www.goo.gl/G4vLds