- How does the Aquaglider work? [+]Many kids (and often their Dads!) are mystified by the unexpected lateral motion, with no batteries, chemicals, motors, or whatever, as the toy shoots off sideways. Actually, it is the energy you put into the toy as you push it down that drives it. The surprise is that, unlike a cork, or a piece of wood or foam, it shoots sideways on a very flat glide path, gliding on its own “path of least resistance” to the surface.
Ponder this by looking at it from the side, and also from the top, and you’ll get the main idea (the natural “attitude” or position of this floating toy keeps it in proper alignment with the course it takes, while the fins help direct the motion. Sounds simple, I know; however, it took me over 5,000 trials and errors to get this seemingly simple concept figured out! It was inspired by my work on upward gliding airships (see “danielgeery” on YouTube, and look for “Waterwing in air, if you’re so inclined, which was in turn inspired by a book called “The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed,” by writer John McPhee. If you’re into airships, I’d encourage you to check out my other site, www.hyperblimp.com).
- Is the Aquaglider the best pool toy ever? [+]Many folks have called this the best pool toy they’ve ever seen. As inventor, of course, I hate to argue with that—but then, let’s face it, “Different strokes for different folks.” You may be happier with a noodle to float on, though of course there’s no reason not to have both.
On the other hand, I’ve seen or heard of kids playing with this toy for hours on end. The son of a friend of mine played it with it all summer, hanging out with his friends in his backyard pool through summer vacation. Yes, it may have been the social ties that held them together, but at least they had something halfway decent to play with while doing so!
The teenage son of another friend of mine, with a developing engineering mind, spent several hours in a lake studying the unique motions of this lateral flying version of Archimedes’ famous principle (which 2,500 years ago, explained why boats and other things float).
- Why is the Aquaglider is good for beginning swimmers? [+]Unlike those heavy torpedoes that sail nicely to the bottom of the pool (which I imagine you’ve seen, but put out by another company), this upward gliding vehicle comes to the surface, where it is easily retrieved. It also doesn’t hurt if it bumps into you. (But again, a warning: Use only in the presence of adequate adult supervision, and if the toy floats away over your head, just let it be or have an expert swimmer get it back; I will personally send you another one, free of charge, if you lose one this way).
One reason adults like this unusual toy is that it encourages kids to put their head in the water (with goggles, hopefully), and this is one of the hardest things for beginning swimmers to get used to. Again, use only under proper supervision, and in this case, a pool that is not over your head.
WARNING! This is a gliding toy, NOT a buoyancy or flotation device or a life preserver - do NOT use it to float with,
and do NOT swim after it in deep water, unless you are a very good swimmer. Adult supervision IS NECESSARY for non-swimmers.
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