Transparent Kayaks: Like VR Goggles, Just Real-Life-ier

Here, fishy fishy

By Diane Rommel

 
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21 February 2017

Why is it taking us so long to get to the stage in societal evolution where everything that should be clear is, in fact, clear? Like, planes, for example? (Maybe by 2050, says Airbus.) 

For now, though, at least we have the Crystal Explorer Kayak

Crystal Explorer (3 images)

It's not made for the whitewater, maxing out or "breezy and choppy waters." It is, in fact, a kayak/canoe hybrid. But it has something its quicker, nimbler cousins don't: it's f*cking 100% transparent.  Which means recreational paddlers can see directly into the aquatic environment they're exploring. 

Now, this is of dubious utility in some waters. We learned to kayak on the Hudson River. The experience is spectacular. But we're not sure we need to peer into the depths. That just means the Crystal Explorer is likely best in the clear, aqua waters of, for example, southern Florida and the Caribbean, where it was developed. The science behind it is interesting: the problem, until now, has been that clear polycarbonate yellowed with exposure to the sun. The proprietary technique here is a UV-protective varnish that keeps the polycarbonate clear. (They do advise stowing the boats out of the sun.) 

Now, to book that trip to the Caribbean. 

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