Deepblu Catches up with AirBuddy

We published an article in 2018 about the AirBuddy, a portable breathing apparatus for certified divers. Deepblu and AirBuddy happened to meet in person at AIDE 2017 in Sydney thanks to luck and probably the small community in which we all reside.

For those who are unaware, the AirBuddy is a surface-level diving device invented by diver and inventor Jan Kadlec that can be charged at home and enables tank-free diving using a floating air compressor that not only includes its own floatation device but also a flag to indicate that there is a diver below. It gained instant fame online a few months ago after a successful Kickstarter campaign went viral and propelled it all over the world.

We hooked up with them to find out more about their creation firsthand.

It's a fantastic invention! How did Jan come up with the AirBuddy? 

We are enthusiastic divers and sea life enthusiasts. We discovered that despite living near the ocean, we don't dive as frequently as we would want. Sometimes the bother, price, and time involved in getting ready for SCUBA diving wears us out.

No need for a boat, drop in anywhere. Photo: AirBuddy

We came to understand the possibilities of a surface-supported breathing device for independent, leisurely shallow water diving. We set out to design a tiny, lightweight, and user-friendly dive gear because we were unable to locate the ideal solution on the market for our underwater investigations in Sydney and while we were traveling.

To offer a simple substitute for self-guided shallow water diving, we developed AirBuddy. While SCUBA is still excellent for deep dives and cave diving, we are not attempting to replace it. We wanted to create a sport where you can pick up your equipment and go, making diving as convenient as other sports.

How can divers benefit from the device?

The world's most portable recreational diving equipment is called AirBuddy. It revolutionizes underwater exploration by making diving simpler and more accessible by doing away with the hassle and weight of conventional SCUBA gear. AirBuddy is simple to carry and store due to its small size.

You are prepared to dive shortly after arriving at the beach with a setup and pack up time of roughly two minutes. Your drag is substantially lower and it feels more like swimming underwater than diving without the tank and BCD.

The sole "grab and go" diving product is AirBuddy.

What’s it like to use one? 

It's easy. The air compressor that pressurizes the surface air is powered by a rechargeable 12V battery. The air is then supplied to the diver using a regulator, a supply pipe, and a receiver (mouthpiece). This implies that you do not need to store and bring all of the compressed air underwater. Your lungs are filled with surface air.

You may dive more safely and without as many restrictions thanks to AirBuddy. Avoid carrying unnecessary weight; else, you'll feel like a fish out of water.

Easy to carry, easy to use. Photo: AirBuddy

How does the AirBuddy operate?

The three basic parts of AirBuddy are a regulator, a supply hose, and a battery-operated air compressor (mouthpiece). Surface air is pressurized by the air compressor before being provided to the diver via the supply hose and regulator. One diver can dive for up to 45 minutes at a depth of up to 12 meters, and two divers can dive for up to 60 minutes at a depth of up to 6 meters.

The goal of AirBuddy is to make snorkeling more accessible to the diving community so that more people can discover and enjoy the wonders of our marine life.

Although the idea is straightforward and has been around for a while, AirBuddy is made with the most cutting-edge technology available today, making it the world's smallest and lightest surface-supplied breathing device.

For travel purposes, what’s it like to store and transport?

AirBuddy is portable and storable because it is small, light, and compact. It simply takes a few minutes to unpack and put together this hybrid of snorkeling and SCUBA. You may get started by simply plugging in the hoses and charging the 12V battery (3.5 hours to completely charge via regular electrical socket). By avoiding the hassle of making reservations for SCUBA equipment in advance or searching for a dive shop, this saves significant amounts of time.

What’s next for the inventive crew of divers over there?

After almost four years of development, seven generations of prototypes, and countless hours of diving and testing AirBuddy, we are getting ready to start the production. Our design for manufacturing is progressing well (just finished with final design elements) and we are busy engaging with multiple vendors to discuss the options for the molding of certain design features such as the magnetic key holder. It’s a time-consuming process, but it is very exciting, too.

A possibly easy one… where should we dive if we’re in your area?

We are fortunate to have access to a variety of stunning dive locations because to our location in Sydney, including North Bondi, Shelly Beach, Camp Cove, La Perouse, and one of our favorites, Shiprock.


Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor


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