This project's funding goal was not reached on April 16, 2014.
About this project
REVOLUTIONARY NEW WATERSPORT
The only (soon to be) tube on the market that truly steers. Imagine a high-performance steerable tube that can turn as well as a decent water-skier. A tube where the rider gets to determine their direction and the thrill intensity of their ride. ALL existing tubes and inflatables just get dragged to where momentum takes them and must rely on the boat driver and turns of the boat for the fun, and safety of the ride.
FUN AS SKIING, AS EASY AS TUBING
Most anyone can now participate in a very fun and exciting skilled watersport without the learning curve or physical strength required to go waterskiing or wakeboarding. Young and old will enjoy this exciting new sport!
MOST VERSATILE WATERSPORT?
Unlike skiing or boarding there is no need for fast starts with a STEERTUBE, nor does the boat have to make "zig-zag" turns to make all other tubes and inflatables anywhere near fun. The STEERTUBE works well behind any size boat that can pull at 25 MPH; can accommodate any size rider from a minimum age of 8 years old to maximum weight of 250 LBS.; can be enjoyed by any skill level rider, from wives avoiding being "whipped" by their husbands in a sharp turn, to teenage boys jumping, and clearing, the entire wake.
"You can go right out and have fun with it...no experience necessary vs. skiing or boarding." Frank
"Definitely the best tube I've ever ridden." Jared
"I'm getting revenge on that thing...that thing is cool as sh*t man that's fun!" Greg
"That was so much fun!" "I love that turning device!" Serina
"Go for radical turns." "Oh man, that's addictive!" Dan
WHY ARE WE ON KICKSTARTER?
We are raising funds on Kickstarter in order to start manufacturing and selling the STEERTUBE. Kickstarter works well for this product for a number of reasons. First, it introduces us to the public without a large ad campaign. Second, we don't have to have $100,000 in inventory anticipating some sales number. Third, it sets a minimum sales target, below which it is not economically feasible for us to produce. Finally, people know that we do not have STEERTUBES in stock ready to ship tomorrow and provides our backers with a realistic time frame as to when to expect delivery based on our production schedule.
THE SPARK OF THIS INNOVATION...
Classic mother of necessity...I got tired of constantly waiting for the lake to get smooth enough to go waterskiing and I thought that there had to be a skilled watersport that could handle the rough water with a high level of excitement. An inflatable was the natural choice, but it had to steer.
Earliest prototypes consisted of a standard tube, with a mock up fiberglass bottom, a rope front end and pulley system. It kind of worked, but I would not want one in my boat. At this point it was just a hobby to see if I could get it to steer while I was working my full time job in real estate development and construction.
The next year I discovered semi-rigid, polyplank foam and spent that winter hand sewing a soft bottom tube with an aluminium bar for quicker turning action. First runs were done lying prone on the tube, moving a pulley with my hand, not too much fun. Later in the day we tied a ski handle to the tow rope out about three feet and that was the key.
These six sewn prototypes above were all run and analyzed to dial in the performance. The pink tube was the first successful design, although a little small. The blue tube we tried a rope front harness, versus the aluminum bar. It ran OK, until I fell off, at which point my ankle got wedged between the tow rope end and tube and I was nervously dragged with the tube. Almost the end of me, definitely the end of rope fronts, and beginning of safety first design.
WHAT YOU GET
WE ARE READY TO GO...
We have shop space already leased, with room for expansion and we are affiliated with Northwest Design and Manufacturing, a nineteen year old commercial sewing contractor in an adjacent unit.
Northwest Design will be handling all fabric ordering, cutting, and screen printing. Sewing will be done with our large sewing contractor in Seattle who is comfortable sewing 400 units a month. The aircraft quality aluminum will be rolled by Reinke's, a local metal fabrication company, and cut and drilled in our shop.
The foam comes to our shop in 4x8 foot sheets and will be cut into blanks for snouts and sponsons through a series of three customized tables and band saws, which are already complete. All plastic injection molds are made and maintained by Omnitech in Bellingham, Wa.
All other parts, ropes, harnesses, and handles, are all sourced and assembled in house. The only imported item on this high quality product is the vinyl liners which come from Asia. We currently have 250 liners in stock, and we will be ordering more as soon as we reach our dollar minimum.
Risks and challenges
We do not currently have any STEERTUBES built or ready to ship. This is one reason that we are on Kickstarter, so as to not mislead customers. Our estimated shipping month for each batch is a realistic goal based on the 400 STEERTUBES per month our Seattle sewing contractor can produce, as well as the up to three month lead time for the inflatable vinyl liners which come from Asia. We currently have 250 liners in stock, hence the June delivery date. We will be ordering tubes, fabric, and foam as soon as we meet our goal. Any delay in receiving liners, or receiving the wrong size liners will directly effect the shipping schedule. All other parts are sourced locally for this very high quality, made in USA product and should not present any major issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (39 days)