Gizmos & Gadgets: AirBuddy Turns Snorkeling into a Scuba Experience

June 13, 2017 – On Indiegogo, I came across AirBuddy, a diving system for those who always wanted to have a near-scuba experience without pay the full price.

What is AirBuddy? A tankless diving system that gives a recreational swimmer a 45 minute underwater experience far more exciting than snorkeling and far less onerous than scuba diving. Without scuba

A tankless system that gives a recreational swimmer a 45 minute underwater dive, far more exciting than snorkeling, and far less onerous than a scuba dive. Why the latter? Because with AirBuddy you don’t need scuba tanks. That means no heavy gear, no weights for buoyancy, and less underwater drag from bulky tanks on your back.

Seen below, the AirBuddy system includes a compressor that floats on the surface of the water with a highly visible diver flag. You can see the outflow valve where the hose connects in the top right image underneath the float.



AirBuddy includes a rechargeable battery to power the air compressor, the inflatable float, a single air supply hose and a regulator mouthpiece. A second supply hose and regulator are options.

It operates by drawing surface air through the compressor where it is pressurized to give the diver breathable air when underwater. Total dive time is 45 minutes at a depth of 12 meters on a single battery charge. The average recharge cycle using a standard AC outlet is about 3.5 hours. With an optional second hose and regulator, two divers can use an AirBuddy and explore underwater to depths of 6 meters.

AirBuddy is not meant to replace scuba diving gear. Instead it’s for those who do casual shallow water diving off coral reefs or beaches while on vacation. The entire system weighs 9.5 kilograms (21 pounds). That’s almost 70% lighter than scuba gear, and it fits in a travel bag making it easy to bring along on your next tropical beach vacation.

With the entire system weighing 9.5 kilograms (21 pounds), it is 70% lighter than scuba gear. And it easily can fit into a travel bag to bring along on tropical beach vacation.




On Indiegogo so far, AirBuddy has raised over $280,000 U.S., 208% more than its target crowdfunding goal.

A pledge of $599 U.S. puts a reserve deposit on an AirBuddy system at 23% below the retail price of $1,759.00. So you get the AirBuddy for $1,349. The balance is due in advance of the expected June 2018 delivery date.


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery.