Beach balls are classic and rectangular rafts still keep you afloat, but the creativity, tech, and fat wallets of today demand a little more of water-based entertainment. Here are my picks for the Top 10 Water Toys of Summer 2015. (Note: All items' prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.)
AquaClimb Water Walls - Contact AquaClimb for price quote. My best guess: not cheap. These poolside water walls manufacture in editions Classic and Sport. The former--shorter, nubbier, and designed more according to theme park aesthetics--is intended for all ages and a wider range of installation locations, while the latter's increased height and curvature make its added challenge better suited for teens and adults. It also requires installation adjacent to deeper waters.
Darkfin Gloves $26. Ever wondered what it might be like to have webbed fingers? Wonder no longer. These durable latex rubber gloves will have you flying by the other frogs in the water. Perfect for SCUBA diving, swimming, and surfing.
Quadrofoil Electric Watercraft $18,500 to $28,000. Here's your chance to jet across the water on an architectural insect. With the Quadrofoil you can do it quietly and without injecting carbon-based fuels into the subsurface ecosystem too. This personal watercraft operates with a silent motor and zero emissions electrical tech, making it not only a cleaner option for aquatic joyrides, but also one that can shoot along lakes, rivers, seas, and eco-zones where most motor boats and PWCs are prohibited.
World's Biggest Backyard Water Slide $149. Not only is Wahii's slippery snake 75' long, but it's 12' wide as well. Set it up on a hill or downslope in about 15 minutes with Zulu-Stick fasteners to hold it to the grass, and a sprinkler positioned at the top (no hose hook-up required).
Aqua Treadmill $220. This World of Watersports creation gives us humans the long-awaited opportunity to take part in an activity previously reserved for rodents. With enough room for 3 people, partakers need only climb inside and begin walking forward while pushing against the wheel's front wall. Flipping and rolling along all carefree and catawampus appear to be options as well.
200-Yard Water Balloon Launcher $16. This one's gonna take you, your friend Cornelius, and your friend Victor to load & explode. Made with real surgical tubing and fitted with rip-proof vinyl grips, the wicked blaster means it when it says hot summer fun, parties on the beach, and all-out war.
Smarties Noodle Pool Float $10. Mmm, sweet, tart & inflatable. The only place this childhood candy might look better than in my mouth is in the pool.
Floating Beer Pong Table & Cooler $45. So much for the bounce shot. If you've got the skills, the balls, and the body of water, here's your ultimate floating barge o' beer pong. The center cooler for brew storage is even more good lookin' out from the drinking game gods.
Easybreath Snorkeling Mask $50 to $110. Full-face coverage means no tube to chomp down on and no mask clearing required. The Easybreath design removes some of the difficulty, nuisance, and drowning that comes with breathing underwater.