KikFin founder - Amihay Mines
The history of underwater diving begins with freediving as a means of hunting and gathering, both for food and other valuable resources, such as pearls and coral. In order to find pearls, my grandfather free dived as well. Like dolphins and sharks, I have dreamed of flying underwater with speed and ease since childhood.
As technology advances, many have attempted to recreate marine life's freedom and extend human breath-holding capabilities underwater. The problem of oxygenation was solved in the last century, and the first diving club was established in France in 1935.
Since then, diving with oxygen tanks has become a massive industry around the world. Despite this, we have remained observers from the sidelines, as physical beings ill-suited to the marine environment, similar to astronauts in a limited maneuverability spacecraft.
Existing products in the civilian and military markets require divers to hold onto them with their hands, which depletes oxygen levels. Unlike our competitors, we realized that propulsion required the center of mass of the body, leaving the hands free for other tasks underwater. We discussed the appropriate geometry, weight, buoyancy, and center of mass for each fin in relation to the body's size in the water and on the surface.
When humans built cars, they were inspired by horses; when they built airplanes, they drew inspiration from birds. However, when humans wanted to move quickly in water, they did not take inspiration from dolphins and sharks but rather adopted and reused torpedo-like devices used by military combatants during World War II for rapid solutions. This is the reason the existing water scooter in the market is a long tube that is difficult to navigate efficiently. It is completely different from anything that lives in the ocean.
Humans tend to think within preconceived patterns, across all areas of life. We decided to break free from that pattern and take off the glove.
After hours of observation and research on the movements of dolphins, sharks, and whales, I attempted to understand the correct relationships needed to create a system that would propel humans underwater, mimicking the agility and dynamism of marine animals. Specifically, the lateral fins (Pectoral Fin) are responsible for body rotation and, in certain cases, contribute to the body's speed in water. The central fin (Dorsal Fin) is responsible for body stability.
We began developing an "Electric Fin" for SUP/surfing, and when we realized that the system worked excellently, I decided to fulfill my original dream of flying under the water and upgrade the system to a product that would revolutionize both diving and surfing. It required different engineering methods and fins shape, buoyancy, weight and other parameters. We designed a dedicated back carrier for diving, connecting two independent, new-version KikFins units shaped like human side(pectoral) fins.
We examined various types of fins and their contribution to movement underwater. When we attached tube propellers to the back or hips, we achieved better propulsion than holding them by hand, but we lost maneuverability. In our Jetpack system, lateral and vertical navigation is achieved by tilting the head due to the deep engineering of our pectoral fins mechanism, providing the diver with complete control over the direction of movement. The water flows over all parts of the body, creating a deep sensation of flying like a superhero.
We are not just observers anymore , but a new species.
After several months of intensive testing and rigorous waterproof checks at different depths, we achieved a high-quality product that meets all recognized standards.
The KikFin has proven its durability in the Red Sea, with a high salinity percentage 41 ‰ in the northern part around the Gulf of Suez, with an (Average salinity for the world's seawater is ~35 ‰ on the Practical Salinity Scale, or PSU), what makes it harder for electrical scooters durability, with no problems at all.
We also had intensive tests in depths of up to 40 meters. We have conducted thousands of testing hours throughout the pilot phase.
My journey has been all about loving and respecting the oceans and the life within them. Whenever we ventured into the vast ocean or open sea, we made sure to bring back any sea garbage we found in our hands, bags, or swimsuit pockets. This way, we felt our presence in this new world meant something. So, here's my invitation: take our invention and explore the vast ocean while showing respect for the marine life there. Use our app to share important information like the amount of garbage to collect, the level of water pollution, and even initiatives like planting coral reefs – all actions to keep life thriving in the ocean.