At X we care a lot about materials and material science. Boating equipment on lakes takes special care and attention, equipment used in salt water, ocean water takes much more attention. Our hydro gear gets flown in and over lakes and oceans around the world. We know nothing is more important than maximizing your (and your customers) days on the water and in the air with equipment that holds up to the extremes of the environment. Our Jetpacks and Jetblades are everywhere from rental stations on the beach in Dubai, various superyachts, to little islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Salt water will chew up and spit out corroded, most materials. What are the materials that will hold up? We run through the list of “marine grade” materials and how proper maintenance can make your investment in fun last.
There is only one kind of steel that can hold up to salt water. Normal steel will rust and deteriorate in days or weeks. Spring steel circlips will never last and are the worst choice for marine equipment. The good stuff is 316 stainless steel, aka W5 in Europe. The right composition of elements form a barrier that resists corrosion yet provides the high strength that steel is known for.
Plastics, there are some good plastics for salt water and fresh water usage, the big enemy however is UV light from the sun, and cracking caused by environmental factors in combination with UV. The Hydroshaper has been working with engineering plastics and high strength injection molded thermoplastics for his whole career. We use these proven plastic in a variety of locations to save weight and obtain performance. High strength nylon wear resiliency and toughness is key, PE where abrasion, flexibility. Delrin where toughness and productions methods call for CNC machining to get tight tolerances. Polycarbonate, great for GoPro cases, just don’t scratch it.
Finishes. This is sport equipment on a beach, that makes you fly. We have always thought it should look the part, high temp powdercoat epoxy finishes are stock on all of our products, it looks good and it stays looking good through use. We make sport equipment, not plumbing.
Wood. Like Kryptonics once famously said, “We never wood”. We really mean it. We would not build wood boats or airplanes. Wood is not the right material for soaking in water and flying. But you know that already, it gets wet.