Is The SCORKL Diving Cylinder Thousands Of Diving Accidents Waiting To Happen?

Is The SCORKL Diving Cylinder Thousands Of Diving Accidents Waiting To Happen?

UPDATE: I’ve updated the post’s links to point to Spare Air, a company that’s been making a backup cylinder for much longer than the SCORKL guys, and market it as a safety mechanism, not a toy.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a diver; never was. But my wife was a PADI certified scuba diver.

The SCORKL (AEKA Skorkle) is a prototype spare diving cylinder with a nice paint job and a funky logo. People are falling over themselves to fund it, but it seems like a string of accidents waiting to happen.


I came across the SCORKL in one of my crowdfunding diamond digs.

At first I was impressed.

Who wouldn’t want to spend up to ten minutes underwater with little to no effort?

But careful consideration led me to realise that the SCORKL is a potential death trap.

I showed my wife the SCORKL promo video. Her first reaction wasn’t that it poses a danger, but that it seems impractical.

She couldn’t think of a scenario where the SCORKL would be useful. The ten minute time frame doesn’t make sense.

She mentioned that she used to lug around a camera when she went diving, and that the SCORKL would make such a task difficult.

From there we went on to discuss the dangers inherent to scuba diving, especially if you don’t receive training.

It became clear that the SCORKL might as well come with a pinless hand grenade. It’s a matter of time before it blows up.

Let’s take a look.

What is the SCORKL?

The SCORKL is a mini refillable diving cylinder with a regulator and a mouthpiece.

There’s not much technical info on the product, but let’s see how far we get.

Same spec as scuba

David Hallamore, creator of the SCORKL, claims that his product is specced and manufactured to the same standards as normal scuba cylinders.

The regulator

The SCORKL’s regulator is an always-on, breathe-on-demand, balanced single stage type.

Pressure gauge

The SCORKL comes with a side-mounted pressure gauge which indicates how much air is left in the cylinder.

Since the gauge is mounted to the SCORKL’s side, and the SCORKL is in your mouth while you’re using it, you won’t be able to see how much air remains, unless you remove the SCORKL from your mouth.

Scuba refill adaptor

The SCORKL ships with a free scuba tank refill adaptor. This allows you to refill your SCORKL in seconds.

High pressure pump

SCORKL makes an optional hand pump with proper filters that you can use to refill the SCORKL with.

The pump delivers pressure of up to 3,000psi.

They don’t state how long it takes to refill the SCORKL with the hand pump. One of the commenters said between 12 to 15 minutes. I don’t know if that’s accurate.

Case

SCORKL makes a good-looking hard plastic case with foam inserts, to carry your SCORKL, pump and other equipment in.

Price

You can get a SCORKL with scuba tank refill adaptor for $229. That’s 22% off retail.

The SCORKL pump will set you back $229, while a case will cost you the same.

Shipping

The SCORKL ships globally at no cost.

Final thoughts

At first glance the SCORKL looks like a phenomenal little toy. But this is one toy best avoided.

Diving circles seem to be concerned about the safety levels of the SCORKL, as this article from Dive Magazine UK attests.

Warnings from the creator of the product abounds. He dedicates a large part of his Indiegogo campaign cautioning people against the dangers of not using the product as intended.

But we know the world is full of James Bond wannabes. Warnings serve only as motivation.

I would love to see the SCORKL succeed. I like the Aussies. They’re great people. But this product seems like a shortcut to your Maker.

I hope David Hallamore, the man behind the SCORKL, has a good lawyer. This thing he’s created could be a one way trip to bankruptcy and who knows what other damages.

17 thoughts on “Is The SCORKL Diving Cylinder Thousands Of Diving Accidents Waiting To Happen?

  1. this david guy is a fraud. yes david. you are a fraud. didn’t you buy a spare air and reverse engineered it? he copied the exact product called spare air. check out their website, spareair.com. they are been in business since 1979. there is no way you can get up to 10 minutes. impossible!!! between 2-5 minutes at max. as for the pump. there is no way it will takes 12-15 minutes. it will takes about 600 pumps to get to 3000 psi but you’ll have to stops in between to cool down the pump and to rest because as the pressure gets higher it gets harder to pump. duh!!! what about air quality through the pump? what about standards on the cylinders? in Europe to sell this product the cylinders must be CE marked. good luck on getting this product out. it is not going to happened.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tina. I’ve removed links to the SCORKL project. I asked another diver friend of mine, and he agrees that it’s a dangerous device, the way it’s being marketed by SCORKL.

  2. Nothing worse then people badmouthing other people based on nothing but speculation and hearsay.. SMH inshame at how FAST people crucify someone based on the word of another, it’s like wildfire!!!

    Same product as spare air that’s been around since the 70’s, yet, that product is safe and davids is VERY DANGEROUS??

    I’m a nobody. “Maybe” you all are right. Then again…I’ll wait for PROOF and not other people screaming on the internet acting like they know something.

    • Thanks for your comment, Louis. Are you badmouthing people you think are badmouthing others?

      It’s not the product that’s dangerous, it’s the misuse of the product.

      It’s like a gun, Louis. If a gun doesn’t go off, it’s harmless.

      If you put a bullet in there and pull the trigger, it’s a killing machine.

      We’re not concerned for the people who use a device like this correctly. We’re concerned for those too stupid to use it correctly.

      Besides, some of the people doing the screaming don’t act like they know something; they know something. Qualified divers are dooming this device.

    • Why is this product dangerous? What makes it so?

      This appears to be at the heart of what you’ve written, so I’ll answer in a moment. First, let me give you my bonafides so you’ll know I’m not just another internet blowhard:

      I’m a diver and former dive instructor of several years standing, carrying instructor certification with three different international agencies at one point. I have also worked in the dive computer industry, performing a variety of test functions on gear you might wear underwater in order to help you avoid injury or death while diving with standard air fills as well as mixed gas rebreathers.

      Having said that, why is SCORKL a dangerous item? Simple.

      It’s designed to circumvent the safeguards in place in diving to keep compressed gasses out of the hands of the unschooled and untrained for their own safety. Scuba cylinders (and that includes the Spare Air) are shipped empty, and must be filled by the proper facility prior to use. That facility is going to ask for your certification card when you present the cylinder. No card–no fill.

      Now along comes SCORKL, with a hand pump that supposedly enables anyone to fill it right out of the box and submerge. Easiest scenario to envision is that the unschooled will take it underwater to depth, breath that small tank dry, then surface while holding their breath. This will get them intimate with the condition called an embolism. Depth is not a protection for this as it is possible to embolize in as little as three feet of water — just ask DAN (Divers Alert Network).

      Remember that this is only ONE thing that can happen. It’s just the one off the top of my head.

  3. Is it not both?

    If people are too stupid to use something – they should not use it. You see that every day on the streets with traffic.

    And of course divers are saying this is dangerous. First of all: it is if you don’t know how to use it. Just as an example. Taking the scorkl out of your mouth to check the remaining air eg. pressure is completely fine if you breathe in before you do this and than slowly exhale while checking. But that is something you have to learn before you do this. Divers to learn this. So that is the perfect example of why it is dangerous to “stupid” people. And stupid may just as well be swapped for “uneducated”.
    On the other hand divers may also be mad because it sorta steals their customers. This is especially true for organizations like PADI. I’m just guessing, but I think it’s a valid point.

    So to sum it up: Both arguments are true. =)
    Leave it up to the people if they want to use it or not.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    • hi Dan,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I do leave it up to the people. It’s the reader’s choice if he wants to invest in a rip-off of another product.

      It’s my choice to tell people it’s been ripped off from another product.

      🙂

  4. So? in today’s world exactly what is not ripped off from other products? That doesn’t make it dangerous and doesn’t earn a warning of do not use because it can kill you!

  5. Yes correct I am bad mouthing the people who are bad mouthing David. This product is identical to spare air in every way but it’s been repackaged and comes with an air pump which is unique. And everyone is attacking him saying it’s a dangerous product when they don’t know better. And then you have others hopping on the bandwagon just to hop on it without doing their own research based on the opinions of a few divers who of course are going to say it’s dangerous.

    Has anybody here taken the time to look at spare air on Amazon??? NOOOOOO. Because they keep saying that spare air is sold for divers and not as a toy. Absolutely wrong and incorrect. Amazon is marketing spare air as a recreational “have fun” product EXACTLY like David. It is not selling them for a scuba diving back up air supply only.

    They are recommending it for the exact same kind of casual user as David is. Before people start bad mouthing everyone maybe they should at least get the facts! My God you even got the guy who made the video saying thanks for the warning and all of this is based on??? a couple of comments by jealous divers.

    I see this every day in the media and everywhere in the news in the world where people are so fast to claim somebody is guilty and just gets on my nerves…

  6. Thank you Jansie! I appreciate the fact that not only do you print comments like mine (many websites do not) but you respond in an impartial and open manner!

    I am only involved because I thought of purchasing it as it sounded like fun and I have no education or skills as a diver. What I do have skills as it is a great researcher.

    You cannot google this product without seeing spare air come up it’s almost impossible. So I started researching that product as well doing a comparison as to which one for me was better when I came across many reviews like this one.

    But because I have seen spare air advertised in the exact same manner, I knew immediately that all of these reviewer‘s who are saying its sold differently and packaged as a different application was absolutely false and since this is such free information available to anyone just simply willing to take the time to Google or go to Amazon…

    In other words it wasn’t like it was hard to find information, I am immediately started making references in my head to guilty before innocent!

    But again I do thank you for putting in print negative comments like these as it shows you are being very impartial and you deserve major kudos for that!!!!!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Louis. You’re a fine “negative” commenter, if ever I’ve seen one. 😉

      I just need to clarify one thing: this is not a review article. I do hope I didn’t bring it across as such.

      It’s merely an opinion piece.

      Besides, I’ve decided to not write about crowdfunding projects anymore, due to the crowdfunding landscape being littered with thieves. And I’m not referring to the maker of the Scorkl. He’s simply taking advantage of the system, and that’s fine by me. (I even end my post by saying I’d like to see the product succeed.)

      But after having come across far too many empty promises, I thought I’d focus on real reviews (which I’m finding no time to do :().

  7. “Fine negative commenter” LOL! Had me laughing out loud on that one! Ya know, and please excuse me but all this talk of water completely sidetracked me and this thought went right over my head! No water pun intended.

    I feel it’s worth mentioning that the original purpose I had in mind being a prepper that plans for everything, is all of the other purposes this thing serves!

    Caving, tunnel exploring, forest fire, mine shaft adventure, house fire, mudslides, any entering of a confined space where there could be a dangerous lack of oxygen, trench caving in, encapsulation the list is endless to be honest. And actually I can think of many more uses for it then I can water. And one would not need a scuba card to refill it.

    Granted you probably will not always have this thing handy but if you know you’re going to be entering the bow of a ship, or a cave or a tunnel or things like that, you could definitely carry it in your backpack!

    Just remember in short, that needing oxygen does not always apply to being under water 🙂

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