In an expanding ocean of underwater scooters comes a model from eFoil-maker, Waydoo Tech, with a design that competes with established market leaders. Intended for scuba, swimming, free diving and to boost paddle crafts. The Subnado is the most compact of performance products that will fill the 2022 recreational market for underwater scooters.

Having successfully reached its Kickstarter funding, Waydoo will start delivering to its backers in July. The DIVEIN team got an early chance to test this scooter to measure its performance and get a feel for how it works in practical terms.

It’s not enough to have a good design. Not every good design translates into a great consumer experience. But, after some test sessions, it struck us that this compact and lightweight scooter has some very interesting and positive features at a competitive price that should thrust it toward the top of the market.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.1

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    One of the most compact and portable underwater scooters out there
  • check-mark
    Batteries can be carried on board flights
  • check-mark
    Its power and performance rank along with the high-end ones
  • check-mark
    Easy to mount/dismount on arms, legs, and paddleboards
  • check-mark
    You can attach up to three extra gear like GoPro and fill lights
  • check-mark
    Can be used as a power bank
  • check-mark
    Three speeds for assist or speed modes
  • check-mark
    It stops working as soon as you release the ring controller, so it's safe to use, even by kids
  • check-mark
    More affordable than comparative models
  • check-mark
    It only needs roughly an hour to charge completely
  • check-mark
    Rated for depths down to 195 feet

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markChord length to remote restrains movement when leg-mounted or on paddle craft
  • check-markDaisy chaining two units still requires controlling them separately
  • check-markCan’t change batteries

Where to buy:

Subnardo Waydoo Front

Waydoo Subnado Underwater Scooter

A Sleek, Compact, and Powerful Option

Diver propulsion vehicles (DVPs), more commonly known as underwater scooters, have become more commonplace in recent years. Advancements in battery tech and AI-assisted designs are making production cheaper and supercharging competition and innovation.

There are some unique features about the Subnado, to be sure. The ring controller, for one, is a very interesting design. The mechanism that allows for easy on-and-off click mounting for arms and legs is another.

In terms of usability and performance, the Subnado Underwater Scooter sits alongside other leading DVPs in the market, including ScubaJet. Solid aluminum build, powerful motor, three gear options, and easy-to-use finger ring controller, all aboard this lightweight DVP.

It may not be the last model to stay running or the deepest diver of them all, but the balance of Subnado’s performance is surprisingly good. Its construction, married with excellent functionality, is a great match.

While its initial pricing through Kickstarter puts it at well under half the price of ScubaJet, expect some inflation here after the Subnado hits the market and starts making waves in summer 2022.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Aluminum Alloy, Resin
  • Dimension: 14.84” x 2.76” x 2.76”
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Max. Waterproof Depth Capacity: 195 feet
  • Thrust Options: 3
  • Max. Thrust Speed: 3 mph (single use), 4.5 mph (as pair)
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion
  • Run Time: 56 mins. (lowest), 30 mins. (comprehensive use)
  • Charging Time: 1.2 hrs.
  • Motor: 500W
  • Controller: Wired Finger Ring
  • Color: Space Gray
See the complete list of the best Underwater Scooters here!

Construction 

The Subnado will reach your doorstep as a pretty comprehensive package. It comes with a Subnado Underwater Scooter unit, an arm and a leg sleeve, a wired remote clicker, SUP, and ring mount.

Related Reviews

Aluminum-made with anodized coating, Subnado comes with a solid build designed to keep up for years. The anodized-finish protection, which feels premium to the touch, has  corrosion resistance at another level. The oxide layer formed on aluminum has ceramic properties, giving it more overall durability too.

Have the peace of mind that whether you’re on salt- or freshwater, your Subnado Underwater Scooter won’t easily yield to wear and tear or damage. Beyond that, Waydoo seems to have a decent po

For reference, it’s a more robust model than plastic-made ones like YAMAHA Seal Seascooter, RDS200, and RDS 250.

Anodized aluminum is known for its corrosion resistance.
Anodized aluminum is known for its corrosion resistance.

With a robust, reliable construction paired with a low-profile streamlined look, we can easily imagine this accessory being a popular site on beaches and on board motor yachts. This Waydoo underwater scooter keeps up with the modern, sleek trend. No bright attention-seeking colors. Just you, blending into the marine ecosystem.

Subnado runs using a 4-blade propeller. They efficiently work so that you can benefit from powerful thrusts and longer travel distances like you would in bulkier and/or pricier units.

The 4-blade propeller and stator nozzle combo made it possible to travel far without wasting energy.
The 4-blade propeller and stator nozzle combo made it possible to travel far without wasting energy.

On the Outside

There might be nothing fancy on the outside of this underwater scooter from Waydoo, but don’t let its streamlined look fool you. Performance-wise, Subnado is zooming with the best (more on that in a bit). But for now, let’s take a close look at every detail of the unit.

Charging Port

On the topmost part of Subnado, you’ll find a screw lid. Twist it open with your fingers and you’ll notice that it has double silicone O-rings. These little orange rings give this underwater scooter a water-tight lock. Inside, a USB-C charging port is hidden. It’s a super convenient feature since you don’t need any special charger like Lefeet S1 Pro or Yamaha Professional 220 Li. Your phone charger cable is enough to get the job done. 

A close-up of Subnado’s charging port.
A close-up of Subnado’s charging port.

This simple design makes charging your Subnado underwater scooter somewhat a piece of cake. Plus, you get rid of any additional weight and save space on your pack.

Power Button and Indicator

Know when this underwater scooter from Waydoo is on and how much battery there is with the power indicator sitting right around the screw lid. The power clicker is also easy to use.

Push the switch and the power indicator lights turn on to a little jingle that sounds like the Addams Family theme song. It’s kind of catchy in an annoying way, but you know the unit is primed.

Turn it on/off without any trouble, and keep track of your battery.
Turn it on/off without any trouble, and keep track of your battery.

Wired Finger Ring Controller

Next to the power button is the cord socket for the wired finger ring controller. Truth be told, we had a bit of an issue with the connection. There’s no clean click when pushing the priming head over the connectors. It requires giving it an extra nudge. Being a prototype, we expected Subnado underwater scooter to have a few hiccups, but the company assured us that they’re dealing with it. In the end, it’s not really an issue that affects performance.

Next to the power button is the coiled cord connecting the actual finger ring controller to the DPV. However, even though Waydoo came up with telephone-inspired spring-coiled wiring to minimize tangling without losing length, it can feel like they’re in the way when you use it in pairs. 

There were infrequent occasions the wiring didn't work correctly. Also, the size of the ring controller isn't for everyone.
There were infrequent occasions the wiring didn't work correctly. Also, the size of the ring controller isn't for everyone.

But! Compared to handgrip triggers like in SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix and Apollo AV2 Evolution, Subnado’s finger ring controller is a more freeing experience.

LeFeet’s S1 and S1 Pro have a nice way of joining two units that can be controlled by one (wireless) remote. But then compactness of size might needs be compromised to achieve this.

Mounting Rail

There’s an adjustable mounting rail on the side of this Waydoo underwater scooter. It’s easy to attach both to the arm and leg sleeves and latch it into a paddleboard. A quick-release side button means you can remove it in a snap. 

Subnado Underwater Scooter mounts solidly.
Subnado Underwater Scooter mounts solidly.

A single-use can be tricky with the lack of balance, so why not use it on both legs or arms and be your own Ironman in the water. You also get absolute relaxation without needing to paddle your board when you attach your Subnado to the fin box.

Make your water fun and a laid-back experience with the help of Subnado.
Make your water fun and a laid-back experience with the help of Subnado.

Like SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix and most underwater scooters, you can grab the round mount and attach it to the tip of your Subnado. It can accommodate up to three different attachment gear like your GoPro and a pair of fill lights for better shots. 

Capture every moment using the mounting ring.
Capture every moment using the mounting ring.

Performance

We tested out Subnado Underwater Scooter to see how it compares to other units we have. Here are the most performance points you need to know.

Thrust Speed Options

Subnado Underwater Scooter serves as one of the most powerful DPVs out there. With three thrust gears, 3 kg., 5 kg., and 6 kg., you can enjoy a maxed propulsion speed of 3 mph. That goes head-on with the more expensive YAMAHA Professional 220 Li and just a little under SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix (3.1 mph). If you use a pair of Subnados, you’ll reach almost 4.5 mph depending on conditions. Change gears with double or triple clicks, with the latter at its maximum speed. Start propelling forward as you press and hold the ring clicker and shift gear throughout your journey.

Although not for professional diving, any recreational water activity like snorkeling or just pool fun is more exciting, with Subnado Underwater Scooter propelling you through the water.

Waterproof Depth

How deep can this Waydoo underwater scooter go? 195 feet! It’s a very reasonable price compared to the YAMAHA Seal Seascooter we got for about ten bucks cheaper (discounted rate) but can only tolerate more or less 5 meters deep.

If you’re looking for a workhorse to descend deeper than 195 feet, Aquapro L Scooter Subgravity can withstand up to 260 feet, while Tusa Sav7 EVO3 can go as far as 290 feet deep.

Buoyancy

Negative buoyancy means your Subnado Underwater Scooter sinks. BUT! It’s a super-compact DVP you won’t even have to put extra effort into maneuvering.

We recommend YAMAHA Professional 220 Li, RDS250, and SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix for an underwater scooter with a versatile buoyancy chamber. They are neutrally buoyant, which means they stay underwater but don’t sink. It’s a must, especially for heavy and bulky models. It’s the issue we had to face testing out Tusa Sav7 EVO3 with negative buoyancy, making it hard to move around. It felt like a rock weighing you down.

Run Time

Powered by a 98Wh built-in Li-Ion battery, Subnado can run nonstop for about 50 minutes on its lowest setting or almost half an hour on max. Now, it’s not the most impressive run time, but remember that it only takes roughly an hour to charge fully. There is no need to wait for a ridiculous amount of time to load up the battery like what we had experienced with the YAMAHA Seal Scooter (14-16 hrs.), which would only last for one and a half hours. This Waydoo underwater scooter’s run and charge time is a fair trade. 

However, like any battery-powered gadget, its life depends on your setting. Save as much as possible and extend the fun by keeping your Subnado at the lowest speed. But if you want an underwater scooter that won’t leave you in the middle of the action, Aquapro L Scooter Subgravity can last for more than a couple of hours.

The built-in battery of Subnado means you can’t get extra ones as a standby supply. Once you drain the power, you can’t just open the panel, remove the battery, and swap like in SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix, LEFEET S1, and LEFEET S1 Pro. But at least it can double as your power bank!

Portability

Super compact and lightweight. Those are just two of the many perks this Waydoo underwater scooter has that made us fall in love. It weighs only 3 lbs. It’s the lightest model we’ve ever tested, followed by LEFEET S1 Pro at 5.5 lbs. That’s lightyears away from dragging a Tusa Sav7 EVO3 where the battery alone is already more than 23 lbs.!

You can let it sit in your backpack’s side pocket. Subnado will barely eat space inside your luggage.

The Subnado Underwater Scooter is the most compact and lightweight we've tested.
The Subnado Underwater Scooter is the most compact and lightweight we've tested.

Portability is a must if you’re an avid traveler or a passionate light-packer. But for those out on a short holiday, any bulky underwater scooter like the YAMAHA Seascooter 350 Li and RDS 200 will do just fine.

Subnado vs. YAMAHA 350 Li

Subnado is extra portable, considering it's a powerful underwater scooter.
Subnado is extra portable, considering it's a powerful underwater scooter.

Not to mention, Subnado Underwater Scooter is airline-approved! The battery is only 98Wh, a little under the 100Wh limit. Pack it in your carry-on without officials snooping around asking you to step out of the line. 

Safety

Made with all types of people in mind, both the young and young at heart can enjoy Subnado Underwater Scooter hazard-free. You won’t accidentally dig your fingers in with the finger-safe guard caging in the blade. 

Like other underwater scooters, the motor stops as soon as you release the finger ring controller. Some units like Apollo AV2 Evolution and YAMAHA 350 Li have dual-trigger buttons sitting right at each grip handle. You need to press both at the same time to make it work.

Conclusion

Subnado Underwater Scooter is one of the best (if not the best) models you’ll find today. More than just compact and lightweight–and flight-friendly–it has some design features that make using it a less clumsy experience than most other DVPs.

It comes with robust construction without all the cheap plastic feels. Anodized aluminum is highly corrosion-resistant, matched with a sleek, low-profile look.

You can effortlessly shift gear through the wired finger ring controller, and it can propel you at a max speed of 1.4m/s. Enjoy more adventures since Subnado can tolerate 195 feet deep without water breaking it.

It will only take an hour to recharge. However, this Waydoo underwater scooter can only run for half an hour at the max setting or around an hour on the lowest thrust.

But for all its perks packed in small size and weight, it’s an airline-approved DVP you can literally take anywhere you go.

Buy this underwater scooter if:

  • You want to stay light while enjoying the waters
  • Searching for an underwater scooter packed with powerful thrust options
  • Want an easy to use, almost free-hand model
  • Looking for an underwater scooter worth more than its tag

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.1

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    One of the most compact and portable underwater scooters out there
  • check-mark
    Batteries can be carried on board flights
  • check-mark
    Its power and performance rank along with the high-end ones
  • check-mark
    Easy to mount/dismount on arms, legs, and paddleboards
  • check-mark
    You can attach up to three extra gear like GoPro and fill lights
  • check-mark
    Can be used as a power bank
  • check-mark
    Three speeds for assist or speed modes
  • check-mark
    It stops working as soon as you release the ring controller, so it's safe to use, even by kids
  • check-mark
    More affordable than comparative models
  • check-mark
    It only needs roughly an hour to charge completely
  • check-mark
    Rated for depths down to 195 feet

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markChord length to remote restrains movement when leg-mounted or on paddle craft
  • check-markDaisy chaining two units still requires controlling them separately
  • check-markCan’t change batteries

Do you want more?

Stay updated with guides, reviews and more about paddling.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Waydoo Subnado Underwater Scooter

How do I use my Subnado?

It’s relatively straightforward. Attach your Subnado Underwater Scooter to your arm/leg sleeves. Then, ensure that the wired finger ring controller is connected correctly and wear it on your index finger. Perform a long press to turn it on or double/triple clicks to switchgear/speed.

How fast is the Subnado Underwater Scooter?

Using a single unit can propel you forward with a speed of 3 mph, while a pair can reach up to 4.5 mph. Subnado can surprisingly go face-to-face with top-notch heavier/larger underwater scooters for its compact size and weight.

What is the best underwater scooter?

After testing, here are some of our best picks:

You can also check out our guide to the best underwater scooters for more options. 

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