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June 27, 2012

A New Back Seatbelt & Way To Enjoy the Sea

Do the belts in the back seats of automobiles get the job done? A great many folks believe not and German engineers have addressed the issues. Inflatable rear seat belts are coming and they’re coming fast. They combine the restraint of the seat belt with the protective cushioning of the airbag.

The firm’s seatbelt engineer Joerg Doering said the seatbelts had been designed specifically for back-seat passengers, who do not have the protection of airbags. 

He said the aim was ‘to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, [who are] often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries’. 

Mr Doering added: ‘In everyday use, the inflatable belts operate like conventional seatbelts and  are safe and compatible with booster seats.

‘But in the event of an accident, the belt rapidly expands to disperse crash forces across a body area five times greater than that achieved by a conventional seatbelt.

If it will make the back seats of cars safer for younger and elderly individuals, it should be cherished.

(This woman looks thrilled to be wearing one.)

Adam Masters (what a name!) – an Asheville native – is attempting to change the way folks challenge the ocean by combining surfing and kayaking into a brand new endeavor: bellyaking.

Set to hit the Asheville and worldwide market this month, the Bellyak is a kayak that you ride on your belly.

“It’s like swimming, with a kayak under your belly,” said Masters, who lives on a farm in Marshall with his wife of a year, Anna Woodruff-Masters, 31. The two founded Bellyak, which is headquartered on Riverside Drive just north of Asheville.

“Nobody has done anything like this. What I love about this, when you kayak a lot, you get to a point when get to class 5 whitewater,” Masters said. “You have to maintain a certain edge, and the risk-to-reward ratio gets a little different. To increase the excitement, you have to increase your risk.

If I were athletic, I’d be all over the bellyak. But I am not. So I shall resume sitting at the beach bar with a cold beer while watching the athletes on their bellyaks.