Apollo Sports AVX
At SGR we take our work seriously but some days we can’t seem to wipe the smile off our faces. Just like the first time someone tossed you the keys to a sports car, all you want to do is go go go! That happened recently when we got to test-drive/dive the new AVX scooter from Apollo Sports.
The SGR staff and a few test divers spent three days getting familiar with the AVX. We ran it in three different riding positions, fast and slow, and pulling two and even three scuba divers at times. One test day we ran the AVX for three dives at top speed and still had battery life to spare. The specs on the AVX are impressive and while we didn’t verify all their stated claims, we pushed it as hard as we could.
The AVX is depth rated to over 500-feet. It’s powered by a Lithium Ion Phosphate battery and offers a run time of 1.5 hours at a top speed of 3.23 mph and up to 10 hours in “Cruise” mode at 1.9 mph. Range is estimated to be 7.5 miles at top speed and 18.6 miles in Cruise mode. The AVX has a variable pitch propeller with two settings, a battery life indicator light, and voltage detection to protect the battery. The AVX has an aluminum housing and weighs 54-pounds including the battery out of the water, but in the ocean it’s nicely neutral.
There are three riding style options with the AVX: Standard, Saddle, and Single Hand Unit.
The Standard riding style uses the two handgrips like most DPV’s. The throttle control on the right handle moves smoothly from zero to full power. There is also an On/Off switch on the right side to control power to the unit. Unlike most scooters the throttle is not spring loaded and doesn’t turn off when released. When you push the throttle forward the AVX keeps moving until you pull the throttle back. This eliminates finger fatigue and the obligation to keep your right hand on the throttle. We used a tow strap to take the load off our arms and as a safety leash. The AVX felt very agile and maneuverable using this traditional riding style.
The Saddle riding style uses Apollo Sport’s patented hands free design that lets the AVX push you through the water. This was definitely the most streamlined riding position. With less drag our “Hull speed” was quicker and there was obviously no pull on the arms. A lever at the top of the AVX is linked to the main throttle, which gives you control of the speed. This riding style was unfamiliar to most of the test divers but became easy with just a few rides. Riding in the saddle leaves your hands free to hold other gear or equipment. This is also the riding style used in “Cruise” mode. We found this to be the best position when pulling two extra divers. A pair of wings fold out giving good handholds to buddies.
The Single Hand Unit (SHU) consists of two large hand bars and a rear throttle control linked to the main throttle. The SHU allows you to hold onto the AVX and control the throttle with just one hand. It also gives you two substantial handles for lifting and carrying the AVX. This was the favored riding style for most of the test divers. When using the SHU you have access to all three throttle controls, which allows you to change your riding position from back to middle to forward depending on your preference.
After three days of riding the AVX we were all pretty spoiled and had gotten use to being pulled or pushed around instead of kicking. In general we felt the AVX lived up to its claims. It was fast, offered outstanding run time, and could easily pull three divers. We felt a tow strap was essential to getting the most out of this powerful DPV. In the Standard and SHU riding styles the strap took the load off and we were able to relax and use our arms for steering only. We found the Saddle riding style to be a nice change and probably the most efficient for long distance riding.