Schiller Water Bikes
a Bizarre New Watersport at Luxury Beach Resorts
If you’ve never heard of waterbiking, that’s about to change.
The lifejacket snaps lock with a reassuring click. Eddie, an amused associate at Saint Lucia’s Viceroy Sugar Beach resort, smiles. “It’s just like getting on a bicycle,” he says, encouragingly.
We’re on the southwestern coast of the island, in the clear shallows of Anse des Pitons. I’m about to try the next great watersport: water biking.
Floating in front of me is the Schiller S1, a $4,500 contraption that’s a part bicycle, part catamaran—with a promise that you can pedal it across any body of water. And if creator Judah Schiller has his way, it’ll soon be on the amenity list at every great resort. “We’re at the start of a new industry, category, and sport,” he told me. “In five years, I think there will be Schiller Bikes on every hotel beach around the world.”
Riding out is easy. The water ski-like pontoons resemble bumpers at a kid’s bowling alley birthday party, holding the carriage above the frothy surf as the sea’s sandy bottom drops away. Everything is very stable; during the safety briefing, there wasn’t even talk of what to do should you fall off, because you won’t. The anodized aluminum bike frame is svelte and lightweight, and one rotation of the pedals gives the propeller eight spins, so it takes very little physical effort (and just two minutes) to put me 50 yards offshore. Before long, I’m skimming along a French-flag mega-yacht anchored in the bay, close enough to see my reflection in its cold, mirrored starboard.
The thing about riding a bike in the middle of a large body of water is that people stare. Suddenly no one’s looking at the multimillion-dollar yacht: they’re all looking at the curious spec of a bike doing leisurely loops through the bay…What it’s like to bike on water Schiller S1-C