By: Sam Rabadi
Right about now you might be asking yourself, what is this? This is an Underwater Torpedo. And it was founded six years ago by two ex-Marines Special Ops.
“Take Water Polo right, and you have the big nets at the surface, and you shrink those nets and take them down to the bottom of the pool at thirteen feet and five on five with that right and you have to score at the bottom of the pool.”
The first team to five goals wins the game, and matches are best out of three. Today the title of Aqua bowl champion is up for grabs. But before there can be winners, there must first be a spark.
“Underwater Torpedo league originated from a game called underwater football that we used to play as a survival training game, water survival training technique and game in the Marines. Why is this not a sport that is what we were thinking in 2009 why is this not a sport? Fast forward to several deployments and special operations, both Don and I got out in 2017. We put our heads together, and this is what we came up with.”
Putting their heads together is nothing new. Both men worked with one another as water survival instructors at Camp Pendleton and saw firsthand the physical commitment needed to survive extreme water conditions. So, they devised a similar strategy to get athletes interested in the league in shape.
“The deep-end fitness program we teach non-swimmers how to be confident in the water. How to survive first before we even teach you how to swim. And that comes from the military background. Like hey if I was thrown off a ship right now what would happen? Would I know how to survive, will I know how to tread water, will I know how to find people to help me support me.”
And support is a crucial element of the culture Don and Prime have built.
“Guys coming out of the military lose that sense of community as soon as they leave, and they lose their identity in a certain way. They don’t know where else they can go. So they can come to a place where they can collaborate, work together, push their limits together, challenge each other, and be in a competitive environment.”
But it’s not just the competition that’s a benefit.
“It’s such an amazing tool for people to kind of change their mindset and push past so many different obstacles that they have in their own mind. From anxiety, depression, stress management you know. And that’s the tool we want to make sure that the people understand in the world that they can use to help these things. Instead of like taking antidepressants and all these pills.”
Both men felt a sense of duty when they enlisted. Now, Don and Prime have found a new calling.