CARLSBAD — Chris Crawford didn’t set out to become a key player in California’s new drought order.
But when the state announced it would be shutting off outdoor showers at the state beaches, the Carlsbad inventor of a pressurized portable shower has become just that.
Crawford and his RinseKit have been featured on local and regional media outlets and the two-gallon device has become a hot-selling item for the beach-going crowd left frustrated by the shower shut off.
“People have been buying them up like crazy, it’s been huge for us,” Crawford said on Wednesday, the day the statewide shower shutoff officially began. “People who have been on the fence about them are now saying, ‘Oh, man, I gotta jump on this fast before they sell out.'”
Crawford said he’s even gotten his device into the hands of state parks’ officials, who have been eager to give beach goers alternatives during the shower hiatus.
“Everyone’s understandably upset about not having the showers,” Crawford said. “And when I talked to the parks people, they are looking for things like this, so when they are asked, ‘Well, what do we do?’ they can have an answer.”
Crawford, an avid surfer who was in pool construction, made his prototype back in 2012 as a faster way to clean up after catching waves. Soon thereafter, his father-in-law wanted one, and RinseKit was born.
The device puts water into a specially designed pressurized chamber, which expels the water from a showerhead when the valve holding it is released. Crawford credits his years in the pool and shower construction for the understanding he gained about hydraulics.
Popular with surfers the past few years, Crawford said he noticed an uptick in sales earlier this year, when beaches started unofficially downing their showers ahead of the state mandate.
“I would pull mine out after surfing and people would see and they would say, ‘Whoa, where can I get one, that’s awesome,'” Crawford said. “They were confused how it worked, but after I showed them how, they were really intrigued. We haven’t had one person say, ‘Oh, this sucks’ or anything like that, everything has been positive thus far.”
Then, when the state announced this month that it would take action as a result of the ongoing water shortage, consumers and the media latched on to the product, Crawford said, listing numerous television and newspaper interviews he’s had over the past few weeks.
Crawford said the devices also go hand-in-hand with the state’s water conservation message, as the shower unit only uses two gallons of water for a two to three minute shower.
“It saves water, and you get the same type of pressure that you would get from one of the showers at the beach,” he said.
One portable shower costs $89 and can be purchased at one of 50 dealership locations in San Diego.
For more information visit the company’s website at rinsekit.com