Hands-On: Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls

For starters, this article has perhaps one of the most awkward sounding titles I’ve written in a long time. Questionable product naming aside, my 3-pack of Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls arrived and I popped open the package to see what lay within…

As the box states, the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls are made of soft material. Feels like some mix between plastic and rubber, but the material is actually more rigid than the previously released (and no longer sold) Storm Gun: Tsunami Balls (2001).

Unlike the Tsunami Balls, Hydro Balls are actually comprised of two more-or-less identical halves that fit into each other to make a complete sphere.

Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Ball split apart

Due to this design, the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Ball cannot be easily filled from a tap or running water. As the box shows, it is meant to be plunged/submerged into a pool or bucket of water for filling. The then loaded Hydro Ball is supposed to be thrown at ones target and should split upon impact, releasing its watery contents onto the victim.

As with the older Tsunami Balls, I fear that even though these halves should come apart on impact, this is not quite guaranteed and there’s still going to be a good amount of force received from a throw during the hit. While I have not tried throwing a filled Hydro Ball against a wall or tree just yet, dropping a filled Hydro Ball from ~1m to 1.5m (3-5 ft) into a bathtub did NOT always result in the ball splitting. In fact, about 50% of the time, the ball bounced with a decent thud. One can argue that this was because not enough force was applied to “pop” the Hydro Ball, but I found the impact disconcerting.

I do plan on running a little more testing before writing up a longer review for iSoaker.com. Nevertheless, these are my current impressions on these devices. Even if the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls end up working as advertised, I would still strongly recommend against and remain wary of potential head shots with these things. While balloons are considered messy and somewhat less environmentally friendly, when it comes to re-usable water “grenades”, the sponge-based fabric-wrapped devices remain my preferred re-usable throwable soaking device.

Soak on!

Hands-On: Nerf Super Soaker Torrent

Nerf Super Soaker Torrent
Nerf Super Soaker Torrent

The Nerf Super Soaker Torrent is, in a word, disappointing.

First, it is only about 12″ (30cm) from nozzle to the end of the pump grip, looking and feeling rather small. What got me most intrigued by this water blaster, despite being an obvious syringe-type soaker, was how the stream would look and behave.

Alas, due to the elongated shape of the nozzle, the Torrent dribbles… a lot. You pretty much need to load and shoot as quickly as possible, otherwise most of the water you thought you had will have leaked out of the nozzle. I suppose one can minimize water loss by holding the blaster vertically with the nozzle pointed upwards just after filling, but that is far from a comfortable position.

The stream generated it fun being tall and thin, likely able to soak a target more rapidly since the stream does cover more area. Alas, the dribble issue as well as the somewhat awkward feel of the pump grip will limit how far away from a refill spot one can actually use the Torrent.

While I may do a little more testing with the Nerf Super Soaker Torrent, I had higher hopes for the “fun” factor of this water blaster.

Soak on!