Two Former Marines Captain a Game Changer in Underwater Athletics

Underwater torpedo, anyone?

A new water sport attracting active military members and veterans, MMA fighters, CrossFit enthusiasts, surfers, lifeguards, freedivers, former collegiate swimmers and water-polo players got its start here in California.

Underwater torpedo tasks two teams of five players with placing a torpedo-shaped toy into a kid’s hockey net anchored to the bottom of a 13-14 foot pool. Sound easy? It’s not. All the action happens underwater, requiring swimming skill and breathing endurance. Pop above the surface with the torpedo in hand and that’s a penalty.

The sport was the brainchild of Prime Hall and Don Tran, two former Marine Raiders in the Marine Corp who spent years training in grueling deep-water situations. What started out as an underground sport among Marines, the game now attracts a variety of fit members looking to up their underwater game. One such participant is competitive surfer Cole Houshmand.

According to Outsider Magazine, “Houshmand, a lifelong waterman, says his first experience kicked his butt. When other players tried to tackle him, he lost his cool and dropped the torpedo. Throughout the game, he constantly had to pop up to the surface for gulps of air. But the more he played, the more he learned that underwater torpedo is as much about strategy as it is technique. Some players head straight to the bottom of the pool when they get the torpedo, eliminating chances of an attack from below. Others use a barrel-roll technique so they’re trickier to grab. Successfully passing and shooting in the water takes practice.

‘The torpedo changes direction easily, unless you’re super precise,’ Houshmand says. ‘My first throw ended up going backwards.’ And while ten minutes may not sound long, it feels like an eternity when you’re taking a single breath between plays. ‘Games are definitely tiring,’ he says. ‘Your muscles feel the effects of not having oxygen.’”

You can read more about this wild game here.

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