Clark Whitehead spent his childhood floating on lakes and rivers with his family, and he was always the one hanging onto his parents' inner tubes or tying everyone's floaties together with ropes.
Then one night, the Petaluma native had an idea while lying in bed.
"A puzzle always holds together, and it doesn't need rope or anything," Whitehead said.
That was the seed for his new product, "Fluzzle Tubes." The inner tubes have protrusions shaped like puzzle pieces so they can be linked together, and a family or group of friends can float down the river without pesky ropes.
Whitehead teamed up with Eduardo "Eddie" De Arkos, a childhood friend he got to know during those family trips to the lakes. The two men, both in their early 20's, have landed an account with Big 5 Sporting Goods, which plans to sell the bright, bulbous tubes on store shelves by summer.