Introduction: Beach-skates - Kiting Shoes From Bottles.

Picture of Beach-skates - Kiting Shoes From Bottles.

My local beaches are all too soft for kite ground boards (KGBs), and I can't really justify buying a buggy, since I get out so rarely these days.

I don't do kite surfing (that's the North Sea out there - people that work out there wear survival suits in the Summer, and you want me to go out there in my keks??), so that leaves little choice but to stand still and fly.

Enter the beach-skates.

Step 1: The Concept.

Picture of The Concept.

On other beaches, with flatter, hard-packed sand, I have been able to skid quite far on the soles of my shoes. Unfortunately, as I said, my local beaches are all too soft for that.

Beach-skates are simple things - they provide a smooth surface to skid on, and can increase the size of your foot-print so that you do not sink so easily.

Step 2: Make the Shoes.

Picture of Make the Shoes.

You need two empty soda bottles, something to cut them and duct tape.

That's it, really.

All you do is cut a hole in the side of the bottles, large enough to force in your normal kiting footwear*, then use duct tape across the top of the hole in place of laces, to stop the bottles falling off so easily.

I cut a large block-capital I shape to provide two large flaps that can wrap over the top of my boots.

If your boots are large (compared to the size of the bottles), you may need to cut a notch to accommodate the heel.

*Safety note - if your normal kiting footwear is low-sided, you run the risk of jagged edges cutting your feet. I normally wear boots.

Step 3: Using Them.

Picture of Using Them.
It's a knack, really.

Put on your beach-skates, set up your kite for launch, and then go for it.

You will probably need to lean back more than usual, and beware of hitting small dunes or troughs that could catch the neck of the bottles and send you flying, but you're away.

Don't expect the bottles to last long (sand is abrasive), and they'll be useless for anything afterwards, but at least they'll go out with a little extremity.

  • Environmental note: do not leave wrecked skates on the beach. Take them home and recycle them properly.

(Sorry, no pictures of them in use, thanks to a 30mph off-shore wind, rain, and the need to get the Mini MOTed today)

Step 4: Fame!

Picture of Fame!

It's been a while since I first published this, but it caught the eye of the New York Times.  Nice.


canucksgirl (author)2012-06-04

Now you must add something about being mentioned in the New York Times! That's a huge accomplishment. Congratulations. This is a very cool Ible! ;-)

Kiteman (author)canucksgirl2012-06-04

I think I was doing that while you posted that comment!

canucksgirl (author)Kiteman2012-07-04

And yet another congratulations is in order. Well done Mark!

kz1 (author)2012-04-18

Now that's what I call recycling! Cool idea, Man. Now where did I put that kite...

Kiteman (author)kz12012-04-18

Hehe, thanks.

bouncebackability (author)2012-01-27

This is such a simple, but brilliant idea! Tres cool. Just a thought for people who have kayak sized feet - 3 liter bottles will comfortably fit size 14+ shoes. Thanks again.

Thank you!

ilpug (author)2011-08-28

This is probably one of my favorite of your Instructables that i have come across (i have kinda been loosely sifting through them recently).

I would like to try these on packed snow, wet grass, or just on sand dunes with no kite at all. I have little to no experience (yet) with large kiting, so the being-pulled-by-a-kite concept is a little inapplicable for me right now.

I also had a thought on how to improve these a bit. After you have cut the side open, and before you put in your boot, tape a piece of 1/2 inch PVC pipe onto the opposing inside edge, in such a way that when you put your boot in, you will sandwich the pipe in between the sole of the boot and the wall of the bottle. Since the bottle is relatively flexible, the pipe will make a ridge like a keel running along the bottom of the bottle, therefore improving the side-to-side stability.

Also, i would love to see a video of them in action, if in any way possible, and I'm sure that others would too.

Kiteman (author)ilpug2011-08-28

I never tried them without being pulled, and I don't think I ever will now - it's well over a year since I even unpacked my traction kite - my wrists are too bad even for ten-pin bowling now.

ilpug (author)Kiteman2011-08-28

Well, that is a major bummer. maybe you could make some kind of things you put on your arms to divert the load off of your wrists? I for one, am definitely going to try this idea in multiple environments, as soon as i get around some sand dunes!

BillyK12 (author)2009-05-20

whats up with all of the math equations?

Lance Mt. (author)BillyK122009-06-26

What isn't up with all the mah equations?


fidgety2 (author)2009-07-02

hey people I am currently at A BEACH (hilton head south Carolina and need awesome beach transportation ideas I like this one and was wondering if any one knows how to make a large kite for propulsion using these the idea sounds really fun and I would really like to try it out but need a really big kite like device to pull me.

Kiteman (author)fidgety22009-07-02

How about trying one of these?

Rock Soldier (author)2009-01-27

Hmmm... These+ wet, graasy(muddy) hill+gravity might equal fun!

el eliel (author)Rock Soldier2009-03-27

DRY grass+gravity. wear long pants.

Rock Soldier (author)el eliel2009-03-27

DRY+gravity. Pain

JoseAAV (author)Rock Soldier2009-06-16

yeah but pain = fun XD

Lance Mt. (author)JoseAAV2009-06-26

Wet gravity + drygrass = fun pain!?

Alex Dee (author)2009-02-27

its awsome thought

unknown24 (author)2009-02-19

from bottles?

Kiteman (author)unknown242009-02-20

Er, yes?

unknown24 (author)2009-02-14


Kiteman (author)unknown242009-02-15


unknown24 (author)2009-02-14


ajs1313 (author)2009-02-14

you have re-invented sled dogs... an 80's version of ski-skates.... Great job on the low-tech angle...

KentsOkay (author)2009-01-24

Pimpin! Too bad the beach is a few hundred miles away....

Kiteman (author)KentsOkay2009-01-24

I guess they'd work on grass as well?

KentsOkay (author)Kiteman2009-01-24

Possibly, but in my neck of the woods we have these big green spiky plants we call cactus...

Kiteman (author)KentsOkay2009-01-24

So wear your leather trousers... ;-)

KentsOkay (author)Kiteman2009-01-24

Tis obvious you have never gotten involved with a member of the family Cactaceae

amando96 (author)KentsOkay2009-02-03

we have cactus at the beach here... now thats bad... :S

Kiteman (author)KentsOkay2009-01-24

I think I teach one...

KentsOkay (author)Kiteman2009-01-24

Ever sat on it?

Bartboy (author)KentsOkay2009-02-02


KentsOkay (author)Bartboy2009-02-02

The cactus he teaches.

Kaiven (author)2009-01-31


Kiteman (author)Kaiven2009-02-01

Feel free - that is the idea, after all!

Kaiven (author)Kiteman2009-02-01

Yay! I might do this later. How can I get people to respond to a question I ask the community?

Kiteman (author)Kaiven2009-02-01

Just ask it - start a forum thread, or use the new "Answer" feature.

Kaiven (author)Kiteman2009-02-01

I used the answer feature, but no one replied to it.

Kiteman (author)Kaiven2009-02-02

Start a forum thread then.

robbtoberfest (author)2009-02-01

That's funny you beat me to this one; I was going to post the same project, but to use for downhill snow running/sliding.

Goodhart (author)2009-01-25

Very inventive

gmjhowe (author)2009-01-24

wow, extreme.... Nice work.

Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2009-01-24

Thanks. I'd actually forgotten about these until Adrian made a comment about bottle-based flip-flops being slippery...

Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2009-01-24

Aha! Credit where credit is due, mister! :P These are awesome though. I want to do this next time I go to the beach.

Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2009-01-24

I'm not certain, but I bet you could skid down a short-turfed hill in these.

Weissensteinburg (author)2009-01-24

Nice! I'd like to see a video of them in action...

About This Instructable




Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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