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.
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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.
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canucksgirl3 years ago
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)  canucksgirl3 years ago
I think I was doing that while you posted that comment!
And yet another congratulations is in order. Well done Mark!

kz13 years ago
Now that's what I call recycling! Cool idea, Man. Now where did I put that kite...
Kiteman (author)  kz13 years ago
Hehe, thanks.
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.

Kiteman (author)  bouncebackability3 years ago
Thank you!
ilpug3 years ago
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)  ilpug3 years ago
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 Kiteman3 years ago
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!
BillyK126 years ago
whats up with all of the math equations?
What isn't up with all the mah equations?
fidgety26 years ago
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)  fidgety26 years ago
How about trying one of these?
Hmmm... These+ wet, graasy(muddy) hill+gravity might equal fun!
DRY grass+gravity. wear long pants.
DRY+gravity. Pain
yeah but pain = fun XD
Wet gravity + drygrass = fun pain!?
Alex Dee6 years ago
its awsome thought
unknown246 years ago
from bottles?
Kiteman (author)  unknown246 years ago
Er, yes?
unknown246 years ago
Kiteman (author)  unknown246 years ago
unknown246 years ago
ajs13136 years ago
you have re-invented sled dogs... an 80's version of ski-skates.... Great job on the low-tech angle...
KentsOkay6 years ago
Pimpin! Too bad the beach is a few hundred miles away....
Kiteman (author)  KentsOkay6 years ago
I guess they'd work on grass as well?
Possibly, but in my neck of the woods we have these big green spiky plants we call cactus...
Kiteman (author)  KentsOkay6 years ago
So wear your leather trousers... ;-)
Tis obvious you have never gotten involved with a member of the family Cactaceae
we have cactus at the beach here... now thats bad... :S
Kiteman (author)  KentsOkay6 years ago
I think I teach one...
Ever sat on it?
The cactus he teaches.
Kaiven6 years ago
Kiteman (author)  Kaiven6 years ago
Feel free - that is the idea, after all!
Kaiven Kiteman6 years ago
Yay! I might do this later. How can I get people to respond to a question I ask the community?
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