Introduction: Jet Powered Skateboard

Picture of Jet Powered Skateboard
What do you do when you're out in the desert with kitebuggies and hovercraft and the wind dies? Make a jet powered skateboard, of course!

This is a pretty short instructable, but I was pleased with how well it worked, so I want to throw it up and see what other projects it can inspire.


Step 1: Making It

Picture of Making It

Take a skateboard. Affix three leafblowers to it. Go!

My leafblowers were Featherlite leaf blowers I got from Osh for $70 each. I got them for my kite-powered hovercraft, which we were planning on testing in the desert the day we made this, but unfortunately there wasn't much wind. The leafblowers are advertised as the lightest gas leafblower, and they're pretty decent, although every now and then the spring mechanism that winds the pullstring back up jams and I have to take it apart and poke it a bit.

We used duct tape to mount one leafblower on the back and held the other two. There's not much force on any leafblower, so why make a more complicated mount than you need? After piloting our creation around the desert for a while, we all agreed that you get better performance if you hold the leafblowers close to the ground and pointed slightly downwards.

I'd suggest using a longboard, since they've got more room for both you and the leafblower.

Step 2: What's Actually Cool About This

Picture of What's Actually Cool About This

So, with the three leafblowers we had, this setup was pretty underpowered for moving a person. However, when we mounted all three on the skateboard and just let it go, we were pretty surprised to see it go shooting across the desert at about twenty mph (I couldn't outrun it--we had to chase it in our cars).
I think there's a lot of potential for adding a radio-controlled rudder behind the blowers and making a R/C jet skateboard. That's just pretty awesome, and these suckers are FAST on their own!

A quick search on youtube shows that there's a bunch of people who have played with putting blowers on wheels. Make your own! Write about it!


miladrescue (author)2013-07-24


John Smith (author)2007-11-13

Ahhhh, try this on skates! It gives fast a new meaning!

bruno13069 (author)John Smith2011-07-11

Unfortunately, I see a Wile E. Coyote moment if someone tries that, John. ;-)

Taoiseach (author)2011-07-10

It would be interesting (yet dangerous, do not try, blah blah blah) to try and attach some improvised afterburner to the exhaust, have some butane injected into the compressed air. A project in itself, and definitely not something to be mounted on a skateboard, but still, a modded, turbocharged leaf blower would be pretty handy.

where would you get a cordless one

cordless what?

monster9500 (author)2011-02-21

have fun running away from bob cats with that

the_burrito_master (author)2011-02-16

Makes me want to build my own jet and see how that works XD im sure you could make a small electric jet engine inside a 5 inch pvc.

GeekyAdam (author)2010-02-04

You know, if you were to add or modify the exaust tubes for the end of the "jets" so that they're more narrow, you'd most likely get much more fushing force out of them.
Since you left the end of the nozzles how they are, they displace air over a wider area, wasting much of the air's pushing force on the way out.  If you concentrate more of the air out of a smaller exit tube, the air doesn't displace as wide, which would propel forward more.
Just my $.02.

Derin (author)GeekyAdam2010-04-06

Agree. If you look at you will see that the engine has the small volume core air going through a cone. It's not visible but I believe the bypass air gets the cone treatment too.

the gizmoman (author)2009-12-16

would be more interesting if ya put  those jet engines for the rc airplanes on it

=SMART= (author)2009-09-05

haha awesome

Saved July 13, 2009 (author)2009-08-31

That sounds like a good idea!

_Scratch_ (author)2009-08-02

You can get a leafblower at almost any hardware store

Prof I.tiki (author)2009-05-09

I love this idea I think it needs 5 stars

alaoeneye (author)2009-05-01

Where can i get a leafblower

Electroinnovation (author)2009-02-05

How much does each of those leaf blowers cost?

$70 , he mensioned it.

belinda109 (author)2009-04-02


el eliel (author)2009-03-27

ha-ha! add this one to this one! my neighbor has one of those fan packs for parasailgliding or whatever it's called. I want one for whenever i feel underpowered/bored/late... but fan powered ice boarding... wow what a way to drown!

Starshock01 (author)2008-12-08

try a long board, the wheels are larger and take bumps eaiser

masterochicken (author)2008-06-18

Is this at El Mirage?

prank (author)masterochicken2008-06-18


masterochicken (author)prank2008-06-19

I learned drive a stick there. Acura Integra. Very fast. i also went there after I got my YZ 250 F. Also very fast. I always see those sail cars there. Me and my dad have been talking about making one.

Daax (author)2007-12-08

Another suggestion would be using a large clunky (but lightweight) longboard, but not like a pintail or anything like that. I mean one of the boardwalk types that sector9 has so many of. And get some big soft wheels. Anything bigger than 55mm and softer than like 75a. Needless to say you'll also want 180mm trucks. It also needs a convenient way to turn all three on and off. As for a rudder: I'd say forget it. Steer it just like you would any other board. Still think the idea is awesome. Tons of people talk about stuff like this, but few actually try. Hat's off. This ones got me thinkin' 'bout modifying one of my boards for this.

Daax (author)2007-12-08

If you want it to go faster, I recommended angling the blowers slightly towards the ground. Just slightly though. This should give you a bit more push. I love the idea, but looks like it has a way to go before even beating how fast someone can go just using their foot on a drop board.

callmeshane (author)2007-11-15

The thought of compounding the turbines is appealing. It's called multi staging. The reason it's not used with RADIAL turbines (leaf blowers) is that the pathway between the stages is rather torturous and the units become significantly larger than an AXIAL turbine - for a given output.. But since you have three of them... I'd be linking the outputs of the two turbines, into the inner stage, of the third turbine...... The maths of it all escapes me for the moment.. and it's been a while since I studied it... Having one motor with their OVER SPEED issues, well, running two identical DRIVEN compressor turbines in series really doesn't do much, aside from sort of halving the load on each motor. But feeding the COMPRESSED gas flow, from 2 driven compressor turbines in parallel, into ONE compressor turbine.... Ummmmm brain hurts... It's like this, it's the combination of the EJECTED MASS and the PRESSURE of the ejection that creates thrust. Without getting too complex about it all (my brain really hurts).. Say we have 10 units of mass (Kg's or Lb's of air) and 10 units of pressure (KPA or PSI) to play with. That in total gives 100 units of thrust. However if we (I am digging myself a hole here - sort of).... If we half either the mass of air or the pressure and inversely we double the pressure or the air mass.. we get the same amount of thrust. But if we INCREASE the volume of mass driven and increase the pressure it is driven at, we get an increase in thrust. Think of it as POWER.. or taking a water stream (garden hose) to a soft dirt embankment... And the hose is flowing 10 liters a minute... it doesn't matter whether the pressure is very high (small jet stream) or the pressure is very low (wide soft jet) - the same mass of dirt is washed out and carried away by the water.... But increase the volume of water and the pressure of the water and the capacity to wash out and carry away the dirt increases. Personally I think that while the maths and physics are irrefutable, I still feel that what ever the output of the small motors are, that the machines are better driven by direct drive to the wheels.... That or a bigger and better type motor and air drive.. Like a 1500W or 2Hp motor and a proper airscrew (jet turbine or propellor / air screw...) Better yet, buy a bicycle and ride it.

bofthem (author)2007-11-15

Dude. Submit this one to the Mashup contest, seriously.

maruawe (author)2007-11-14

You should mount all three into one outlet at about a 45 degree angle to the ground about 6 inches from the ground thereby tripling (almost) your thrust

prank (author)maruawe2007-11-14

Thanks for the tip, maruawe! Can you tell me why that would triple my thrust?

maruawe (author)prank2007-11-14

multiply 1 x 3 and you get three times the volume of air coming out of 1 nozzle and with you standing you are losing thrust from the two hand helds. and I said almost three times, I don't have the figures to input for the correct thrust, but it is hardly possible that you can maintain the correct angle for max thrust. Also use 1 trigger for all three to maintain balance air flow. you can figure the thrust and angle if you can get the correct volume of air from each blower, I feel that they should be at maximum power for maxium thrust but be able to cut back on gas feed. the angle should be set for maximum pressure on the surface...... Please don't get me wrong you have a good idea and maybe able to manufacture the product. Years ago I made products just like you thru trial and error.. Thankfully a person saw one and made me an offer that I could not refuse........she gave me good advise that I follow to this day 40 years

lilpunk1302 (author)2007-11-13

Not really much of a jet, or instrucitble for that matter, but the rc Idea is good, make sure you update this if/when you get it done :)

trebuchet03 (author)lilpunk13022007-11-13

Not really much of a jet,

Not really much of a jet. Textbook definition of a jet? yes :p

a nozzle intended to eject a fluid in a coherent stream into a surrounding medium

If that's the definition of a jet then this is all wrong. There's no fluid, and I see no stream. But you're right, in every other way it's definitely a jet : /

MrTrick (author)Erik Lindemann2007-11-13

Air is a type of fluid. The air coming out of the blower is a stream of fast-moving air, and it's coherent (all going in the same direction)

lilpunk1302 (author)MrTrick2007-11-13

How did this turn into an argument on what a "jet" is, When i(and I can only assume most of you) clicked the link, in the back of your head you were thinking, cool, a jet(as in a Turboprop or something to do with something flammable, and i for one was disappointed to see that it was just grabbing a leaf blower and hanging on to it. NOTE: I have all the new instructibles delivered to me through Google Reader, so i didn't get to see the picture of the board in "action" until I clicked So yeah, could we please end this, thanks :)

Visitor (author)lilpunk13022007-11-14

If we insist on using laymans terminology, "turboprop" wouldn't actually classify as a "jet." Blame the original author who wanted to fool you. "Leaf blower powered skateboard" wouldn't have attracted half as many views as this.

trebuchet03 (author)lilpunk13022007-11-13

in the back of your head you were thinking, cool, a jet(as in a Turboprop or something to do with something flammable,

Not my head :p I also grabbed it over the feed. No assumptions, no disappointment :p

As said already, air is a fluid ;) Anything that deforms under shear (independent of stress magnitude) is a fluid (which includes liquids and gases). Basically, if it can flow - it's a fluid :) Visibility is independent of it's classification ;) Similarly, if you were in the middle of a deep pool of water - you also wouldn't be able to see any flow streams... Unless there was something else in the water (perhaps sand) moving with the current.

tyeo098 (author)lilpunk13022007-11-13

I second that

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