Kite + Ice + Butt + Board


Introduction: Kite + Ice + Butt + Board

About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...
Your screaming steel blades carve the ice.
Your straining kite hurls you along at incredible speeds.
You are mere inches above the ice. Or suddenly wiping out all over it.
If polo is the "sport of kings", then surely kite-ice-butt-boarding is the sport of gods.
This week's Instructables TV episode shows you what you've got to do this winter.

For details and inspiration memorize, chew and swallow the following instructables:
Howtoons Ice Skate - Skate Board
ewilhelm's Ice Proa
radiorental's Convertable All Terrain Board

Step 1: Ice Awls - Important Safety Equipment

Also called "ice claws", these enable you to crawl back onto the ice if you break through.
Without them you'll be in big trouble. You'd have to go up and over the edge of the ice, continually breaking the weak edge or sliding back and falling back in. These awls let you drag yourself back onto the ice, staying low and spreading your weight out more. These are standard equipment for ice fishermen along with life jackets and sleds big enough to be used as a boat.

This pair of awls was made by drilling an undersized hole, pounding a nail in, cutting off the head and filing a point on it. The nails are off-center so you can drill a larger hole in the other awl and plug them together so one sheaths the other. Very slick. Wear them around your neck. These were made from chunks of broom handle and stainless steel ring nails.

Step 2: Blade Guards

Freshly sharpened edges make a big difference in how much grip you get on the ice. Your buddy's nonslip skateboard deck is great for blunting your edges in the truck.
Also spectators like to use your spare board as a chair in the parking lot. That's bad for your edge.
The solution: blade guards.

To make these blade guards I sawed a slot in some plastic tubing, bent them with a hot-air gun, and drilled a hole for a chunk of bungee cord.

That black leash is a chunk of bungee cord. Use regular rope instead.
The bungee could shoot the board at you in a wipeout.

The pink spot on the ends of each axle is fingernail polish.
Fingernail polish is the poor man's threadlocker. It keeps the nut from coming off. You can still take it off with a wrench but it won't wiggle off by itself.

Step 3: "Tie Fighter" Style Blades

This is my favorite style of blades. They are stiff but light.
I got this first set by prying them off a junk louver from some heavy equipment.
They were a nearly perfect shape already.
In this version I'm using three nuts stacked up as axle spacers.
Later I added the tie rods and made better tubular spacers on the lathe.

Step 4: Kite Handles Made From Lawn Furniture

If you don't know what "kite handles" are, don't worry about it. Suffice it to say,
Back before kitesurfing made "kite bars" popular, people used to use handles.
Many of us still prefer handles for land, snow, and ice kiting. The ones shown here are set up for four-line kites.

Here's my favorite source of handles, trashpicked lawn furniture and handicapped persons equipment.
Just saw off the bent part, drill holes, add ropes, and you're good to go!
Sometimes you get a handy grip in just the right place.
Otherwise it's pretty easy to contact cement some colored foam on for a better grip.
Bare aluminum is pretty cold on the hands, you'll want to cover it with something.



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    28 Discussions

    K.I.B.B. Boarding would be redundant. "Kite Ice Butt Boarding Boarding". Plain old K.I.B.B. or K.I.B. Boarding would work.

    air and speed, cooool. How about sky dive  canoeing?
    Do you think it would work?

    BLING!!!!!!! Kite powered ultralight ice golfcart.

    i built a type of this with wood and a sail.. its pretty cool

    That does it! You folks are completely destroying the publics perception of nerds. As punishment, I want you to go to your mom's basement and think about what you've done, and when you've compiled a list of every remaining gopher server you can have some Mountain Dew and Doritos. Oh and another thing, I'm inviting my fat, clumsy butt along next time.

    5 replies

    I tried making your butt board a couple years ago. Mixed results. - it pulled me off the board a lot. When it didn't, hiking with the wind turned the board into the wind too much. I tried making an outrigger foot rest, but that didn't work too hot either. I'm going to try your Ice Proa this winter.

    Hmm. I think I mostly rode with my butt hanging off the back, the board under my thighs. I'd shift back and forth to set the default angle to the wind. I'd have to check the video to make sure. Where were you riding? Was the ice good? How was the wind? do you have pix?

    The ice was great and the wind was a little gusty I guess(this was 2 years ago). I was flyin a 5M Frenzy in Minnesota. If the conditions are right I'll give it another shot.

    Where do you go kite+ice+ but+ boarding? Meaning... What type of climate do you use to get a frozen lake with no snow on it? (does this make sense?)

    i got an idea but u have to see in my next instructable

    I am going to make a completely tricked out ice buggy with flotation bladders (so I can use it on water), brakes, a way to switch the blades for wheels (to use on land), and a padded seat!! (instructable coming soon[maybe])

    awesome video. after i saw this i bought a 5m pansh kite and made a ice skate board out of one of my old skateboard decks.


    11 years ago

    I saw something similar on a late-night tv show where someone was skiing down a hillside, using a hang-glider to pull of some gravity-defying stunts. It wouldn't take any tinkering, but alot of skill to pull it off.

    That, looks totally fun! More so than cable boarding :) <<-- in which I found my limit on where the helmet camera goes... Not where it can get completely submerged :P Where did you go for the ice?

    2 replies

    The video was shot on a couple of outings to Quaboag Pond and Lake Quannapowitt in MA. The video in my ice canoe Instructable was shot entirely on one Tuesday on Lake Quannapowitt where the zeroprestige team went to Lake Q for a morning session, and then went to work. None of us could focus at work, and the wind was still blowing, so we just went back to the lake for the rest of the day. I still get shivers of pleasure down my spine just thinking about that day!

    Ahh - very cool (ha! a pun :P) It had me confused for a bit -- considering the temps in SF :P