The kiteboogie: keep your tush 7 inches off the ground and go way too fast

Picture of The kiteboogie:  keep your tush 7 inches off the ground and go way too fast
Let's face it: kites are awesome. Especially steerable kites that can pull you off the ground. While last weekend was pretty enjoyable(snorkeling with harbor seals in la jolla and sleeping on beaches), I decided I needed a higher-velocity activity this weekend. The plan was to build a basic kitebuggy from scratch and go out to a dry lakebed and get pulled around much too quickly by a kite. And it worked! I'm sooo sore!

This instructable is about how to build a simple kitebuggy. It cost me about $100 total, and the only tools I used were a cordless drill and a circ saw. No welding required!

Now, after riding this buggy and looking at some kitebuggy websites, I immediately got lots of ideas of how to make it better. When I got back home, I immediately ordered a cheap mig welder and started filling up notebooks with sketches. Still, this one's pretty good, it'll move at an exhilarating speed, especially if you haven't kitebuggied before, and it's quick to build--probably a few hours once you have everything

woohoo! Kiteboogie on! There are some great kitebuggy pictures of us boogieing that my friend Dick took at http://picasaweb.google.com/ingenious.dick/MirageKiting

*as I'm publishing this one, I'm working on the next version. Let's just say I thought there was too much friction in this one, and I'm playing around with some tarps and gas-powered leafblowers. Tune in in a few weeks and see what happens!
What's the weight limit for the vehicle??
ilpug4 years ago
i will do this... i have an idea to use the remains of an old go kart, which will make everything safer, due to the fact that it has a roll cage, albeit a flimsy one.
MadScott7 years ago
If you go the hovercraft route, you'll learn something about why sailboats have keels and those wheels have to be pointed in some other direction than downwind....do put up pictures, though.
However, a hovercraft with 2 "keel" wheels that only provide enough side force to maintain a heading would probably have less drag than a buggy with 4 wheels digging into the sand. It could be the vehicle equivalent of a small planing sailboat vs. a large displacement hull.
prank (author)  Rectifier7 years ago
yeah, that's the general idea. I'm calling it a hoverproa and building the first full version this weekend (I built a few small gas-powered hovercraft yesterday that were able to support me). It'll have two wheels, each on arms about 6' long coming off either side of the main hoverboard. Both wheels are off the ground when I'm unpowered or doing a dead run and are pretty analogous to the ama in a real proa (although is an ama a windward hull?). On a reach or upwind tack, the leeward wheel will dig into the ground and let me maneuver without slipping downwind. Steering will work by pivoting the leeward wheel, and I'm still working out an elegant linkage or other mechanism to let me do that. I'm sure it'll take several iterations to get something that works well, but it seems like a buildable project. The original reason I moved to hovercraft was that I wanted to put a suspension in my next buggy, and a hovercraft is possibly the cheapest full suspension system, with the added bonus of removing almost all static friction from the buggy. Plus, saying 'kitepowered hoverproa" is just ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome! enough spoilers! Tune in the weekend after next for pictures of us taking the hoverproa and a few new buggies out to the desert!
um... do you mean a hovercraft powered by a kite? Also, how could someone do something like this without much wind? if its a bigger kite, how big? its not always windy here in ma... help appriecated. (sorry about spelling)
prank (author)  kaboomspray7 years ago
I mean a hovercraft that has separate engines to provide lift, but gets its thrust from a kite. In general, if you're going to use kite power, you need wind. Yeah, you could have a bigger kite in lighter wind, but I have no way of giving you an answer without knowing what kind of wind speed you're talking about. Generally, I've found that for land sports, you can get by with about 10mph wind and a 2m kite, but you're not going to go anywhere fast. Get some good ~15mph-20mph wind--there's plenty on the coast in MA, and then you can use smaller kites and have much more fun. I guess what it boils down to is that the simplest way to have fun kiting is to find places and times when there's good wind
andresm prank6 years ago
a hover craft would be cool, but you would only be able to go down wind since there is no friccion with the ground to move parallel to the wind, there for you would have to walk back to where you started
Am I the only one to catch the Dune reference? Anybody?
prank (author)  orangesrhyme7 years ago
oh thank god
Rishnai7 years ago
I just realized that I have almost enough junk to build one of these. Fun fun fun!
Runnerdude7 years ago
what if you put another larger parachute over you kinda like a powered parachute. Then if you made the boogie lighter you could go somewhere.
theque7 years ago
kiteman hasent even posted yet :o! :)
Honus7 years ago
shecki7 years ago
This is genius! Where is that desert?
jrosenk shecki7 years ago
that is El Mirage Dry Lake, part of the Mojave