Once it's too cold to kitesurf in the water, it's time to find a frozen lake and kite on top of the water. Build a "traditional" Polynesian ice canoe using aluminum extrusion or whatever material you have at hand. If the water ever froze in Polynesia, I'm sure this is what their ice kite/sail craft would look like.
Initially, I cut some ice skates out of steel, sharpened them on a belt sander, and bolted them onto Saul's old sand buggy. This ice buggy moved fast, but I felt like I was always being pulled out of the seat by the kite.
Step 2: A brief introduction to kites
All kites fly and generate force within some quarter sphere defined by the kite itself, the pilot, and the conditions. The homemade 9 m2 nasawing, shown here flying above Quaboag pond, flies in an angle a bit greater than 135 degrees; some very efficient foils can push that angle much further.
Step 3: It's all about the edge
To get going on the ice buggy, you edge against the pull of the kite and use only the component of force that points in the direction you want to go. Rarely do you want to be pointed directly at the kite, so the pull of the kite is almost always to the side. Since your feet are used to steer, there isn't much to hold you in the buggy. (Some more advanced buggies have specially designed seat to counteract this problem.)
Step 4: Turn to leeward!
After a full day of ice kiting left me with a sore back and bruised hips (especially after a couple of crashes where I was actually pulled completely out of the ice buggy), it seemed clear I needed a proa type vehicle - something which has a constant windward and leeward side. I wanted to sit with the wind to my back and use my feet to steer and to hold my position in the vehicle.
Bio:Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others ...read more »