Intro: 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.
Step 1: 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.
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.
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.
Step 4: Fame!
It's been a while since I first published this, but it caught the eye of the New York Times. Nice.