The Hover Board Comes Alive (Part 2 of 3)
How long did it take for this to go from concept to prototype?
It took me a long time to make (~8 months) because I’m really busy crafting Fletch’s boards. I was working on it a little bit at a time but then we had a baby so I had to put it down for a few. I finally took it out for the first time last weekend. (November 2010)
So when you finally got it out, how did it ride?
After several horrible wipe outs, I started to get it figured out. It is kind of like walking a tight rope and riding a wave at the same time. It’s super sensitive, so minor movements must be made to keep it in control.
So my initial design actually did work but I am in the process of glassing some stability fins onto the tail wing so that it won’t spin out.
And you’re able to paddle into waves on it and get it to plane? No straps?
Yeah, it is possible to paddle in and to surf it with no foot straps.
Can you control when it planes?
Yeah! I start out by driving a straight line, then by gently putting pressure on the back foot, it causes the air plane to take off just like a real plane does. Shifting my weight forward lands the plane. Again, I need to stress that the whole thing is really sensitive and not easy. If you add too much pressure, the board will fly out of the water.
I do believe that surfers will be able to try those crazy airs like Geno but first I have to practice more on just flying in a straight line. I caught a few waves on it before dark today and I’m getting more used to it. People are really tripping out on what I’m doing.
What’s been peoples’ reaction to this thing?
The main reason I’m doing this is to find out if it is possible to paddle-in and fly instead of using stinky jet skis to tow-in and not to use foot straps. I’m pretty excited because it’s working even though no one thought that it would and it’s cool to think I might be the first one to succeed at man-powered, hydrofoil surfing. A guy in the water said I looked like the second coming of Jesus Christ levitating like that. Pretty funny.