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Make waves with the Kymera jet-powered body board

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January 11, 2011

The Kymera jetboard is a jet-powered body board

The Kymera jetboard is a jet-powered body board

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Longing for a cheap and easily transportable personal watercraft Jason Woods took matters into his own hands. He set about designing a jet-powered body board, light enough to carry under your arm, small enough to fit in the trunk of a compact sedan, and efficient enough to enjoy all day without breaking the bank. Although the first three prototypes ended up at the bottom of a lake, the young garage designer persisted. Three years on his dream has become a reality – introducing the Kymera jetboard.

The idea came about in 2004 when the water-sports-loving Woods found the upkeep and transport of his 1960's era ski boat impractical. He was frustrated with having to own a gas guzzling truck to move his ski boat around, and then once on the water his leisure time was running at 5 miles per gallon.

“After selling my boat and truck I purchased a sensible sport compact to save some money,” Woods said. “Missing the water I drove to the lake one summer day and sat by the shore and realized there were ten times more people on shore milling about than there were out having fun on the water.”

He realized that there were two groups at his local lake; those who can afford the big boat and big car to tow the hefty things around, and those who can't so just stand on the bank and watch. Bridging this gap became his inspiration.

“I really wanted to create a personal watercraft that had all the fun and none of the hassle of jet skis or boats,” Woods told Gizmag. “My specific goals were that it would have to easily fit in or on a compact car, it would have to be safe, it must be easily hand carried and launched anywhere and it had to be able to run all day. My inspiration though, really came from watching people at the lake awkwardly wading at the waters edge while the privileged few were out on the water.”

The name Kymera was inspired by a species of deep water shark

The next day he embarked on a journey that would last three years. In his garage he set about researching materials and propulsion systems. He worked through designs that allowed for speed without adding too much weight.

The first three prototypes sank. Undeterred he learned from his mistakes, along the way gaining skills in molding carbon fiber until the current hull design began to take shape. The two main issues he faced were displacement, that is refining the delicate balance between weight, size and flotation, and getting air in and keeping water out. Eventually he got it right and after developing an electronic ignition system, trialling a number of steering methods and overcoming issues with overheating, he was ready to take to the water.

“I have only taken it out in public a few times but consistently everyone wants to know 'what is it?!' and 'where can I get one?'" Woods said. "Occasionally people respond with 'Oh great, now I'm going to have to buy one for little Johnny'” he said. “Its really been the most rewarding part of the project seeing the overwhelming reactions from everyone who's seen it.”

The current model has a top speed of around 15 mph (24 km/h), depending on the weight of the user, and is driven by a 6 hp micro jetpump which puts out around 55-60 lbs of thrust. The total weight of the Kymera is around 10 lbs (4.5 kg), with the engine, jetpump, electric start, and intake / exhaust system accounting for 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg).

Woods says the Kymera can run continuously for over two hours on less than a quart of 92 octane+ plus fuel, which is its current fuel capacity. "I would argue its the most fun you can have for a $1 these days,” he told Gizmag.

The name Kymera was inspired by a species of deep water shark and the design and name are both patent pending. Jason Woods is a 27 year old sound, lighting and video engineer working in corporate event production with design one of his passions and hobbies since high school – one that he said he would like to pursue more closely now he has been given a taste through developing the Kymera.

If you'd like to give him some encouragement or maybe purchase a couple of thousand of the Kymera to help him realize his dream of quitting his day job to concentrate on developing the jetboard, he can be emailed here.

The Kymera isn't the first example of the powered-board platform we've seen – if you have a little more room for freight there's a already a stand-up option on the market in the form of the Powerski JetBoard.

The short video gives a taste of the Kymera in operation:

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12 Comments

They had something like this at the hotel I stayed at on Waikiki beach back in 1976. It was battery powered with a caged, ducted propeller underneath far enough out of the way to prevent one from having any accidents. There was a single handle to hang on to at the front of the board, and a rubber tube on one side that acted as an on/off switch to control the motor.

Being nine at the time, I rented one on my family's room tab for several hours, and then went swimming in the hotel pool for a few hours more. By the time I was done that day, I had a sunburn so bad it turned into a gigantic blister across my back and shoulders, which later burst and turned into a scab that was peeling off in pieces for several weeks afterwords.

Good times.

Timothy Neill
12th January, 2011 @ 03:38 am PST

Cool product, I wish him lots of success. Perhaps the military would be interested?

I hope he used a 4-stroke motor, since air quality laws prohibit use of high pollution 2-stroke motors in several states. Electric power might be an option..

Nicolas Wan Chai
12th January, 2011 @ 04:56 am PST

6 hp micro jetpump? What kind of engine is a micro jetpump?

This sounds like a promising toy, but I think 15mph might be too slow to get people excited. Personally, I'd be willing to pay a lot more for one that'll do 25mph, at which point i can start injuring myself.

Will this thing be salt-water compatible? If so it could be uber fun at my local breaks in california, launching off waves and really pissing off the local surfers.

10lbs total weight is pretty amazing... i would really like to learn more about this 6hp engine he is using... and lets see what it would take to bump it up to 20hp.

BJG
12th January, 2011 @ 12:36 pm PST

Sounds like a good project for kickstarter

Kiyoshi McComb
12th January, 2011 @ 06:16 pm PST

@Kihoshi I was just about to say the same thing!

Atley Bacchanalist Joseph
12th January, 2011 @ 10:54 pm PST

Thank you very much everyone for your emails and comments! Its really been overwhelming the response but I will get back to everyone of you! Ill Try to answer a few of the Major questions that Ive had.

First off a correction to the above is that the entire jetboard actually weighs about 28lbs the power plant (Engine, starter, jetpump etc) weighs less than 10lbs around (7.5lbs to be exact). And currently tops out at 15mph or so, however this is not because of a lack of power but rather a lack of capitol to design my own Jetpump from scratch to best use the power. With the right pump I would expect 20 ~ 25mph with no other modifications. But let me tell you 15 feels a whole lot faster when your face is 6in off the water.

There are also lots of other uses for my invention beyond recreation. Ive actually already designed and built a version for life guards that can be operated from the tower giving much needed visibility and speed. I also designed a radio fence option that would allow the throttle to cut back to 20% automatically if a child rider venture to far away from their supervisor.

Keep the questions coming! Ill also be responding to comments here on Gizmag, and again thank you all so much for all the support!!!

Jason Woods

Jason Woods
13th January, 2011 @ 03:02 pm PST

Almost for got the biggest question!? As far as pricing, it will be the best part of all! Based on all the information so far this should retail at a price comparable to a high end gas powered scooter. The production models would also have rotomolded hulls, like that of a whitewater kayak. Making them far more durable and nearly the same weight.

Jason Woods
13th January, 2011 @ 03:30 pm PST

What kind of timeframe do you expect before you are production ready? How many orders do you need before you'd be comfortable making the leap? This item is definitely worthy of a pre-order capable website.

BJG
13th January, 2011 @ 04:35 pm PST

very nice, would there be a possible electric model possible ? Is this a 4 stroke or 2 stroke ? What is the noise level of the engine ?

Dave Morton

Facebook User
24th January, 2011 @ 11:08 am PST

Hi, Love the creativity. Always wanted a portable jetski since I can't pack my SeaDoo in my luggage. Curious about the expected range at max power/speed. If you need help testing in South Florida, let us know!

Elliot

cwareusa
1st February, 2011 @ 07:08 pm PST

Lots of new opportunities for large scale production coming online! Currently working on a new Performance model as well as a 4 stroke hybrid version! Hope to start releasing limited edition models this summer and full scale production 2012. Follow our build progress at

www.facebook.com/kymerajet or on twitter Username: kymerajet

Jason Woods
14th February, 2011 @ 05:14 pm PST

When will they be available? The weight factor (or no weight) makes it for almost anyone.

Jennifer Cheyne
5th July, 2012 @ 05:11 pm PDT
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