When we last checked in with Jason Woods, he’d electrified his Kymera powered body board and was aiming for a 2013 release and US$5,000 retail price. To finally get the Kymera in the hands – or under the bodies – of consumers, Woods has now decided to go the crowdfunding route. The good news is that, if the campaign proves successful, supporters should be able to enjoy their boards this year, and for as little as $2,500.

Although the original Kymera prototype was powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE), Woods turned to an electric motor to provide the starting reliability that he felt was required by search and rescue (SAR) users, which had shown interest in the Kymera. For this reason, as well as the regulatory costs surrounding the ICE model, Woods has chosen the electric model for his Kickstarter campaign.

However, this doesn’t mean the ICE model has been relegated to the annals of history. Woods says a successful launch of the electric model will enable him to continue development of the ICE model, with several propane engines and tank systems currently undergoing testing. He has also designed the hull and tooling for the electric model to facilitate a switch to a combustion engine with minimal modification.

But it’s the electric version that will be first cab off the rank, which will be powered by a 6 kW unit. However, to let users get their sea legs and maximize their run time, the motor will come tuned to 1~2 kW. To unlock the motor’s full potential, users will be able to plug their Kymera into a PC, which will let them adjust a number of parameters related to power usage and download data logs detailing metrics including voltage, current, temperature and RPM.

While there are plans for various sizes, Woods has chosen the 6-foot 4-inch (1.93 m) board as the first production model. This board will support riders up to around 6 ft 2 in (1.87 m) tall and 220 lbs (99.8 kg). Rider weight will affect speed and range, but Woods estimates the swappable 1,000 Wh lithium polymer battery is good for average run times of one hour and a top speed of around 10 to 15 mph (16 – 24 km/h). The battery should last from 300 to 400 cycles with proper charging.

Set to weigh in at around 48 lbs (22 kg) – 29 lbs (13 kg) without the battery pack – the Kymera achieves Woods’ original goal of a personal watercraft that is compact enough to be transported in a car without a trailer and light enough to be carried from the car to the water under an arm.

If the crowdfunding campaign is successful and the board is put into production, Woods plans to eventually offer the Kymera in three different sizes. This will include a “Rescue board” that will feature a fold out deck pad that will increase the board’s length to 10 ft (3 m) to allow it to double as a rescue sled. The Rescue board will also boast a remote operation capability so that it can be controlled from the shore or after being dropped from a helicopter.

This remote control capability will also be offered on a kids board that will allow parents to override the board controls from on shore. This board can also be radio fenced, so that if the child leaves the range of the remote, the throttle is cut to 25 percent power until they return to within the approved area.

Supporters can get themselves a Kymera for as little as US$2,500, which includes the board, battery and charger. Stepping up to the $3,500 tier sees the addition of a high speed, two-hour charger and two swappable battery packs. The $5,500 tier adds a Solar Roof Rack Charger, that will fully recharge a battery pack in 3.5 hours in full sun and can also be used to charge other battery-powered gear while heading off grid.

The next tier up is the Full Carbon Package at $7,500, which includes a limited edition board with a handmade carbon fiber hull that will come pre-tuned to 6 kW and sheds some 8 lbs (3.6 kg) compared to the standard model. Also included are a high speed, two hour charger and two upgraded 1,000 Wh LiPo4 battery packs that should be good for over 3,000 charge cycles. The top tier is the $10,000 Elite Package, which is essentially the Full Carbon Package, but with a custom paint job by airbrush artist Ed Hubbs from Full Blown Kustoms in a theme of your choice.

However, slots for all tiers are limited, so interested parties will want to get on board early. Once all supporter pledges have been met, Woods will be taking some finished production boards to the Marin County Fire/SAR teams to put them to the test in a real world rescue environment.

Woods’ Kickstarter video pitch for the Kymera can be viewed below.

Source: Kickstarter via Kymera

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    About the Author

    Darren Quick

    Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.

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    • This thing is awesome! I have to go buy one!

      Tom Woods
    • Meh, I'd rather have a Jetboard:


      I think I read they go upto 45 MPH!

      John Smith
    • Unfortunately Powerskis two Stroke engine make it illegal in the US. I believe they may still be in production over seas but at 200lbs and $18,000 its a very different beast. Thanks for checking us out!

      Jason Woods
    • re; Jason Woods

      As far as I can tell new 2-stroke engines are not illegal in the USofA they just have to meet emission standards that reduce the power to weight and simplicity advantage that 2-strokes have.

    • Out side of California your correct Etek type engines are still legal however the vesting process is extreme and can take years. Unfortunately the multiport fuel injection systems etc that make them so efficient also make them nearly as heavy and large as their 4 stroke counter part (just with fewer moving parts) as you mentioned. Having invested millions into their Torq XT engine powerski, got a bum deal for sure. Kymera wasn't designed to be the fastest, but was designed to be the simplest watercraft possible. I just wanted to create something that didn't require me to own a Truck, Trailer, Find a launch ramp, pay for storage, pay for gas, Insurance, licence etc etc. Just wanted to try to fill the gap between a $15,000 jetski and a $25 pool toy. Thanks again

      Jason Woods
    • Personally I think this is a great idea. I live by a lake and have wanted to get into water sports the last few years. Once I started looking at price points to actually be able to participate, I was extremely disappointed.

      Between purchasing jet skis, boat trailer and somewhere to store them, it became unrealistic. On top of that you have the price of gas always fluctuating and needing to constantly license the crafts. I went from wanting to get into water sports to being instantly put off by not just the prices but all that I would have to learn and figure out.

      This seems like a perfect in between. I also have small children and can see them having an absolute blast on this. I'm not looking to break the sound barrier here, I just want to have fun in the water. There are plenty of people out there that will find this very appealing.

      I hope the Kymera gets the funding it needs and becomes a mass market item. I will definitely want to get my hands on one.

    • i live in Michigan and there's a lot of smaller lakes like 90 acres that don't allow gas engines. this would be perfect.

    • love that solar charqer!

    • interesting, make it fully sealed and add some adjustable planes and take 'er under water too?

      Bryan Paschke
    • How to look like a giant seal lure! Next time I go fishing for great white sharks I want one of these... Its cool, but I might be a little nervous riding on one of these off the coast. I can hear the theme music to JAWS ringing in my ears.


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