An interesting take on the PWC – but will the idea float?
By Mick Webb
September 17, 2009
With personal watercraft design evolving at what some may say is “a rate of knots”, a rather interesting concept has come to our attention. The brainchild of Spanish designer Miguel Angel, this cross between a Jet Ski and a body board is designed with speed and maneuverability in mind – but does the idea have what it takes when the going gets tough and the water gets rough?
The narrow-hulled design sees the rider in a lying-down position, aiming to improve the aerodynamics and speed attainable by the craft, as well as emulating the sensations felt by traditional body boarders. Oversized sideboards feature to keep the rider from falling into the water while executing turns, with smaller sideboards at the rear aiming to keep a persons legs inside the craft. The front of the design has space for the rider’s arms to make turns, with a sloped chest ramp placing the rider’s line of sight in front of the digital instrument panel.
The concept is designed to house motors already available for the Jet Ski market, with the designer stating it would accommodate anything from 70hp up to 300hp - an ambitious claim given that the design is yet to be tested on the water.
Feasibility tests have been conducted via software and, although a prototype has yet to be constructed, the patent is, optimistically, for sale. Although this type of PWC looks like it could be a great ride on smooth water, potential problems arise with the placement of the rider’s body in rougher conditions. On a regular stand up or sit down PWC, a person’s legs traditionally cushion a lot of impact - and they are unable to do so here.
A PWC like the Samba demonstrates how the position of the rider gives essential leverage in the water, which the prone position proposed here does not. Although this design would offer improved aerodynamics in comparison to a regular PWC, it is the drag of the water that limits top speed as opposed to the aerodynamic profile. So while this concept presents an innovative take on the PWC, it has left us a little underwhelmed.
A design video of the body board / Jet Ski hybrid can be seen below: