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An interesting take on the PWC – but will the idea float?

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September 17, 2009

The body board / Jet Ski hybrid design concept

The body board / Jet Ski hybrid design concept

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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:

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4 Comments

Yes. This is a great way to lose your teeth.

Anyone who has operated a jetski on waves knows that, once you get some air, the landing on the subsequent wave can be violent at times. It only takes one violent landing to really get a sore buttocks.

Now, let us consider the results of such a landing with a craft designed to put the riders face inches from the surface of the machine... Broken teeth, noses, jaws, necks, concussions, or for maximum points, all of the above.

Brilliant.

Ike Rai
17th September, 2009 @ 01:38 pm PDT

Rather than try to be a PWC, why not just make a full 3 point hydro like the outboard guys race? A jet powered hydro would be much safer and could even be stretched to allow 2 people. Still only for flat (ish) water, but there are plenty of of boats like that out there now. I see a new class of OPC racing.

Jonathan Hatfield
18th September, 2009 @ 07:11 am PDT

A reclined kayak would be much more attractive to me. The U.S. Air Force did extensive research on the design shown in the aricle, but for aircraft. It never worked out because the neck cannot support the head in thant position.

Ron Wagner
26th August, 2013 @ 03:15 pm PDT

I think that is really neat.

Perhaps put bat fins on the back and call it the Bat-Ski? I think it would be a stealthy way for Batman to sneak up on enemies who are on boats.

I would extend the part where the body rests so that there is a part that is cushioned and one can rest ones head on. Perhaps a small windscreen would be cool too.

BigGoofyGuy
9th October, 2014 @ 05:27 am PDT
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