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Page history last edited by mckgyver@... 12 years, 8 months ago

 Development of skis for snowy conditions


My beloved kitebuggy is not very useful in snow. To fix this problem, I decided to make a set of skis to replace the usual wheelbarrow wheels.


Kite Buggy with skis for snow



In the closeup, you can see my new front axle retention system (Illustrated below). Right click and "view image" for higher resolution.


Kite Buggy Front Axle Retention System

I decided to develop a new front axle retention system. Previously, the front axle was lashed into place with 1/8" cord.

The new axle retention system allows for a quick change from skis to wheels.


Kite buggy rear skis (0deg camber)

For a first test, the rear skis were setup with 0 degrees of camber (not ideal).

Further tests revealed that 15 deg camber provided superior lateral stability.


Testing the kite buggy skis on the local sledding hill

Testing on the local sledding hill


Unfortunately I finished the skis on a zero wind day (typical). 




Concluding Remarks:

Performance: This solution allows for kiting in a narrow range of snow conditions. I have found that these skis tend to act as snowplows in powder. The ideal conditions for this rig seem to be firmly packed wet snow (typically found after a few weeks of letting powder compact). This machine is truly awesome as a sled! Unsurpassed stability (thanks to a 48" rear axle).


Possible improvements: Although this initial design isn't the most beautiful, it allowed me to quickly test the viability of kite buggy skis. The performance of the front ski could be dramatically improved through the addition of a central "keel" (possibly a teflon strip 3/8" X 3/8"). No matter what improvements I make, nothing can match the versatility of kiteskiing.



References/ Previous Attempts



To the South Pole with kites






In my opinion Popeye the Welder has the most comprehensive collection of information regarding kite buggies.
For images and plans by other folks, see his webpage:

Popeye the Welder's collection of snow buggies




McKGyver Home



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