Electric KiteBoard EV Hack

Tired of giant dangerous AWES? This one is quite small and extra dangerous. Take an off-road electric skateboard with regenerative braking, a NASA Power Wing (NPW), and a few odds and ends, and in just couple of hours this is what you get, an operational-research prototype for informing self-charging polar-windsled design. Total cost- 500USD


Wouldn’t a kitesurf/snowkite kite be a better choice? Eg. Flysurfer Peak

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Reinhart’s terrific Peak SS does not come in a small enough version for this EV. A PL Uniq would be the closest such match. The sole practical advantage would be a higher upwind angle. A small parafoil race kite would point even higher. However, the NPW is unbeatable by cost-to-power downwind.

Recently on the Old Forum, powerful Vortex-Lift was identified as the missing aerodynamic performance parameter measured in Delta Kite flight, that no one at AWEC2019 was able to identify. The NPW is a soft-delta, and gets its “grunt” from exotic vortex-lift. NASA got it right fifty years ago as Rogallo, Barrish, and other power-kite greats did hundreds of developmental prototypes.

The NPW therefore not only offers max power-to-weight, but its the cheapest, because its construction is so simple. The kite-board anarchist-punks of Tempelhof Berlin rediscovered the NPW in our time. Space-kite turns out to be cooler than water or snow wings. Its a truck not a sports-car, like wearing boots instead of sneakers.

The NPW is also the engine of the Inuit WindSleds on their Polar expeditions. No one at AWEC2019 had a more impressive AWE wing basis or track-record. Only the KiteShip OL is more radical. Compare with super-expensive rigid wings; one thump, game-over.