it was in an airplane, coming back from my second snowboard vacation, when i realized there was not going to be a third. and thus, i needed something i could do around my house.
the leading assumptions were:
A. the kind of sport i would like is when i use all my powers to control an external source of power.
B. i can not be dependent on whether conditions to be as rare as 5% of the time. (maybe 50% is ok, but 5% – its just pretending.)
C. it has to be available where i live. no 1-2 hours of driving just to get to the place. although it can be done once in a while, i have to be able to practice at home.
D. safety: speed should be limited to around 40 kph as i prefer not to confront serious risk & use helmet and protection gear.
E. cost: i cant spend more then a day working for a day playing.
in light of this i started checking :
bicycle: fails at A.
wind surf: B.
skateboard: A, D (its done on concrete)
my solution to this was a new type of surfing. sand-motorized-board.
analyzing the surfing situation from an engineering point of view gave me a clue as It is a common engineering Technic to replace a spread force like the force of the snow or water on the surface of the surfer by one equivalent concentrated force working at one spot.
and indeed: a motorcycle rides sand in like a ‘wheelie’ position. the front wheel should be only just touching the surface. a very tiring position to the rider, stretching as far back as he can.
so i thought – why not let go of the steering at all, and take one leg behind the rear wheel? – the weight distribution would be close to perfect at a very natural position.
but the front wheel, should be replaced with a skateboard-like front suspension – to perform the steering operation – with no hands on the handlebar.
i chose the better performing tilting mechanism for this, as i knew (the hard way) that the regular skateboard would reach a speed limit at some point.
choosing the right power unite was done by observing snowboard and wind surf and determining that 10kw was extreme conditions . -so i went below it -to 50cc automatic power unite – that can give around 3-4 kw, and is reliable.
that set me up for the first prototype. but i only knew i had something when my expatiation – of falling rapidly – like in a snowboard and any other surfer i knew, was not realized, and the new vehicle was even faster and more stable on rough terrain then the scooter it was made from.
then i had a problem. with too many parameters to control, often interrelating, how do i take it forward? i used the one rule i learnt when i renovated cars: the effort in the making should be correlating the fun involved. “i should be having a lot of FUN”. and so i did.