Tuesday, October 16, 2007

River Kite Whitewater Test

This project I am calling a river kite, it is essentially a two line stunt kite that flies in water, not air. The general principle of this is to place a board in a river, now by changing the angle of attack of the board relative to the water flow you can cause the board to sweep up or down stream. Floats are used to keep the board in the right orientation and control lines are affixed to the bow and stern. The goal of this piece is to create an object that facilitates exploration of a river through tactility. Its also just a lot of fun to play with.

Here is a short video showing an early prototype surfing in some whitewater on the Bow River here in Calgary.

The back story to this piece is that I spent quite a few summer days last year paddling down the bow river, playing in the eddies and current. From this experience I literally had a dream about a boat that could use the force of the river to float upstream. During a recent trip to BC I found myself camping next to a suitable river, so I spent a few hours whittling my idea from some scrap cedar, the result wasn't pretty but it proved the concept.
Further research taught me that the idea is not entirely novel, a similar rig is used for fishing in Sweeden as well as the otter boards on trawlers and mine sweepers. Oddly enough when I was purchasing some spectra line for this project from an absolutely fantastic kite equipment supplier in Airdrie I was informed about another gentleman who has applied the same principle for swift water rescue.


Henk said...

On this site you kan see what we call a gierpont in the Netherlands http://www.voetveren.nl/sub-overzicht/detail/Ge-0017.htm
On this picture you can see the small boats that carry the cable that is ankerd on the riverbed http://www.voetveren.nl/sub-overzicht/detail/img/opheusden2.jpg . By changing the angle to the flow you can go to one of the riverbanks.

David Bynoe said...

Thats fantastic, thank you sharing those links.