A high degree of engineering R&D lies behind the PowerSki Jetboard, a combination surfboard / JetSki incorporating a 25 x 43 x 16 cm high, two-stroke, water-cooled, 45hp engine and an axial flow jet pump into a larger than average board to deliver a stand-up ride over flat water at speeds up to 65kmh.
And it doesn't just go in a straight line - jumps, nose-riding, high-speed "G-force" turns and tandem riding are all made possible by the advanced hull/rail design and centre of gravity placement that keeps the rider in place and enhances manoeuvrability and stability at all speeds.Sophisticated hand operated throttle controls including start/stop buttons, independent left and right thumb throttles, safety kill switch, plus speedometer and fuel gauges are found on a modular handle unit connected to the board via a 1.2m arm-pole made of rubber coated steel cable.
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The patented single cylinder, two stroke 330cc engine - the SuperTorqueXTTM - runs at 45 hp enabling the jet pump to put out 350psi of thrust. The current version weighs around 18kg but this is expected to be shaved back as the design evolves. The drive train includes gear-reduction transmission built into the bottom end of the engine that optimises the transfer of engine rpm into the jet pump.
A four-stroke engine for the Jetboard is also in planning.
The Power Ski is easy to mount and remount in deep water conditions and the wide board allows the rider to stand-up at low speeds. Turning is achieved by leaning in a way similar to water-skiing and the flexible handle gives the freedom to walk to the nose of the board and engage in other tricks.
Using the Jetboard in the surf is still in early stages, but as the above images show, the craft can get some serious air over jumps and in the right surf conditions.
Notably the Powerski philosophy is to ensure that the Jetboard doesn't compete with surfers for space on the beach but instead see a role for it in reaching normally inaccessible outer breaks.PowerSki Jetboard's began production in early 2002 but are not yet readily available in Australia.
New Zealand distributor Kiwi in Motion are phasing the boards in throughout the coming summer at an expected cost of around NZD$15,000.View gallery - 13 images