Australian invention combines wake-boarding with flying
Story originally published October 25, 2003 - Company now appears defunct: Whether riding a single-ski, wake-board, biscuit or banana lounge, you're unlikely to obtain the airtime promised by the SharkSki, a new Australian invention that achieves lift-off when towed behind a boat at 40 kms per hour, flying 4 to 18 inches above the surface with controlled air flow beneath creating complete stability. TheSharkSki redefines Wing in Ground Effect (WIG) craft design and performance. The WIG phenomena results in a "cushion of air" effect that in this case, provides enough stability for the operator to stand, kneel or sit, as well as the ability to lift the ski higher and turn or perform aerial manoeuvres. Control is achieved by weight distribution in a similar manner to water skiing or skate boarding and 40kmh is sufficient speed to lift a 70kg person.Inventor Wayne Cramer overcame the instability characteristics known in other WIG craft by utilising a new kind of design featuring winglets that capture the ground effect underneath and enable the SharkSki to ride on top of twin contra-rotating pressure waves. TheSharkSki is light-weight and can be carried on roof racks of an average car. Although designed to fit into the same market as water skis, wake boards and boogie-boards, the advanced WIG technology it represents has the potential to impact a far broader market including passenger transport, cargo transport and military applications.SharkSkiInternational are undertaking development of the invention with a proposed initial output of 5,000 units per month internationally at a retail price between $1600 to $2,200 AUD per unit. The company also has plans for the development of a motorised version - basically a flying jet ski.