There are already human-powered devices that allow you to walk on water, plus there are electric motor-powered stand-up paddleboards. The WaterBlade, however, appears to bridge the gap between the two. It's a floating platform that you stand on to "walk" across the water, but it also has a motor to help make things easier.
Designed by architect Gameli Cruz, the WaterBlade is intended mainly to be a fitness device that works the legs, abs and butt. Although the pictured prototype is made from EPS foam, plans call for the commercial version to have a heavy-duty inflatable body.
A 12-volt, 624-watt lithium-ion battery delivers power to a 0.85-HP electric trolling motor, located at the end of a fiberglass shaft extending beneath the device. That motor delivers 55 lb (25 kg) of thrust, allowing users to actually make some progress across the surface instead of just waddling back and forth on the spot.
The gun-like gizmo on the deck is actually used to start and stop the motor, plus it allows users to switch between five forward speeds and three in reverse. At its top speed of approximately 6 mph (10 km/h), the board has a claimed run time of five hours. Its battery level can be viewed on a built-in LED indicator.
Steering is achieved simply by leg movements, with EVA foot pads helping to keep the user's feet from slipping. In the event that they do fall off, an included ankle leash will cause the motor to cut out until they can get back on.
Cruz is currently raising production funds for the WaterBlade on Kickstarter, where a pledge of US$1,650 will get you one – when and if they're ready to go. You can see the prototype in use, in the video below.
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