Innovations in hydrofoiling are rarely far from the headlines these days as the sport of sailing has spread its wings and taken to riding above the waves instead of slamming or surfing amongst them.

But who needs the wind? It's often absent at the vital moment... so why not let the legs do the work instead?

 


 

Of course the beauty of this machine is that there is zero buoyancy. Not brilliant if you get a cramp halfway across a Piranha-infested Amazonian swamp, but ever-so-convenient for carrying on your back for the rest of your hike across the wetlands.

Another potential application for the technology could be as auxilliary power for foiling dinghies and yachts. Pedals could be capable of providing the extra speed needed to fly on the foils in light breezes, just as oars once served aboard Viking ships.

For fans of human powered hydrofoils there is a website devoted to many of the known permutations called, conveniently, www.human-powered-hydrofoils.com. Here you can find a video from 1953 also on Youtube demonstrating another extremely simple but ingenious human-powered hydrofoil (see video below).

 

 

More ingenious waterbourne machines on www.boats.com


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