Landsurfing vs Coasting?

WTF? Looks interesting… Where did you see that? At least it has one wheel.


One of the guys who works in the registry where I study designed and built it. I gave him a go on my uni the other day and he couldn’t get on it so I’m thinking he’s got a bit of “balance practice” to do before he starts getting up speed on the surfer.

I reckon it’s a cool design, check out the rollers on the wheel. I guess you’d want to be good at both unicycling and windsurfing to be able to pick it up quick (as far as I know, nobody’s ever ridden one of these).

I’ve recommended that he puts a Gazza or other 3" width tyre on it because he was finding himself sinking into the sand a bit. He’s considering putting a wheel with a smaller diameter on it but I’m not convinced that it’ll make it easier.

Might try and talk him into letting me have a blast at it :slight_smile:


I’d love to try riding one someday. Do you have a close-up of the wheel rollers? Why did he have to do that anyway? Is it so you can stand with one foot in the hole?

Is that bike/raft thing a pedal powered cat?


He just built it for fun.

I have seen blueprints of the design but don’t have them in digital format. That photo is from the Kiwi Ingenuity Expo at Pataka Museum, Porirua.

It’s the second prototype of Dan’s landsurfer. On the left is a paddle-boat-cycle built by another inventor, Dave Banks, and cycled all the way down the Wanganui river.

Unfortunately, the wheel interferes with the sail in this configuration, so he’d have to do a subset of normal sailing. Somehow to get the two from colliding… Anyway, cool photo! Thanks for posting it.

Assuming it works, it’s a lot less metal that it would be if you used a spoked wheel, hub, and a frame to hold it to the board. It looks quite elegant.

As U-turn mentioned, something needs to be done about the sail colliding with the wheel. This is a dead giveaway that nobody has actually ridden the thing yet. I’m not a windsurfer but I have a feeling you might need two points of contact with the ground for such a thing to work? Or at least training wheels on the front and rear.

Due to the much lower amount of drag you’d get on pavement compared to a board on water, you could probably get by with a much smaller sail. Especially when learning the thing!

Re: Landsurfing vs Coasting?

pete66 wrote…

Is landsurfing some kind of new way to ride a unicycle? The picture does not make
this clear. I am always on the lookout for new unicycling terms, which I store for
future expansion of my Multilingual Unicycling Dictionary, which I have been expanding
at low gear in the last few years. One day I will get around to publishing it.

>pete66 - Level 3 Unicyclist
>pete66’s Profile:
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Stay on top, Jack Halpern
Executive Director for International Development
International Unicycling Federation, Inc.

I dont think the wheel would interfere much. When riding, you have both feet on the board so your legs would be just as much in the way as the wheel would be.

I think the one place where the wheel might get in the way is in tacking, when the sail crosses the board to the other side. The solution would be to jibe when ever you wanted to change direction.

That thing still looks impossible to ride!!

When I first looked at it, I thought that it would be hard as hell to ride, possibly harder than coasting. But the more I think about it, the more I think it might actually be reasonably easy.

You can’t really write it of because nobody’s ridden it yet. The only guy who’s tried to do it, can’t ride a unicycle (I’m not even sure if he can windsurf!). I think that anyone with a good combination of unicycling and windsurfing skills would pick it up quick.

Unfortunately I’ve done virtually no windsurfing (I once stood on one on a still day). I’m not excellent at unicycling either.

It’s ironic that my cousin (who I haven’t mentioned the unisurfer to) has recently been trying to decide for himself whether he wants to buy a windsurfer or a unicycle!


It looks like it would be ridiculously hard to balance forwards and backwards on. I would put a free swinging small roller skate wheel on the back, like the ones on scooters. But I don’t know much about windsurfing.

Re: Landsurfing vs Coasting?

On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 17:07:32 -0600, johnfoss
<> wrote:

>I have a feeling you might need
>two points of contact with the ground for such a thing to work? Or at
>least training wheels on the front and rear.

Imagine a bicyclist seeing a unicycle and then saying that. Hehe.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

What is the world coming to when off-road unicycling is seen as conformist? - Phil


I don’t geddit, was that a “mmmm…interesting - coz I think he secretly didn’t design and build it”. Or was it more of a “mmmm…interesting - this link is also relevant coz it talks about wind affected one wheelers”?


i cant believe i let that thread slip past me! Kitesurfing is my other major hobby. I have thought many times of trying to combine the two but havent yet gotten around to it. Usually when i get my kite up, i’m too eager to get out into the ocean to think about anything else. I’ll make it a point to give it a go on the uni soon and get some vids to you guys. -erik

nothing as sinister as your first option
i’ve allways held (strictly theoretically, i’ve only ever tried flying a stunt-kite on a uni) that it should be fairly ‘easy’ as u can use the kite (in this case sail) as a stabiliser when u need to adjust your balance on the uni
when i saw this thread, it simply reminded me of the uni-kiting discussions we’ve had in the past
and i found it mmm,interesting that someone went back to the older, windsurfing technology to create essentially the first ‘working’ (till i see someone ride it) prototype

Too bad this thing is overseas. I wouldn’t mind being a test pilot. It actually looks very usable, but also very dangerous. The wheel isn’t really in the way of the sail. The only time (short of an accident) that the sail would cross at the wheel is just at the point of the tack where you would walk around the front of the mast, which isn’t possible on this vehicle anyway. All of your weight would be on that tiny section in front of the mast, creating an instant catapult situation if done at speed. However, at this point of a tack, it’s very difficult (for all but the experts) to maintain forward momentum anyway. You would naturally slow to a stop and walk around the front while trying not to fall in the water. While walking around the front on the ground, balance wouldn’t be a problem, and you could easily pull the mast forward to allow the sail to clear the wheel. During a jibe the sail goes around the front, so the wheel still wouldn’t be a problem for the sail. Instead, it would interfere with your foot repositioning, which I think would make it nearly impossible to jibe.

Another problem would be the changing amount of friction as the front tip lifts and drops during the forward and backward tilting of the mast (which controls the steering). When the mast is tilted forward, not only does the board turn downwind, but additionally there is a downward pressure exerted on the mast, and in this case on the front tip of the board. Yet, another high risk catapult situation. A longer board might help this problem a bit. I think it would be much more usable in the grass than in the sand. The wheel wouldn’t sink and the ski would have less friction.

The major danger is the possibility of high speeds without the benefit of water to crash into. The speed is addicting and a slight error or wind gust at the point of maximum power leads to a high speed catapult, which will knock the wind out of you even in the water, and on the ground, just might be a little more painful. Or, if you let go of the boom in time, you would save yourself from the catapult impact and would only have to suffer from the ground removing your flesh as you bounce and slide to a stop.

As Gild mentioned, mmmmmm.

Of course this unit might be very usable if it was based on a snowboard. Oh yeah, there aint much snow in New Zealand. And without a wheel, it wouldn’t be on this forum.


Folks, don’t get me wrong on the “training wheels.” Perhaps a different word is more appropriate. I meant something to roll on the ground instead of the board ends scraping. Not to be on the ground all the time. :roll_eyes:

I agree completely. It would be much more usable. But I’m pretty sure you would need a little steering on each wheel, with a mount that would keep it straight until pressure was applied (like a wheel mount on a skateboard, but with only one wheel instead of the side by side pair). When the wind blows you slightly off balance (which accounts for most of the time you’re sailing), you need to be able to turn the board a little in order to fine tune the combination of the front to back balance, side to side balance, and the sail power, all at the same time. That’s a lot to deal with before you consider trying to balance it on one wheel. Without steering on the training wheels, I think you would be doomed from the start. As it is, the board tips should slide enough to provide a little steering, but probably with way too much friction.

I still don’t think it would tack or jibe.

My test pilot offer still stands, wheels or not.