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rtz


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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 07:55 AM
The Blokart...


Earlier this year on March 10th; we had a local guy take a ride in an ambulance from our buggy session.

It was me and two others. The guy that got hurt was our newest buggier. He was also a very good kite flyer. The day we were riding; we were fully lit up and hooked in and zooming around for hours on 3m Fluxes. Then a tremendous 40 - 45 gust blew in. I was actually flying a 4m at that moment as I felt the wind was "slacking" earlier. Set my highest speed run of the day of a "smoking" ~30mph on that gust. Heard some odd but familiar metal clanking sound emanating from the other side of the field; looked over and his buggy was rolling across the field, minus him and that sound was his front fork bouncing left/right against the downtube as it rolled across the field. Saw that he had got pulled out. Didn't know he was knocked out!

Turned around to tack up wind; and an even bigger gust blew through! Now I'm sure you've been in the situation when the buggy goes into a certain slide and due to the conditions; know that as long as those forces are present; there is no stopping the buggy in the slide(experienced that a few times myself). Well there I was; supremely overpowered, in a slideways slide; and I was getting concerned about my approach to the fence that was still a ways down wind. Had I been able to unhook; I would have jettisoned that 4m Flux into the lake. But I could not get unhooked(and I was only on a pulley, not a hook!). So I steered the kite down to the ground.. Kite ended up going into the lake. It wasn't so much winding up against the fence that concerned me; it was getting pulled over the fence that I did not like the idea of. Just a 4' chain link with a string of barb wire along the top.

So I wind up my lines and reel in my kite from the lake so I could air dry it(not knowing he was knocked out). When I emerged from the lake edge; the ambulance was there. Went over there thinking I'd have to go pick him up in a couple hours. He was in for 2 weeks at the hospital. Then a couple more weeks at a rehab center.

All he remembers from the buggy day is unloading it from his truck, setting up his kite and riding away. Never mind the couple hours riding up until whatever happened. He doesn't remember his time in the hospital. I went by there 3 times but he was sleeping all three times and I sure wasn't going to wake him. Guess he had some "brain swelling". Also fractured pelvis and some damaged vertebrae in his lower back. He's recovered now; still gun shy about getting back on the buggy though. Strictly because he can't recall what happened and that haunts him on the thought of it happening again based on the chance of doing that again based on not knowing how to avoid it.

He might have got lofted(high?) or pulled out at speed. I think he landed really badly; hence the hard impact. And yes; he was wearing a helmet. And it broke. I don't know if the crash removed it or the paramedics removed it. I had the broken helmet for a time and distinctly remember taking pictures of it; and now I can't find a single picture of it; despite never deleting any pictures for any reason(and not for a lack of looking/searching either!). I could get him to get a picture of it if anyone wants to see it. Somehow the left side panel of the helmet broke free. I told him he should call the company and say "I was wearing your helmet and I still ended up in the hospital". I just wonder had it not broke how he would have fared?

--

Jeff Bezos of Amazon said in a spoken interview: "You don't choose your interests; your interests choose you". That's the absolute truth. Everything I've ever been into; at some point; it just appealed to me.

I have tried and tried and tried extremely hard to recall the day or moment when for some reason the Blokart first started to appeal to me. How and why and when. I just can't recall exactly what it was that piqued my interest.

I'd been aware of Land Sailing for years. But it had never really appealed to me. I remember asking on this forum in August of last year about the Blokart. But I do not know why I did so at the time. Why was it appealing to me at that time?

http://www.powerkiteforum.com/viewthread.php?tid=33630

Then in february a local kiter was in town and was able to bring her Blokart and I got to try one out for the first time. Extremely windy day. Was on the 4m when the 3 would have been sufficient. 2 wheel city. My only goal was not to flip it(wasn't my cart). I was able to not flip it. The speed and raw power available; I was sold. I ordered one up.

Now oddly at first from between when I first got it and when the guy had his buggy accident; I would ride both. Somedays one; or the other. I was actually initially on the fence about the long term appeal of the Blokart. I didn't know if I was going to like it more or stay with it. At first it always felt totally out of control and I couldn't modulate or control my speed as well as I liked. Then he had his buggy accident and that really put a damper on the buggy enthusiasm around here. Me and 2 others I ride with were riding around much more conservatively after that. And I started to gravitate to the Blokart even more.

Now that I'm more proficient and efficient with the Blokart; it is definitely my main choice of leisure. Not an exaggeration; but I sail 7 days a week(on pavement!).

The last couple times I got the buggy out just to compare; it's just so slow in comparison and the speed is so up and down; stop and go.

With a GPS tracking my mileage; no joke more often then not at the end of a long day of buggying; I would average 16 miles. Sometimes a little less, or a little more; but more often than not; it would be at 16 miles.

I average 30 miles a day on the Blokart. On a windy day 40, 50, 60 miles is possible.

Top speed on the buggy more often than not? 20mph, 20 something on a windier day. I always tried and strived to hit 30 mph but some days it just wasn't happening.

My cruising speed on the Blokart is often 20 mph. On a windy day it cruises at 30mph! I sailed 60 miles one day back and forth on a 1/4 mile long sidewalk; most of it on two wheels! The inner tube was peeking out from the center of the tire at the end of that day!

If the riding area was bigger here; I'm sure I could run 50 or 60 mph. If we ever get the lakebed back; it's for certain.

Interesting aspects about the Blokart: Similar to the buggy in that it has 3 wheels. 6" wheels instead of 8" wheels. Has a windsurfing constructed sail; yet uses sailboat style rigging and control.

Things I liked about the buggy that I sometimes miss: Just how absolutely nimble the buggy is in maneuverability. Talk about turning in a tight circle and doing a u-turn on a point and being able to weave the buggy around. Also not being directly linked to the power source was cool. Could have the buggy going one direction and the kite the other. Or turn the buggy around first then the kite, or the other way around. Also being about to do things to extract power or speed. Loop the kite or dive the kite. There are times when the wind slacks and I'm topped out(sail sheeted in) and someone on a buggy is looping and diving their kite and I don't really have any other options available.

--

The last two times I had the buggy out; I was looping and diving the kite just trying to move; just trying to go, just trying to go faster and it wasn't enough. The other issue I always had with the buggy and part of the reason I owned so many kites was it always felt like a case of too much or too little in regards to kite size selection. Go small and putt around all day except when it gusts. Or go big and be nicely powered but then have to deal with the gusts. I can always run way more sail(and deal with it) then I could kite. And I ride circles around the buggy guys I ride with and I'm sure they resent it. I'm cruising at 30 mph all day and they may not have even broke 20mph. I'll run 30 miles and they will be lucky to break 10.

Once I'm rolling; I don't stop rolling.

--

The Blokart will appeal to you if you like high speed and going fast. If riding on two wheels appeals to you. If you like being linked up with and in tune with the wind.

If I had an electric 3 wheel recumbent bike or go cart I would find them boring. It's the interaction with the wind and being efficient in it and keeping the cart rolling is what appeals to me.

Also the cart is so much more relaxing and mellow. You don't realize how much constant and total attention the kite takes until you can do a similar activity and not have to do it anymore.

--

Also each time I've buggied I thought about how daily the extreme risks and dangers I indulged in so wantonly and willingly it blows my mind. I used to ride hard. Powered up, lit up, throw it, loop it, dive it. I had my 9m out one day in some light but gusty wind, in amazement how I used to so routinely fly that thing.

Also I would say most people on this planet rarely experience heart stopping; eyes wide open, hold your breath, that was close or that could have been bad type situations. And those were common daily experiences on the buggy. Things you felt lucky that it didn't happen like maybe it could have happened. And all the times I OBE'd and didn't get hurt! And none of those things happen with the Blokart and I can't say I exactly miss them.

--

Now it's my opinion that the price of the Blokart has kept it's popularity down. It is made in New Zealand and not China and has the price to show for it.

My take on the matter was: I may only live ten more years. That alone was reason enough to drop the money on it. Also; you'll only care about the price until you buy it. Once you have it you'll never think about it again. That's how it was with all my kites, buggies, windsurfing, and kiteboarding gear.

A lot of people never buy stuff not because they can't afford it or can't save up for it; but because they feel the item is priced to high for what it is. I was that way for a long time about a lot of things. But I hang out with a lot of old guys these days. Some of them are too crippled up to do any of these activities. Some of them don't have the fast reaction times to do these things. Some are not physically enough enabled to do these things. Some of them that are doing these things wonder on a daily basis just how much longer they will still be able to do these things.

But it just comes down to how much you want to do something.

As tight as the used market is; there are occasionally some available if enquired about : https://www.facebook.com/groups/115998078419854/

Worth every penny if you are looking for that next thrill, that need for speed, that full time hobby or activity: https://www.blokart.com/

You may not have a nice field to buggy in near you; but you likely have a nice enough parking lot to cart in.




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rtz


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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 08:10 AM


Also the offer still stands. If you are traveling through Oklahoma(I-35/I-40) or are able to travel/vacation(or even consider moving here?! I'll help you find employment); It would be great to have any additional Buggies or Blokarts or even land boards ride with us. Even kiteboarding and windsurfing. They do sailing too but I'm just not into that.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/115998078419854/permalink/19...



It's basically me(Blokart), another guy(64) who Buggies, and our other guy(50 something) who is out of action right now. Then we have; believe it or not 7 buggy owning fairweather kiters who come out ~ once a year or every other year(in the spring!).

I will say and still feel: The amount of hours and miles I have on a buggy(most of them on my folder) to this day will never be exceeded by if you add up all the hours and miles combined together from all those other buggiers that they have now plus any they get in the future. I had some serious years when I put in some serious time and miles. Most of those guys won't ride alone. In fact; only the 64 year old guy I ride with will(rock climber of 20 years(1974-1994), MTB, then buggy since 1999). I used to think I would be the last buggier left. But I didn't have the Blokart then either...




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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 08:20 AM



That is one heck of a tale and I am very sorry for your friend. I hardly blame him for being spooked. From first hand experience I know exactly what he is speaking about in not being able to remember the incident (in my case, a freak gasoline fight accident on aptly named wheels of doom) and how frustrating that is. "Did I do something smart in the air or scream like a diapered toddler at the moment of truth?"

The Blokart argument and explanation is compelling. I have business reasons to go down to Las Vegas from time to time and I think next time I'll try and take one of those Blokart tour days down to Ivanpah that they advertise and you see on the playa. I'm still going to buggy at IBX but this would be a fun way to dip my toe in the water.

Thanks for the write up - nicely played.




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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 11:22 AM


Sorry to hear about your kite buddy, hope he recovers quickly.
Thanks for the blokart data, you answered some of my questions nicely.
Best regards and a few prayers from Raleigh.




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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 01:54 PM


now to modify the blokart for ice for the winter. :D

Hopefully your buddy recovers quick.
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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 01:55 PM


.
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rtz


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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 02:35 PM


If we had real ice in the winter. I for certain would have the skates for it.

This is the buggy guy mentioned above that had the crash if anyone has any messages of support for him:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012479976221

He's close to getting back on the buggy. I think he feels his para motor is a "lower impact" sport though.




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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 03:56 PM


I was thinking of trying a conversion - something like the first version shown here. However, I still want to be able to use the buggy with a kite as well. I could make the sail myself. I'd probably need a bigger sail because my buggy spot is scrubby grass, though I do have one parking lot I could use.







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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 05:20 PM


Great vid.
I wonder if it would go downwind better with a spinnaker?
Maybe you could fly the forward sail on longer sheet lines to avoid turbulence.
Oh...wait....:evil:




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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 06:04 PM



Seriously Randy. I've sailed some little boats with various sail plans and broken boats and for sale sails and mast are cheap.

Here is the PTW article
http://popeyethewelder.com/types-of-kite-buggy/sail-buggy

A search here turned this one up
http://www.powerkiteforum.com/viewthread.php?tid=29350

I saw a pic of one made like side plates to squeeze the goose neck just above the existing side rail plates. I hid it somewhere .





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[*] posted on 7-4-2018 at 05:35 AM


Thanks Ed. I've windsurfed for more than 20 years so I have lots of various sails, and other random parts available for a conversion. My main concern is that the places I ride don'e have very long fetches so I am concerned that at ground level there won't be enough wind to make a sail work. Kites can fly above the tree line so they might be better. Anyway, I have in mind a fairly simple way to make a conversion using a windsurf 2 bolt mast base and universal joint along with a small sail. The first video looks a lot like that in my link look like that. If it works then I might try something more complicated. I'll look at those links and see if I get any ideas.

Now that I think about it - I could mount a windsurf sail on this in a few minutes and try that at my local buggy spot before screwing around with modifying my buggy.



Screenshot from 196_1084.MOV.jpg - 191kB




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[*] posted on 7-4-2018 at 11:29 PM


Those 2 bolt mast bases are so versatile! Bolt one down to any skateboard/long board for a skate sail or even bolt or clamp one to a buggy downtube:

2 style to keep in mind. US Base Cup and Euro Pin. Both are valid. But which one you get; your mast extension will have to match. See which design one you like best.

https://chinooksailing.com/collections/mast-bases-pin-style

https://chinooksailing.com/collections/mast-bases-us-basecup




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[*] posted on 7-5-2018 at 06:02 AM


Quote: Originally posted by rtz  
Those 2 bolt mast bases are so versatile! Bolt one down to any skateboard/long board for a skate sail or even bolt or clamp one to a buggy downtube:
2 style to keep in mind. US Base Cup and Euro Pin. Both are valid. But which one you get; your mast extension will have to match. See which design one you like best.

https://chinooksailing.com/collections/mast-bases-pin-style

https://chinooksailing.com/collections/mast-bases-us-basecup


That is exactly what I was thinking. A really quick conversion just to see if a sail would work where I ride.

BTW - the earlier comment that interests choosing us is so true - at least in my case.




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[*] posted on 7-5-2018 at 07:16 PM


Little Stevie Wonderful,

You are welcome to ride my land sailer anytime. Yes, it is a little bigger than a blocart, but I dare say we are both a little bigger than a blocart.

Each time I see you I offer. Really...it is fun. It will never replace my buggy(s) but it is a great alternate when you are tired after a day of 100+ mile day.

Ok...now two goals...first to take you into the shrubs and second to get you only my land sailer.

See you in April!
Paul

Quote: Originally posted by Windstruck  

That is one heck of a tale and I am very sorry for your friend. I hardly blame him for being spooked. From first hand experience I know exactly what he is speaking about in not being able to remember the incident (in my case, a freak gasoline fight accident on aptly named wheels of doom) and how frustrating that is. "Did I do something smart in the air or scream like a diapered toddler at the moment of truth?"

The Blokart argument and explanation is compelling. I have business reasons to go down to Las Vegas from time to time and I think next time I'll try and take one of those Blokart tour days down to Ivanpah that they advertise and you see on the playa. I'm still going to buggy at IBX but this would be a fun way to dip my toe in the water.

Thanks for the write up - nicely played.




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[*] posted on 7-13-2018 at 02:22 AM


And he returns to the buggy world. Rocking his old school helmet for the moment. I told him he should contact Bell and tell them he was wearing their helmet and it broke and he ended up in the hospital. He thinks cause he wasn't riding a bike they won't care too much? Well he could have been going faster on a bike and impacted pavement too! This happened on a grass field and not at topped out road bike speeds(25-30mph). How well would that helmet have faired on pavement?



And all that tape is from last winter when he had the vents taped up.




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[*] posted on 7-13-2018 at 08:23 AM


Glad you're ok!

This is what I was saying in the other helmet page - bike and hang gliding helmets are single use - they are supposed to crush like an eggshell, absorbing the impact that your skull would ordinarily receive. Your helmet looks like it worked as advertised. The biggest problem (and probably the reason you... and I for that matter) went to the hospital is that a concussion is caused by the brain suddenly changing direction and slamming into your skull (shear). Companies like POC are working on systems that mitigate those forces and make a concussion less likely. Hopefully I never get to test their theory :o Unfortunately in the US, a DOT rating is only for a weight dropped exactly on the center of the helmet. Which is exactly where a crash never occurs. European standards are much more strict, from what I understand.

I'm no expert on any of this, this is just some research after I wound up in an ambulance. I think with one of the newer helmets my head would have been fine (clavicle, not so much). I impacted at pretty much the same spot you did, and much lower speed and still ended up out cold for an hour.

I assume your blokart will get much more use after this?




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[*] posted on 7-16-2018 at 12:13 PM


regarding both rtx's comment and jeffnyc's;
I would think that any of the helmet manufactures would be interested in crash data. It is a safety device so there is no "warranty" when it is used as designed/ intended.
Several points of clarity about helmet tech:
-topped out road bike speeds are actually more like 60 -70 mph. In The Tour they regularly outrun the camera bikes coming down the winding hills and I saw a video recently where a bike caught up to and passed a "gang" of crotch rockets coming down a hill.
-in the offroad world the downhill and enduro bikes can easily reach 30 -50 mph and much more comparable terrain to what we kite/ buggy/ sail on which is probably why most on this forum end up with full face helmets developed for DH MTB
-that helmet would have done its job on asphalt just like it did on grass/ dirt.
-it is encouraging to me to see that even in its broken state the gentleman is wearing the helmet properly. It drives me bonkers to see people, including in advertising, wearing their helmets on the back of their head [so their pompador or bangs dont get messed up]. Spend three seconds thinking about the mechanics of how a bike wreck occurs and you realize that they are usually, arm/ leg/ shoulder intervention not withstanding, forehead first and seldom if ever [except when doing wheelies/ trials/ BMX vert] hitting the back of the head.
-as to the "single use" comment -some, not all, BMX helmets are "skate style" with lots of thick padding intended to deal with multiple light impacts from learning your X Games move du jour. I cant tell from the photo if that helmet is skate style or normal helmet style with only styrene to crush before the brain cells.
-I will let others comment on the stringency of DOT versus Euro standards but I also have suspected that their standards are more stringent. It has been a while since I followed the industry closely but I think Bell or Gyro or ... were starting to develop and use more comprehensive testing to better engineer the bike helmets for the forces we encounter instead of "current" understanding from the '50's or whenever the DOT standards were developed.
-regarding the concussive forces -most modern bike helmets allow movement between the shell and the harness that holds the helmet on the head. These tend to be designed for light weight and air flow which I feel makes them less useful for the speeds and conditions that we tend to operated under in the buggies and boats.
-we are all guilty of it but helmets and their materials have a life expectancy due to exposure to sand, sun, sweat, ... [none of which we ever see right :)] so the manufacturers recommendation to replace every few years is not entirely a marketing ploy to sell more helmets. That classic lid with the lycra cover that your grandfather rocked when he was bike commuting in the '70's should stay on the shelf just like you wouldn't dream of using his Nike's to run the Boston Marathon.

Enough soap boxing from me. I am glad that the gentleman is back up and active in our sport [be it buggies or boats] with little or no long term damage.




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[*] posted on 7-25-2018 at 10:18 AM


I took Chris's Blokart for a spin a couple times at JIBE. After 5 minutes I was comfortable enough to lift the upwind wheel and able to keep my balance for longer and longer. It was a blast. It really appeals to me because of all the times I have been on beaches or in parks or parking lots and felt a breeze and could only think, "Man, the conditions are perfect except I don't want to set a kite down on asphalt, or there are too many cars, or not enough space downwind for the lines, or powerlines..." The fact that it packs up so small and takes up so little space while operating is very appealing.

So I bought one.




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[*] posted on 7-26-2018 at 02:56 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Demoknight  
I took Chris's Blokart for a spin a couple times at JIBE. After 5 minutes I was comfortable enough to lift the upwind wheel and able to keep my balance for longer and longer. It was a blast. It really appeals to me because of all the times I have been on beaches or in parks or parking lots and felt a breeze and could only think, "Man, the conditions are perfect except I don't want to set a kite down on asphalt, or there are too many cars, or not enough space downwind for the lines, or powerlines..." The fact that it packs up so small and takes up so little space while operating is very appealing.

So I bought one.


Cool!! If you get in the mood to try it out locally give me a U2U.




NPW Test Pilot -US99
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rtz


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[*] posted on 7-26-2018 at 09:16 PM


Join these too if you use FB:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/115998078419854/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LandSailing/

I'm still searching for an active Blokart(landsailing) forum.




Sting 1.7 - Flow 2, 3, 4, 5 - Reactor 2.2, 2.8, 3.5, 4.4, 5.5 - Yakuza 2.2, 2.7 - JOJO 9
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awindofchange




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[*] posted on 7-26-2018 at 09:19 PM


I have a couple demo's in Salt Lake City Utah if anyone gets up this way. Let me know.




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rtz


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[*] posted on 7-27-2018 at 01:36 PM


Kent; I have a local girl here looking to purchase a used Blokart if you have any leads. She has sailed mine and is ready to buy:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/115998078419854/permalink/20...




Sting 1.7 - Flow 2, 3, 4, 5 - Reactor 2.2, 2.8, 3.5, 4.4, 5.5 - Yakuza 2.2, 2.7 - JOJO 9
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Morrie Williams


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[*] posted on 7-28-2018 at 12:04 PM


Hey Kent, U2U sent!



Morrie Williams
Westport, WA, USA

Peter Lynn Comp Buggy
Peter Lynn Peel 5m, 10m
QuadTrac 3m, 6m, 9m
SkyTiger Hi 10, Hi 15, Hi 30, Hi 60
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Blokart with 2m, 3m, 4m, 5.5m sails
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[*] posted on 6-6-2019 at 10:21 PM


My offer still stands if anyone is passing through town.



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