Do you dream of flying through the ocean waves, sun in your hair and the spray of the surf in your face? Too bad boats are big, expensive, and require dirty fossil fuels. Surfing is an off-grid way to enjoy the ocean but not everyone has the time or the coordination. Always searching for a more nimble way to enjoy the waves, Jason Wood imagined a compact and lightweight personal watercraft for cost-effective enjoyment. Twenty months after news of his Kymera Bodyboard concept first made headlines, the company has finally unveiled the vehicle to the public.
Wood’s original design looked like a grown-up version of the mini surf boards many of us played with as kids. The difference was that the Kymera came complete with gas-powered jets to propel it through the water like a jet ski. After almost a year of tinkering and upgrading the design in his garage, the Kymera now sports a new hourglass shape and an optional lithium-ion battery pack powered by the sun.
According to the Daily Mail, the electric model can provide speeds of around 18 mph, while the propane-powered models would reach up to 25 mph. Although the Kymera was originally designed for personal recreation, the efficiency and convenience of the solar-powered model has caught the attention of search and rescue (SAR) teams and lifeguards. Unlike a boat or jet ski, both of which require expensive fuels and time-intensive to start, the solar-powered Kymera is a “grab and go” alternative that could save precious minutes when lives are at stake.
Worried about not being able to find a power outlet at the beach? Woods has also created a solar charging station for the Kymera designed to be mounted on the roof of a lifeguard tower or incorporated into a vehicle’s roof rack. Even though you’re probably itching to take one for a spin, you’ll have to wait: the Kymera won’t go on sale until next summer and will cost around US$5,000.