Issue 6: BORK – Buggies and …

PVC buggy plans

Sorry guys, I do not have my plans available yet. Nevertheless, in my pseudo-scientific assessment, working with pvc is like playing with tinker toys. Buy a 10ft length (or more for when you screw up) of schedule 80 pvc, 1″ diameter. Purchase a generous assortment of T’s, 90 degree couplings, and 45 degree couplings. Don’t go cheap and buy the schedule 40 fittings unless you absolutely cannot afford or find the schedule 80’s. Buy tubing cleaner, sandpaper, hacksaw, plumbing glue or a strong polyurethane glue, and go to town on it. (just don’t glue it together until you want to try to ride it) Measure the width of your own butt–ok, that’s a great place to start out with the width of the frame. The back “axle” flexes too much? 1) reduce the width of that axle anywhere from 40″ to around 32″ 2) or, insert a diameter of 6061 aluminum or stainless to match the inside diameter of the pvc. 3) still too much flex, abandoned pvc and jig together a metal frame. Front wheel wobble? Try adjusting the front tube length and angle. If in the end, pvc doesn’t work for you, at least you have a good start on a buggy design model. At this point buy the stainless, or aluminum, take the pvc buggy and precut metal tubes to your welder and tell him/her that you want a metal one just like the plastic one. (or discover that you have waisted too much of your time and buy a used buggy) Dirt enemas anyone? If you have not taken the precautions and properly cleaned/glued the tubing, and/or reinforced high-stress areas with tubing inserts, you eventually will be ass-dragging behind your foil. PVC impalement is an ugly way to die. (Now here’s my disclaimer, I don’t necessarily endorse the use or reliability of PVC. I’m only a play-thing builder. Don’t go buying PVC, screwing up on your project, and filling up landfills or littering beaches with discarded pipe.)

Cheers, Ryan


One inch diameter PVC is way too small. Stiffness goes up as the 4 power of diameter, wall thickness helps but outside diameter is the driver. I have used the PVC buggy designed and built by Ken Serak. It was entirely satisfactory. I have seen many tandem units using PVC also. They were all made of 3 inch diameter PVC. Schedule forty was ok for the pipe but schedule eighty was required for the fittings. Ken and I are both over two hundred pounds and the buggy was strong enough for us. Unfortunately Ken had to quit buggying before he had made all the refinements he had in mind for his buggy. Check out my web page for some pictures of this PVC buggy. Lose the one inch PVC and go to three inch.

Dave Lord


We ran a story on a great home-built buggy in a recent issue of in our Sept. issue.


How do you find the difference in terms of speed and feeling. I’m a windsurfer with Kite Buggy and ski experience and am considering buying a surfboard special for kitesurfing? Are the water starts easier than windsurfing? Do you need more than 15mph of wind to have any fun. I use a traction 3.3?

Thanks, Check


Though I’ve never mastered Windsurfing, I’ve been kitesurfing for a few years. Its a hell of a lot easier than windsurfing. With the kite pulling up as well as whatever direction down wind, you realy can’t help but be pulled up. With a 3.3m foil you’ll need ALOT of wind, probably 20mph will do. I recomend a biger kite. I started with a 7m foil, then moved up to a 8.5m wipika. You can surf in down to 10-12mph but it realy takes 15 to kick butt. I started with a wakeboard. They’re easy to come by new and they’re cheap. ( about $180) You may know somone who’s got one already that you can use to try it out on a windy day. Join our kitesurfing email list!


Josh Young


What is the process involved in launching and getting your self up when you are in the water? I have always wondered how people lauch there kites from the water.

Thanks, Kenny


There are two schools on the water relaunch issue. They follow the to main kinds of kites used for kite surfing. The kiteski system uses a Banshee kite (large framed kite) where the lines must be rolled up with a special control bar then the kite is tossed into the air and lines are let out. The wipika system uses a big single skinned kite called the Wipika which is framed with pressurized Air bladders. To water launch this kite you just tug on the lines a little and it will flop around, reorient itself and jump into the sky. It’s acctualy kinda hard to keep this kite down, and requires practice to land unasisted. If you’re Thinking about trying kitesurfing a good traction foil will work just don’t crash it in the water. Then if you love it go get a relaunchable kite.


Josh Young

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