How to Create an Airboard?

08 November 2009

This is how to create an airboard using air pressure.

I know what you all want is a hoverboard just like what you see in Back In The Future movie, but it's not what I can do yet. Instead of using magnetism, we'll just use air pressure. Airboard would be a better name for it although some people would like to call it a hoverboard.

This is already simplified so everyone can understand.

What You Need
- A Wooden Board
- A Heavy Duty Skirt (heavy duty cloth)
- PVC Pipes
- PVC Adhesive or Strong Tape
- A Strong Leaf Blower (or anything that blows air out)
- Staple Gun
- Ruler
- Pencil or Pen
- Saw
- Drill
- Screws

How It Works
It works just the same as a hovercraft. Just...smaller.

By using a leaf blower, it blows air into the heavy duty skirt through the board towards the ground. The skirt will then be inflated by air. In the skirt, there are several holes in the middle, allowing the air to escape from there. Because of the ground and the board, the air will have to push out through the bottom of the inflated skirt, creating a cushion of air.

Of course it doesn't look as exaggerated in the picture drawn above, but it's something like that.

For this guide, the board used will be 150cm x 60cm which is roughly around my size =P but of course you could use any measurement you want.

2. Prepare the leaf blower and put it on top of your board. The position doesn't matter, but you could put it at the back so it looks better.

3. You need to get PVC pipes which are suitable for your leaf blower. This is because we need to link the output of the leaf blower to go downwards to the ground. Measure, measure. Tape, tape. Get a 90 degree elbow to direct it downwards. Fix it to the leaf blower.

4. Now saw a hole of about the same size as the PVC pipe diameter but slightly bigger so you can fit it in. After sawing, secure the PVC pipe in place so that air can go out through that hole. Make sure everything is air-tight. Fix the leaf blower in place too. Round off the edges of your board by sawing.

5. Spread your heavy duty skirt and put your board on top of it. Cut the skirt so that you could wrap onto the board like you're wrapping a book. The cut skirt should be slightly bigger than the board, so that you could fold the skirt back up onto the board. Staple it in place with the staple gun.

Bottom View

6. Make another long rectangle from wood, plastic or basically anything to use as a gromit. Drill and screw this onto the middle of the board below, on the skirt. This is there so that when air inflates the skirt, the measurement is the same from the edge of the board to the gromit on all regions for equilibrium. In this case, a 100cm x 10cm gromit is used, leaving 25cm of space for the air to move in the skirt from edge to gromit. You may refer to the diagram above.

7. Now, cut some small holes of any measurement around the gromit maybe around 2cm to 5cm radius or more. Make sure they're all equidistant from each other. This isn't really important but it helps in balancing of the board later. In the diagram, the X marks are the positions of the holes. You could reduce the number of holes, it doesn't matter much.

8. Now put your board on the ground, start the leaf blower and hop on it!

1. If you don't wanna crash miserably, ride it on flat and smooth surfaces only.

2. It does not work on water, one leaf blower is certainly not enough.

3. If it doesn't hover, it's either everything is too heavy, the air isn't strong enough or the air escaped somewhere else.

4. You can steer it like a skateboard by leaning on one side, it might be hard.

5. Lastly, leaning too much to one side can fail you!

This is just a basic idea used in a hovercraft. It is made simpler into a mini-board just for fun. You could try something else like Airshoes or something by applying this onto shoes. Of course, you won't wanna do much with it because you could faceplant yourself anytime.