Hacking The Trampofoil To Be Pedal Powered

We’ve seen a few different versions of the “trampofoil” before. That’s the contraption that utilizes a hydrofoil and human power to scoot you across the water above the surface. It is somewhat difficult to explain, so just check out the first video after the break to see how the original works.

Today, we stumbled upon a cool video where someone is attempting to make a pedal powered one instead. Their first prototype, shown above is literally just a trampofoil with an added seat and pedal powered prop. They did manage to take it a step further though and came up with a second prototype that has a better designed hydrofoil as well as using a bike frame for the main structure. This looks really fun as you can see in the second video below.

31 thoughts on “Hacking The Trampofoil To Be Pedal Powered

    1. Chop and wake are less of an issue with hydrofoils than you might think, because you aren’t floating on the surface of the water, but rather “flying” on water several inches (in this case) to several feet (in the case of a boat) below the surface of the water. They’re usually much smoother than a standard hulled boat.

      1. In this case, I disagree.
        These vehicles have the angle of the front plane controlled by a floating/planing skim-thingy. This skims the surface and makes sure that the wing stays at the same distance below the water. I think chop would add a lot pitching up and down of the front plane, and a bumpy ride. If it were fixed, it would be smooth in chop, but then regulating depth would be hard

  1. Wow, this brings me back. I remember seeing these things for the first time something like 15 years ago on some game show here in Sweden. Since then I haven’t really heard or seen much about them though. I remember thinking back then that they would be an instant hit but it never seemed to take off.

    Maybe this bikey version will be more popular as I imagine it’ll put a lot less strain on the rider (because if I remember correctly the contestants had a hell of a time staying afloat because they tired so quickly).

  2. Brooks, Alec N., Allan V. Abbott, and David Gordon Wilson, “Human-Powered Watercraft,” Scientific American, December 1986. Features cover artwork showing the Flying Fish II human-powered hydrofoil

  3. What might make this even better would be bike wheels that hang a little below the wings and allow you to transition seamlessly between the water and sloping land.

  4. What I neglected to add to the previous “Flying Fish II” reference is that the Scientific American cover art depicted it with pontoons to allow standing starts in open water.

  5. I suppose that if you stop bouncing/peddling and settle into the water that, unlike a swamped canoe, there won’t be any easy way of getting started again without help?

  6. Like cmholm said about the pontoons from scientific american.

    Take this same idea and add pontoons so you can start and stop. As soon as you pedal you would raise out of the water and glide….maybe?

    If i had a lake close to me i would want one!

  7. I always thought that the original hopping design was a bit goofy looking, the pedal version looks a lot more like something I’d actually like to own and would use.
    Also looks like a quite a workout!

  8. If you got dumped the bike would go straight to the bottom. Needs an inflatable buoy type device with pull cord attached to your leg, just like the engine kill strap on speed boats.

    Or just pontoons like in the previous posts. :)

  9. just don’t get too tired! middle of a lake, exhausted. your bike sinks and you don’t have the energy to swim to shore. yikes.

    I’d like mine with some permanent floats mounted above the water line. wouldn’t impede normal forward progress, but would allow for mid-lake start-stops.

  10. This is going full circle. The original design of the trampofoil concept was demonstrated by Parker MaCready in the late 80’s at an IHPVA meet in Portlan Oregon after he REMOVED a clunky pedal mechanism that drove the flapping foil up and down.

  11. Yes, Parker Mac Cready designed and flew his Pogofoil succsessfully a few years before I made my first succsessful Trampofoil 1993.
    But the real original for human powered flapping wing propulsion was dipl. ing. Julius Schück, who flew his Wasserläufer in 1953. Unfortunately, the Wasserläufer never went to production.
    I think the merit of the Trampofoil is the minimalistic design, with no hull, very few moving parts, and the bending bowsprit to allow for the optimum variation of angle-of-attack for the main hydrofoil.
    We only produced a few hundreds of them, that are spread over the world. But you can still get other Trampofoil-like hydrofoils, i.e. the Aquaskipper.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.