Skye Parker and the Quad-Friendly Kite Buggy

Skye-ParkerHave you heard of kite buggying? It’s a hybrid of kite boarding and land sailing and it looks like a blast! Kite Buggies provide a speed rush on surfaces like wide open dry lake beds, hard packed sand beaches, big and small grassy areas, and even parking lots. However, controlling the kite buggy rig requires use of four limbs — feet for steering the buggy and arms to control the kite — bummer for people with disabilities like SCI.

Enter Skye Parker, 21, a designer and C6 quadriplegic from Humboldt, Calf. At age 18, in 2011, Parker was earning a living as a construction worker, a trade he had a passion for, and was also studying to become a home-builder. He broke his neck after diving into the waters of a local river and hitting a hidden rock.

After the injury Parker battled depression. He found staying busy was a way to win the battle and set a goal of becoming accomplished at creating construction documents on the computer. He began studying tutorials to learn the craft. He combined his interest with working on a design program and love of the outdoors to create plans for an adaptive kite buggy he calls the Spider Crab.

The Spider Crab is set up for two people to work together — adaptations enable a person with limited hand function to steer, or control the kite — or simply ride along a as a passenger.

Parker also has designs for a single seat adaptive kite buggy that can be controlled by paras and low quads. It also includes adaptations to be controlled with a sip n’ puff system!

“At this point the design is complete, the blue prints are done and we just need the funding to start cutting metal and make this work,” says Parker.

He is over half-way to his goal of raising $24,500 for a working prototype.

Here’s a totally cool video of the 2012 French Kite Buggy Championships.

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