Future Kite Buggies

popeyethewelder.com/facebook questions


Buggies have moved forward during the last few years, with the emphasis on pilot comfort and safety, and buggy adjustability, realistically, have we gone as far as we can with buggies, or do you think there will be more to come, and if so…..what?




  • Tom Routh – carbon and other light weight materials being used more
  • Wayne Carkeek – hehe , suspension that wins races it will happen one day
  • Erwin Moberts – I think that it will always continue to develop performance as much as we can. If you look to F1, they are constantly developing.
    However we are also sensitive for new products and we must spend money. I do not buggy very long now, so what is to improve.
    Stronger material and less weight, or more aerodynamic?
  • Landsegler Manufaktur – very light wheels
  • Stuart Mcgougan – Very light wheels mean lower unsprung weight which makes suspension far more effective.  There is potential here, that and aerodynamics
  • Wayne Carkeek – also wheel aero dynamics , ligher wheels accelerate much faster for a given weight loss in the wheel as opposed to the frame .  my enkei mags have light rims and spokes but a heavy center which works very well
  • Carlos Fandango – Gone are the days with filling a buggy with lead….with the UL wheels now, I have the weight of a Flexi and the stance of a race buggy, now flying smaller kites, getting more speed and much more grip than ever before, acceleration, well, I have never experienced this before, not like now anyway…..but I am not sure the buggies need to go any lighter…ie via carbon or composite materials, Giorgios composite buggy in Dubai, is the same size as a race buggy if not bigger, but weighs less than 15kg I believe, perfect for getting up high dunes, but not so perfect  in a race or for speed I would imagine, I may be wrong.
    Waynes leading links, I am convinced are a great idea, but they are quite weighty and costly, I know Wayne has worked on composite leading links, I still believe, as Wayne does, with the leading link forcing the front wheel to the ground has to be better for traction in a race….I really cannot see an argument against it tbh. The extra comfort the LL offers also is superb, and unless you have experienced this you cannot comment, I know, going from LL to a buggy without it is quite a body shock.
    So, I think soon we will see, the majority of big buggies including the wheels coming in around the 35-45kg mark…..I think bigfoot wheels will be the ones you take out as often as you would your talons, and I think you will see a move across the board to the UL disc beach wheels…they are perfect for so many beaches, and bigfoots will be saved for the softest of beaches.
    The rails, I think will not change so much more from what we see today, with the nipped in areas around the waist thigh area…
    Seats are as good as we can get I believe, and buggybags has continued produce the best buggy products out there bar none.
    Freestyle buggies, I find come into an unusual area….the Flexi for instance has barely changed since they were first introduced, quite amazing really…..surely they are not that perfect are they?…..everything evolves with time, I like the Basixx concept at the rear end, and it will be interesting to see if they become as popular as the Flexi, I know many people over the years have come on forums, saying they are building the “new freestyle” buggy, the one everyone will want, but at the end of the day, we never see anything…..so respect to XXtreme for bringing another buggy into the fold, that may inspire others to push the envelope too.
  • Thomas Mulligan – I hate to think that buggies in the future will become more aero dynamic. The racing scene has had a positive influence on buggy design up to now but I fear we won’t be able to distinguish landyachts from buggies in 20 years time. Will we be wearing those laughable aerodynamic cycle helmets that tapper off into a point too? I don’t race, fair enough but I do like to mess around at the beach, to powerslide, ride over uneven ground, safari, plough through standing water and sometimes go fast. Besides, is there really going to be an advantage with an aerodynamic bug that goes from mark to mark and in riding downwind? Even Brain Holgate at 84.1mph only managed an extra 1.2mph faster in the PL Speed bug than Arjen sitting upright. That’s to take nothing away from Brain of course. He’s the man! Obviously there’s an advantage in having something shaped like a bullet at those warp speeds, not so much at lower speeds I think. My prediction for the future is a  switch to de-power race kites and with de-power kites there’s no need for snug fitting side-rails or padding. Kite choice could have an influence on buggy design I’d say.
  • Ken Shaw – Active, tune on the fly type suspension geometry. Brilliantly designed, incredibly exotic, wildly expensive. And it will be the death of the sport.
  • We’ll price ourselves right out of the fun and the spirit of sport. We’ve done it time and time again. We’re doing it now and will continue to do it because that’s human nature.
  • Case in point, Elite automotive racing series. When it got to the point that the only time you actually saw a IMSA GTP car was in a slick magazine advertisement for cigarettes or whiskey, when NASCAR teams began courting feminine hygiene product manufacturers as sponsors, the hand writing was on the wall…
  • “The end is nigh, repent or die.”
  • If you want it to last forever, keep the money out of it. Make it a test of skills, not a test of bills.
  • Bobby Muse – Thomas, if you read the account of “Brian” and his record run, you will realize that he was just doing a trial run to see that everything was stable with the buggy and the kite.  He only eased out halfway across the lake and made a quick test run.  Half his run was spent trying to turn loose of the kite because the edge of the lakebed was coming up at over 80 mph! Brian says he feels like 100 mph wouldn’t have been out of the question that day had he made a full run all the way across the lakebed.
  • I feel like when an aero buggy busts up into the 90’s or breaks 100 mph, it will be prudent to categorize the speed records with “Aero buggies” and traditional buggies, just like Popeye does now with beach, grass and so forth.
  • Lawrence Simpson – I think Bobby Muse is right, categorize the buggies. I thing going for a speed record in a standard spec’ed up buggy is more of an achievment than another that has been lab built. Make no mistake these “Lab” built buggies have there own place in fore-fronting new design technieques, but for the average person we cannote ever hope to compete with these designs, to a point where is has a negative affect on those with smaller bugets in the buggy community trying out new designs for the every day buggier.
  • Andrew Archibald – Ken’s comments above about pricing ourselves out of the sport kinda ring true.
  • Another of my interests is comp safari racing (racing tricked up 4×4’s). I’ve never raced competively but have attended a few rallies over time and know a key person from the MSA in this sport.  From what started with racing modded landrovers with V8’s  the competitive sport has evolved into an expensive (£60k) business.  The competitive cars are now space frames running american engines etc.  The sport became so expensive that in order to be successful you need a big overdraft!!
  • To keep people interested and new people entering the British Cross Country Championship (formerly the BORC) a new class was introduced called the Freelander Challenge.  Basic engineering with a budget of £10k.
  • It would be a shame if kite buggying ended up like this.  Sure entry level is relatively affordable, but if you wanted to race competively (im nowhere near this level of accomplishment btw) in the future, with the development going on at the moment, well how much will that cost!
  • David Lees – The future holds for strong, lightweight buggies made from exotic materials. Maybe a fancy instrument panel that shows buggy speed, wind speed, wind direction , wind direction relative to buggy direction, built in GPS, pull on kite lines . Future buggies may be powered by smart kites that eliminate all the nasty wind spikes (gusts) many of us inland buggiers have to endure. This could be in the form of pull sensors that signal via a microchip to automatically pull or relax force on handles, automatic pilot for cruise control, anti OBE feature.     Well you did ask!!!
  • Bobby Muse – The Recon goggles are the glimmer of the future on information right in front of you when you want it.  True Heads up display will be next.
  • Thomas Mulligan – I’ll be using the force. 😀
  • Ken Shaw – That’s exactly what I’m talking to, the overwhelming urge of humans to take the human factor out of things.  We go to great lengths to eliminate human error but in do so, lose the keen, precise ability of the subconscious mind to absorb an overwhelming stream of information , process it and determine a course of action. Computer engineers have been trying for decades to replicate that precision and speed to no avail. Yet somehow, we are convinced we are less than sufficient, much less superior to a pile of silicon and gold plated copper.
  • We’ve lost confidence in that which rose us up from the apes and caused us to create the tools with which we strive to master the wind. Have faith that we are whole, complete and need no augmentation. Learn to FEEL the wind again.
  • Stephen Webb – I agree totally with Ken. And No I’m not taking the Pi**s but even in Starwars the message was don’t rely on the targeting computer…”Feel the Force”. I don’t want a “Virtual Buggy” on a playstation, I want to Feel the Real wind and use my instinctive eye, Brain, hand coordination that is the dream of machine makers, but impossible to replicate. What do all Sci-Fi robots/androids wish for….to be more Human. But at the moment most Humans seem to want to be more like robots, and our Employers would love that:)
  • Wayne Carkeek – when you ride a horse to work then you can advocate low tech buggies 😉  .  Dont forget everyone has a choice and i respect people who do their own thing. But developments are exciting not scary and dont mean you have to do it .   I lighter buggy is safer and no spoke wheels are safer too