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Interesting Ice Toys

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ICE SCOOTER-
I found this tired scooter and quickly fitted it with blades. Add cleats and you have one of the best toys to use on the lake while waiting for wind. As iceboaters know, lots of time is spent waiting for wind. It is nice to have a few toys that don't require it.
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ICE BIKE-
This ice bike was inspired from others on the web, plus a fine year of ice on our nearby Canandaigua lake. We usually get a layer of snow so skis are a better solution than an ice blade. In the end a long ice blade (16 inches) will ride better, even on crusty snow, or penetrate deep enough to find a usable ice layer and produce a smooth ride with less friction. Subsequently this rig was modified to a skate blade up front. The rear wheel was switched to a ring of wood with hardened drywall screws installed every inch of the circumference for studs. The drywall screws were then trimmed to about 1/3 inch long with a bolt cutter. A blade up front with a wooden tire in the back produced such wonderful results that perhaps this year my recumbent bike will be converted too.
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SKATE WING-
This device is normally sold to kids with rollerblades who presumably have access to an abandoned airport. You need lots of smooth surface without curbs. Since it is equivalent to the other 'dirt surfing' related sports, major body armor is required. Pad any surface on you that you don't want to smooth off on pavement. On snow covered ice less protection is required. Shorty skis (90 cm) seem a perfect compromise between floatation and edge. My GPS box regularly clocks speeds of 35 MPH with this rig. Setup is fast and storage is easy. It breaks down into tubing and rolled up sail.
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ICE SKATEBOARD-
Best used sideways (standing or sitting) with your back to the wind. Commonly called a butt board. You go back and forth on it as one would sail a proa sailboat. A seatbelt can be applied across your lap to keep the board on your fanny. This is a safety feature to make certain the blades are always pointing away from you. If standing, power is the SkateWing or a kite. When seated a traction kite works best. Sitting improves safety, you always remain very close to the ice so falling is not a problem. Comfortable boots with cleats make this a fun toy even when there is no wind. A company named Zema Iceboards manufactured blades at one time, but they are having difficulty. Perhaps eventually their website will appear again and blades will become available.
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NORDIC SKATES-
Nice, but expensive. Sometimes available used on Ebay. Make your own with skis and angle irons ground and bolted to the bottoms. Don't make them too long or turning is difficult. Commercially available blades cost about $100 a pair. I used a 48" piece of 1/8" x 1.5 inch steel cut in half to make each blade 24" long. The steel was purchased at a local hardware store. They were mounted with PL Premium adhesive, using oak and plywood. Ski bindings were added. The blades were shaped with a hack saw, grinder, and finally sharpened on a belt sander. An hour of wetstone work put the final shine on the blades. These are total enjoyment when nothing else wants to slide on warm sticky snow covered ice. Excellent immunity from 8 inch diameter ice fishing holes. Ski bindings are easier to find in the garbage now that our VOA will no longer accept donations of ski equipment:-)
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SHORTY (SKATE) SKIS-
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LEAF BLOWER-
I've always had a tremendous respect for the speeds that can be achieved with only a small amount of thrust on a frictionless surface. Leaf blowers bring to mind leaf blower soccer where the participants must move the ball about the field with blasts from 'stock' leaf blowers. Thrust from a leaf blower has always intrigued me. Most are rated at over 200 MPH exhaust speeds! Finally the ice froze black and smooth. I got out the leaf blower. These devices are very difficult to start on a zero degree day. Take your best skates. On a zero degree day the ice was too cold to be fast so speeds of only about 1-2 MPH were possible. Can't wait for a warmer day with wet ice. Next time a second leaf blower for more thrust. Some have suggested removing the restrictor nozzle, as it increases the speed of the motor and moves more air. One more toy in arsenal for those days without wind... makes you feel like the coyote chasing the road runner:-)
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ICE KITE BUGGY-
This was a project last year. Made quickly from stuff found in my garage. Please do NOT use a seat belt. It was a bad idea. Better if you get pulled off the buggy to leave it behind. It steers easily with your feet while you fly the kite with your hands. A pin allows it to fold 90 degrees for transport, 45 degrees to make a brake (keeps it from blowing down the lake), or remove the pin for use. The little gas pedal is really a place to rubber band on a Garmin GPS. The tell-tale is very useful for wind direction. The rear flag is anti-persuit protection from the faster iceboats. A very handy device that really takes little space in my garage once it is folded. It will also fit inside my little car. As much fun as the butt board!
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