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Total riff on and wholly inspired by "Air Skooter" just posted: instead of carrying the air tanks with you, the air supply is in the ground, underneath a track like you'd have for ice toboggans. Computer control turns the jets on in front of you as you surf downhill so that it's effectively always on
(without the waste of being on all the time).
Related prior art that I know of - freefall simulators where you throw yourself on the blast of a large upwards pointing fan.
[gtoal, Feb 13 2006]
Surfing on Air
in a room, not an outdoor track [gtoal, Feb 13 2006]
Also in a room [gtoal, Feb 13 2006]
Less challenging version for transportation rather than sport [gtoal, Feb 13 2006]
||I remember a pre-crash idea here on the HB which was about a sport on a track with propellers underneath; you wear a suit with small wings and you can fly around on the track.
I'm having trouble finding it back. But the idea was very nice and the drawings that went with it made you wanna try it out immediately!
||Something similar to this was described in a sci-fi novel I read some years ago (can't remember the title or author). It was basically a bowl-shaped (possibly hemispherical, but I'm not certain of the details) room, with air-hockey-table-like vents all over the floor. A snowboardesque device was ridden (strapped to feet I think), allowing tricks much like a snow- or skateboard, but fast and frictionless.
More freedom than using a track style system.