Drones towing people on wakeboards, skis – what’s next?


Want to get started on the ground floor of the latest sports to integrate drones? Well you’ve come to the right place!

Most of us fly drones for recreation, and many of us fly them for work as well. And one of the next big developments around the corner? Well, it appears to be drones carrying passengers. Companies like EHang have tested them in a number of countries, including South Korea and Canada. And while this use case is a big one that gets a lot of attention, we’re pretty intrigued by something we just saw scrolling through Facebook – although it’s not all new.

But first, a little background.

Four years ago…

In December 2016, you probably saw the video we’re about to show. It was revolutionary and featured what was billed as the largest handcrafted drone ever built. The goal? To do something powerful enough to tow the YouTube phenomenon Casey Neistat on a snowboard. In fact, something so powerful that he could even lift it off the ground:

Remember this? Of course you do …

Wild, eh?

It was really something. In case you were interested, there was a second video just on this drone monster. Remember: always remove your accessories when testing!

Pretty crazy – but it worked!

It was then …

Your patience is about to be rewarded with a video featuring a drone built using certain components from Infineon Technologies. The company isn’t really a drone maker, but it does produce microprocessors and other electronic components that can be used in a project like this.

And this project? As part of a Red Bull campaign, a very powerful Infineon drone towed wakeskate specialist Brian Grubb down the Sava river in Slovenia. The design of the X8 is not lacking in power:

Very cool…

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We came across a variation of this video initially on Facebook thanks to Peter Devčić. He comes from Croatia, neighboring Slovenia. And he says the location was probably chosen because drone regulations are currently a bit more flexible in this part of the country:

Infineon went there because of nature and the river itself… It’s a really “drone friendly” country because of the laws (almost nothing is banned yet). At the end of this year, we will have European laws for drones. But until then, you can do almost anything if you don’t fly above 150 meters.

Peter Devcić

We initially thought this video was new, but it’s still worth checking out. It looks like this was done at the end of 2018.

And then, once we started looking around, we discovered this gem from FreeFly, posted in 2016. In fact, this video predated Casey Neistat’s Christmas show – and may well have inspired it:

It sounds like fun… and it’s hot…

And after?

Well, I think you know it: Urban Air Mobility, with drones like the ones built by EHang. These will simply be like unmanned aerial Ubers, we believe. You’ll summon them to specific locations using an app. You will go up and you will tie up. And then, with multiple layoffs in place, be transported to the location of your choice.

This EHang flight was delivering goods during a test in South Korea …

It sounds like science fiction, but there have been numerous passenger test flights in China already. Dubai will likely be the first to deploy the system.

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