Immediately after the KTA Trade Show in San Diego, California (Jan. 11-14, 1996), we are gonna do it again! Two years ago, after the KTA show in Las Vegas, we made history on Ivanpah Dry Lake when more than 100 buggys and over 350 people gathered drawn by kite power.

Now we are going back to the desert for more, but with a twist. We are meeting at El Mirage Dry Lake in California's Mojave Desert. Close (3.5 hr. drive) to San Diego (where the KTA will be) and only 2 hours from LAX. El Mirage is between Palmdale (on I-14) and Victorville (where #395 & I-15 meet). Better directions on page 7.

El Mirage offers a variety of different terrain. From the wide smooth expanses of hard-pack stretching miles in every direction, to the smaller coves and bays with occasional mounds of sand and brush acting like marker buoys on a course, to the area of pucker bumps that draw the pilots looking for more excitement and eliciting the occasional whoops and hollers that echo across the lake.

More than racing, this is chance to experience AOXOMOXOA ! The magic of the high desert combined with a gathering of some of the finest buggy pilots from around the world. Emphasis on Buggy Fun!

El Mirage is over 22 sq. miles! Plenty of room for everyone. From the first-time buggy wanna-be to the speed hungry racer, El Mirage will leave everyone breathless! Nobody feels crowded. Cruise if you want. Race with a group or a friend if you want. Come on! Follow Me! Try the bumps!

Night winds often keep riders well after dark to experience the awesome stillness and rush of scooting across the lake in the black of night. Temperatures can drop quickly after the sun goes down. Quickly! Come prepared.

Camping is permitted on the lake bed, although night time temperatures can be a bit chilly that time of the year. The lake bed is not restricted like at Ivanpah, so early arrivals are welcome. Because there are no restrictions, be careful of where you stop. Motorcycles, dune buggys, and various other users come roaring through, sometimes in the middle of the night, so keep your vehicles off to the side of the lake so as not to be an obstacle. It is a rude awakening in the middle of the night as someone in a motorized whatever with too much power and speed, but no concern for others, finds your camp at speed.

We usually gather about 6 miles up the lake on the right side, a place we call Walt's Cove. It is identified by several old WW II aircraft tie-downs that only protrude about 2-3 inches above the surface. It is about 1/4 mile out from the famous pucker bumps. If you get there early, put up some identifying flags or banners. Kiters are the only ones who fly banners usually, so we should be easy to spot when you get close. The spaces are very large, so you must get within about a mile before you can identify who is who.

Everyone will be there! See that you are too!

Buggy Pilots International is an organization dedicated to spreading the fun and glory of Kite-powered Buggy-riding around the world.

The common ground of wind-powered traction kiting transcends all boundaries except those of wind, gravity and drag.


[windwiz note: the next bit is missing some of the awesome, stunning photos that could be seen if you had a print copy of Buggy Newz. See my note at the end on how to get your very own copy..]

Boys 'n the Slop:

From Axel Voss at Drachen Magazin in Hamburg, Germany come these pictures from the 1st European Red Ball Buggy Contest. The conditions were not what everyone wanted, but true to the spirit of Buggyers worldwide, they braved the elements and the slop to ride their little hearts out.

The buggy has many more riders in Europe than in the US, even with their limited sites. Competitions are hard fought and great fun.

Riders who frequently use wet and sloppy fields and beaches are aware of the various solutions proposed to keep the discomfort to a minimum. Noted here are both front wheel fenders and waterproof clothing. A closer examination will reveal that fenders do not necessarily keep the pilot clean.

A word to the wise is that no matter what method one employs, wear eye protection and keep your mouth shut!

Photo #1 is buggy freak Barney Riez from Hamburg showing "Mudd's Water Buggying. Barney was running a quad kite and riding a Peter Lynn buggy.

Photo #2 is event winner Stephan Kriening with a momentary victory smile.

Stephan used a Peter Lynn Peel and rode a modified P.L. buggy with a splash guard.

Photo #3 shows buggy fellow Till Habermann of Goettingen cruising at speed. Till used a large 2-line foil and rode a custom buggy with a front fender and a hard seat.

Photo #4 is Oliver Stelling, a buggy aficionado from Cuxhaven on the North Sea coast, moments before he spun a turn and doused the photographer. Oliver used a large 2-line foil and rode an older P.L. Classic buggy.

Photo #5 shows (left to right) Uwe Maab, Sven Weidhaase and Ron Reimers comparing results and enjoying a well deserved break in the action.


If spare parts on hand is a concept you agree with, let me list the pieces I have: Red PL Buggy Bag - $45 Rainbow Web Seat - $ 30 Seat Tubes $ 30/pr. Tandem Hitch $45 Skinny Spoked Front Wheel, Tire & Hub (w/Bolt) - $75. Peter Lynn Video - $7.50 Rear Axle Bolts - $2.50

Call or fax me at Windborne Kites

BUGGY NEWZ is an independent operation. Non-profit as it happens. The purpose is to spread the word around the world of the Kite Buggy and the people who ride them. Conceived, Founded, Written, Edited, Published & Distributed by Corey Jensen.

The ultimate responsibility for facts and errors, for truth and fallacy, for all the things you find enjoyable, and because there is no-one else to blame, for the things you disagree with ... Falls on only one pair of shoulders. Contact him or me in care of:

Windborne Kites 585 Cannery Row #105
Monterey California 93940 USA
Work / Kite Shop # 408 373-7422
Home # 408 372-7922 Fax # 408 373-0688


From Carp, Ontario, Eric Brackenbury has been hard at work designing this interesting quad foil with four double ventral (underside) air intake scoops that incorporate venturi valves inside that close under negative (outflow) pressure and prevent he cells from deflating. The venturi flaps are inside the scoops and operate automatically letting positive air pressure hold them open to flow in and shutting when the pressure drops. The scoops feed two cells and the cells are cross-vented to equalize pressure between them.

The bridles also got the Brackenbury treatment and feature not only a crossed bridle system to quicken turn rates, but also the peculiar curved bridle harness that equalizes the leading edge. This curved bridle carries the individual lines sail and has been noted on other foil power kites. The system works and combined with the cross-over results in a quick and responsive big quad in a wide range of winds.

Eric has expressed interest in building more of these, so if experimental designs interest you... contact Eric Brackenbury , PO Box 253 Carp, Ontario K0A 1L0 Canada.. Don't forget to tell him where you heard about it.

Intentional Lunacy Has No Logical Criticism


Steve Shapson of Force 10 fame is importing a new elliptical quad-foil from Europe. For more information contact Steve at Screaming Tuna , 10920 N. Port Washington Rd. Mequon, WI 53092-5031. Call 414-241-8862 or fax: 414-241-5483


The biggest secret to successful buggy riding is to develop skills before you develop speed. The image of cruising at speed is the result of basic skills and control. Injury is usually the result of foolishness, not the buggy.

First: Use the smallest kite that will work and medium winds. Work the kite to gain speed. When you stop working the kite, speed should drop off. Never let another (or yourself) talk you into more than you can handle.

Starting: Get comfortable with the kite and controls before jumping on a buggy. If the kite crashes, get off the buggy and relaunch, then remount. Remember to point the buggy a bit downwind before starting off again. Many pilots leave the buggy pointed where they want to go, and so get popped out sideways when they relaunch.

Going: Keep the kite overhead and drop it into the power in the direction of travel to gain speed. With quads, remember the bottom lines only brake the kite, not the buggy.

Stopping: Put the kite back overhead to reduce power. Learn to spin the buggy in a 180 degree circle to stop quickly. Don't worry, it is very stable and will not overturn (usually). Turning upwind also scrubs off speed. Try not to let the kite get too far behind you.

Surface: Grass and sand require a bit more power than hardpack or pavement. The faster the kite goes, the more power it generates.

Winds: Medium winds of 8-16 mph are probably best when learning. The bigger the space you have, the easier and safer it will be. Clear areas downwind are also important when you have to release the kite.

Be responsible and safe... And go buggy!


Remember to use your safety gear whenever you buggy! Set a good example by using the appropriate equipment. Helmets are usually a good idea. Especially when racing.

Most buggyers always use gloves, long pants, heeled shoes and eye protection..

Remember, buggy safe and Have Fun Out There!

Windborne Kites

A complete selection of top-quality
Buggys and Power Kites.
Complete parts & accessories.
Call or write for our FREE Kitealog
Windborne Kites
585 Cannery Row #10
Monterey, California 93940
Toll-Free Orders: 1-800-234-1033
Fax: 408-373-0688 Shop: 408-373-7422


Boy! That looks like loads of fun! How much are they? Gee! I could build my own!

So it begins. The cost of a commercial buggy inspires builders with a variety of skills and motivation. Lack of reality draws some into the project because the unwary often assume one builds to save money. A word to the wise... Build to create your own buggy, buy to save time and money.

Once the decision is made to build, a variety of methods and design ideas take each individual buggy down a different path.

Many materials are employed. From chrome-moly to aluminum to steel. Most follow the low center-of-gravity and angled fork design of the original Peter Lynn models, but they are modified liberally to suit the individual tastes and uses of their creators.

The International Kite Rendezvous / Montreal held in June of 1995, offered the chance to glimpse these examples of home-brew buggy machines.

Unfortunately, I have lost my notes from Montreal, so I can only describe what I saw. The owners of these buggys will, no doubt, contact me and I will happily pass on the names of the builders, and correct any mistakes I am about to make.

This first example, using round chrome-moly tubes, sacrifices weight for easy to acquire and easy to bend materials. The side rails are not very high, so quick maneuvers at speed are a bit risky, but balance and straight-line tracking are good.

Welding everything together helps the strength, but makes travel a problem unless all the buggy fields are within driving distance. The mottled purple color scheme is cool.

The wheels used on this buggy are mounted on standard painted steel rims from a wheelbarrow. No information on the bearing type. They are a little heavy, but readily available and relatively inexpensive. Note that the front wheel uses a different hub design, so swapping them around is not an option.

The seat rests on top of the rear axle so most of the pilot weight is concentrated in the center, and it is not possible to turn the rear axle over to even out the bends that heavy pilots inevitably put into them.

Our second example uses square aluminum tubes for the frame and adds a cantilevered rear axle to increase strength there. The side rails are a bit higher to help keep the pilot onboard, but the short foot pegs do not have a stop at the ends so losing ones footing can be a concern.

As is true for most of the home-brew buggys, length adjustment on the frame is also eliminated as these buggys are usually intended for a single pilot.

Note that most builders have found Peter Lynn's basic concept of a front fork that inherently limits the turning arc of the front wheel to be a sound engineering principle and a great safety addition to home-brew buggys. Fork rake angles are copied as well.

Cloisonne Pins Silver on Black $6
Paint The Sky Kites
Portland, Oregon
Ph: 503 222-5096 Fax: 503 222-5034

Backrests on the seat are also very popular with buggy riders. Rather than buy a separate after market back rest, this builder has incorporated one into the basic design.

Built out of a light steel and welded together, this buggy has many of the features of the other home-built designs and many of their shortcoming (when compared to the standard Peter Lynn commercial design).

Too short foot pegs and no breakdown capability limit the use of most of these designs, but the basic layout is sound and provides a vehicle that will transport the pilot into the realm of close-to-the-ground, silent speed.

Steel rims and hubs are used but add weight. They are probably easier to acquire and allow a less expensive tire, wheel, rim combination.

The short line off the front foot pegs is to allow the pilot to load the buggy with gear and pull it as a large wagon out to the flying site. These are removed before using the buggy in the more traditional manner.

Common to all these designs is the basic layout popularized by Peter Lynn. Seating position that places the center of gravity below axle height. Center of balance forward of the rear wheels. Fork rake angle to aid steering stability and tracking. Direct steering. Web seat to drain water and sand and hold the pilot in the craft during turns.

So remember, build your own if building is the point of your exercise, buy a buggy if you want a good one first time out and you are trying to save time and money. And go buggy your buns off.


Everyone has heard (by now) of the wonderful desert dry lakes and how great a buggy site they are. Now we want to prepare a list of other equally incredible places where buggy riders can find a bit of the old aoxomoxoa.

Send your suggestions to Buggy Newz and we will make a list for the different regions of the USA, Europe and the world.


Avid naked buggyer Dan Rubesh (The Wind Wizard) from Ventura is planning to check out the Pismo Beach area for acceptable buggy sites. On the California coast a few miles south of San Luis Obispo and about an hour north of Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach has a large hard-packed beach at low tides.

The winds at Pismo Beach have been very brisk the few times I have ventured down there, but because vehicles are allowed on the beach at Pismo, safety is a concern.

Hiway #101 runs right along the coastline so access is very good. There are also quite a few motels and restaurants there.

A more complete report will be forthcoming as soon as Dan reports back. Initial indications are that this spot could hold much promise.

Roger Ripstop says "SAFETY FIRST!"


Inspired by Bob Childs and his "Wheels of Doom" off-road in-line skates, Alain Lalonde's young son has fabricated a pair of his own. Using solid rubber tires instead of pneumatic ones helps keep the cost down. The platform that holds the s is balanced below axle height for stability. The ski bindings allow the rider to step out of the skates without having to remove the boots.

The angled aluminum rails are strong and light, keeping weight to about 3 pounds per skate without the boots. The bindings are adjustable for length (within reason) and also allow center of balance adjustment.

The entire set-up was constructed using available materials which kept costs reasonable.

Others who are building variations of the in-line off-road skates are invited to submit photos and technical details. Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms. Creativity is the hallmark here.

Kite Buggy Festival
July 22-23,1995
Ruapuke Beach, NZ
by Charlie Watson

It was Lorraine's bright idea. A buggy festival in the middle of winter. A great idea, no moaners, no carpark flyers, everybody keen. THEN. The beach road was impassable and it was cold, wet and muddy with emergency conditions 'round the country. Perfect conditions for the inaugural Blue Balls Buggy Bash.

Flying started Saturday with the Stiff Nipple Classic 50 kms. An endurance race run on a 1 km reaching leg, requiring 25 laps of 2 kms. The wind was so strong that the tide did not go out and the 5 entrants had to battle the ocean with waves constantly blowing over the course. The last 8 kms were run on a shortened leg as the end of the course disappeared under water.

Richard Horner made the best Le Mans start and took the lead. Consistent flying saw him lap the whole field twice and do 14 kms in the first 25 minutes. Paul Crafar did an upwind turn and crashed into the marshal and the marker before retiring with fatigue. Matt Lord stopped for a change of glasses and later changed his kites as Richard and Perrin Melchior burst away from the field. Brett Cudby tried 3 kites before settling for 2 Super 10 flexis and doing the fastest timed lap at 3 m 59 seconds for 2 kms on soft sand. This reign of speed ended with a squall that blew him out of control into a sand dune. He retired.

Perrin was 1 km behind as he stopped to power up. By the time he had stacked up he was 4 kms behind with 1 Pro 8 and 1 Super 10 flexi, identical to Richard. Over 15 kms, Perrin caught up and set the scene for an epic finish. The last 5 km was amazing to watch as the whole course was awash in foam and crashing waves, with both flyers tired and being pulled out of their buggys several times.

Either could have won, but it was Perrin 1st, with Richard only 150 mtrs behind. At the end, there was no beach and it was time to head back to camp for soup, coffee and showers. Saturday revelry was interrupted by a 3 hour power cut and the certificates and feature trophy were presented in candle light with the campfire raging. By 10 pm most were in bed sleeping next to their heaters.

Sunday: The gear was on the beach by 9 am and I was cruising with a Peel when the gang arrived for the day. Blue skies, moderate winds and a large beach gave us all a lot of pleasure as 15 people had a ride in a solo or tandem, and buggys cruised for 2 1/2 kms on a reach. After an hour or so of social buggying, the 400 m Sprints started with 6 entrants having a go at hurtling themselves down the course and through a river crossing. The water slowed things down and Brett Cudby won the event with a run of 34.11 secs.

Plenty of potential for breaking the 30 sec barrier on a better course.

Next on the card was the 3 min Freestyle Trick Event. 4 riders competed in perfect conditions using the beach, the water and the sand dunes, including a ledge with a 1.5 m vertical drop-off. Perrin started with high-powered backwards water followed by wheel stands, 180 degree spins and reverts. Charlie came next, crashing while doing giant broadslides. After relaunching he finished off with some duning, including 3 drop-offs and a burst of backwards to finish. Brett Cudby's wheels stands ruled as he popped up from turns and dragged his heel to stop while up. His drop-offs combined with very good 180's and reverts set the pace. Matt Lord came screaming in with 3 360's and some nice 180's followed by a drop-off and some water stuff. Using a lot of beach and doing tricks at high speed, he did a fine routine to finish off the competition.

Thanks must go to Shelly Lister, who's excellent marshalling and score keeping ensured consistency and accurate results.

To sum up the flying, it was so good we all left the beach with 2 hours of light and tide left. Certificates were presented and every one got a spot prize for something.

Most Consistent Form: Richard Horner
Best Comeback: Perrin Melchior
360 Of The Day: Matt Lord
Most Overpowered: Paul Crafar
Dune Rider Of The Day: Charlie Watson
Youngest Buggy Rider: Kaiya Watson 2 yrs.
Slam Of The Day (Sat): Charlie Watson. Through the river.
Slam Of The Day (Sun): Paul Crafar. In the river, over the rocks.

The next Buggy Bash will be in November near Auckland. DON'T MISS IT!

Buggy Newz welcomes stories from buggyers worldwide. I reserve the right to edit if necessary.


This is a selection of buggy jargon commonly heard at the Blue Balls Buggy Bash...

Wheel Stand - To get one back wheel off the ground.
360 - To spin in a circle while moving.
180 - To spin from forwards to backwards.
Revert - To spin from backwards to forwards.
180 to Revert - To spin 180, ride along backwards, then revert to forwards.
Backside - To turn with the front wheel turning downwind.
Frontside - To turn with the front wheel turning upwind and the lines passing over the riders head.
Broad Slide - To do an exaggerated slide.
Wheel Barrow - To get both back wheels off the ground.
Duning - To play in the sand dunes.
Backwards - To travel in reverse.
Drop-off - To drop off a vertical ledge or bank.
Fish Tail - To slide the back end from side to side.
High Side - To flip over while sliding.
Smudge - To crash and get dragged.
Slam - To crash and stop.
Mincing - When the wind is perfect.
Punch the Mince - When someone is riding hard out.
A Gas - When it is as good as skiing.
Buggy Beach - A wide beach with hard sand.
Heaven - A Buggy Beach with a sea breeze.


The guys in New Zealand are not the only winter buggy riders with big cajones. Steve Negen sent along this shot of him and Drew Pravda getting a bit of buggy time on the Hard Packed (as in frozen) beaches along Lake Michigan last winter.

Normal summer surface is mostly soft sand with a very narrow hard-pack next to the water. But when the winter storms come, the sand freezes and the winds that accompany the storms off the lake turn the beach into some kind of buggy field.

Keeps the sun bathers to a minimum too.

Directions to El Mirage Dry Lake, California:

Part 1: From LAX : Take #405 north to #5. All the way over the Santa Monica Mountains to San Fernando / Sylmar. Just a short while on #5, exit to #14 to Antelope Valley, Palmdale, Lancaster. North to Palmdale Blvd. Exit eastbound.

From San Diego : North on #15 towards San Bernardino / Barstow / Las Vegas. Exit at #395 (Some 20+ miles north of San Bernardino) If you miss the exit, go to Victorville and go west on #18 or Airbase Road. Turn north on #395 to Adelanto.

Northern California : South on #5 to top of the grapevine. Just past Gorman, take #138 east to #14. South to Palmdale Blvd. Exit eastbound.

From Bakersfield / #99 : Take #58 eastbound over the Tehachapi summit to Mojave. South on #14 to Palmd le Blvd. Exit eastbound.

From Las Vegas : #15 to Victorville (30+ miles south of Barstow). Take Airbase Road or #18 west to #395. Turn right (north) to Adelanto.

Part 2: From Palmdale Blvd (eastbound) : East to about 46th or 47th where the highway bends south. Exit from left lane to continue east on Palmdale Blvd. At 250th, turn left one mile to right turn onto El Mirage Road. About 7 miles to a left turn at the large wooden sign (El Mirage Rec. Area) on a knoll on the left of the road.

Part 3: From Adelanto (westbound) : To second stop light northbound on #395. Left turn onto Crippen Road. Go to Koala Road. Right turn. Follow Koala around the curve, and it becomes El Mirage Road. 5 or 6 miles to right turn at the wooden El Mirage Rec. Area sign on right (north) side of the road.

Part 4: From The Paved Road : Three miles over a gravel road to the access road at the stop sign. Turn left and drive down onto the lake bed. Keep over to the right side and go up about 5-6 miles to our regular spot, just 1/4 mile out from the pucker bumps. We call it Walt's Bay.

Some folks with no interest in the KTA will be out on the lake bed earlier in the week before the big do. There are NO facilities out there. Bring water and everything else you might need. Oh, and buy a map before you go.

GETTING OFF: Getting off the lake after dark is tougher. Follow the right side of the lake back the way you came in. Careful of rough surface over there. A line of telephone poles crosses the lake from right to left. Turn left and the line of poles point to the reflectorized markers at the access road you came in on. (Note: The line of telephone poles bends in the middle of the lake. Be sure to pick them up on the right side of the lake).

EL MIRAGE DRY LAKE - Buggy Boogie Thang 2

Accommodations are not available at El Mirage. There are no casinos at the end of the lake bed like at Ivanpah. The town of Adelanto (with three motels, a couple of restaurants, two mini-marts, gasoline and a grocery) is about 10 miles away to the east. The Days Inn (619-246-8777) in Adelanto is reasonable and clean. If they are full up, they will give you the number of another motel. Victorville (with much more) is another 10 miles. Palmdale (a thriving metropolis) is west of the lake bed about 40 miles.

Camping on the lake is permitted. They have installed a couple of portable johns along the shore. There is no water or electricity or phones or anything else out there. Come prepared. Daytime temperatures should be nice. 60's and 70's. Night time temps drop quickly after the sun goes down. 30's and 40's expected.

The access road to El Mirage turns from the main road at the south-east corner of the lake. A couple of miles to the left turn that has a stop sign on the crossing road. Follow that road directly onto the lake bed.

We gather about 5-6 miles up the lake on the right side, about 1/4 mile out from the main pucker bumps. Old aircraft tie-downs embedded in the lake bed mark the spot. We call it "Walt's Bay".

Everything works out. See you there! ;-)

For Whom The Tide Rolls


If you buggy on coastal beaches, you quickly learn a respect for the power of the sea, and you learn the importance of tidal conditions on your buggy fun.

The Tidelog presents the tides and currents graphically (over M.C. Escher's "Second Day of Creation"). You see the whole week at a glance! Those freebie booklets available at tackle shops can be confusing. They don't show the tides, only times.

East Coast areas covered by the Tidelog are No. New England (Massachusetts, N. Hampshire & Maine coasts), So. New England (Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Block Island Sound, eastern Long Island Sound), Mid-Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, w ong Island, western Connecticut, coastal Delaware and Virginia), Chesapeake Tidewater (Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore, Washington & the Tidewater area of Virginia).

West Coast books cover Puget Sound (Puget Sound & north into the San Juan Islands), No. California (S.F. Bay and Delta, south to Monterey and north to the Nehalem River in Oregon), and So. California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Catalina, south to Manzanillo, Mexico and north to Carmel).

The 1995 Tidelog is only $ 12.95 (plus $2 shipping)

Write to Pacific Publishers, Box 480, Bolinas CA 94924. Phone orders with credit card: 415-868-2909

I have used the Tidelog for the last three years and find it invaluable. You will too! Tell them I sent you... Who knows? It might help!

Buggy Pilots International
c/o Windborne Kites
585 Cannery Row #105
Monterey, California 93940


What's missing from this version is the awsome, stunning photos that you can see in the print version of Buggy Newz.. There are several ways to get your own copy..

(1) Wait till your buggy buddy leaves on a long run and steal it..

(2) Trade your buggy buddy a 6-pak for it..

(3) Coerce your buggy buddy to make you a photocopy of it..

(4) The coolest thing to do is drop a note to Corey Jensen at:

Buggy Pilots International
c/o Windborne Kites
585 Cannery Row #105
Monterey, California 93940

(5) Cooler still would be to send along $5 or $10 to help Corey defray the costs involved with printing and mailing.. You _might_ even find a bit of aoxomoxoa this way..