Why hasn’t Laird done this yet? It’s equal parts tow surfing, wakeboarding, wingsuit madness and snowboarding mixed with a 50 gallon barrel of nopes. At least that’s the easiest way for me to explain it. Just imagine strapping yourself onto a foil and grabbing a tow rope connected to the back of an airplane. Whether or not you’ll have time to bend over and kiss your ass goodbye is something engineers still have to run official tests for.
The guy behind it all isn’t a bored big wave surfer or the unknown member of the Nitro Circus family. Since Aaron Wypyszynski grew up to be too tall to pilot planes for the Air Force he went on to pursue a career designing airplanes. But airplanes have already been done, so “Wyp” started designing what he now calls the WingBoard. His inspiration came from the cartoon TaleSpin, where a kid/bear/orphan wearing a backwards hat and hoodie (but no pants, because Disney) regularly jumped on a tiny board and towed behind Baloo’s twin prop cargo plane. The idea is simple enough and Kit Cloudkicker always made the act look like a no consequences pool skating session. Coupled with the fact that pretty much all cartoon creations need to have real like military applications (you hear that, NASA’s Voltron Research Team?) , the WingBoard became Wyp Aviation’s trademark project.
As for the WingBoard itself, WYP Aviation has only designed a small model to this point. Currently in Phase 2 of a three step process that will have man riding behind airplanes, Wypyszynski is testing his design with a robotic regularfoot that can simulate a person’s ability to control the board and tow rope. Phase 3 is when things will get interesting. Wyp will be testing their first full size prototype with a real test pilot. The person crazy enough to volunteer for that role isn’t known yet, but like I said, Laird’s name should be in that hat already. In order to get there WYP Aviation has to raise $275,000 to build their prototype. At that point, once Phase 3 is wrapped up, the WingBoard is set for touring on the airshow circuit and early sales of around $10,000 a board. That’s right, this is strictly a toy that’s being designed for people looking for a new rush. No Navy Seals on WingBoards, just regular old people who have grown bored of wingsuits and skydiving. Plain and simple, somebody just wanted to create the next extreme sport in the sky. Looks like we have to get going on a new Point Break remake already.