Cycling On Water Made Possible With The Manta5

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

We still can’t walk on water. How about cycling on it? The Manta5 Hydrofoil Bike, created by Guy Howard-Willis, Roland Alonzo and a group of Waikato Management School Alumni, is making the latter a reality.

The bike uses hydrofoil, e-bike tech and a propeller, allowing users to plane on top of water. Design commenced in 2011 in Alonzo’s garage, and it has since won a Gold Pin in the Concept Product category at the 2017 New Zealand Best Design Awards.

“Developing a hydrofoil bike has been a rewarding, yet extremely challenging journey, requiring highly technical capabilities to overcome design challenges,” Howard-Willis said in a statement. “Our Waikato alumni have come on board and made a brilliant contribution — it’s refreshing to have such young, sharp minds involved.”

The bike was built using carbon fiber — a strong, yet lightweight material. It also possesses a 400w electric motor and waterproof battery that can survive in both fresh and saltwater environments.

Since day one, the goal was to replicate a land cycling experience on water. Naturally, this included the ability to re-mount the bike — something that can be done from underwater, but not without some practice. No need to worry though, learning to ride the Manta5 Hydrofoiler is no different than learning to ride a normal bike.

Now entering the commercialization phase, the company is preparing to distribute the product internationally. It was first unveiled to the public in Auckland at “Big Boy Toys” earlier this month.

“We’ve had so many people tell us that what we’re trying to achieve can’t be done,” Howard-Willis added. “I just love working with a design team who redefine what’s possible — it’s always great to see those people’s reactions when we show them video of what we’ve achieved.”