Introduction We call them 'Class Eights'. Well in the company of sand yachters anyway. Buggies, parakarts or just karts/carts. What's it all about? Like sand yachting, it's fast and it's fun, green and clean. A highly technical sport, it harnesses the power of the wind to propel a 'pilot' in a three-wheeled buggy using powerful 'traction' kites. Any open area of ground can be used. Large fields are okay, airfields better, but the best buggying is done on beaches where the surface is usually flatter, smoother and the wind is stronger and more consistant. Buggy speeds of double the s peed of the wind are fairly easy to achieve. Parakarting is gaining in popularity. There are approximately 1500 registered and insured pilots in the UK. There are a considerable number of unregistered participants too. Freestyle or racing? Inland buggy sites are more suitable for smaller buggies which are very manoeuvrable. Beaches are more suitable for high-speed cruising (and racing) as the larger, heavier buggies require greater distances to get up to speed. Once there, they are more comfortable traveling longer distances. Heavier buggies also allow the pilot to fly larger kites which increases speed too. Which kite? Several style of kite can be used for parakarting. Four-line traction kites are the preferred 'engine', and these come in two basic designs, a single-skinned sparred wing, or a twin-skinned foil. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, and pilots tend to stick to one type where they can better learn their characteristics. Both types of traction kite generate huge amounts of power. A pilot will usually choose a range of kites to cover various wind speeds - smaller kites for strong wind and larger kites for light winds. The weight of the pilot and the buggy will affect what size kite a pilot flies. Heavier pilots can fly larger kites, and have an advantage when the winds are stronger. In lighter winds, the lighter pilot has an advantage as they have less weight to pull with the larger kites. Buy or build? It is possible to build your own buggy. Sourcing materials takes time and effort, and skill working metal (bending/welding) will be required. There are several good designs available on the Internet. Several companies produce good quality buggies for recreational and racing use. These have undergone years of development and will all serve their owners well for several years. Kites can also be homemade too. Foil design software is available on the Internet - try searching for 'Foilmaker', which is a popular program. A fair amount of skill is required with a sewing machine, and rip-stop nylon is not the easiest material to work with, but some people have made some excellent kites for a fraction of the cost of a commercial foil. Lots of companies are making traction kites now, including some paraglider manufacturers who have turned their glider know-how into some excellent foils. Traction kites can be expensive, but nearly all commercially available foils have undegone years of development and testing, are well made, perform well and will last for years. The WSYC The club opened its doors to parakarters in 1999, and we now make up the majority of the membership. The sandbank is a superb buggying site, and membership of the club allows access to the workshop, shower, toilets, clubhouse and kitchen. There's nothing better than being able to sit in comfortable surroundings with a hot drink after a good day's sailing! The club has a very relaxed atmosphere. Sand yachters and parakarters of all ages mix freely. Discussion (not surprisingly!) is usually about 'land-sailing' and the weather (especially if it's bad!). There are several highly experienced pilots in the club who can help out with any aspect of parakarting. Home Club Membership Visitors Location Rules Events Photo Videos Facebook BACK