12 Action Sports Crowdfunding Projects We Wish We'd Thought Of First
These bright sparks want your money!
The growth of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, Crowdtilt and IndieGoGo have encouraged a colourful collection of budding entrepreneurs to take over the world wide web with their innovations and ideas. Ideas that are just so good, they struggled to get funding elsewhere.
Action sports has always been ripe for inventors who have a lengthy, if mixed, relationship with snowboarders, surfers and BMXers. Given the boom in inventive opportunists, MPORA decided to take a look through the crowdfunding world to find the boffins reinventing the wheel - or just adding extra wheels to things that previously didn't have or need one.
[part title="The Wetsuit Buddy Wetsuit Removal Tool"]
This effort from the Irish Wetsuit Buddies solves a problem you didn't even know you had. The invention resembles the lovechild of a poop scooper, a barbeque tool and a shoe horn. It was created to help you out at the end of your surf or swim session as you struggle to pull your wetsuit off while trying to preserve your balance and dignity simultaneously.
The tool is designed to work like a human hand and slides down between the leg and the wetsuit peeling it off. Luckily most surfers have hands, most of which perform this function free of charge. But credit where credit is due, this product offers more than a helping hand. It also doubles as a hanger, handy. We are not sure how successful this product will be, but we'll award the Irish with an A for effort and an A+ for creating a video that brightened up our day no end.
[part title="The Stair Rover Skateboard"]
Stairs, the natural enemy of skateboards. You can't roll up or down them, disaster - at least in the eyes of the guys behind the stair rover. Their solution? To add more wheels. Four more to be precise. Soon you'll be riding the Sleipnir of the skateboarding world, conquering one set of stairs at a time.
The video makes it look fairly effective and well thought out but also kind of boring. Why ride down stairs when you can use them as a feature? Spots like Wahlenberg wouldn't be legendary if we could also just trundle down them on these eight wheeled monstrosities. In our humble opinion if you want to invent a skateboard capable of tackling all terrain then you should at least go all the way and equip them with tank tracks. Now that we would like to see.
Funding Status: The Stair Rover has currently raised £48,813 of its £50,000 target.
[part title="Cthulhu Ski Mask"]
It's a secret to no-one that the mountains are littered with fashion disasters. From the parents still compressed into their eighties neon one piece suits to uni trips in onesies and mankinies, there are a lot of questionable looking people out there.
If you're struggling picking an outfit for the slopes with the shock factor then Toy Vault would like you to invest in their knitted Cthulhu Ski Masks. What better look for the slopes than the octopus faced deity of Lovecraftian lore? Snazzy.
Most Kickstarter campaigns offer perks for donating greater quantities. Donating $7,500 will let you design your own mask but the real winner is the Cthulhu air freshener given away if you donate $10. I wonder what the infinite nothingness of the end of the world smells like?
Funding Status: The Cthulhu Ski Mask has currently raised $12,649 of its $1,100 target.
[part title="Jesus Loves It"]
This ambitious Kickstarter project promises to bring Jesus to life by portraying him in a over 100 illustrations showing him that we'll seek to humanise him and make the miracle performing, cruicified demi-god son of our Lord more relatable for Generation Y.
Along with illustrations of Jesus 'being rad' on his skateboard, he is also pictured playing volleyball and cycling, as well as imitating Gareth Bale.
Sadly the organiser called it a day before the project could be completed meaning that Jesus skateboarding will remain a pipe dream. For now.
Funding Status: Jesus Loves It has been cancelled having raised $148 of its $1,000 target.
[part title="UpSkiWind Mountaineering"]
Skiing downhill is fun so skiing uphill must also be fun. Just look at the big smiles on those people nordic skiing up the piste while walking their dogs. The guys at UpSki are seeking to change that, rather than slogging your way up a mountain you will sail instead with the addition of the large parachute that pulls you up the hill.
The project is fraught with problems, acknowledged by the manufacturers. Wind isn't guaranteed and neither is its direction. Fine when you've got the whole ocean to use, not so much when you're on a mountain with other people and big drops. Still it's a better way of reaching the top of a run than a T-Bar.
Funding Status: UpSki has raised $11,357 of its $11,200 target.
[part title="Shag Pile Skateboard"]
The Shaggo Grom skateboard is advertised as 'the only shag carpet embedded skateboard.' A surprise to no-one. It promises reduced vibration and a silky smooth ride as well as feeling really nice between your toes.
Apparently these things used to be all the rage for kids which makes me long for a better childhood than I received. There was no shag carpet at home let alone on my skateboard. Enough about me, the board is available in six colours described as 'righteous' and with neon wheels this is the perfect gift to get your kids skating while making sure their tootsies are kept cosy.
Funding Status: The Shaggo Grom has raised $21,931 of its $15,000 target.
[part title="Wave Catcher Bodyboard"]
This invention is for those people who haven't quite mastered the art of catching waves on a bodyboard. Rather than having to paddle or invest in a pair of flippers this genius is looking for $10,000 to attach a sail to the bottom of the board to make it easier to catch waves.
The promotional video shows all kinds of awesome bodyboarding antics - all achieved without the use of the wavecatcher. The inventor also struggles to explain how you stop the board constantly being dragged into shore by the sail. It's probably better to avoid this guy's mistakes and just buy some fins.
Funding Status: The Wave Catcher has been pulled from Kickstarter.[part title="Folding Skateboard"]
Storing skateboards is always a conundrum. Well with this folding skateboard, worry no longer. This longboard folds in three allowing it to be stored in lockers, backpacks and, according to the the advert, bear caves. Handy.
The board looks like it rides well but the inventor complains that wherever he goes he's bombarded by questions from inquisitive members of the public who are clearly easily impressed. The most notable feature of this project is that if you donate $5,000 to the Folding Skateboard then not only do you get to shoot your own video but you also get one of the sofa cushions that the inventor has been sleeping on recently. Business is clearly going well.
Funding Status: The Folding Skateboard has raised $2,010 of its $2,000 target.
[part title="3D Printed Surfboards"]
There's a stage in everyone's life that they stop understanding new technology. Tt's usually in their 40s. Your parents probably stopped with MP3 players and smartphones, your grandparents may never have got past moving pictures. For me, it's already happened and it's 3D printing and I'm not even old enough to rent a car. It may as well be magic as far as I'm concerned.
MADE are promising to create tailored surfboards and windsurfers using alchemy/3D printing and performance tracking and they look pretty cool. The only problem is the prohibitive target. MADE need half a million dollars to get things off the ground. They still haven't finished developing the technology required so don't be expecting your skynet, magic carpet board anytime soon.
Funding Status: SmartBoards has raised $38,647 of its $450,000 target.
[part title="The Skaddle"]
Sadly the Skaddle never reached its total. And that is a sad truth that we will just have to bear. Surely a paddle for skateboarding could have had so much potential? It could have become the new paddleboarding or the surf world to the skate world. What is not to love about that?!
But alas this contraption that looked a little bit too much like a tennis ball on a blind man's stick never made it over the first hurdle. So for now we'll have to make do with skateboarding the old fashioned way.
Funding Status: The Skaddle raised $308 of its $15,000 target.
[part title="Point Break Live"]
This is a real Kick Starter success story. Having already been successful on the West Coast, these guys are taking the 90s classic Point Break to the stage in New York. If any movie deserves to be immortalised in this low budget manner then surely its the magnum opus of Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayzee.
The project features all the snappy dialogue, fight scenes and emotion of the original with the added bonus of crowd interaction. One of the audience plays Agent Jonny Utah each night. Having reached its original target it's now seeking to raise $17,000 in order to no longer be operating at a loss - there's the dream right there.
Funding Status: Point Break Live has raised $8,353 of its $8,119 target.
[part title="Jamaican Bobsleigh Team"]
The granddaddy of crowdfunding. The campaign is being run by the same team behind Jamaican Bobsleigh team's debut at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Now they're at it again. The campaign is fronted by Devon Harris, a member of the 1988 squad. The dream is to send the team to this year's Winter Olympics in Russia.
Billed as Cool Runnings 2, the two man team will be taking part in the Games having succeeded in raising and surpassing their $80,000 target. The guys from the Caribbean even managed to raise $30,000 in Dogecoin - a digital currency similar to Bitcoin.
Much of the money will go towards covering the logistics of the trip and only includes three weeks training for the athletes so don't be expecting a gold medal for your donation.
Funding Status: The Jamaican Bobsleigh Team has raised $129,557 of its $80,000 target.