Idealog Podcast: Manta5's Guy Howard-Willis on riding your bike on water

Manta5's Guy Howard-Willis, creator of a bike you can ride on water thanks to hydrofoils, chats with Idealog about the development process of his innovation, how it could change society, and why cycling on water could maybe one day become an Olympic sport.

Riding a bike. On the water.

Sounds cool, right? But also a bit absurd, as in it could never be a viable mode of transportation?

In the words of (an older) Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, "Amazing. Every word of what you just said... was wrong."

Say hello to New Zealand company Manta5, and the Hydrofoiler XE-1, a hydrofoil bike designed, in fact, to be ridden across bodies of water.

The company was founded by Guy Howard-Willis, who had the dream of being able to ride across the water. He drew different hydrofoil water bike concepts, but it was only when he met Roland Alonzo - an accomplished bicycle designer with a passion for cutting-edge technology - did his dream of riding a bike on water begin to materialise. Since 2010, there have been six prototypes. The company is now ready for the New Zealand market, with pre-sales underway.They've already had thousands of people pre-order from all over the world (and you can do so here), including the Crown Prince of Dubai.

Oh, and after winning a Gold Pin at last year's New Zealand Best Design awards, a short video of the prototype in action on Lake Karapiro - located between Hamilton and Rotorua - has received over 130 million views on Facebook alone. Yup. One-hundred-and-thirty. Million.

But enough from us. Have a listen to Howard-Willis discuss how he came up with the design, what the refinement process was like, why he thinks his innovation could help lead to the creation of a new Olympic sport (admit it: cycling on the water would be pretty sweet), whether you can bike across the water from Auckland to Waiheke Island (or across the English Channel!), and more.

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