2011 Invention Awards: Water Rocket

May 9, 2011

When Jason Woods was 19 and living on his own for the first time, he decided to buy an old ski boat. The 1969 Sportster was perfect for driving girls around Lake Berryessa, near his home in Napa, California, but after a few months, he found that transporting and storing a 16-foot boat was an expensive hassle. He wanted a craft that he could toss in his car and carry to the water. Unfortunately, no options existed.

So Woods-who, at Napa’s New Technology High School, learned how make his own rockets and build battle-ready robots-came upwith the idea for the Kymera. The concept was a carbon-fiber body board powered by a small engine that would propel a rider at exhilarating speeds while displacing roughly half an inch of water. Vacationers could explore waterways without a boat, and because the Kymera would weigh only 35 pounds, one person could haul it to the water.