... well, not the real Grinch, but a homemade version (The Wench!), that has been built by some of the Paignton guys!
So what's a Grinch?
Basically its a petrol motor attached to a winch system with a shed load of rope and a ski-handle at one end. The idea is you can tow yourselves into waves and along the shoreline on skimboard.
You can buy a Grinch in the US, but they are expensive, so some of the Paignton locals with a good engineering background set about making one for themselves.
This how they did it...
Build your own!
Having sourced a 70cc petrol motor from an old moped, they set about designing and making their own Grinch with a load of scrap parts they sourced from different places. The end result, a homemade Grinch, or as they like to call it "The Wench".
The guys haven't left anything to chance and have designed in a brake system, 3 speed gearbox (from the moped), hand throttle, kick start, and chain guard. They even have a seat so the operator can sit to control the winch system.
Testing the Wench!
The guys tried the Wench out at Paignton, on a cold windy day, to make sure that there wasn't many people on the beach that could get tangled up with the winch system.
To fire up the Wench, you just use the kick start. Unwind the nylon rope from the drum, position the skimboarder at the other end - wait for them to give the signal they are ready, select a gear (3rd gear is all thats needed) release the brake and away you go. Line speed can be controlled by the hand throttle, and if the rider falls off, apply the brake to the drum to stop the line pull. It's a pretty neat system.
And it works - it works bloody well. The guys have a superb job in the design and application of the whole system. So well done to Ben, Jase and Chris for all their hard work over the 5 months it took to design and build.
Rest assured, you'll be seeing a lot more "Wench" action on Sandskater in the coming months!