How to Build Your Own Hovercraft, in Answer to “Bubba’s Hover”

Professional golfer Bubba Watson recently grabbed a lot of attention with the April Fools’ week publication of a video showing him using a hovercraft golf cart to tool around the links.
Now we have a video on how to make your own hovercraft. Jonny Philips and Richard Ambrose, hosts of National Geographic Channel U.K.’s I Didn’t Know That series, demonstrate that a piece of plywood and a leaf blower can actually make a hovercraft that glides across a gymnasium floor pretty smoothly.

The idea is to create a cushion of air between the vehicle and everything below it. The larger the vehicle, the more efficient it can be at maneuvering over rough terrain—and even over water—if it has the right underbelly construction.

Bubba Watson quipped that some folks would probably rather drive the hovercraft golf cart than actually play golf. In the YouTube video, he insinuates that he drove a golf cart before he ever considered golfing for a living.


More than 6.7 million people have viewed Watson’s video, produced in collaboration with sunglass maker Oakley, which signed Watson to a sponsorship deal just a few months ago. As reported last week by BusinessWeek, the golf cart was produced not as a planned business departure from sunglasses to all-terrain vehicles, but instead with the idea of creating a viral video. Seems they were successful.


Changing Planet

Meet the Author
Jeff has been a Senior Video Producer with National Geographic for over 10 years. He manages day-to-day operation of National Geographic's online video player and writes, produces and narrates videos. A video news journalist for more than 25 years, his previous experience includes Senior Producer for Discovery Science Channel, Executive Producer for a regional cable news channel, and News Director, News Anchor, Producer and Reporter for several local network affiliates in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Washington, DC and West Virginia.