Speed on land and sea: The Quadski
I have written about several watercraft in a few previous articles, including the Watercar, claiming to be the fastest amphibious vehicle in the world. In my research for other similar vehicles, I came across the pictured craft with a somewhat “muddied” history. First, who knew there were multiple options when seeking out amphibious vehicles to experience thrill rides on both water and land? I introduce you to the Quadski by Gibbs Sports, although finding a new one today might be difficult.
As detailed on Gibbs website:
Quadski was produced by Gibbs Sports Amphibians in Michigan, USA. From 2013–2016, we pioneered the production of high-speed sports amphibians with the Quadski & Quadski XL. Over 1000 vehicles were produced, and these are now all sold. Quadski production is now finished & there are no new vehicles available for purchase.
With a starting price of around $40,000, this vehicle brought the promise of ATV mobility and water vehicle flexibility. The original Quadski, weighing roughly 1300lbs, touted the ability to achieve 45mph on land and water. With an available 145hp, the transition from land to water was done quickly (5 seconds) with plenty of power at the beckon. This HSA (High-Speed Amphibian) was all the rage several years ago. So what went wrong?
As detailed in an article by the Detroit Free Press, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission ended up doing a massive recall in 2015, which accounted for 320 of the company's Quadski and Quadski XL models. This accounted for nearly 30% of Gibb’s total amount of water vehicles sold. The issue had to do with the handlebars and the possibility of losing control of steering and the inability to brake. To say this was a back-breaker might be an understatement because I find very little information on this company save for a still functional website.
It’s a shame as this company began with such a promise back in 1998. Two existing entrepreneurs, Alan Gibbs and Neil Jenkins, founded the privately-held company and brought production to a 54,000 square foot facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with nearly 200 jobs.
Today, I can find no objective evidence actual production is still being done at the Michigan-based facility. There is the possibility this company has channeled most of its focus to more commercial vehicles like their Humdinga and Phibian models. Perhaps their focus is more on Public Service, as demonstrated with the emergency response:
Such is the case with many companies; not everything is a winner right out of the gate. One devastating recall can be enough to stop a company in its tracks. If you were one of the lucky 1000 to obtain one of the Quadski models, enjoy your rare treasure. For those of you who missed out, you can find these on the open market but expect to pay near the original selling price. I found no used unit less than $35,000, most hovering over the $45,000 asking price. Just make sure you buy one of the non-recalled or previously fixed models!