I've recently noticed an adventure water sport that has my attention along with that of the rest of the world. It isn't for anyone who is afraid of heights and it has been said to be the closest thing a person can get to experiencing the Iron Man sensation (not the tri sport). The aparatus is called a Flyboard.
Entrepeneur, Franky Zapata is living proof of 'sky's-the-limit potential' even when the odds seem against you. He is a French Jet Ski world champion who built his own versions of Jet Skis (apparently faster than the competition). Several versions in fact, which he has branded and sold world-wide. In the process he learned the equipment so well he was able to venture out and (with the help of others and a lot of hard work), develop what we now know as the Flyboard. He introduced the first version in May of 2012, and is now introducing an improved version.
Flyboard~Water Adventure Sport
What is it?
It's two kits:
- A Flyboard kit: Includes a board (similar to a wakeboard), shoes, hoses, rotation system, elbow, nozzle and clip.
- An electronic kit: Includes a trigger, two cables, electronic system, electronic motor, a beam and an adapter.
Combined, they connect to a personal water craft (like a Jet Ski) via an elbow and fire hose. The Flyboard is propelled by water through the fire hose which enables the users to reach heights of just above 16 feet above the water to almost 33 feet, depending on the power of the PWC. Much like other sports, you maneuver with simple body motions.
From the first video release which got a mere 2,499,999 views, the sport's popularity and style have developed to the level of World Cup Championships. Competitions include teams with synchronized manuevers, and all the acrobatic style one would expect from any elite sport. They also have impressive light shows featuring lit boards, reflective wet suits and intriguing patterns. Its intuitive use can be learned within about 20 minutes and the sport is a combination of surf, kite and Jet Ski.
What to wear:
Wet suits, life jackets and helmets that cover the ears or ear protection. Ear protection is suggested due to the impact of diving and . . . well. . . mishaps.
Initial Body Position:
Once the user's gear is on and boots secured the user can sit at the edge of a dock and jump into the water to a prostrate position. The PWC operator will start the ski engine and propell the person forward while their back is arched and head is up out of the water. When the hose is straight from the PWC and the Flyboard user feels the extra power they want to keep their legs straight pulling them under their body and toes up. This pulls the Flyboard user up out of the water.
Forward and upward motions are accomplished by moving the toes forward and upward respectively.
Turning is done by a slight bend in the knee. Left knee bent takes the user to the right and vice versa.
The users legs should be straight when the user isn't engaging in different maneuvers.
Balance is said to be key, there is no weight limit, but there is an age limit.
I think this looks like a fun way to enjoy the water and I'm definitely game!