The flyboard is much more spectacular than a simple bicycle or skateboard. This bizarre small platform-shaped device is connected to pipes that propel seawater at high pressure.
It is practiced by the sea, under the sun. It is also practiced on the lake. It is an innovative and spectacular sport accessible to all, from the age of sixteen. The machine allows you to rise, standing, above the water and several meters high. With a little practice, it is even possible to use it to travel underwater. In any case, he gives his followers the appearance of superheroes.
Who invented the flyboard?
The flyboard is invented in 2011 by Franky Zapata, a French professional jet ski pilot, born in Marseille and several times world champion in jet skiing. After having designed many flyboard prototypes, Franky Zapata presents its creation to the public for the first time in 2012, at the World Jet Ski Championships.
The following year, he reached the final of the French television show “La France a un incroyable talent”, presenting his Flyboard III. Since then, more than 10,000 models have been sold worldwide. A very simple handling, and extreme sensations, have made the success of this patented invention. Competitions, and even world cups, are organised regularly.
How does it work?
Among water sports, flyboarding is a real revolution. A flexible hose of almost 20 meters is connected to the device, simply clipping onto the turbine outlet of a jet ski located below. Thanks to the power of the hose and two thrusters located in the flyboard platform under the athlete’s feet, the hydro-powered device rises into the air while remaining stable, up to about ten metres above the water level.
A minimum basin depth of at least 4 metres is required. It is therefore not advisable to get too close to the beach edge, otherwise there is a risk of diving headfirst into the sand.
The flyboarder’s feet are inserted in a pair of special boots. You have to keep your legs straight. All you have to do is position yourself a little further forward to keep your balance. Depending on the model, joysticks are used to control the thrusters under the feet, and nozzles on each arm are used to stabilize in the air.
It is quickly possible to perform figures above the water without difficulty, with a little practice. This is Icarus’ dream, aquatic version. You can also dive 10 metres high, head first, and then move quickly underwater. Thus, a flyboard makes it easy to imitate jumps in the water and the dolphin’s swimming. The sea must be rather calm, but it doesn’t have to be a lake of oil.
This thrill sport is open to both men and women, and does not impose weight or height limits. The women have proven that they handle the flyboard board with great agility and finesse. It is an ideal sport to practice with friends, to compare the prowess and stylistic figures of each one. All flyboarders will enjoy a good dose of adrenaline, but also exceptional views to admire the surrounding landscape.
This sport is particularly popular on the French Riviera.
Is an initiation session mandatory?
In just a few minutes, a beginner can move easily on a flyboard. No prerequisites are required, just the ability to swim. The flyboard is a very intuitive and easy to use device.
However, as flyboarding is still part of extreme sports, an introductory session is recommended to start off on a good foundation. An introductory session will always begin with a safety briefing, and valuable tips that will give instructions and tips on how to operate the machine.
Then, the flyboarder board a boat, to go to sea in a place suitable for flyboarding, about 300 meters from the beach. The jet ski driver accompanies him. It is he who will manage the propulsion blown into the pipe. The flyboarder equips himself with a helmet and a lifejacket, puts on his slippers, and gets into the water behind him, like a diver. Jet skiing will allow the flyboarder to get away from the boat.
Then the flyboarder gets into an upright position, and takes off! These are sure to be thrilling! Very quickly, all feelings of apprehension disappear. The arms help to find a good balance. It is better to look at the horizon, and not to remain with your eyes fixed on your feet. By simply tilting the feet down, the flyboarder moves forward. By positioning them upwards, it moves backwards. Control of the aircraft, or at least good stabilization in the air, is usually achieved after about ten minutes.
The beginner will learn to rise in the air, to go to the right, to the left, then quickly he will be able to dive in the water, to then go up in the air. While there are sometimes falls, they are not dangerous and are no different from a dive in a pool. After impressive flyboarding prowess, the beginner, or the experienced flyboarder, simply returns to the base by boat.
Some flyboards no longer require a pilot on the jet ski and have become totally autonomous. It is then the flyboarder who manages the jet-ski and the power of the gases himself, thanks to a remote control. This is often the choice of experienced flyboarders. Remote controls have several modes (beginner, normal and expert), which allows you to progress and perform more and more acrobatic tricks.
What is the price of a flyboard session?
For an initiation or a session, count between 100 and 150 euros. For an extreme sport in complete safety, with good equipment and plenty of memories, this is reasonable. The initiations generally last 20 minutes, which is more than enough the first time, to fill up with strong emotions! Subsequent sessions usually last half an hour.
So, do you want to defy the laws of gravity, look like a science fiction movie actor while playing sports? The flyboard is made for you. For lovers of thrills and marine pleasures, it is an unusual experience to live absolutely.