WHEN it first arrived commercially on the scene as recently as 2012 the flyboard was certainly considered a bizarre novelty and there were plenty of videos on YouTube of people making idiots of themselves, but now just a few years later it is being taken seriously and experts can achieve some incredible feats.
The flyboard is a water jet powered machine which allows propulsion underwater and in the air. The two nozzles positioned under the rider’s feet receive 90 per cent of the water propulsion and movement is controlled by the rider tilting his/her feet. The nozzles on the hands receive the remaining 10 per cent of water and are used to ensure stabilisation, just as ski poles would.
A flyboard rider stands on a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 15m (49ft) in the air or to dive headlong through the water down to 2.5m (8ft). In many ways it combines a range of activities including jet skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, skiing, snowboarding and acrobatic diving.
Although it looks a somewhat difficult almost clumsy sport, in actual fact, learning to flyboard is a bit like learning to walk and a good instructor should be able to teach a complete novice how to fly straight up in a very short period of time and to then progress to diving and eventually acrobatics.
Invented by a young Frenchman, Franky Zapata who liked the concept of the hoverboard in ‘Back to the Future,’ several thousand flyboards have been sold worldwide and there are a number of companies offering lessons and adventures on flyboards in Mallorca.