Looking for a new adventure? Hop on a flyboard. It’s a new sport, made famous by a contestant on “America’s Got Talent.” Our very own Adventure TravelingMom, the incomparable Fan Capo, shows off her mad skills and tells us why traveling by flyboard made her feel like Ironwoman.
Travel by Flyboard
At some point in life, we have all been asked, “What superpower would you want if you could have any?” I never really gave it much thought. But now I think I have found the closest thing to one of them… Flyboarding. It makes you feel like Ironman or in my case, Ironwoman without the villains chasing you!
So what exactly is it? It’s a new sport that was invented in the Fall of 2012 by a French guy, Franky Zapata. Many people still don’t know what it is, but for those of you who watch “America’s Got Talent” you may have seen a really cool talented kid by the name of Damone Rippy, do some amazing tricks on one.
Now if you didn’t see that episode, here’s the official definition:
“A Flyboard is a type of water jetpack attached to a personal water craft (like a jetski) which supplies propulsion to drive the Flyboard through air and water to perform a sport known as flyboarding. A Flyboard rider stands on a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft.”
What that means is this: You strap these boots on to your feet. The boots have jet nozzles underneath. Those are attached to a hose. Water is pushed through the tube at such a high pressure that it thrusts youup to 49 feet in the air! Or, if you point toward the water, helps you dive, (hopefully head first) as much as 8 feet deep.
If you are graceful, you look like a dolphin. If you are not, like me, it looks painful. But it really isn’t that bad at all. You, of course wear, protective gear including a helmet and a life jacket. You should try to keep your mouth shut as you land otherwise you swallow some salt water. It’s not a glamorous sport, but then most high adrenaline adventures aren’t.
But I will tell you once you get the hang of it, you do feel like ironwoman.
Learning to Flyboard
Anyway, I decided to get two half-hour sessions as a Christmas present for myself and my son, Spencer. Months later we cashed in the sessions and went with two companies that work in tandem out of Greenport, Long Island. (The company also works out in Shelter Island.) James Bissett from FlyboardLi.com was Spencer’s pilot instructor, and Brian Carrick from Shakaflyboarding.com was mine.
Upon arrival, you sign release forms (as with all adrenaline sports). Then you change into your bathing suit. I also wore my diving skin – partially to protect myself, and the other part because I look thinner in one. You can rent one if you like as well.
Then you go into a conveniently located tent, don your jacket and helmet and walk to the peer. That’s where you stick on the flyboard and get about 10 minutes of instruction on how to drag the jetski out away from the peer, and how to maneuver your body in a position so you will fly into the air.
Flying on a Flyboard
Spencer went first, and after a few tries was up in the air. He made it look simple. I, however, needed a bit more practice. It took persistence and a lot of it! Plus there was a whole pier full of people watching, so I did feel a little pressure to perform.
I had my two interns, Mike and Nick, taking video, I was wearing my Panasonic A500 headcam to get a view from my perspective, and my dear Friar friend Nancy Lombardo taking stills. Nancy left after a bit because she said she couldn’t watch me slam into the water anymore, it looked too painful. I think it was just an excuse to get away and start her BBQ.
As for instructions, every time I fell into the water, Brian yelled, “It’s all about the toes! Aim them up you fall back, aim them down you fall face down.” I had the concept locked in my mind, however, my feet seemed to have a mind of their own.
But when mind and body finally coordinated, I was flying high and tourists stopped to take pictures. Of course, I immediately fell in the water again as I tried to turn to pose for the cameras.
All in all, it was a fabulous adventure to try and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. If you are looking for something really cool to try with your kids give the guys a call and say I sent ya.
Note: My Flyboarding adventure also appeared on the award winning TV Show, “Live it Up!” on CBS where I am the adventure correspondent.
To set up your own flyboard adventure call or email:
What have you done that made you feel like Ironman or Ironwoman? Share with us in the comment section below.