A Flyboard is a type of water jetpack attached to a personal water craft (PWC) 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. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 15 metres in the air or to dive headlong through the water.
The Flyboard was invented in spring 2011 by a French watercraft rider, Franky Zapata. He built many prototypes before perfecting the design which allows the device to climb out of the water and be stable in the air. This was achieved by the underfoot propulsion and hand stabilization The French Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI) granted Zapata a patent for his invention. The Flyboard was the subject of a lawsuit from competitor Jetlev which was dropped without prejudice in March 2013. The device was presented to the public for the first time at the jet ski World Championship 2012 in China. After a video was posted on YouTube the product received a lot of attention from people around the world and it was looked at as an incredible new sport phenomenon. Then after around six months the Flyboard was an “unavoidable nautical discipline". After its introduction in 2012 the Flyboard has sold around 2500 units.
The Flyboard requires proper instructions and safety gear before being able to use the product. The PWC (Personal Water Craft) is powered from 100 horse power and up and follows the rider, permitting the freedom to go anywhere, even underwater. The thrust that comes from the PWC is run through a 180 degree adapter (which allows the rider to divert and control the device in any desired motion) and then goes into the hose that is 4 inches in diameter and roughly 55 feet long and has capabilities of putting the pilot above water 35 feet or below water 35 feet. Each minute there are a thousand gallons of water flowing through this device and provides 60 psi and above along with 400 pounds of lift power. The hose is attached in a way so that the PWC follows behind the rider’s trail allowing the rider all types of freedom even allowing the rider to go under water if they desire. The pilot that is on the Flyboard is in complete control of the navigation while the throttle is controlled by the person in charge of the PWC. The pilot on the Flyboard is secured in by bindings similar to a wakeboard and the rider is propelled from water jets below the device. There are certain rules that one must go by when purchasing a Flyboard though. The Flyboard is buoyant for safety, which also allows the rider to rest in the water between rides. The use of a personal flotation device and helmet is recommended.
Two versions of the Flyboard exist: the Flyboard Standard Kit and the Flyboard Pro Rider Kit. The former is a board with hand-held stabilizers, which was the original design. The latter dispenses with the stabilizers.
Device power is controlled by a throttle on the PWC. The equipment may be used in two modes: The primary one requires two people, one to control the PWC throttle which regulates the power and height of the rider. The secondary mode relies on an accessory called an Electronic Management Kit (EMK) which allows the rider to control the jetski throttle.
Does the Flyboard fit on most personal watercraft?
Yes. The Flyboard can be used with most models of personal watercraft. Please contact us with the year, make and model of yours, and we can let you know if yours is supported and the cost of the conversion kit. If you have not yet purchased a new or used watercraft, we can suggest models that work well.
An adapter will be needed for the Flyboard to fit on all SeaDoo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, and Honda model personal watercraft.
Will most people be able to fit in the Flyboard Boots?
Yes, the standard Flyboard boot size adjusts from Men Size 8 to 12. Larger size boots are available at request. Any standard wakeboard binding or boot can be mounted to the board, so you can dial it in for your personal preferences.
Is there a weight limit?
Yes, the minimum weight is 100 lbs and the maximum weight is 350 lbs.
Is there an age limit for your rentals?
Yes, the minimum age is 13, no exceptions.
What should I bring to my rental session?
Not much is needed besides a bathing suit and towel, helmets, and life jackets will be provided to you upon arrival.
Do you offer video and picture packages?
Yes, for an additional cost you can have either a video or picture package.
Do you need more than one person to operate the Flyboard?
With the Flyboard Kit you will need a Flyboard Certified Operator or Instructor on the PWC to control the throttle of the Flyboard.
If you purchase and install the Electronic Management Kit, you will be able to operate the throttle of your PWC from the Flyboard by yourself.
For safety, it is recommended to have a person be on the PWC as a spotter in case of emergency.
How long does it take to detach the Flyboard and put the nozzle cone back on the PWC?
Out of water, about 10 to 20 minutes. There is a quick nozzle adapter available which allows you to quickly convert from PWC mode to Flyboard mode and back in about 2 minutes.
How high can you fly and how deep can you go under water?
Depending on the horsepower of your personal watercraft and the weight of the rider, you can fly up to 45 feet high.
When performing a ‘dolphin’ maneuver, we recommend you do not go deeper than 8 feet deep as you can cause ear pain or even rupture your ear drums if you descend too quickly without equalizing.
How fast can you travel above and underwater with the Flyboard?
It will depend on both the horsepower & weight of the PWC, and the weight of the pilot. Typically, you can get up to 15-20 MPH.
How long does it take to learn to fly the Flyboard?
Most people are up and flying within 5 to 10 minutes with a Flyboard Certified Instructor.
Your flight experience may vary depending on your ability to execute your flight instructors directions, but most are performing more advanced maneuvers with a couple hours of flight time.
What is the minimum horse power does your Jet Ski need to be in order to operate the Flyboard?
We have experienced very different results with PWC of equal horsepower but different manufacturers. While a 100HP PWC should be sufficient for a 220lb person to get airborne and fly, we recommend using a PWC with at least 160HP. The higher the horsepower, the higher you can fly.
If you got the electronic management kit (wireless throttle) for the Flyboard, can you still power the Flyboard from the Jet Ski?
The EMK allows you to control the engine start and stop, as well the throttle of the PWC.
There is a push button for start and stop, and a trigger for fine tuning control of your throttle.
What is the maximum weight of someone, to be able to fly the Flyboard?
The Flyboard is recommended for riders up to 350lb.
Example: Using a 255HP PWC, a pilot that weighs 255 pounds can fly up to 29.5 feet and travel approximately 18.5 miles per hour.
On a 100 horse Jet Ski that same person can fly up to 13 to 16.5 feet and travel approximately 8 to 10.5 miles per hour.
How much does the Flyboard weigh?
Approximately 95 lbs with all attachments. For shipping or checking as baggage on a plane, it can be separated into 2 packages of less than 50 lbs. each.
Can the Flyboard operate in salt water?
Yes, but we recommend that you clean the Flyboard thoroughly after each use with fresh water.