Flying like a rocket man, jumping like a dolphin - with the Flyboard you float metres over the water and show crazy acrobatics culminating in somersaults.
The Flyboard was developed by the Jet Skiing world champion Franky Zapata in 2011. On his quest for a new thrill, the Frenchman and his team initially designed various prototypes. Finally, he succeeded in developing a model with which he could lift from the water and keep himself stable in the air. He immediately had this new piece of sports equipment registered at the French patent office. The equipment was introduced to the public for the first time in 2012 at the Jet Skiing World Championship in China.
A Flyboard weighs approx. 40 kilograms. On the top side there are loops that are similar to bindings of water ski boards or snowboards into which the user puts his feet in parallel. The hose connector on the bottom side is connected to a Jet Ski using a long water hose.
Behind the hose connector, the water is split up in two partial flows and deviated by 180° using two u-shaped channels. Somewhat further away from the position of the feet the water comes out through two nozzles which creates thrust to lift the user balancing on the board out of the water. The Flyboarder controls the equipment via his foot inclination and, depending on the model, also via smaller nozzles on his hands.
The first tests on the Flyboard are very demanding! Firstly, you need a good body control, secondly, you need portion of courage to lift from the water. On the flyboard, you can at least float up to 9 metres above the water surface. In order to be able to fully concentrate on the piece of sports equipment at the first go, rookies fall back on the basic model. An instructor operated the Jet Ski so that you can concentrate on the Flyboard. Thanks to the larger freedom of movement, the basic model allows a quicker learning of its handling. The professional version is only used by advanced users who control the Jet Ski via a control device and fly themselves.
That is not so easy in Germany. Flyboards, just like Jet Skis, are not allowed at every water body. However, there are some adventure agencies that have the equipment and the required authorisations.
In the meantime, Flyboards are also part of the equipment in international holiday clubs. What you should bring with you is your swimwear and a towel. The wetsuit and helmet are mostly supplied.