Fly­ing in Mex­ico

Fly­board­ing is the lat­est craze in ad­ven­ture wa­ter sports

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - DESTINATIONS -

Chanelling my in­ner Ge­orge Jet­son, I strap the jet pack to my feet.

How­ever, even with the power of flight lit­er­ally at the tip of my toes, there is not ini­tial suc­cess.

There are fee­ble lift offs out of the wa­ter and face plants, belly flops and com­i­cal back­ward bails.

But be­fore long I’m fly­ing, feel­ing like a ma­jes­tic seabird soar­ing above Mex­ico’s Ban­daras Bay.

This is fly­board­ing, the new­est craze in ad­ven­ture wa­ter sports.

And as the name sug­gests, you fly above the wa­ter on what looks like a mod­i­fied wake­board.

A 12-me­tre hose is at­tached to this con­trap­tion from a jet ski and the wa­ter­craft’s jet propul­sion and re­sult­ing rush of wa­ter thrusts you sky­ward.

I first see an of­fer­ing for this $129US adrenalin rush while on hol­i­day in Riviera Na­yarit, the luxe va­ca­tion spot just north of Puerto Val­larta.

Val­larta Ad­ven­tures prom­ises heart-pound­ing thrills with safety and suc­cess.

The com­pany touts fly­board­ing as hav­ing ex­treme street cred, but if you can stand up and fol­low sim­ple in­struc­tions you can eas­ily soar.

Af­ter a 10-minute steep learn­ing curve, I’ve got the hang of it and I’m do­ing 360s (well, more like 270s), lame dips and weaves and the odd dive into the sea to emerge like an in­jured dol­phin.

But I’m still proud of my­self, af­ter all, I’m fly­ing.

Af­ter a half-hour, I re­turn to the boat ju­bi­lant to the cheers of cap­tain Alex, in­struc­tor Is­rael and pho­tog­ra­pher Jaime.

Alex de­cides to give me a demo so I can grab some pic­tures. He’s a pro. Im­me­di­ately he’s high in the air do­ing front and back flips, back­ward plunges and per­fect dol­phin dives.

By com­par­i­son my fly­board­ing prow­ess is re­vealed for ex­actly what it was: a middle-aged gringo am­a­teur try­ing to look cool.

Mean­time, my wife is back at Grand Ve­las All-Suites Re­sort not miss­ing me, or fly­board­ing, at all.

We’ve picked this piece of par­adise be­cause it’s the only five­di­a­mond all-in­clu­sive along the Mex­i­can Pa­cific and a mem­ber of The Lead­ing Ho­tels of the World. And boy, does it de­liver.

Our ninth-floor suite has stun­ning views of the elab­o­rate pools com­plex, golden beach and ocean.

Af­ter the fly­board­ing, the seren­ity mas­sage at the spa is just the ticket.

There are only six four-di­a­mond restau­rants in Riviera Na­yarit and three of them are at Grand Ve­las.

Tourists book in here as much for the food as they do the sun, sea and sand.

Sig­na­ture resto, Piaf, does French well with duck con­fit and es­car­got.

Ital­ian-themed Lucca does won­ders with ravi­oli and Frida, yes, its named af­ter the fa­mous uni-browed Mex­i­can artist, does Latin-in­spired beef ten­der­loin.

Grand Ve­las is the high­est-end re­sort pack­aged with flights from Canada to Puerto Val­larta with Air Canada Va­ca­tions, WestJet Va­ca­tions, Transat Va­ca­tions and Can­jet.

Check out Val­larta-Ad­ven­tures.com, Ve­las­Re­sorts.com and Rivier­aNa­yarit.com.

STEVE MACNAULL PHOTO

Reporter Steve MacNaull’s fly­board­ing was ten­ta­tive.

STEVE MACNAULL PHOTO

Reporter Steve MacNaull and his wife stayed at the Grand Ve­las All-Suites Re­sort, the only five-di­a­mond all-in­clu­sive on the Mex­ico’s Pa­cific coast.

STEVE MACNAULL PHOTO

Alex Ba­cilio of Val­larta Ad­ven­tures makes fly­board­ing look easy.

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