IT’S FLY­BOARD­ING!

Is it a bird, Is it a dol­phin?

Tropical Traveller Magazine - - ISLANDTOURS -

If you hap­pen to be walk­ing on the beach around Pi­geon Is­land and catch a glimpse of some­one fly­ing through the air with jets on their feet, don't worry, you aren't hal­lu­ci­nat­ing in the trop­i­cal sun - it's just Fly­board­ing, and it's the lat­est hi-tech wa­ter­sport to hit Saint Lu­cia. The Fly­board at­taches to any jet ski and once at­tached you can fly like Iron Man. We have all dreamed of fly­ing, now it is pos­si­ble with Sea Spray Cruises, sup­plier of the new and ex­cit­ing Zapata Fly­board.

Fly­board­ing is the ul­ti­mate wa­ter toy and next big wa­ter­sports craze. Us­ing a jet ski for power, the fly­board uses wa­ter jets for pre­ci­sion fly­ing through the air or wa­ter. Whether dol­phin div­ing, back­flip­ping or sim­ply tak­ing in the scenery from a com­pletely new per­spec­tive, fly­board­ing is a com­pletely unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

Tech­ni­cally, the Fly­board is an ac­ces­sory that at­taches to the jet dis­charge of a Per­sonal Wa­ter­craft (let’s call it a jet­ski) and uses the jet dis­charge of the jet­ski to pro­pel the de­vice through the air and wa­ter. Re­al­is­ti­cally speak­ing, the Fly­board is a thou­sand gal­lons of wa­ter per minute, at over 60 PSI and almost 400 pounds lift of pure adren­a­line pump­ing, heart pound­ing, eye catch­ing fun!

The brain­child of French Jet Ski Racer Franky Zapata, the Fly­Board was first de­vel­oped in 2011 and made its way to the United States in the Spring of 2012. Since then, it has taken the wa­ter­sports world by storm.

The Fly­board is con­nected to the jet­ski by a 55-foot long, 4” di­am­e­ter fire hose that can pro­pel the pi­lot over 35 feet above or be­low the sur­face of the wa­ter. Although some peo­ple might re­fer to it as a wa­ter jet­pack, the pi­lot is ac­tu­ally se­cured onto the board with wake­board-style bind­ings and is be­ing pro­pelled from be­low. While the pi­lot of the Fly­board is in com­plete con­trol of the nav­i­ga­tion, the op­er­a­tor on the jet­ski is in con­trol of the throt­tle.

But the best thing about Fly­board­ing, is that almost any­one can do it.

Find your bal­ance and you will be fly­ing like a bird or swimming through the wa­ter like a dol­phin! Ap­prox­i­mately 5 to 15 min­utes are needed to learn the ba­sics of the Fly­board with a cer­ti­fied in­struc­tor. It takes no time to master the ma­neu­vers and un­der­stand the op­er­a­tion of the Fly­board. Then you will be able to take off from the wa­ter and en­joy your su­per­hero ex­pe­ri­ence!

The staff of Sea Spray Cruises are a knowl­edge­able and friendly lot, with a keen eye for safety at all times, and state of the art equip­ment in the form of the Zapata Rac­ing Fly­board. You need to be a rea­son­able swimmer, con­fi­dent in the wa­ter, min­i­mum age 18 with a sense of ad­ven­ture and you're ready to take to the ocean in a unique new way.

Trop­i­cal Trav­eller's own Ad­ven­tur­ous Alana took to Fly­board­ing like the prover­bial duck to wa­ter, and was soon get­ting im­pres­sive height be­tween her boots and the waves. Af­ter­wards, she was in­cred­i­bly ex­cited: "Fly board­ing! What an ex­pe­ri­ence. It doesn't re­quire much skill or prac­tice to get the hang of it, which was great! Within the first 10 min­utes I was able to get up there and hover for as long as 20 seconds."

"Fly­board­ing is a sim­ple con­cept: you just place your feet in the boots pro­vided which are at­tached to the tube which pushes the wa­ter out to pro­pel you. I was told to lay on my stom­ach and let the wa­ter push and guide me, and when the wa­ter started gush­ing out at full force, bring my legs down and into a stand­ing po­si­tion while keep­ing my knees locked and legs straight!

"At that mo­ment it was all about bal­ance and hov­er­ing over the wa­ter. It was very cool! I felt like I was fly­ing or walk­ing on wa­ter! There are many tricks that can be done with fly­board­ing like back­flips in the air, jumping out of the wa­ter like a dol­phin and even chang­ing di­rec­tion. Th­ese need prac­tice, but I'm as­sured they can be eas­ily done and I am con­fi­dent with a few more ses­sions I will be able to do some stunts!”

Con­tact Sea Spray Cruises from 9am-5pm at Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina to book your Fly­board­ing ex­pe­ri­ence or call (758) 458 0123. Book on­line at www.sea­spray­cruises. com or email info@sea­spray­cruises.com.

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