OBY PERRY MACK ne of the best aspects of life is the constant invention of new ways to entertain ourselves. Fortunately for me, this new sport involves soft landings, as opposed to all the other board sports in which I’ve participated.
In 2012, watercraft rider Franky Zapata attached a hose from his personal watercraft (PWC) to his new invention, the flyboard. The board has a pair of boots similar to wakeboard boots, and underneath the ‘board’ are a set of nozzles that exhaust water from the PWC. More rpm from the PWC equals more force and greater height when you’re on the board.
We called James and Mike from Canadian Jetpack Adventures and asked for a demonstration and trial run. After signing the requisite waivers and watching the safety video, we went to the shore where we suited up with a wetsuit, watersports helmet and life vest. The difficulty factor is low and the adrenalin quotient is high. So is the entertainment factor. People lined the shore taking pictures as we learned to come out of the water and fly back and forth. Like riding a bike, it’s easier to balance while you’re moving than when you’re standing still. Within 15 minutes I had the basic maneuvers nailed down and was featured in the vacation photos of a hundred visitors.
Mike Prince discovered the sport four years ago while working in software sales. After his first season he decided to turn pro and competed in the middle east, the US and Canada. Now he’s traded in his corporate suit for board shorts and a wetsuit. Mike says with a grin, ”Our goal is to really show everyone how easy flyboarding truly is. We have never had an unhappy guest; in fact every new flyer comes out of the water with an ear-to-ear grin! This, is what motivates us everyday, to share the passion and excitement.”
When searching for a company to take you flyboarding, it is always best to look for the Zapata Racing Logo as it means that the instructors are appropriately certified and have met the requirements to take customers out safely.
Divemaster and mechanical engineering student James MacSween partnered with Mike Prince for the Okanagan Lake franchise. “It is a dream job and we are both very thankful to be able to do what we do on a daily basis.” James was our instructor, and after our session strapped on the board to show us what could be done with a little practice. Gracefully pirouetting through the air he dove head first underwater and then exploded to the surface, arcing through the air to repeat the maneuver.