Man on a flyboard above the ocean

Flyboards: The Safest Jetpack Alternatives Around

A flyboard is the closest and safest way to feel like you are jet-powered.

Many facts about the flyboard are also almost, but not quite,  as fun as watching someone pilot it.

What Exactly is a Flyboard?

A flyboard is a brand new invention having been created only in 2011/2012. Basically, it uses water jets to lift up a board platform so you can fly around above the water. The board itself is connected by tube to something that looks like a little boat that floats on the water. The water is sucked up by the boat on the water and pulled up the tube into the air so it can be shot down from the board. So, just like that, you have an instant board that’s water-jet powered.

The nice thing about it is that you’re only ever above water, so it’s a little safer than jetting around on land where your fall is going to be a lot less pleasant. You’re also never going to run out of fuel since the entire lake you’re on is your fuel supply. You’re not very likely to run out of that!

The Flyboard’s Inventor: Franky Zapata

Franky invented the board after being a huge watercraft enthusiast.  It ‘s mesmerizing to watch someone do tricks on the board including backflips, figure 8s, and more. Mr. Zapata first rolled out the board at a Jet Ski world championship in China.

Anyone Can Learn

While owning your own may be out of the question for cost reasons, there are plenty of places to rent them, and the claim is that anyone can learn to ride a flyboard. You just have to have a basic level of fitness to use the vehicle, but people over the age of 50 regularly do it. One site even said that they’ve seen an 89-year-old woman master it in just 5 minutes. So, there’s no age limit, though it may be more difficult to do tricks. However, you still have a shot to fly around on what is essentially like a jetpack.

You can either fly it by yourself with a special module, or you can have another person help control the flow of water up into the jets as well as the unit on the water.

There’s also An Air Version

Zapata invented an air version of the Flyboard that he just calls the “Flyboard Air.” This one requires Franky to wear a backpack full of kerosene that connects to five turbines. Recently, he achieved feats like flying over the English Channel. This version is more difficult to fly and requires a lot more care because it’s dangerous as it can reach up to hundreds of feet in the air. The military is actually interested in possible applications from the device as a way to scout. Zapata got millions of dollars from the French military in the form of a grant to develop the flying machine.

Frank actually had to land on a boat in the middle of the English Channel to refuel before going out the rest of the way. As a result, people call him the “French Green Goblin” from the similarity to the vehicle the supervillain rides.

It looks a lot like the water-based flyboard, except without the secondary tube part. It’s just a platform with an area to strap on shoes and the tubes where the jet air comes out to provide lift and propulsion. Frank has said that it’s tricky to learn to fly since you have to do a lot of flying with leg movements.

Overall, it’s a unique water vehicle that will give you a taste of living in the future.