Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Up and Away!

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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Up and Away

Are you a person who is never bored on the water because you’re happy to grab a board and go wakeboarding, surfing, paddleboarding, or flyboarding? Then chances are you’ll take to hoverboarding as well — it’s something out of the future to experience now.

Hoverboarding is a newer watersport than flyboarding, but it’s catching up in popularity. Frank Zapata, the inventor of the flyboard and hoverboard, wanted to create another innovative water activity. I think Marty McFly would be jealous, as a hoverboard rider can reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and heights of 30 feet in the air!

The hoverboard is designed so the pressure from the hose and jetski comes from behind instead of directly below you. It pushes you as if you were surfing with a wave behind you; you stand as if you were wakeboarding or skateboarding, and you fly in the air as if you are a bird or plane.

IMG_5414At my first hoverboard session with FlyboardLI I found the learning curve to be similar to flyboarding; if you can balance, you should be successful after a few minutes of trying. You start off out on the water with one foot in the back foot strap (like kiteboarding foot straps). Once the pilot on the jetski and you are both ready, controlled water pressure goes through the hose to the board and out the sides, causing the board to go forward. You quickly slip your other foot into the other strap and stand up, keeping a slight bend in your knees.

Before rising too high, you will probably just cruise around on the water to get the hang of it. You’ll see how you need to adjust your balance and then have fun cruising around on the water. Expect to fall your first couple of times, which is okay — remember the tips and advice you received from your instructor, and rely on your safety gear (a helmet and life jacket are mandatory).

You’re not actually doing a lot once you’re balanced upright, as the pressure pushes you to hover on the water. Then, when you feel ready, you lift your front leg, bringing your knee closer to you. The board goes up, and it rises fast, so you must immediately focus on controlling the hoverboard’s movement.

Also, remember to smile. Hoverboarding is a fun watersport!  “I enjoy watching the excitement on people’s faces the first time they get up,” says Jimmy Bissett of FlyboardLI.

I’m an admitted adrenaline junkie, so my first attempt at climbing up into the air was invigorating. The height you can reach is awesome, and the view of the harbor, boats, and other sights is amazing.

Story and photos by Melissa McMahon


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