FLYBOARD FAQ's - How Does a Flyboard work anyway?

Operating Locations
Schedule a Lesson
Flyboarding FAQs
Hoverboard FAQs
Mechanical Help Files
Buy Gear
A Flyboard is a remarkably simple device. Invented by Franky Zapata and brought to market in 2012 it is the first device that made water flight economically available to the masses. Jet-Lev had brought a backpack unit to market a year or 2 earlier, but the price of admission was over $100 thousand Euros. In contrast, the Flyboard was designed to use a simple and economical 4 stroke powered Personnel Watercraft (PWC) as the power plant and you only needed to buy the Flyboard kit to convert your PWC into a power plant suitable for Flyboarding.

You need at least a 130 HP 4 stroke PWC. We currently use a 260HP Seadoo RXT that allows us loads of power. Enough in fact to propel a 300 pound pilot 45 feet out of the water if desired. Most people when they start are happier to be less than 5 feet out of the water (it feels like your are flying at 10 - 15 feet anyway) and you can easily do this with a 130 HP PWC.

To convert the PWC for Flyboarding you remove the steering nozzle and braking mechanism (if applicable) from your PWC and mount an attachment plate to the rear of your pump housing. You couple a U-pipe to this plate to direct the flow of water to the front of the PWC. A 60 foot long hose attaches to the U-pipe and is routed past the front of the ski where it is attached with a tether to a quick coupler on the base of the Flyboard that incorporates a bearing to allow the board to rotate freely on the hose. Water then goes into the board and is directed back towards the hose coming out as a stream under either foot.

The operator on the PWC controls how much power is applied, which limits the maximum height of the pilot, and keeps the pilot out of trouble. If the pilot for example tries to crash into the ski or an obstruction, the operator simply reduces the throttle gently lowering the pilot back into the water before they can get into any trouble.

To come up out of the water the pilot simply needs to keep their legs straight, with the board underneath them. The operator will add power and lift the pilot out of the water to a comfortable height. Once the pilot finds their balance they can start to move around. Moving in any direction changes the thrust vector so the pilot will go down as they go forward, aft, or turn. If the pilot levels the board they will climb up higher. As experience is gained, and the pilot gains a better feel for the board the operator will give them more power allowing them to climb higher and maneuver faster. It’s remarkably easy to zoom up down and around just by tilting the board and applying pressure on either side to make it turn.

I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. While it looks amazing and extremely difficult to do, essentially anyone who is comfortable in the water and can stand up can successfully get up and ride a Flyboard. It looks a whole lot more extreme than it really is, but we’ll just keep that as our own little secret…. Right?