HOVERBOARD FAQ's - How Does a Hoverboard work anyway?

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A Hoverboard is a remarkably simple device. Invented by Franky Zapata and brought to market in 2013 it the Flyboard, which was the first device that made water flight economically available to the masses.

In order to Hoverboard 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 20 feet out of the water and travel up to 35 kilometers per hour 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 Hoverboarding 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 Hoverboard 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 single stream towards the rear.

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 places their rear foot in the rear binding and kneels on the front of the ski. As power is applied the pilot can stand up and put their foot in the front strap. Leaning left or right will turn the board, while lifting the front foot will allow the board to climb. Snowboarders and wake boarders will find themselves quickly at home on the board. 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. 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 to the front or rear foot.

Some pilots like to ride around on the hoverboard in a seated position. They call it the witches broom. Oddly it bears a striking resemblence to my American sister in law, as you can see in the image bearing her likeness below.