Hunter Verlander performs a double backflip at the 2015 North American Flyboard Championship in Shreveport

Flyboarding taking off on Vancouver Island

From a distance, the sport of flyboarding might look a bit ridiculous.

From a distance, the sport of flyboarding might look a bit ridiculous.

Riders tie a board onto their feet, fasten their lifejacket and helmet, strap a jet ski onto their back, wade out to Ogden Point and try to stand up straight in the water.

Harnessing the power of a jet ski, the propulsion of the water shoots down a 60 foot hose and out the bottom of the board. The water pressure propels the rider several feet into the air. A hand-held throttle allows the rider to do backflips and move around in the air.

“It’s so fun. You’re flying, you’re controlling your flight,” said Blaine Jeffery, a Saanich resident and flyboard enthusiast. “A lot of things, you go up and go back down. But with this, you can stay up, fly around and look at the water and the trees. You really do feel like you’re a superhero.”

The unusual sport was invented by Franky Zapata and made its debut in 2012.

Riders can go out almost any day of the year (barring strong winds and choppy waters) and practice, doing variations of backflips, spins, dives and reverse tricks. There are different ways you can grab the board and style tricks as well.

According to Jeffery, the keys to the sport are following instructors’ advice, keeping your legs straight up on the way up and then tip-toeing forward.

“It’s a subtle dance that gets you moving, going up and down. It’s a lot less dramatic than some people think,” he said, adding if you fall, it’s like falling into a pool. “You can get going with very little movement.”

However, there is an extreme element to the sport, in which riders can fly as high as 60 feet in the air and do tricks.

Over the past few years, the sport has taken off across the world, including on Vancouver Island, since almost anyone of any athletic ability can do it.

Jeffery first heard about flyboarding in 2013 after seeing a YouTube video that went viral. After attempting to do research about it, he came up empty handed. That’s when he decided to create H2RO Magazine (pronounced hero), an online publication dedicated to flyboarding and its athletes.

Jeffery will be covering the Flyboarding World Championships in Dubai from Dec. 3 to 5 for H2RO Magazine, where 40 flyboarding riders, including six from Canada, will be competing in the championships.

For more information on the sport visit H2romagazine.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read