Marine

Zapata blends surfing and Flyboarding with new Hoverboard by ZR

Zapata blends surfing and Flyb...
French jet ski champion Franky Zapata has modified his Flyboard to create the Hoverboard by ZR, which sits somewhere between surfing and flyboarding
French jet ski champion Franky Zapata has modified his Flyboard to create the Hoverboard by ZR, which sits somewhere between surfing and flyboarding
View 23 Images
French jet ski champion Franky Zapata has modified his Flyboard to create the Hoverboard by ZR, which sits somewhere between surfing and flyboarding
1/23
French jet ski champion Franky Zapata has modified his Flyboard to create the Hoverboard by ZR, which sits somewhere between surfing and flyboarding
Hoverboard by ZR is a new extreme-sport
2/23
Hoverboard by ZR is a new extreme-sport
Riders can safely glide through the air and perform some pretty fancy tricks
3/23
Riders can safely glide through the air and perform some pretty fancy tricks
The Hoverboard by ZR features a surf board that is attached to an 18 m (59 ft)-long hose and is propelled into the air
4/23
The Hoverboard by ZR features a surf board that is attached to an 18 m (59 ft)-long hose and is propelled into the air
Hoverboard by ZR mixes surfing and flyboarding
5/23
Hoverboard by ZR mixes surfing and flyboarding
The Hoverboard can travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph)
6/23
The Hoverboard can travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph)
Hoverboarding puts a new spin on Flyboarding
7/23
Hoverboarding puts a new spin on Flyboarding
The Hoverboard is designed to catch some serious air
8/23
The Hoverboard is designed to catch some serious air
Riders also have the option of upgrading to an Electronic Management Kit, featuring a hand held throttle
9/23
Riders also have the option of upgrading to an Electronic Management Kit, featuring a hand held throttle
Thrill seekers get ready to fly on the new Hoverboard by ZR
10/23
Thrill seekers get ready to fly on the new Hoverboard by ZR
Like the infamous "Back to the Future" hoverboard, this one glides through the air
11/23
Like the infamous "Back to the Future" hoverboard, this one glides through the air
Hoverboard by ZR is a new extreme-sport from Frank Zapata
12/23
Hoverboard by ZR is a new extreme-sport from Frank Zapata
The Hoverboard can soar up to five meters (16.5 ft) above the water.
13/23
The Hoverboard can soar up to five meters (16.5 ft) above the water.
Users must be atleast 16 years to give the Hoverboard a go
14/23
Users must be atleast 16 years to give the Hoverboard a go
The Hoverboard by ZR features a surf board that is attached to a personal watercraft (PWC), such as a jet ski, or speed boat via an 18 m (59 ft)-long hose
15/23
The Hoverboard by ZR features a surf board that is attached to a personal watercraft (PWC), such as a jet ski, or speed boat via an 18 m (59 ft)-long hose
Thrill seekers looking to get their hands on a Hoverboard by ZR will have to fork out close to US$6,000
16/23
Thrill seekers looking to get their hands on a Hoverboard by ZR will have to fork out close to US$6,000
Look, no hands!
17/23
Look, no hands!
The Hoverboard pushes riders skyward on a jet of water
18/23
The Hoverboard pushes riders skyward on a jet of water
And if you get a little tired, just take a seat
19/23
And if you get a little tired, just take a seat
Hand held throttle gives the user more control
20/23
Hand held throttle gives the user more control
The Hoverboard is designed to catch some serious air
21/23
The Hoverboard is designed to catch some serious air
Hoverboard by ZR mixes surfing and flyboarding
22/23
Hoverboard by ZR mixes surfing and flyboarding
Thrill seekers get ready to fly on the new Hoverboard by ZR
23/23
Thrill seekers get ready to fly on the new Hoverboard by ZR

Back in 2011, French jet ski champion Franky Zapata launched the Flyboard, which sent swimmers skyward propelled by a jet of water. Three years on he's put a new spin on the idea, revealing the Hoverboard by ZR. This new extreme-sport lives up to its "Back to the Future" namesake and offers riders an experience that sits somewhere between surfing and flyboarding.

"I am actually a fan of the film Back to the Future and I remembered thinking that this would no longer be fiction in 2015," Franky Zapata tells Gizmag. "So I thought it would be a great opportunity to mix my passion for extreme sports and my interests in great movies. I am pretty sure Marty McFly would love our board and if he does, I hope he would give me a call and so we could give it a try together!"

The Hoverboard by ZR features a board resembling a wakeboard that is attached to a personal watercraft (PWC), such as a jet ski, via an 18 m (59 ft)-long hose. This supplies a flow of water that is expelled through a single nozzle with enough energy to propel the rider through the air at adrenalin-pumping speeds and heights. The 18 m of hose allows the companion jet ski rider to travel safely behind the Hoverboard user, giving them enough space to safely glide through the air and perform some fancy tricks.

The Hoverboard pushes riders skyward on a jet of water
The Hoverboard pushes riders skyward on a jet of water

Depending on the horsepower of the PWC, the Hoverboard can travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph), while soaring up to 5 m (16.5 ft) above the water. Riders also have the option of upgrading to an Electronic Management Kit (EMK), which features a hand held throttle that connects to the jet ski engine and gives the user 100 percent control of the speed and thrust of the Hoverboard.

According to Zapata the Hoverboard experience doesn't come close to kite surfing and instead offers an experience that is similar to "snowboarding but in the air."

"There’s no competition between Kite surfing and Hoverboard by ZR," says Zapata. "They are related but have nothing to do in terms of sensation and acrobatic figures you can perform. With Hoverboard by ZR you can do acrobatics, you can sit on it, and all of this hands free. You still can ride a Hoverboard by ZR even if there’s no wind, and all you need is a jet ski and the board and as it is so easy, you can really enjoy yourself."

The Hoverboard can be used in the ocean, lakes or a large enough pond with a minimum depth of 4 m (13 ft), and is prohibited to be used in small bodies of water such as swimming pools. Zapata Racing suggests that Hoverboard users should be at least 16 years of age before testing out the sport and it is also mandatory for all new riders to undertake a one hour lesson at an approved training center.

"It is not hard at all," says Zapata. "The only thing you have to do is to find your balance. It should take several minutes no more."

Thrill seekers looking to get their hands on a Hoverboard by ZR will have to fork out close to US$6,000
Thrill seekers looking to get their hands on a Hoverboard by ZR will have to fork out close to US$6,000

Thrill-seekers looking to get their hands on a Hoverboard by ZR will have to fork out close to US$6,000 for the unit, and that doesn't include the cost of your own jet ski. The good news is that Zapata Racing also has plans to distribute the boards within its global network of rental operators.

You can check out the Hoverboard in action in the promotional video below.

Source: Zapata Racing

Hoverboard in Real Life! In 4K!

5 comments
Mel Tisdale
When you get to my age there are things that you can no longer do. I see it as a personal tragedy that this is one of them! Carpe diem - while you still can - old age does not come alone.
Ed
Mel. It depends on what "my age" is! My dad is in his mid 80s and he and his friend, who's in his 90s both ski every year at Purgatory in Durango Co. My dad also rides his mountain bike around the Rockies and 2 years ago, we all went 4-wheeling on quads up in the mountains of Silverton on old mining roads. You're only as old as you want to be!
Stephen N Russell
Fun to use in & around Hawaii, Caribbean, off CA, Med Sea, Australia alone & for lakes: Lake Tahoe & Arrowhead & Big Bear alone.
Noel K Frothingham
Not true, Ed. Your dad is the exception, not the rule. The condition of your physical body is always a determining factor. Ones state of mind is important, but can not completely overcome physical limitations.
EmilMathiasKnudsen
how long is the duration of the hoverboard