Marine

Zapata's outrageous, US$6,600 Flyboard - Aquaman meets Iron Man

Zapata's outrageous, US$6,600 ...
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
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We don't think Franky Zapata knows what's about to hit him. The French jet ski champion has just put together an absolutely insane leisure product, released a short video about it - and then took off on honeymoon, where presumably he's having about the least romantic getaway of his life as his phone and email inbox go absolutely bananas. And here it is: the Zapata Flyboard. This ingenious and deceptively simple device bolts on to the powerful motor of a jet ski, then routes the resulting water jet through a long hose that connects to a pair of jet boots and hand-held stabilizers. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron Man style, up to 9 meters in the air - or leap headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin. The best part? You can buy it for under 5000 Euro (US$6700). That is, once Franky digs his way out from under the avalanche of orders he's going to come home to.

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

Details are fairly scant at the moment, as I can't distil too much from the video with my high-school French, but here's what we know. The Flyboard is a bolt-on attachment that connects to a jet ski. You attach a tube to the main jet exit, which is then routed up the side of the vehicle. From this tube comes a thick, flexible 9-metre hose that connects to the jet boots - and the hand controls come out of the jet boot platform.

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

If you've got a friend handy, you can use the base, €4900 (US$6570) model, which gives control of the throttle to the jet ski operator. If not, you can pay an extra €900 (US$1200) to have a trigger throttle built into the hand unit - and we'd imagine that's a lot more fun. In this configuration, you can more or less forget about the jet ski, which just trails along behind you as you soar through the air on a column of water and plunge into the waves.

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

It's a magnificent looking device, as Zapata himself demonstrates in his promo video - and it allows the rider quite a lot of gymnastic flair. Given the absolutely ludicrous amounts of horsepower available from today's monstrous, turbocharged jet ski engines, the Flyboard looks like a truly extravagant and ridiculously fun way to hurt yourself this summer.

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

We'll try to get a hold of Zapata once he's back on deck to speak to us about the details - but in the meanwhile, spare a thought for his poor new bride and content yourself with these photos for the moment.

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man
The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

flyboard zapata official

37 comments
robinyatesuk2003
this Flyboard is going to sell and sell ! Amazing idea, I am totally hooked. I am sure there will be orders flooding in.
Oztechi
I can\'t see myself buying one of these because you also have to own a jetski which adds to the total cost, but it would be really fun to hire while on Holidays.
Mike Hanlon
This thing is unbelievable. Take a look. You\'ll want one.
Nantha
The best thing about this? Almost anyone can experience it. You won\'t need a license or permit. Can\'t wait for it to hit the shores. And see people actually hovering. Wow!!!
yrag
This seems like a variation on the existing JetLev: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im1iNq02Kz0&feature=youtube_gdata_player Ed. Note our coverage: http://www.gizmag.com/jetlev-flyer-personal-water-powered-jetpack/18587/
Loz
yrag: Absolutely, it looks very similar - perhaps even a bit more fun... But the difference is that the JetLev costs a hundred grand, while the Flyboard is nearly 20 times cheaper. Good times!
Denis Veprev
Yes is like water jetpack but the difference is that price of jetpack is over 80000 Euro and price of flyingboard is 5000 Euro.
Carri Crawford
duuuuuuuuude.....AWESOME!!!
Joseph Shimandle
Not original at all as this take-off of an existing machine, but relocates the jets to the hands and feet instead of two on the back.
d_lafontaine2000
@ Oztechi : Doesn\'t need a jetski. He has a system for those who have one but there is another system for those who don\'t have a jetski. Check 1:05 ~ 1:12