Take a ride on Leverick Bay’s Newest Watersport
- July 28th, 2015
- in Lifestyle
Blue Rush Water Sports presents Flyboarding: The Newest Way to Ride the Waves
Photography by Melville Lettsome
3-2-1, lift off.
You’re shot into the air high above the ocean’s surface, feeling the wind on your cheeks and the waves splash against your skin. Spectators stare in awe and ponder what could possibly cause you to shoot above the water’s surface at such an incredible speed.
Flyboards and hoverboards are among the hottest new trends in extreme water sports, gaining popularity in locations throughout the Caribbean. The intriguing activity is now available to try at Leverick Bay in the North Sound on Virgin Gorda with the experts at Blue Rush Water Sports.
Blue Rush Water Sports was founded by cousins Trevor Walters and Josh Wheatley as a new watersport enterprise in the North Sound. What began with two jet skis has expanded to include a diverse array of water activities including kayaks, hobie cats, paddle boards, and its latest addition, flyboards and hoverboards.
After numerous requests from customers who tried the company’s other activities, the guys decided to invest in this cutting-edge device that permits flight over the sea.
The original flyboard, invented in the fall of 2012 by Franky Zapata, is a personal jet pack which mounts to the rider’s feet, attached by a 55 foot hose connected to a personal watercraft (PWC) – typically a jet ski- which provides a blast of water with enough power to propel them up to 40 feet in the air.
Hoverboards were introduced after flyboards with the same technical design, yet instead of strapping the feet into two shoes, they are perpendicular to the board using slip-in bindings such as those on a kite board.
Using a flyboard must always be done under the supervision of experts, such as the qualified professionals at Blue Rush. Riders are provided with a lifejacket and helmet, and must complete a five minute safety training session to ensure that they will not come into contact with foreign objects.
Although the sport appears to be intimidating and looks quite challenging, using a flyboard is surprisingly easy to learn, and can be enjoyed by anyone ages seven and up.
With their assistance, riders strap their feet into the shoes on the board and are lowered into the water in an upright, standing position with their legs remaining as straight as possible.
Navigation on the flyboard is done by using the knees and ankles, pointing the toes down to move forward, using the knees to rotate, and the arms to stabilise. The power of the water is controlled by the driver of the PWC who watches to identify the rider’s positioning to increase or decrease the power to provide a comfortable descent back into the water.
“For beginners, the flyboard requires little to no body strength and that’s because the board takes care of everything. However, when you get into the backflips, dolphin dives and all the other high-powered moves then you will need mid-section and lower body power to execute the moves successfully,” said Trevor Walters, co-founder of Blue Rush Water Sports.
The beauty of this exciting new sport is that it requires no skill and little confidence in order to ride successfully. In fact, Trevor guarantees that if Blue Rush doesn’t get you flying in the first ten minutes, your session is free.
In March 2015, Blue Rush debuted their new flyboards and hoverboards at Rosewood Little Dix Bay during a demonstration led by the professional flyboarder, Jonathan Julien of St Martin. During the show, Jonathan mesmerised the crowd with his impressive tricks including backflips, spirals, and dives, reaching the device’s maximum heights.
Trevor and Josh encourage those interested to check them out at their shop’s location in Leverick Bay in the North Sound on Virgin Gorda for a chance to try flyboarding and the many other watersports the company has to offer.