July 3, 2017
Welcome back, everyone!
We filmed this before heading off to Canada and have finally had the time to put the video together. IT WAS SUPER INSANE! I’m sure you’ve seen better videos of incredible athletes of this online, but we wanted to give this a shot and experience it for ourselves. If you’re unfamiliar with hydroflight (also know as Flyboarding), it’s basically a snowboard powered by a jetski. When the jetski revs its engine, it’s connected to a tube that spits water up through the tubes, and it exits underneath the shoes attached to your feet. We used the JetDeck, which is sometimes called a jetboard or a footjet. There are other devices that are ridden like a bike or attached like a backpack, but we didn’t try those.
Interestingly, some of you might know this as Flyboarding, but that’s a brand name, while the sport is HYDROFLIGHT. It’s kind of like the difference between tissues and Kleenex. Lots of people ask for Kleenex instead of tissue. I’d rather call this Hydroflight instead. Incidentally ‘Jet Ski’ is a brand name of Kawasaki. Yamaha calls theirs ‘Wave Runner’. The generic term for the vehicle is Personal Water Craft, commonly referred to as PWC.
When you’re strapped in and connected to the jetski (I’ll go with that term for ease), the bigger the revving of the engine, the higher you can go. Though, if you see the footage of Wataru, he gets a lot higher than us. Supposedly they were revving the engine just as hard for him as for me, but because I’m a lot heavier I can’t get as high. The lighter you are the easier, it seems :D
THOUGH IMPORTANT NOTE: they were not revving the engine as high for Martina, which is why she wasn’t able to get as high as we did. Maybe because she was the first up they were a bit more gingerly with her? I’m not sure. Next time we know what to do!
Not that this is easy by any means. This is A LOT HARDER than we expected. We were told it’s because the water was very choppy, but that’s just the start. We thought at first that it’s best to crouch, and then stand up on the way up. Big mistake. You should be standing straight in the water before they start revving the engine. Martina struggled a lot to keep her legs totally locked without hyper-extending her knees at the same time so she was pretty focused on not dislocating something due to the force of the water pushing her out. But I’m very proud of my little duck for trying out this experience despite the potential injuries she might endure.
Another thing I learned: flapping my arms like an idiot doesn’t help much. I should be more relaxed. But I’m not used to any kind of boarding sports. I never went snowboarding in my life. Dan, though, snowboards and skates, and he took to this so much more quickly than I did. Maybe it’s also because he’s shorter and lighter, but I’ll factor in his balancing abilities as well. I’m amazed at how bad I am at balancing,
We were also lucky to be able to do this with a pro. His name is Wataru Shimazaki, and he was the Japan champ at the last Aquaboard Competition 2016 in Osaka. He’s really good, and I hope he added some value to this video apart from just our failing and flailing :D
Here are some useful links if you’re interested in trying this out yourself. First, you can check out Hydroflight Japan for more info. A few different places you can try this are Y’s MARE, whose phone number is 043-300-7775. There’s also Marina-Eighteen at 080-8880-0081, and also Rising Fly at 080-6494-1417. We were at Marina 18. Wataru is an instructor here. Side note, how freaking appropriate is his name? He does water sports, and his name is WATARU? That’s destiny.
Lastly, Dan posted a video from his perspective. Check it out below!