Boaters on Kentucky Lake may have seen a new sight this summer: a person atop columns of water moving high across the surface of the water. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with T.J. Gladwell about how he brought this new water sport to our region, how it works and reactions from onlookers.
Flyboarding was invented in France in 2011, and is finally making its way across the U.S., initially in tourist areas in Florida and on the west coast. T.J. Gladwell brings it to the Lakes region, starting Extreme Jet Sports over Memorial Day weekend of this year. He's so far taught around 150 people how to strap in and take to the sky.
How it works: It's similar to a wakeboard that straps to your feet. The board is connected to a hose, connected to the back of a Waverunner. The thrust of the Waverunner creates a jet propulsion effect through the hose, which lifts the board up to 35 feet.
How to ace the flyboard
- Keep your legs straight and strong, but don't lock your knees. Gladwell says "Imagine a shortstop getting ready to catch a grounder."
- He'll gradually increase the water pressure until you are "standing" on the water. Now you can practice your balance, turning left and right, and moving backward and forward. You'll probably fall into the water a couple times. It's okay.
- Eventually, as your balance improves and you get the hang of it, you'll be lifted higher up and be allowed more control and movement. Enjoy being the "rockstar" of your party and the "mindblown" looks of people driving over the bridge.
*Don't worry, Gladwell says there were no flyboard related insurance claims last year.
Parties are already being booked for 2015. You can make reservations through his website:
Some pro-level flyboarding in California: