Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Canada’s Ryan Reynolds in his latest flick, Self/less. All three have wowed crowds with summer’s most hyped watersport: Flyboarding. Fly what?
A flyboard is a jet-powered wakeboardish device powered by a personal watercraft. Flyboarders strap themselves on much the same way they would a wakeboard, then, juicing the power from a jet ski, propulse themselves up, up, up to 15 metres over water — flipping, dipping, and dancing as they fly. Think: Spider-Man’s Green Goblin over New York City, only this time it’s in Muskoka over water, and it’s just as much fun to watch.
From The Med to Muskoka
Flyboarding first fell on our radar in 2010 when Franky Zapata, a champion jet ski racer from France, patented the device. Once it debuted, the sport that makes you feel like a superhero flew like Superman across Europe, wowing crowds along the Mediterranean before making its way to China, Dubai, California, and naturally, Muskoka.
Geordie Newlands, owner of Minett’s Summer Water Sports (SWS), was one of the first on Muskoka’s lakes to harness flyboarding’s potential. He taught himself and his SWS crew to flyboard — so far, there’s little standardization — then took his flyboarding show on the Muskoka roads, with demos throughout the summer at spots like Clevelands House, Muskoka Wharf, and Deerhurst Resort (MuskokaFlyboard.com)
World’s No.4 Flyboarder Here in Muskoka
MuskokaStyle spotted flyboarding first at the Lake of Bays Sailing Club, where Ashton Beukers (pictured) of SWS turned up to fly, loop, flip, and project himself out of the water like a jet-powered dolphin. Beukers, 21, says he taught himself to flyboard with the help of You Tube videos. Now he’s ranked fourth in the world, circuiting international events in Dubai, Louisiana, and China.
You don’t have to be as skilled as Beukers to try it. Newlands says anyone over the age of about 12 can do it. “It’s easy to learn,” he told MuskokaStyle. “It’s like balancing on an Indo Board (balance board) at the gym. Yes, you need core strength, but it’s not difficult, and flyers are 100% in control of their actions.”
Watch for SWS-powered flyboard demos at its weekly waterski shows across Muskoka. Instructors will also come to your dock to teach you to flyboard—rates start at $250 per hour.
Photos: Lori Knowles/MuskokaStyle