Flyboarding is the latest rage in extreme watersports and if you are up for this thrilling experience, there are plenty of places and outfits
in Miami to get you up in the air and over the water in fantastic fashion!
So what is flyboarding? How does it work?
Flyboarding was born in France in 2012 and created by Frank Zapata, a watercraft enthusiast and jetski racer.
The Flyboard mounts on your feet and is connected
through a 60 feet hose to another watercraft, i.e. a jetski, which is used to provide the pressure to lift you up and send you soaring into the sky or propel you underwater.
It is similar to the Jetpack except that instead of strapping the propulsion device as a backpack, the Flyboard is strapped to your feet secured with boot-like bindings that seem to be one-size fits all with various strings and straps to secure them to your feet.
Below the device connects the hose that splits into twin nozzles which provide the propulsion.
The hose is connected to the jetski and the jetski operator manages the pressure that sends you up in the air.
You can also get control of the throttle once you are comfortable and get the hang of it.
Is it easy to learn? Everyone is different of course, some people get up in the air at the first try, some of us might take a couple of times!
But for sure, with the proper instruction you are likely to be flying and enjoying the fun of this new water sport in no time, although it
might be a while before we can get to this point:
Flyboarding: Where, When and How Much?
For being a relatively new sport, there are quite a few options in Miami for you to try and they all basically operate year-round.
We have compiled a list of places that offer Flyboarding to get you started, see the table below. All require advance reservations.
Most of these are very convenient locations, i.e. Bayside Marketplace, Coconut Grove, even Jungle Island. Remember to take
into consideration some extra costs that might be incurred.
For example, admission fees to some locations such as Jungle Island,
extra fees for photo and video packages, etc.
In some cases, the flyboarding is done off the beach, in other cases a short boat ride is necessary to bring you to the flyboarding location.
Also take into consideration if there are other non-participating members in your group i.e. just watching and taking pictures/video, it might make a difference whether a boat ride is involved as they might be asked to pay a small fee or they may not be able to join if the boat is full, most take small groups of maximum 6.
In all cases, there will be plenty of guidance and instruction for first-timers, check out the reviews to see what people have
to say about a particular outfit you are contemplating. Some even have the equipment to provide direct communication through a waterproof wireless
coaching radio and fly-by wire throttle control.
Where to Try Flyboarding
* Costs are for the approximate "Flying Times", allow an extra hour or so for instruction and in some cases
short boat rides to flyboard location
Meet inside the Grand Gallery. You will have to walk into the Doubletree Hilton hotel and find Suite 134. Departs from Sea Isle Marina and you boat to a private island in the bay where you receive your instruction and flight off the beach
Daily, 10:00, 1:00, 4:00
$109.99 including instruction and approx. 20-30 minute flight
As for our experience, we happened to "run into it" while we were at Oleta Beach. There were some guys from BJM Rentals which happened to be there with some customers trying the Flyboards.
This seems to be a small private-run business with no "location" per se, (not sure if they are still in business) you call in advance
to book your session and agree on a location. Anyhow, that was our first dabble with flyboarding and it was a blast.
We went off the beach, our instructor provided life vests and some straight forward instructions and tips.
You sit in the shallows as he helps secure the flyboard to your feet.
When ready he propels you toward deeper waters and brings you up slowly on a standing position.
You are off the water...
...And finally up in the air and flying!
It takes a few tries to get the hang of it but once you manage to get up in the air and soaring it is an indescribable feeling, and an
adventure you will never forget! Give it a try! If this is your first time, we highly recommend going off the beach, it was not difficult to get suited up and up in the air.