Hydroflight sports are a category of sport in which water jet propulsion is used to create sustained flight where lift and movement are controlled by a person riding on a propulsion device. It is a fast-paced sport that is growing in popularity at a fine rate of speed. Competitions for this sport started around 2012. There are many training centres throughout the world where beginners to go to learn and practice skills so they can fly these devices by themselves.
Types of hydroflight equipment
There are many different types of Hydroflight products that are used for flying. The three most common types are the Jetboards, Jetpacks and Jetbikes, but there are others such as the Hoverboard and Freedom Flyer. Different varieties of jetboards are manufactured by different companies such as Flyboard, Defy X and Wataboard. This gives buyers a choice on which style board will suite their style of use.
Jetboard The jetboard is a device that has two jets either side of the deck, on top of the deck is where the boots/bindings (generally wakeboarding boots) are bolted in and this is where the pilot will strap themselves into. The direction and control of the jetboard comes down to the amount of propulsion being applied, the angle that your feet are pointing and the distribution of your bodyweight.
Jetpack The jetpack is a device that is attached to your back with the two jets situated next to your shoulders. You’re held to the device by a five-point safety/racing harness (same as the ones used in race car seats). You control the direction of flight using the two handles that are attached to the jets on a 45-degree angle, by moving these controls you will change your flight path.
Jetbike The Jetbike is a device that has a motorcycle style seat and allows its pilot to fly in a position that replicates a motorcyclist’s form. There is nothing to hold you in but two small straps located on the foot pad. The bike has one main jet underneath the seat and two smaller jets located at the front of the bike which have handles attached to them to control the direction of your flight path.
Freedom flyer The Freedom Flyer is a great device which can actually be used by those who may suffer from a disability to the lower half of their body. The device is in the shape of a chair which has one main jet under the seat and two jets situated on either side of it which has handles attached to either side so the pilot can alter their flight path.
Hoverboard The Hoverboard is a snowboard style device which only has one main jet situated underneath it. It is ridden with a side-on stance and it directed by the distribution of the pilots own body-weight.
- HydroJam & Expo
- Open Competitions:
Hydro Fest 2016 / Session One / FlyCup / Hydroflight World Championship / Louisiana Hydroflight Invitational
- Flyboard competitions:
Flyboard European Championship 2016 / XDubai Flyboard World Cup 2015 / XDubai Hoverboard Race 2015 / North American Flyboard Championship 2015 / XDubai Flyboard World Cup 2014 / Flyboard World Cup 2013 / Flyboard World Cup 2012 / Japan Flyboard World Cup
Training: You can find training centres throughout the world where they will teach you how to learn the basic skills required for the sport of hydroflight. These centres usually cost quite a bit of money but that is to cover the cost of fuel, the cost of the instructor’s wage, the cost of hiring equipment (if you don’t already have your own) and sometimes to help cover the cost of the private lake that the company is using. Many training centres also operate straight off the beach or other coastal locations.
In Australia there is only one franchise that offer hydroflight training. The name of this company is Jetpack Adventures. They have training centres in the following cities around Australia; Gold Coast, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, Central Coast and Perth. These centres are placed at locations such as regatta centres, inland canals and even a giant man made pool. The beach is often a tricky place to try teach beginners because of tides and currents that come into effect. Jetpack adventures is a growing company that performs stunt shows all around Australia at different events such as the V8 Supercars GC 600, Defqon dance festival, Redcliffe Kite Festival and many other events but they have even hosted the Go Pro Athlete Summit.
Injuries are a major factor when it comes to hydroflight sports especially when the pilot starts to perform advanced movements. Injuries can occur at absolutely any time of your flight. • Hitting the pressurized hose at speed can cause concussion, bruising and even broken toes / ankles / legs. • Diving into the water presents the danger of breaking your neck, concussion, dislocation of shoulders / back or neck, and if the pilot attempts to scoop the trajectory of the dive underwater against his current rotation he will be at serious risk of a back injury. • Hitting the water flat (non-diving position) from a height of 10 meters will bring the pilot to a stop in less than 1 foot which can cause serious bruising to your body and internal organs, it also strains the connective tissue securing the organs and possible minor haemorrhaging of lungs and other tissue is also possible. • According to the website Hyper Physics (impact force of falling object generator), if a fully kitted up pilot with the weight of 75 kg fell from a full height of 16 meters (without the help of forward momentum or the force of the jets pushing them) he would hit the water at approximately 63 km/h. Yet most professionals weigh between 75 – 90 kg once fully kitted up. • Whilst performing manoeuvres such as back flips or front flips the pilot can reach up to 4 Gs of force.
The hydroflight industry is full of hazards and potential for things to go wrong. Here is a list of things that pilots must keep their eyes peeled for whilst operating a device. • Rocks and other submerged objects can be a very dangerous hazard for all hydroflight participants. Before diving under the water it is best to have a good understanding of what lies beneath the surface and the depth of the water. • Water depth is another critical element to the sport of hydroflight. If the pilot is operating only 1–3 meters above the water, then they should have at least 2 meters of depth below them. If the pilot exceeds 3 meters, then the water depth must now be at a depth of 4 meters. • Objects above the water can be as equally as dangerous as any other submerged objects. Whilst flying in the air a pilot must keep on the lookout for any 3D objects such as bridges, buoys, boats, jetties, other hydroflight pilots and the hose and jet ski that they’re attached to. • Dolphin dives is a fantastic manoeuvre that is usually performed more on the jet-boards. Although it looks spectacular it holds a great danger because the pilot is diving head first into the water from any height between 1–15 meters. Whilst performing this manoeuvre it is essential to know how to execute it perfectly and also to have the knowledge of what lies beneath the surface and how much water depth you have to work with. • Knee knockouts are the most common of injuries when it comes to advanced manoeuvres. If the pilot bends his knees and goes into a squat position whilst the board is lifting them up with high power, there is a good chance the knee will make contact with the face. • Weather and tides can be hazardous to any pilot no matter their skill level. Tides and currents can play a big factor because if the tide goes out it may take away the valuable water depth that is needed to maintain your safety. If the current is creating rips on the beach, then the pilot can easily drift out of his designated zone or float out to sea if they’re not concentrating. If storms approach it is best to exit the water because there are many electricity conducting components in the jet skis and hydroflight devices that could end up giving you a nasty shock if lighting gets too close. • Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be hazardous to your health and even cause death. To ensure safety you must never get to close to the back of the jet ski where these fumes are released whilst the engine is turned on. • Flotation equipment is essential. Always ensure that your PFD has a rating of level 3 and that your chosen hydroflight devices flotation is still buoyant. • Not only should their always be someone observing your flight from the jet ski but for extra safety you should also have another on the beach. Always discuss and arrange your hand signals so that all participants are on the same page before starting.
World Hydroflight Association
The World Hydroflight Association (WHFA) is a worldwide organization representing, hydroflight participants, manufacturers, companies and fans. It exists to promote the sport of hydroflight via the safe, responsible operation of hydroflight devices.
- "World Hydroflight Association – The official home of all hydroflight sports". Worldhydroflightassociation.org. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "World Hydroflight Association – The official home of all hydroflight sports". worldhydroflightassociation.org. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
http://www.h2romagazine.com/hydroflight-sports http://worldhydroflightassociation.org/ http://www.h2romagazine.com/hydroflight-competitions http://www.x-jetpacks.com/safety-first/ http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/flobi.html