On the boat ride over from Hickory Creek to Sneaky Pete's to meet NTX, the air temperature was around 60 and the water temperature was probably 50 and our designated flyers were starting to shiver just thinking about jumping in the water - I think they were also a little nervous!
We got to the boat ramp just as Jas, the owner of NTX, and Rick were backing the waverunners into the lake - and both of them had wet suits on! Some of the shakes went away and there was a big sigh of relief when Jas brought over a box full of wetsuits and some helmets which immediately got a "helmets, why do we need helmets?" And the shakes returned as we watched Jas get everything ready for our flight!
After parking the truck, Jas jumped in the water and shouted "follow me." Rick gave his waverunner some gas and Jas popped 8' out of the water and started heading toward the main part of the lake. Our riders immediately responded, "wow, that looks easy, piece of cake, I can do that!" In awe, we followed Jas to Sneaky Pete's courtesy dock and one of our flyers said "You mean we have to fly here with all those Sneaky Pete patrons watching?"
On the courtesy dock, Jas handed the flyers wetsuits and helmets and said "suit up." And for the next 5 minutes the rest of us and lots of Sneaky Pete customers started giggling and snickering as our 3 riders tried to stuff their bodies into those too small tight black wetsuits! Once they were suited up, Jas gave them some basic flying instructions and hand signals to use, strapped them into the flyboard booties, and the first two brave souls did a very ungraceful leap into the lake only to emerge with a loud shriek and a "it's freezing" - Jas gave them words of encouragement that they would soon warm up and stop shivering!
And off they went! It was a hoot watching them try to flyboard for the first time - I don't think they listened to Jas's instructions. Their form and style varied (and got lots of giggles from the crowd) and wasn't close to what Jas told them to do.
For the first 5 minutes they would go up a couple feet above the water and do some combination of a nose dive, belly flop, or back flip into the lake - and then resurface once more and do it again. Each time Jas and Rick would give them some words of advice (point your toes, don't bend your knees, keep you hands flat, etc.) and they would resurface and fly higher and longer - before taking a plunge back into the lake!
After several plunges in the lake, they got the hang of it and were going higher and staying above the water longer! And each time they got high the crowd was cheering and when they crashed back into the lake the crowd was either laughing or going "ohhhhh." I think the observers had as much fun as the riders.
After 25 minutes or so, they were ready for a break and they headed back to the dock and were propelled onto the dock in a sitting position - amazing. After a break, they were back in the booties, jumped into the lake, and were flying higher and longer than they had before. And landing back on the dock with a "wow, that was a blast."
Jas was great and he volunteered to give the two grand kids (7 and 8) a try at flying. He flew over to Sneaky Pete's beach and met the grand kids where he coached them and then held them as the water boots lifted them up above the lake - they loved it!
Once our crew was done, Jas took off and showed us some pretty fancy flyboarding skills. He sure made it look easy as he effortlessly did some twists and turns, dolphin dives, and high flying over 45 feet above the lake!
What a great time! You've got to give it a try. And Sneaky Pete's is a perfect place to flyboard because after your flight you can sit on their deck enjoying a drink, a dip in their pool, some sand volleyball, and enjoy some good food as you reminisce about how you "flew 100 feet in the air, did a perfect dolphin dive, and with a little more time could have completed the back flip above, instead of under the water."
The flyboard technology is amazing and simple - a pair of wakeboard boots is attached to a board, which is attached to a 60' a hose (like a fire hose) that is hooked onto the propulsion system of a waverunner. When the waverunner driver gives it some gas, water is forced under pressure through the hose to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 50 feet in the air above the lake. The Flyboard was first introduced in the spring of 2011 by a French watercraft rider, Franky Zapata. Skilled flyers can do front flips, back flips, loops, dolphin dives, and other tricks. You can sign up with NTX Flyboard for an introductory ride with a lesson for 30 minutes or for longer flights. NTX Flyboards staff of Zapata Racing Factory Certified Instructors can provide beginner to advanced instruction. If you've got a waverunner, you can even buy your own board and equipment from NTX Flyboard. Add this adventure to your bucket list.