Flyboarding is a relatively new water sport that allows you to fly over the surface of the water using a jet propulsion system. Flyboarding is becoming increasing popular, and it’s good to know important information about exactly how it works when deciding whether or not to try it.
It is not hard to learn the basics of Flyboarding. Generally, it only takes a few minutes to learn how to balance out of the water on a Flyboard and become comfortable with basic maneuvers.
If you’re curious about trying Flyboarding, there’s a decent amount of information to help familiarize you with it. Included below is all of the information you will need to understand how Flyboarding works and decide if it’s the right water sport for you.
How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Flyboard?
Many instructors say that it only takes first-timers about 5-10 minutes to get comfortable balancing on the board while on the water’s surface. Within 30 minutes, most people can get comfortable standing on the board 6 feet above the water, and often are already trying basic maneuvers.
How Do You Use a Flyboard?
Riding a Flyboard takes strength, balance, and core control, but it’s relatively simple to get the basics down with step-by-step instructions. It only takes a half-hour or less of instruction for most people to be able comfortably balance 6 feet above water on the Flyboard. Below are the basic instructions for getting your Flyboard in the air for the first time.
- Get an Instructor
- Suit Up
- Strap on Your Boots
- Get in the Water
- Stand Up for Takeoff
- Keep Your Body Straight
- Look Straight Ahead
- Maneuver the Flyboard
- Communicate with Your Instructor
Get an Instructor
When you Flyboard for the first time, make sure you are with a certified Flyboard instructor. Your instructor can then guide you through the basic steps to getting on and staying on your flyboard as listed below. You may also want to check out my post on the differences between flyboarding and hoverboards.
Always make sure you are outfitted with a life vest and a helmet before taking your Flyboard out. If you are renting a Flyboard, these items should be provided for you. Don’t go in the water without them!
Strap on your Boots
Once you have your safety equipment on, you will put your feet into the flyboard boots. You may need someone to help you balance, since they will be a little bit off the ground. Wiggle your feet snuggly into the boots and secure them until they are very snug.
Get in the Water
There are a few different methods for safely and easily getting into the water depending on where you’re taking off from.
- The Trust Fall
- Jump Feet First
- Superman Swim
The Trust Fall
If you are on a dock or dry land, have someone stand directly behind you. Lean back into their arms and have them lower you into a seated position. Once you are seated, simply lower yourself feet-first into the water
Jump Feet First
If you are on a raised dock or elevated surface, you can jump feet-first into the water. Just make sure that you are far enough away from the dock not to hit it.
In some cases, you may ride out on the jet ski to a more open area. Slide off the jet ski feet first, and then swim away in the “Superman” position, with your stomach facing towards the water with your feet straight and your back slightly arched. Do not bend your knees during your swim and try to keep your body as straight as possible.
Stand Up for Takeoff
Once you are a safe distance from the jet ski, bend your knees and push your feet down underneath you until you are in a standing position in the water. Once you are upright, your instructor will give you enough thrust to propel you straight out of the water.
Keep Your Body Straight
As you lift out of the water, keep your legs straight and your torso upright with your arms by your side. The straighter your body, the easier it will be to find your balance on the Flyboard. Your instructor will give you just enough thrust to hover a few feet above the water until you find your balance.
Look Straight Ahead
As you rise out of the water, make sure you look straight ahead and not down towards your feet. This will help you maintain balance as you learn to stand comfortably.
Maneuver the Flyboard
Now that you’re balanced and steady above the water, you can start experimenting with moving the flyboard. You can maneuver your Flyboard in all four directions with simple leg and foot movements. Here are the directions you can go on the Flyboard and how to move your legs and feet:
- Go Forward
- Go Backward
- Turn Left
- Turn Right
Lean forward slightly and put pressure on your toes
Bend your knees slightly and lean back onto your heels
Bend your left knee and straighten your right knee to press into the left side of the board
Bend your right knee and straighten your left knee to press into the right side of the board
Check out all worldwide available flyboard trips on GetYourGuide.com by clicking the above image. AquaSportsPlanet is a Get Your Guide affiliate.
Communicate with Your Instructor
Always make sure you’re communicating your needs with your instructor. If you want to go higher, ask them to increase the thrust. If you need to take a break, tell them to decrease the thrust until you are back in the resting position in the water. Your instructor will give you cues on how to best communicate with them as you fly.
Since it might be difficult to hear when you’re on your Flyboard, many instructors will teach you hand signals to use so that you can communicate better. It’s important to use both arms and be very expressive with your signals so your instructor will have no trouble seeing them. Here are the most common hand signals you will need to know:
- Thumbs Up
- Thumbs Down
- “OK” Sign
- “Cut Off” Sign
Thumbs up signals the instructor to give more thrust so you can go higher.
- Make fists with both hands
- Point your thumbs up towards the sky
Thumbs down signals the instructor to back off on the thrust and bring you back down to the surface.
- Make fists with both hands
- Point both thumbs down towards the water
This sign signals that you are unhurt and ready to continue Flyboarding after a fall or a crash.
- Touch thumb and pointer fingers together
- Extend other three fingers straight
Cut Off Sign
Use this sign to tell your instructor that you would like to take a rest or need to stop completely.
- Make an open palm
- Turn your palm towards your body
- Drag your palm across the base of your neck
Floating above the water for the first time will be a little scary and new for everyone. Just remember to keep your mind and body relaxed and focus on having fun. The less you tense your body, the easier it will be for you to settle into the motion of the Flyboard.
What Do You Do if You Fall?
Flyboarding requires a lot of balance, so it is likely you will fall during your first few tries. However, the Flyboard is completely buoyant and is designed to push you back to the surface if you go underwater. You will also be wearing a mandatory life jacket. As long as you stay relaxed and follow these easy instructions, you will be perfectly safe.
- Use Your Hand Signals
- Raise your arms in a dive position
- Trust Your Instructor
Use Your Hand Signals
If you feel yourself losing your balance, use your hand signals to tell your instructor to cut the Thrust. That way, you will slowly come back down to float on the surface of the water.
Raise your arms overhead
If you find yourself falling head first, put your hands over your head in a standard diving position. This will allow your hands to break the surface of the water first and protect your head from impact.
Trust Your Instructor
Your instructor is there to watch you and keep you safe. A quality instructor will notice when you are losing your balance or falling and cut the thrust appropriately to cushion your fall into the water.
How Do I Learn How to Flyboard?
There are plenty of different ways to learn how to Flyboard safely and efficiently. As I have discussed, you don’t need even know how to swim. Described below are some of the easiest ways to learn this fun and exciting sport.
- Private Lesson
- Group Lesson
- Watch Videos
The safest and fastest way to learn how to Flyboard is to book a private lesson with a Certified Flyboard Instructor. Many rental companies offer 1 or 2-hour lessons with one-on-one instruction. Learning with an instructor will help you progress to more advanced tricks more quickly than a group lesson will.
Flyboard rental companies also over group lessons for those who prefer to learn the sport with friends. This method of learning will most likely be more cost-effective, but you won’t get as much instruction as you would with a private lesson. This is a good option for groups who are curious to try Flyboarding once or twice but don’t plan to continue with the sport.
Whether you’re seriously considering taking up Flyboarding or just trying it for fun, one of the best ways to understand exactly how it works is to watch videos. There are dozens of YouTube videos showing experiences of first-time users that may help ease your anxiety if you’re trying it for the first time.
How Much Do Flyboard Lessons Cost?
Flyboard lessons are usually offered by the hour, but can be booked for longer periods of time, such as a half-day or full-day lessons. The price also depends on how many people are taking the lesson. Some rental companies offer special group prices for larger parties. Below is a table of common rental times and price ranges.
|Flight Type||What it Includes||Price|
|30 Minute Flight||5-10 minute introduction, basic flight maneuvers, flying 6 feet above water||$100 – $150/person|
|1 Hour Flight||Flying higher out of water, basic flight control, turning maneuvers||$130-$150/person|
|Small Group Half Day Flight||4+ hours on the water, advanced maneuvers||$75-$150/person|
|Small Group Full Day Flight||8+ hours on the water, advanced maneuvers||$75-$150/person|
|Party Flight||Half or full day flight, basic flight control, turning maneuvers||$75-$120/person|
Flyboard rentals usually include all of your equipment, including life jackets and helmets. Make sure your lesson is taught by a Certified Flyboarding Instructor before booking.
You can use this Viator link to see flyboard lessons available around the world. Note AquaSportsPlanet is a Viator affiliate.
Is Flyboarding for Me?
If you enjoy being out on the water and like to take on new physical challenges, Flyboarding is a good choice for you. It is an incredibly fun, safe, and relatively easy-to-learn water sport that is unlike anything else, and most people who have tried it claim that the thrill is worth every penny.
Flyboarding certainly isn’t for everyone, and if you are anxious around water or afraid of heights, this may not be the sport for you. A fun alternative for you might be boogie boarding, which involves riding waves close to shore while lying on a long board. You will experience the same sensation of floating on the water without having to fly in the air or leave the shoreline.
How Does a Flyboard Work?
The Flyboard is propelled by jets that are attached to a jet ski by a long hose. The jet ski controls the force of water flowing through the hose into the jets. The jets can propel a rider as high as 40 feet above the water and can send them up to 8 feet underneath the water’s surface. Here is a list of the different components of the Flyboard and what they do:
- The Flyboard
- The Boots
- The Jets
- The Hose
- The Jet Ski
- Electronic Management Kit
The Flyboard itself is a flat board similar in size and shape to a snowboard. It is made of lightweight, buoyant material, so you can float directly on the surface of the water when resting without having to worry about sinking underwater.
The boots are directly attached to the Flyboard, and keep the rider securely strapped onto the board. Once the rider is strapped into the boots, they can stand and balance on the Flyboard hands-free.
The Flyboard has two water jet nozzles that attach to the underside of the board directly beneath the boots. They connect to a large hose in between them. The water is pumped through the hose and forced out of the jet nozzles, pushing the rider up over the water.
The Flyboard’s 55-foot long hose runs from underneath the Flyboard to the jet ski that it’s attached to. The jet ski is responsible for pumping the water into the hose.
The Jet Ski
A Flyboard will not work without the help of a jet ski. The jet ski controls the how high or low your Flyboard goes by adjusting the amount of water pumping through the hose into the Flyboard jets. There are two terms you need to know in relation to the jet ski:
The “Thrust” is the volume of water traveling through the hose and into the jets. It will determine how high or low the Flyboard will go. The higher the volume of water going through the hose, the higher the Flyboard will rise out of the water. When the volume decreases, the Flyboard will return back to the surface.
The throttle is a small lever located on the handle of the jet ski that allows the instructor to control the thrust. When the instructor puts pressure on the throttle, the thrust increases and the Flyboard goes higher. When the instructor releases pressure, the thrust decreases and the Flyboard will come back down towards the water.
There are also certain requirements that a jet ski must meet to be compatible with a Flyboard. Before you get on your Flyboard, make sure that your jet ski meets all of the following standards:
- Is manufactured by SeaDoo, Yamaha, Kawasaki, or Honda
- Is a 2005 or later model
- Can reach 100+ Horsepower
- Has a 4-Stroke engine
Electronic Management Kit
While all Flyboards are usually controlled by the PWC operator, there is a handheld device called an Electronic Management Kit that allows the Flyboard rider to control the thrust manually from the air. This should only be used by experienced riders, since it requires more precision and knowledge of timing.
Can You Do Tricks on Your Flyboard?
Once you have mastered the basic Flyboard maneuvers, there are plenty of more advanced tricks that may only take you a few attempts to master. Below is a list of some of the most commonly-practiced advanced maneuvers and how to perform them.
- Dolphin Dive
- 360 Degree Spin
This is the most commonly performed Flyboard trick that actually lets you dive underneath the water! Follow these simple steps below, or check out this video:
- Put your hands above your head in an arrow formation
- Dive into the water hands first at a 45-degree angle. Do not dive straight down!
- Once you’re fully underwater, arch your back, and look up at the surface of the water to come up.
- Bring your hands back to your sides or up over your head for your next dive
- Avoid wiping your face or flailing your arms as it may cause you to lose your balance
360 Degree Spin
This trick may look difficult, but it’s quite simple once you get the hang of it.
- Make sure the hose is directly underneath you
- Straighten the leg in the direction you want to spin
- Bend your other leg as far as you can towards your armpit
- Keep your torso upright and resist the urge to lean forward
This advanced trick will take a little practice and a lot of guts! Make sure you are in a safe position away from the jet ski before performing this trick.
- Place yourself in front of the jet ski and off to one side, so you are parallel with it
- Make sure the hose is directly underneath you
- Fly straight up. The higher you are, the longer you will have to finish the flip
- Throw your arms up and back
- Pull your legs around to follow your arms and rotate backwards
- Push your feet towards the ground to finish standing up
Where Can I Learn How to Flyboard?
You can learn how to Flyboard pretty much anywhere that you can find an open body of water! Any of the following water sources are perfect places to take your next Flyboard lesson:
Lakes are the most popular areas to learn how to Flyboard because they offer plenty of open space and a calmer water surface. If you’re looking for a local Flyboard experience or aren’t a big fan of the ocean, the lake will be your best bet.
Flyboarding on rivers is less common to find, since they have to be large and calm enough. River water is likely colder than lakes or oceans, so you might need a wetsuit when Flyboarding in the river.
You can expect ocean water to be slightly rougher than lake or river water, so you may choose the former two for your first time. Oceans will offer vast space and stunning views and are a great choice for international travelers.
Regardless of what body of water you’re on, your instructor will make sure you’re in a safe, calm spot before you take off on your Flyboard.
Where Are the Best Destinations to Flyboard?
Flyboarding has become a destination sport that is a fun activity for beach or lake vacations. Here is a list of some of the top places in the world that offer Flyboarding lessons rentals and lessons:
- Caribbean and Cancun
- Miami, FL
- San Diego, CA
Pristine turquoise waters and a spectacular views of mountainous islands or wide flat beaches are always welcome. Whether you choose to relax in Cancun or hike the mountains of the Virgin Islands, you can book a flyboard rental and lesson at your destination at the above Viator link.
The combination of relaxing beaches and clear water combined with a vast array of night time activities keeps Miami one of the hottest travel spots in the eastern US. And there are plenty of watersports options in Miami. Click the link to see Viator’s current flyboard experiences in Miami.
Dubai is rapidly becoming a travel hot spot. Wherever you choose to visit or stay in the country, there are options for getting a good flyboard experience. Use the link to see Viator’s current list of options.
California is one of the most traveled states in the US. You can take in any of the quiet beaches, rent jet skis or paddle boards, and of course learn to surf. But in San Diego, you can book a flyboard experience. While you’re there, stop by California Flyboards if you’re looking to rent or buy. Tell them Tim from AquaSportsPlanet sent you. They don’t know me, but they would if you mention me!
What else needs to be said? The Gold Coast is one of the top watersports destinations in the world. Known for its beaches and scuba diving, jet skis, paddle boarding and flyboards are available in many spots. Viator has several options at that link.
As flyboarding has grown in popularity, lessons and rentals are being offered at more places across the country and the world. Next time you find yourself near a lake, river, or ocean, check to see if there are any Flyboard rental opportunities nearby.
What are Age and Weight Restrictions for Flyboarding?
Every rental company’s restrictions are slightly different. Some companies allow riders as young as 13 years old, while others require them to be a minimum of 15 years old. There are also weight restrictions to consider. The minimum required weight for riders ranges from 80lbs-100lbs, and the maximum weight is 300lbs.
Can You Buy Flyboards?
Flyboards are available for sale, and they range in price from $3,500 – $6,000. This price only includes the board itself. If you are interested in purchasing a flyboard, it’s important to calculate the jet ski and hose into the cost of your total purchase.
Since the flyboard and its accessories are relatively costly, it’s best to rent a Flyboard or take a few lessons before purchasing one. Flyboarding is also one of my recommended 11 Ways to Make Money With Your Jet Ski.
Flyboard vs. Hoverboard vs. Jetpack
Flyboards, Hoverboards, and Jetpacks may seem like they are all the same, but in fact, they offer the rider very different experiences. We have an entire post about this. Here is a summary list of the similarities and differences between the three sports.
|Water is propelled from below the board||Water is propelled from the back of the board||Water is propelled from a pack on your back|
|Can go up to 40ft. in the air and 8 ft. underwater||Can go up to 16ft. in the air. Cannot go underwater||Can go up to 30ft. in the air. Cannot go underwater|
|Vertical “flying” movements||Horizontal “soaring” movements||Vertical “flying” and spinning movements|
|Involves calves and ankles||Involves hips, legs, calves, ankles||Involves squeezing controls with hands|
|Easiest to learn||Somewhat difficult to learn||Most difficult to learn|
If flyboarding sounds interesting to you, check for local rental facilities near you next time you head to the beach or the lake. Flyboarding is becoming an increasingly popular sport, so there’s a strong chance you may find that the opportunity to try it is closer than you think!