For true thrill-seekers, the flyboard has become the ultimate watersport. Twin jets of water propel the rider into the air, allowing them to hover in the air. Those who master the sport look like superheroes as they effortlessly twist, flip, and dive. For those that want to get to the highest level, renting simply isn’t an option. You’ll need to own a flyboard to put in the required hours to get good. So how much does it cost to buy a flyboard of your own?
Flyboards cost somewhere in the range of $4000–$6000 for a complete kit. The price varies depending on which brand and options you spring for. You’ll need a jetski and lifejackets to get started, and maybe some optional accessories that you might consider.
Flyboards are complicated marvels of engineering, and they only hit the market about 10 years ago (read 7 Dangers of Flyboarding for more info). There are certainly cheaper watersports out there. But if you want to be the coolest person on the lake, you’ll have to open your wallet. Here’s a breakdown of how to approach the various options in a flyboard purchase.
What Do Different Flyboard Models Cost?
The flyboard is your ticket to the skies. Selecting the right model for you will help ensure that you get the most of your board.
Flyboard Legend by Zapata
Frank Zapata is the genius original inventor of the flyboard, so it should come as no surprise that his company is the gold standard when it comes to flyboard performance. The Flyboard Legend is Zapata’s base model. Zapata really performs well in its fully customizable fittings. These give the rider good protection and stability while flying.
Flyboard Pro by Zapata
If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, the Flyboard Pro is the kit for you. The system is lighter, more powerful, and offers greater control to the rider. The Flyboard Pro is 35% lighter than the Legend, giving it greater lift and increasing maneuverability. The pro has 32% greater hydrodynamic efficiency, meaning that the water pumps harder out of the nozzle, offering more power and lift to the rider. Additionally, the system allows for double rotation, offering greater control for experts and novices alike.
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X-Board by FlyDrive
The most affordable of the options we’ve presented, the X-Board, isn’t without its strengths. This board is the easiest to control and is a great option for beginners and those first learning to fly. It is also the only system available on Amazon.
FlyDrive has implemented their patented DRS Tech, which stands for Dynamic and Response Stability Technology. It’s a fancy phrase that means that the feet are positioned closer to the rotational axis, putting less strain on the ankles of the rider. Other flyboards place the feet farther from the rotational axis, which can create a “high-heeled effect” that the rider has to actively push back against, making flying more laborious and less intuitive. With the X-Board learning to fly is a snap.
What Equipment Do You Need to Get Started?
Unfortunately, you’ll need more than just the board to take to the skies. There’s a few additional pieces of equipment that are essential for you to start riding your flyboard over the water.
Flyboards connect to the nozzle of a jet ski or similar personal watercraft (PWC) and use the jet to propel the flyboard through the air rather than propel the PWC through the water. If you don’t have a jet ski, you don’t have an engine, and the most exciting thing you’ll be doing is sitting on the dock. If you don’t already have a compatible PWC, you’ll want to start here.
I have a complete guide to buying a PWC as well as How to Buy a Used Jet Ski: 10 things to look for.
You need to hook your flyboard’s hose to nozzle of your jet ski. Unfortunately, jet ski nozzles are not standardized, so you’ll need to order an adapter your particular make of jet ski. There is some variation in price across the different adapters. You’ll usually order this piece along with the flyboard, but the price isn’t included, so you’ll want to take it into account.
Safety first. Just like with any other watersport, there’s always a chance of danger. A set of jet-propelled streams of water directly under your feet only increase the need for caution. Crashing on a flyboard can be extremely disorienting as the jets may push you around a bit in the water before the jetski operator kills the power. A life jacket makes sure you reemerge right side up.
It is impossible for me to give you a specific life jacket recommendation. While I have brand preferences, there are so many body shapes, jacket styles, and uses, that it’s something best left up to you. I order my water sports accessories form these vendors. These links take you to life jackets for sale at BuyWake or Overtons.
It’s worth saying more than once; safety is paramount when using a flyboard. Surface tension in the water makes it so that you can still hit hard. The faster you’re going, the harder you hit. With jets beneath your feet and the possibility of climbing as high as 50 feet in the air, there’s a possibility of hitting the water hard. A helmet helps protect your most essential organ and will protect you from loss of consciousness or a concussion in the event of a nasty tumble.
What Other Accessories Might You be Interested In?
Once you’ve got all the essentials taken care of, there are a few additional pieces of equipment that can enhance your flyboarding experience. These accessories are optional but can make the experience of flyboarding more convenient, enjoyable, and rewarding.
You’ll find that the first time you hook up your flyboard, it takes you an hour or two. After you get more experienced, you’ll be able to connect or disconnect the flyboard from the jet ski in about half an hour. This can still make switching from jet skiing to flyboarding a bit inconvenient. A quick-release steering nozzle makes it easy to switch between jet skiing and flyboarding—about 3 minutes in total. This makes this piece essential for those interested in multi-purpose use of their jet ski.
A dual impeller allows you to get more power with less RPMs from the jet ski. This allows you to soar to higher heights and also reduces wear on the jet ski. You’ll be able to get about 5–10 feet higher off the ground with a dual impeller than without one.
The reduction in required RPMs is also much better for the jet ski. Running a jet ski at full throttle for extended periods of time put greater strain on the engine, meaning reduced lifespan and more frequent repairs. And we haven’t even mentioned the reduced fuel cost. Fuel savings alone can cause this piece of equipment to pay for itself within just a few months of use.
Typically you need two people in order to flyboard, one person to man the jet ski while the other person flies. The jet ski rider controls the throttle, giving the rider more or less power and killing the engine in the event of a crash. A wireless throttle puts the flyboarder in the driver’s seat, allowing them to control the throttle while up in the air. This gives them greater control and eliminates the need for a second person.
U Pipe Double Swivel
The U pipe is what connects the hose to the jetski. It curves the house out and away from the motor. However, with only a single swivel point, the hose can become twisted or kinked, cutting off water to the rider. Twisting or kinking is frustrating in the best circumstances and dangerous in the worst. A double swivel prevents the hose from becoming twisted, saving hassle, and creating a safer ride.
Rent or book a lesson
Even though my intro paragraph enticed you to buy, that may not be ideal for most. Because of the costs associated with flyboarding, a lot of people choose to rent a ride or book a lesson. There are places all over the world where this can be done. You could start by asking your local PWC dealer if anyone in your area has a flyboard, and go from there.
Viator, GetYourGuide, Trip Advisor and other booking tools let you search wherever you live or may be traveling to and book time for flyboarding in advance. Here are a few suggestions that we’ve used for a few spots. Viator has flyboarding and jet ski rentals in Europe at this link, all around the Caribbean here, and some random US locations as well.
Get Your Guide offers flyboarding trips around the world.
Flyboarding is also one of my 11 ways to make money with your jet ski. You may be able to find an inexpensive used set up for sale online. Check the hose carefully for leaks and location of any punctures. Leaks near the ends can be repaired, leaks near the middle will require replacement of the hose. Then you can go out an be the one renting or giving lessons.
We’ve been flyboarding several times over the last few years. Most of the images and videos on the site are from our personal excursions. I will admit my adult kids enjoy it more than I do. I can still waterski, dive, and even do backflips off the side of our boat. But I can’t quite stay up long enough on a flyboard to make it enjoyable.
But after just a few minutes with instructors, my kids and their friends are up and flying around in circles and doing basic turns. After 2 sessions, my son was doing dolphin dives and backflips, although he still can’t land a front flip well.
So rent, take a lesson, or buy, but give it a try. It is definitely a different experience, and new way to enjoy personal watercraft. Get out there, stay safe, and have fun!