This is the first part of a 3-part 'Buyer's Guide' series about the best way to go about choosing
a hydroflight system and why.
You've decided your ready to take the plunge and buy yourself a jetpack, jetboard or jetbike
(aka a “hydroflight system”) You’ve been watching endless YouTube videos of people flying around, having way too much fun, and you decided it’s finally time to get off the sidelines
and get in the game.
Now the big question…what to buy?
There are a lot of options, but with just a few considerations, you can easily narrow them down to choose the hydroflight system that’s best for you.
The History of Hydroflight
Five years ago, there wasn’t even a choice. It was a simpler time. There was one system, the Jetlev Jetpack, invented by Ray Li in Dania Beach, Florida. But with a $100,000 sticker price, it was solely a rich man’s game.
Then, in 2012, the jet ski-attachable Flyboard burst onto the scene with a price tag around $10,000 and started a revolution in the watersports world. Now, there is a new hydroflight company popping up seemingly every month.
So let’s narrow down your options a bit to get you started.
The hydroflight industry is still in its infancy, so you need to be aware that the companies you see today may not be the companies you see in a year or
two. Jetlev, the inventor of hydroflight, went belly-up in 2014, proving that the first player in the space isn’t necessarily always the winner.
Zapata Racing, which developed the Flyboard, Hoverboard and Jetpack by ZR, is definitely the market leader, with innovative hydroflight products that have continually evolved with each year.
FLYBOARD by ZR
HOVERBOARD by ZR
JETPACK by ZR
X-Jets is a Shanghai, China based company run by an American with extensive engineering experience and a long history working in action sports in the snowboard
industry. Their X-Jetpack was the first viable alternative to the Jetlev jetpack and remains the frontrunner in the space. Their Jetblade, with its
independent swiveling feet, instantly became a contender for top jetboard spot when it was introduced in Summer 2014.
X-JETS: JETPACK AND JETBLADE
Jetovator is another player in the space, focusing on slightly more alternative hydroflight devices, such as the Jetovator jetbike, the Shred Sled flying kneeboard and the Freedom Flyer flying chair. These devices are surprisingly easy to fly, but they come with additional safety considerations that shouldn’t be ignored
Defy Waterflight is a Utah based jetboard company, which is quickly making a name for itself, most notably because of their board’s three-axis system that allows riders to swivel their feet sideways in addition to forward and backward.
FlyDive is a venture-capital-backed San Diego jetboard company, focusing on the family-friendly, safety-first segment of the market, establishing FlyDive training centers around the country. One big differentiator with their board is the low placement of the boot base plates, which provide better responsiveness with heel/toe steering.
Jetlev-Flyer is a German company that licensed the jetpack technology from Jetlev US in 2011 to sell throughout Europe and the Middle East. Now that Jetlev US has gone out of business, Jetlev-Flyer is looking to start selling in the US and around the rest of the world. Stay tuned on this one.
There are other companies out there like Dolphin Board, Wataboard and the list of “major players” in the hydroflight industry will continue to change for years to come, but this is your top list for today. Beware of the cheap knock-offs because, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Continue to Part 2 of the Buyers Guide - Private Use or Commercial.