In Part-1 of our 'Buyer's Guide' we told you all about the different kinds of hydroflight devices now commercially available. Now in Part-2 we’ll explain to you how the major differences between hydroflight machines will dictate what kind of device is best suited for your specific needs.
Will your new hydroflight machine be for private or commercial use?
It’s the single biggest question we have for our customers when it comes to deciding which hydroflight system is right for you. If you are buying for your own private use, you have a lot more options and a lot more flexibility. If you’re buying a hydroflight system to build a business around (or to add it to an existing business), you have a whole different set of considerations.
With private use, it’s all about you. You just need to watch the videos, check out the manufacturers and pick what best fits your personality. It’s a personal
For anyone looking to open a commercial hydroflight rental facility however, you have to think about your customer first, not yourself. The old adage, the “customer is always right” rings true as always. You have to choose a device that will appeal to the general public at large and bring in the most paying customers!
There are a myriad of questions and considerations that come into play. Are some devices more intimidating to people than the others? Which devices have the fastest learning curve? Which devices are safest and most economical to operate? You have to think about which devices will hold up under the brutal and unforgiving rental abuse of daily use.
So what will it be?A Jetpack, Jetboard or a Jetbike?
The two largest hydroflight categories at this stage are jetboards (Flyboard, Jetblade, JetDeck, X-Board, among others) and jetpacks (X-Jetpack, Jetlev-Flyer, Jetpack by ZR among others) While jetboards have clearly become the early market leader in private use, thanks to Franky Zapata’s effective marketing of his products, at a fraction of the price of the industry founder Jetlev and its groundbreaking jetpack, the jetboard is still a much more niche product that appeals to a smaller demographic on the commercial rental side.
When you ask skateboarders and snowboarders which device they would like to fly, they will undoubtedly say the jetboard, but when you ask that same question to their friends and family, you may get a different answer. When it comes to running a successful business, there are two paths that can be taken, one seeks mass-market appeal, the other is deep niche market penetration.
Before you make a decision on which device to start with, be sure to take an informal poll of at least twenty people outside your normal circle to see which device looks more fun, more dangerous, more accessible, etc. You may be surprised by the responses.
If you are buying for yourself, go for whatever looks like the most fun for your type of personality. If you’re buying commercially and you’re looking to start with one unit, our recommendation is to start with the jetpack. If you can afford to get both units though, you can’t go wrong having the best of both worlds.
Now for the jetbike!
The jetbike has some special considerations. It is the newest entry into the hydroflight space and it truly is easy to fly. If you can ride a bike, you can fly a jetbike. The main consideration with the jetbike, which is why we do not recommend it for commercial operators, is the fact that the rider does not strap into the device. On the surface, you would think this would be a good thing, but the reality is that with the jetboard and jetpack, since you strap into them, you can at least be safe knowing that you won’t be hit by them falling out of the sky and into the water. This cannot be said for the jetbike, where a pilot can bail out, which can shoot the jetbike into the air, potentially coming down on the pilot, the throttle person on the jet ski or others. This is one of the reasons that the major insurance carriers will not cover the jetbike in commercial operations, but a handful of other insurance companies will. It’s a cost vs. benefit analysis that you’ll have to consider. Commercial jetbike operations do exist here in the U.S. and around the world and there are plenty of fans and happy customers!
There are also other devices which are part of the hydroflight family. They are the Hoverboard, Shred-Sled and Freedom Flyer. These are in our opinion, great secondary devices for someone looking for something to add on with their jetpack, jetboard or jetbike. For the reasons listed above under jetbike, they are not recommended for commercial operations.
The cost of getting the necessary hydroflight equipment under you in order to get airborne hovers around $15-20,000 thousand dollars total for a complete flying unit set-up, device and PWC. The affordability for private and commercial use grows stronger every day
In Part-3 of our "Buyer’s Guide" we will talk about how you’ll keep those hydroflight devices in the air with our personal watercraft (PWC) recommendations. Whether you’re hydro-flying for business or for you own private fun!