As hydroflight becomes more popular, more accessories are being created to help people get the most from their Jetpacks, Jetboards and Jetbikes. While
kits from most manufacturers include everything that is needed to start flying, you can get even more performance and functionality out of your gear
by adding a few key accessories. This article is going to cover some fairly in-depth topics, so if you need to brush-up on the basics of hydroflight,
check out our series of articles designed to help everyone understand the basics:
Boots For Your Jetboard
This is the most basic “must-have” accessory. Some manufacturers include boots with their kits, but some do not. Zapata, maker of the Flyboard, includes
its own Zapata boot with their kit. Most other manufacturers do not include boots as part of their kits. If you are purchasing a board that does
not come with factory installed boots, you’ll need a pair to get started. The good news is that all standard wakeboard boots work with hydroflight
jetboards. We have partnered with Hyperlite to offer boots with all of our kits. We use an open toe design that comes in 3 sizes, Small, Medium
and Large. We have found that the Medium works for most people and actually fits sizes outside of the 8-10 range that they suggest.
Above is what is considered and open toe boot/binding, which is one piece that combines the boot with a rigid baseplate that attaches to the jetboard.
The other option (that we don’t sell) is a boot and separate binding, which includes a boot and separate rigid binding, similar to a snowboard
boot. Professionals and high performance fliers might prefer the boot and separate binding as sizes are more customizable. For 90% of jetboard
owners a size-medium, open toe boot will work perfectly!
If you have watched many hydroflight videos (which you can see HERE) You might have noticed
that sometimes you will see someone sitting on the PWC and sometimes there is no one on the PWC. The person on the PWC is usually controlling the
throttle of the PWC, which controls the amount water being sent up the hose and controls the flier height (See How Hydroflight Works Diagram).
In order for the person flying the Jetpack or Jetboard to control the PWC throttle, without having another person on the PWC, a Wireless Throttle
Kit is required.
Wireless throttle kits include 2 main components- 1. a remote that the person flying controls and 2. a receiver/controller unit that mounts inside
the PWC and controls the PWC’s throttle. The installation of the wireless throttle kits can be done with basic hand tools and a drill, but it does
take a little bit of mechanical knowledge. Once the kit is installed, you can easily bypass the wireless throttle and still control the throttle
by hand, which is handy in the event of the wireless throttle battery dying or simply wanting to control the throttle from the PWC. Wireless throttles
have built-in, fail-safe mechanisms and variable programming for helping control the smoothness of throttle control. Most pros and advanced riders
will end up purchasing a wireless throttle because it adds an extra element of control over your flight and also allows you to fly by yourself
(even still, we recommend the buddy system for all hydroflight activities.)
This is might be the most popular of all hydroflight accessories. Hydroflight requires pushing maximum amounts of water through the hose and a dual impeller
aids in this. It installs inside the pump of the PWC and replaces the stock impeller. Some of the benefits of adding a dual impeller include:
- •Increased max flight altitude
- •Increased fuel efficiency
- •Ability to operate at lower RPMs, thus reducing engine wear
- The PWC needs to push A LOT of water through the hose in order to achieve hydroflight and the impeller is what pushes the water. Higher horsepower
PWCs (over 200hp) have no trouble pushing a 170lbs pilot high into the air with the stock impeller. However, if you have a lower horsepower PWC,
you will find maximum flight altitude will dramatically decrease with pilot weight.
- Installing a dual impeller will help combat loss of height due to pilot weight and lower PWC horsepower. (See the PWC requirements article for more info on expected altitude HERE).
The dual impeller should be installed professionally by a PWC mechanic, as it requires specialized tools and installation to very precise specifications.
The dual impeller is ok to use during normal PWC operation, too, so you don’t have to worry about removing it when you are not using the PWC for
hydroflight, but you should be aware that you will most likely lose 5-10 mph in top end speed. If you are going to be flying a lot and want maximum
altitude and fuel economy, the dual impeller is a great accessory for you.
Quick-Connect Steering Nozzle
This brilliant device allows you to operate your PWC normally, then switch to hydroflight within 1 minute! This turns your PWC into a
truly dual purpose machine; you can cruise around to find the perfect location to fly, then jump in the water and attach the hydroflight U-pipe
with one easy-close clamp. Check out our instructional video to see how the Quick Release
Steering Nozzle works:
Without the quick-connect steering nozzle, switching between hydroflight and normal PWC operation takes approximately an hour and the PWC must be out of
the water. For in-water quick changes between hydroflight and PWC riding, the quick-connect steering nozzle is a must-have! The design of quick-connect
steering nozzles, currently, do not allow for the use of reverse on the PWC (as of May 2017). However, we have found that it is still well worth the
$500-$600 spent on a quick release steering nozzle, to be able to ride your PWC to your favorite flying location, then quickly switch to flying.
Hydroflight is a very safe activity. However, like all sports, there is some risk of taking a spill every once in awhile. We use helmets at all of
our rental operations and when we are personally flying. Having a helmet will give you extra peace-of-mind when attempting a new trick, flying
a new person, or just making sure the kids are safe. There are a number of manufacturers of water sports helmets around. For max protection, we
prefer the Gath Gedi water helmet:
Another awesome helmet option is the BBTalkin bluetooth radio helmet. It has a 2 way radio, so the flier and PWC throttle person can talk to each other
mid flight. If your friend also has a hydroflight set up and is flying at the same time as you, you can talk to each other while you are both in
the air and coordinate tricks and flight destinations!
The world of hydroflight is getting bigger every year! Hydroflight fans and manufacturers continue to innovate together to develop the most efficient
and best performing products designed to maximize one thing: fun! Whether you are just getting into hydroflight and you want to have EVERYTHING
for your first year, or if you are moving into your second or third season and you want to get more functionality and performance from your hydroflight
set-up, these great accessories can help you get the most out of your time above the water!