What is it?
Every now and then, someone invents something so engaging and persuasive, we can’t help but want one. It doesn’t matter if the design is frivolous or dangerous or even wasteful, we can’t help but want one. When the kernel of the idea is powerful and its execution intuitive, we find our imaginations captured and we can’t help but want one. Zapata Racing’s Flyboard is one such invention.
A pair of water-propelled rocket boots eject a steady stream of water, much like a jet ski, converting the flow of water into propulsion. Unlike a jet ski, the Flyboard can operate both underwater or in the air. A pair of hand-held stabilising jets act in the same way as ski poles, completing the free-flying, dolphin-diving experience.
Currently, the Flyboard uses a jet ski as its power source, however Zapata Racing has announced future plans to release an additional attachment that will allow flyers to do away with the jet ski entirely. A video of this extraordinary invention is viewable here.
First seen at the end of last year on this Inhabitat post.
What do we think?
Footage of Franky Zapata using his invention is smooth and graceful. His body is transformed into something not-quite or more-than human – he is part man, part fish, part bird. His takes its place in a long series of technological innovations that meld steel with flesh to extend our reach beyond the limitations of our nature (see our article on Kevin Warwick, the world’s first cyborg, here).
Undoubtedly, the Flyboard takes some getting used to, but we can’t imagine a more enjoyable way to spend a summer.
I think that looks really scary! I don’t think I’ll be trying it!