Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Amusing Monday: Riding on the end of a flying hose

October 15th, 2012 by cdunagan

What would it be like to take a ride on the end of a loose fire hose? What would it be like to have the equipment to bring the wildly flying hose under control?

That seems to be the idea behind the Flyboard®, an apparatus developed last year in France by Franky Zapata. This year, the device has been getting all kinds of attention throughout the United States.

A specially designed set of boots attached to a “board” ejects water out of the bottom under high pressure. One can go up to 45 feet in the air and up to eight feet underwater, according to information from the manufacturer. Controlling the Flyboard involves directing the jets of water shooting out of the board while also directing water through two hand-held hoses.

The Flyboard connects to the jet of a personal watercraft that operates with at least 100 horsepower. More information can be obtained from the official Flyboard website. According to the manufacturer, one can learn the basics of balance in less than 20 minutes and become proficient in more technical maneuvers in about three hours.

The Flyboard was demonstrated on Lake Union last month during the Seattle Boats Afloat Show. Photos were posted on the Seattle Times website.

The video on this page was shortened from its original six-minute version that came out with the announcement of the Flyboard. One of the first stories about the device was posted on ITN News.

Thanks go to Kitsap County resident Chuck Hower for bringing this to my attention.

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Food for thought

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist