(This article first appeared in the August 2, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)
Flyboarding. Like something out of an aquatic sci-fi film. Boosters on your feet as you soar toward to the sky with nothing but water beneath you. Marty McFly couldn’t have even imagined this, but the Riva brothers did.
Brothers Dane Riva and Beau Riva of Hampton Flyboard are Sag Harbor natives. Like most from the area, Dane grew up surfing and boating, developing a true passion for the ocean. One day he came across a YouTube video of flyboarding, begging the question, “Who does that out here?” As luck would have it the competition was low.
“Flyboard Long Island was in Riverhead, but that might as well be in Nassau County [to people in The Hamptons],” Riva admitted. And so an idea took flight (literally) in the summer of 2015.
Right now this booster thrill runs June through September, the key summer months. Despite the relatively short season, over the past two years Hampton Flyboard has retained a steady clientele.
Riva noted, “I have been getting a lot of great people reaching out and helping my business. A good example is that Sen, a Japanese restaurant in town, puts my cards on its hostess stand for all their customers to see. I teach all of the staff at the restaurant to flyboard.”
What is flyboarding exactly? The flyboard is a set of boots connected to a 60-foot hose using a patented quick connect technology. This hose leads to a U-pipe that attaches to the pump of a powerful Yamaha FX show cruiser pushing over 200 horse power, which then redirects all the water to the front of the jet ski and to the nozzles of the flyboard. The instructor on the jet ski controls the power, therefore how high a participant will go. And, just like that, you’re propelled into the air.
While in the air, the flyer must have their chest forward, legs straight, and toes up. To help maintain balance, keep an eye on the horizon. If you begin to collapse look at the jet ski while falling backward. A rapid forward descent can lead to some nasty belly flops, which I personally experienced, and minor headaches, the reason for the helmet.
For those seeking an adventurous experience, without going too far, Hampton Flyboard has seen an over 90 percent success rate in clients getting up within the initial five minutes. It’s all in a positive attitude! Overall, athletes and non-athletes alike should be comfortable in the water before attempting. Don’t worry, there is a mandated life vest to wear for safety.
The average group size is two to four people, dedicating half an hour per person in the water, but Riva will accommodate as many as 12 in a group. Being surrounded by water allows Hampton Flyboard to be a mobile business, boarding on private docks or boats. The horizon is the limit.
Rates run as an individual half hour $180; two people for an hour $320; four people for two hours $420; eight people for four hours $900.
“I’m relatively young. I’m excited to grow my business and have different locations throughout The Hamptons. I encourage anyone starting a business just to go for it,” asserted Riva. “Now in my free time I try to surf as often as I can. I have traveled a decent amount in Central and South America surfing. And hope to one day buy property down there, build a compound, and surf [and flyboard] all the time.” Fittingly so, as the website states learning how to “surf the sky.”
Contact Hampton Flyboard by calling 631-604-8867, visiting their website at http://www.hamptonflyboard.com or on social media @hamptonflyboard.