Flyboarding allows riders to “fly” vertically, 10 feet above the surface of the water. / All photos courtesy of JWB Photography
CULLMAN – Thanks to the entrepreneurship of Blake Harper, visitors to Smith Lake can now experience the thrill of flyboarding.
Previously available primarily in tourist traps and coastal cities, flyboarding is now available on Smith Lake, through Harper’s company, Alabama Flyboard.
“It feels a little bit like the first time you ride a roller-coaster,” Harper said about flyboarding. “You’re excited and nervous, and then you’re above the water, the jets are pushing you up, and 10 feet above the water feels like 100.”
This is the first year for Alabama Flyboard, and the company has only been active for the past month, but Harper hopes to finish this summer season strong, and have a great summer next year.
“I just want to get my name out there, you know,” Harper said.
Alabama Flyboard is something that Harper is currently running with the help of two other employees, and he only runs the service on weekends.
“You’re able to set up appointments and pay from the revamped website,” Harper said.
Harper says he can meet customers at any location around Smith Lake: Smith Lake Park, Trident Marina or even private residences. Alabama Flyboard is not affiliated with any parks or marinas, however. Harper just uses those locations as landmarks.
“We are mobile, and as long as you have a public access road with a ramp, we can be there,” he explained.
The prices are all available on the Alabama Flyboard website, www.alabamaflyboard.com, along with videos and links to more information about the up-and-coming sport. Get more information at 205-900-7305.
To participate, riders have to be at least 10 years old, and Harper gives a 10-minute briefing to all participants before they get on the board, teaching them the hand signals and how to communicate with him as he operates the machinery.
What exactly IS flyboarding?
“Flyboard is an extreme water sport, the newest action water sport in the area. A flyboard is a foot-mounted board which is connected to a personal watercraft (waverunner) via a 60-ft. hose. The output which would usually propel the watercraft is redirected to two jets on the bottom of the flyboard, creating lift. Our trained, professional flyboard operator will be controlling the throttle of the waverunner, so all you have to do is fly!”
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