New Jetpack Brings Man Closer to Dolphin-Like Leaps

By Brent Rose on at

We've seen people hovering with waterjet packs before, but this one has style. Rather than just hanging mid-air like a stupid kite, the Flyboard lets you dive in and out of the water like my favorite aquatic mammal.

Aside from immediately topping your Christmas list, the Flyboard differentiates itself from the other giant, awkward backpack-style Jetlev pack we've seen, the jets here are attached to your feet. This means you can torque and turn way more effectively. You also have a supplementary steering mechanism on your hands. It's kind of an Iron Man rig, and looks like it's at least 5x more fun (scientifically speaking).

Water is fed into the system through a jetski's output (as long as it has a 100HP motor), or you can get the more expensive pro system which includes its own little inboard motor (as you can see later in the video). The other difference between this and the Jetlev is that this is waaaaaay cheaper. The Jetlev is about £60,000, whereas the Flyboard only costs £4,230 (for the basic kit). Still expensive, but way more reasonable.

The video above is long, and in French, which I no parle (you really only need to watch the first minute or so, after that it gets boring and interviewy). Really, though, this is the first jetpack I've seen that actually looks really fun and not particularly deadly. Finally I can dive like a dolphin, if, y'know, it's a drunken, belly-flopping dolphin. [DailyMail]