Zapata Racing & the Flyboard

Zapata Racing
Visit the official website of Zapata Racing
Flyboard® is a Trademark of Zapata Racing

Flyboard® History: In 1996 17 year old Franky Zapata of Marseille France, began his journey to the top of the Jet Ski world. A world of large corporations Franky_Zapata_Flyboard_Extremethat battled instead of embraced until his incredible hard work and vision would win them over. The knowledge he acquired while building, maintaining and racing his own Jet Skis was so impressive that in 2005 he became the official pilot of SEA DOO-BRP. His no compromise approach meant that he would build his own team, ensuring that Zapata Racing would always produce world-class products while remaining agile and ready to innovate. Today Zapata Racing jet skis consistently make up 70% of the starting block in regional, national and international championships..

Flyboard by Zapata Racing

The Flyboard became a worldwide sensation after the posting of a Youtube video in December of 2011. 15 days and 2.5 million views later we had a global sensation. Zapata Racing’s experience engineering and manufacturing Jet Skis allowed for the quick production from design to prototype.

“After trying out several Flyboard prototypes we finally succeeded in getting ourselves out of the water. Once we were able to stabilize ourselves in the air without too much difficulty, we focused our efforts on making the Flyboard’s use more intuitive.”

Technical Explanation

The Flyboard is a water jet powered machine which allows propulsion underwater and in the air. The two nozzles positioned under the rider’s feet receives 90% of the water propulsion and movement is controlled by the rider tilting his/her feet. The nozzles on the hands receive the remaining 10% of water and are used to ensure stabilization, just as ski poles would.


The Flyboard combines the physical attributes of an array of popular sports activities including Jet Skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, skiing, snowboarding and acrobatic diving. While many of these activities can take a substantial amount of time to become skilled at, the Flyboard is very intuitive: it’s like learning to walk; it is not limited by a riders fitness level. It can take as little as 10 minutes with an instructor to find your balance and start flying freely. Lying face down in the water all you need to do is bend your knees as the instructor throttles forward allowing propulsion for you to fly straight up. A self manned flight can take you up to an hour to learn on your own, but allows for a superior flight experience. After a bit of practice you will be able to swim like a dolphin and challenge gravity like Iron Man!


What is the maximum weight of the Flyboard rider?

There is no weight limit for the Flyboard.  You must fit inside a size 6 through 13 boot or order special sized boots in addition to your included wakeboard style boots.

Is Flyboard so heavy on your feet that you cannot float properly or maneuver while in the water?

Flyboard DOES float. Flyboard weighs approx. 65 lbs but easily floats in the water. During your personal instruction your Certified Flyboard Instructor will be able to easily show you the correct techniques to maneuver in and through the water.  After some time, you will feel as if Flyboard has become an extension of yourself.

Does FlyBoard come with a propulsion unit?

No.  Flyboard does not come with a propulsion unit.  Flyboard is an accessory to a PWC.  You must purchase your own Personal Watercraft such as Yamaha Waverunners and Seadoo.

How old do you have to be to Flyboard?

The minimum age for the Flyboard at this time is 18 years old.

Does it take alot of strength to fly?

Flyboard may take some hands and feet coordination, but FlyBoard doesn’t require large amounts of strength.  Flyboard makes you feel and fly like a superhero, it doesn’t require you to BE a superhero.

What is the Electronic Management Kit? Is the Kit included?

The Electronic Management Kit or EMK is a unit attached to the right hand nozzle.  It is a trigger style throttle mechanism that is attached to the PWC and allows the Flyboarder to fully control the RPM on the personal watercraft.  With a simple push of a button the EMK can be turned on and off and then be used as a two person system.  The Flyboard can be controlled by the Instructor or Operator on the PWC to control RPM.  All FlyBoards are not sold with the EMK modules and cannot be purchased without it.

Does it danger the aquatic environment?

No, Flyboard does not harm the aquatic environment in any way when being used by a responsible rider.

Will FlyBoard push you underwater when you fall?

No, if you are on the Flyboard with a Certified Flyboard Instructor or Operator they are trained to observe safety and to turn off the thrust to the Flyboard as soon as the Flyboarder enters the water. You will float right to the surface.

What type of Watercraft or PWC does Flyboard recommend to use for the best results?

There are no certain brands or models that Flyboard recommends. The adapter plate that allows you to connect the Flyboard to your own PWC will fit all Major Brands and Models. As long as your PWC is more than 100HP than you’re ready to Flyboard!

What type of gear will I need to safely fly the Flyboard?

There is some safety gear that Flyboard requires the rider to wear while operating Flyboard.
  • Personal Flotation Device (Buoyancy Vest) that is Coast Guard Certified (CGA)
  • A water sports style helmet. (preferably a helmet that comfortably protects the ears from directly impacting the water)
  • Isothermal Pants
  • Earplugs (if your water sports helmet does NOT protect your ears)

How deep does the water need to be to Flyboard?

Flyboard recommends that all riders ride with a minimum of 8 feet of water when flying at or below 15 feet. And to have a minimum depth of 12 feet when operating the Flyboard at heights of 15 feet and above

Can I fly the Flyboard off of my dock or pier?

No, it is strongly advised to NEVER fly the Flyboard over or near any solid structures such as piers, docks, or other floating vessels.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, Flyboard asks that all Flyboarders wear watersports helmets when operating the Flyboard.

Will Flyboard work in Saltwater?

Yes! Flyboard works in both salt and fresh water. When being used in Salt water, just be sure to rinse off the entire Flyboard after every use with fresh water.

Composition of the Flyboard

Flyboard 101

How to Flyboard




Translate »