Introducing Flyboard Junior Champion Austin Burns who competed in Naples, Florida in the Youth 10 – 12 year old division and won big. Sure, he was the only athlete in that age bracket but still this kid has some real skills on the board and look for Austin Burns to be both an active competitor in 2018 and an inspiration to youngsters around the world who dream of flying.
Photos courtesy of Flyboarding Cyprus
If the last name sounds familiar, Austin’s father is Jason Burns of Pro Watercross and Zapata. Jason introduced his family to the Flyboard early and often and they’ve become a great example of how Hydroflight can become a family friendly recreational activity.
H2RO sent Austin some questions and he was cool enough to answer them on camera so check out the video or read the transcript below.
H2RO Magazine Interview with Austin Burns
H2RO) How old were you when you first tried your Dad’s Flyboard and what was it like?
Well when I first tried my Dad’s Flyboard I was six and at that time I couldn’t really fly by myself so I had my brother Jacob come and help. But it felt amazing, I was up in the sky looking around and it was very nice.
H2RO) The board is pretty big so I’m curious, what was the hardest part about flying when you first began?
Well when I first began it was probably how big the board was compared to me, it was so hard to maneuver trying to get tricks and stuff. So it was hard to maneuver but now that I’m ten and I’m the actual weight limit for it I find it very easy to get stuff done.
H2RO) What is it about Flyboarding that you love so much and do you think other kids should give it a shot?
What I love about Flyboarding so much is that it’s just so fun and I actually just can’t explain it, it’s just so much fun. You get up in the air and it’s just some sort of feeling. Other kids should give it a shot, it’s fun, you may not master it on your first try, I don’t know of anyone who’s mastered it on their first try.
H2RO) Who are some of the pro Hydroflight athletes that you look up to?
Well, one of my favorites is David Soldato cause of Howard and he got first place just like me. Also, Damone Rippy, and Flycaptain Steve… I have too many to name. One of my favorite is Jason Burns at Pro Watercross… lol.
What was the very first trick that you learned?
The very first trick I learned had to be a Superman. Superman or a Dolphin dive.
H2RO) What do your friends think of your flying over at the lake?
My friends think it’s really cool, I’ve showed them videos before and I brought in the Flyboard for them to examine and they’re just really astonished by it. Everybody I meet I tell them about the Flyboard and I tell them how it works and what it is and they’re just astonished that we can actually fly.
H2RO) What are some of your goals as an athlete now that you’ve won the Pre-teen Junior Flyboard Championship?
You know next year I’m going to actually have some competition, so I was saving it all for next year but you know I’m going to practice my backflip this summer and I’m gonna come out and do a Universal backflip… but I can’t say more of my routine cause it will spoil it. ( Dad chuckles in background, wishing son the best of luck with the Universal backflip quest)
H2RO) Did you enjoy flying with your peers and the pro flyers?
Yes, I really did especially as a banana, that was really nice. Also glad that alligators don’t like bananas.
H2RO) How did that start in Naples, how did you hear about the alligators?
Jacob Burns… ha but he did get in the water with me to settle my fears.
H2RO) So your Dad is a very influential person in the sport, so what kinds of things has he taught you about competitions and the community of athletes that are flying around the world?
So my Dad is the first one who got me into this, he taught me how to do all these tricks. I learned how to do the paintbrush from him and he was flying me all this time so it’s really cool and he taught me all the competition rules and he was like my guide.
H2RO) So do you have a nickname or is H2RO going to have to make one up?
Well I thought about this really hard and my nickname’s going to be the Howard Tamer. (Can we still throw out there ‘Firefly’ as a suggestion)
Big thanks to Jason and Austin Burns for taking the time to tape the interview and for providing the Hydroflight community with a great example of how to introduce youngsters to our sport in a fun, safe way. We’ll be watching for your Universal video by the end of next summer…lol. It’s going to be great to see the Junior Divisions introduced at more competitions and for those rosters to increase in numbers with the next generation of athletes.
For those that didn’t see how the competition rankings played out in Naples here are the divisions below: