ZAPATA RACING AND GULF STATES FLYBOARD
ANNOUNCE A COORDINATED DISAFFILIATION
ZAPATA RACING® together with Gulf States Flyboard & Aquafly® announce its cooperative & coordinated disaffiliation.
In a joint decision, effective immediately, Gulf States Flyboard will no longer be a distributor for Zapata Racing in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Krystel and Franky Zapata along with Gretchen and Bobby Vance have come to a crossroad where their individual business goals no longer match. Because of their mutual respect and admiration for each other, they feel an amicable parting of ways is best for them as individuals and business entities.
The Zapata’s and the Vance’s will continue to cooperate with each other on business interests where they share common goals, such as events and competitions, and will continue to champion for the sport under their own mutually exclusive road maps.
Above is the official statement released by ZR and Gulf States Flyboard / Aquafly.
As respectful as this copy is above, the facts within it are powerful. One of the largest ZR distributors in the US is moving away from Zapata Racing. This is at the very least interesting but could also possibly be a historic moment in the world of Hydroflight.
From the business side there must be many factors at play and though H2RO can only speculate as to what these might be they certainly must be serious because a decision like this would not be approached lightly. We’re sure this must perk up the ears of other distributors who may have their own concerns and are seeing this announcement as a sign.
It’s not like Zapata Racing is the only game in town anymore either. Yes, ZR has fantastic products and currently a dominant market share position but there are new options. Companies that are seeing gaps in the industry and attempting to address them. It’s an exciting time for H2RO to reach out to X-Jetpacks, DEFY, Jetavation Inc, FlyDive and perhaps a few others to see what their elevator pitch is for 2016. What does each of their strategic road maps look like? (at least the tip of the iceberg info that they are willing to share).
So Zapata Racing and Gulf States Flyboard part ways but that’s not the only news. The most successful team of Hydroflight athletes in the world, Team Aquafly, are also entwined in this to some extent. We would think that as the parent company goes so do some, if not all, of their athletes and this is really where things get interesting from our perspective. There have been a handful of athletes who have openly flown or are affiliated with non-ZR products. Ben Merrell being the most famous (infamous..lol) with X-Jets, Scotty Knemeyer flying with DEFY, and guys like Ronnie Feise, Callon Burns, Casey Mcelwee, Kristen Smoyer, Nellie Kubalek (I know I’m missing others) who boot up and enjoy openly flying multiple products. These guys/girls have broken down barriers within the hydroflight community. As a reader you might be wondering what the big deal is but trust me when I say there was a risk/reward equation in play when these athletes made their decisions.
So if our minds were opened up by these great athletes we just mentioned then what might happen to the climate of our sport should the current Flyboard World Champion start ripping on a new ride? OR if the entire Aquafly team make the decision to fly a new board?
If you care to comment on this news… please do.
Lots of rumors floating around about this split but we haven’t heard any we would believe. We wish Zapata Racing and Gulf States Flyboard / Aquafly all the best as each enter into a new year full of possibilities.