BUSINESS OF FLYBOARD® ARTICLE
INTERVIEW WITH CABO FLYBOARD
Lake Erie Flyboard
So here is another installment of the Business of Flyboard. It’s finally summer time and I couldn’t say enough about how the weather has been, we have really been able to get out there and fly. I have had the pleasure of speaking with several of you in the flyboard universe and I am really enjoying the vibe that the sport and business is creating. It’s been wonderful answering your questions and for next month I am going to do a rundown of the equipment we use and the procedures and practices we use here at Lake Erie Flyboard. We feel that we run a tight ship and we feel like we can benefit some of you by directly addressing the issues I am so often being asked about. We all know that some of the more established companies already run amazing outfits, and I’ve learned a lot from doing my research in the beginning, from them. I hope to share some of that next month and hopefully prevent some of you from making some of the same mistakes we did.
I recently helped a company, All in Adventures, get started here in NY state, up in the 1000 island region. We helped them get the proper training and equipment and guided them through the beginning stages. In talking with them I asked how they found out about flyboarding, for once it was not from seeing the flyboard family official video, and they explained they had ridden while on a vacation. When I asked about the experience they had mixed feelings. They loved riding the flyboard but felt that there operator and company they were riding with was somewhat disorganized. They were smart enough to see that it was not the product but the business model. I am very big on customer service and believe that for this sport to be huge we have to at all times create an experience like nothing else. We all know that floating above the water at 30 ft on streams of jet propelled water is cool in its own right but without an experience that is unforgettable in a good way, you cannot be successful.
When they went to Northeast Flyboard for their course and then to us to get the board and learn to fly, I feel that they saw what this experience is supposed to be about. I feel that they were shown the way the model needs to be in order to create an amazing experience for the guests of the 1000 islands. I would recommend flying there at least once in your life, amazing scenery to say the least.
For this month I reached out to Cabo Flyboard for the very reasons I speak of above. From watching them from afar through the forums and Facebook, I knew that they run an amazing company there. They are flying by my estimates a decent amount of people every day and have been voted the #1 attraction in Cabo. That to me speaks volumes. They do an amazing job I feel for being located in an interesting place to run any business. So let’s take a look at what Cabo Flyboard is up to. And if you’re looking to attend the upcoming Flyboard North American Championship being held in Toronto Canada on June 20-22, give Jason some cheers as he will be competing. Good luck Jason.
Huge Thanks to Cabo Flyboard for being a H2RO Magazine sponsor
for the Flyboard North American Championship!
YOUR NAME AND NAME OF YOUR COMPANY
Jason Duff – Cabo FlyBoard
Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE FOR FLYBOARDING?
We have two 2013 Sea Doo RXT 260 RS, and a 2014 Yamaha FZR SVHO… We are now using the 2014 FlyBoards, and we also use the Skat Trak FlyBoard impellers.
HOW DID YOU AND YOUR COMPANY GET INTO FLYBOARDING?
I’m pretty sure this is everyone’s answer… One day I opened an email, from my brother back home in Calgary. He sent me a link to the first Family Official video on YouTube. It was the only video I could find. I was in awe. What an amazing thing to discover. I knew right away it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Soon after, we began planning Cabo FlyBoard.
HOW LONG IS YOUR SEASON.WHAT IS YOUR RENTAL SCHEDULE.DO YOU DISTRIBUTE FLYBOARDS?
We are the official distributor of Baja California in Mexico. We sell everything FlyBoard and more, including GoPro Cameras. Our season is all year. From May to November it’s Pacific Hurricane Season, so we do encounter some storms here and there, but generally due to how north we are, we don’t get them too bad. It’s nice and warm here all year long. Cabo FlyBoard – Where Every Day is Flyday!
WHAT IS THE COST OF A RENTAL WITH YOUR COMPANY AND DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS PRICE IS COMPETITIVE COMPARED TO OTHER TYPES OF ATTRACTIONS IN YOUR AREA?
We are very competitively priced with other attractions/activities here in Cabo. Our prices include everything. Free drinks on our boat (non-alcoholic of course), all the gear, wetsuit if needed, and one on one instructor training the whole time. Prices for one person- $299/50 minutes flying time, $199/30 minutes. We also offer a 15% discount on all packages, if booked on our website. We have numerous other packages on our site as well.
WHAT IS YOUR MODEL FOR DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS? DO YOU USE A FIXED LOCATION OR DO YOU TRAVEL?
WHAT ARE YOUR CHALLENGES WITH OPERATING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY?
We have a fixed location at Medano Beach. Our office is there and we Flyboard close by. We tow out of the marina with a boat and set up our spot for the day with a couple big industrial air mattresses to launch off of. What are our challenges with operating in a foreign country?… That’s a tough question, with many answers. For us I think the biggest hurdles were permits. Trying to figure out everything here is next to impossible. Once you are running, supplies and mechanics are very hard to find. We struggle to find knowledgeable people constantly.
OBVIOUSLY BEING IN YOUR AREA YOU GENERATE A LOT OF TOURIST BUSINESS, BUT IS THERE A LOCAL BUSINESS STREAM AS WELL
Absolutely. We have definitely had more tourists, but we have had quite a few locals and Mexicans from all over the country. People from Mexico, Canada, and the US have told me that they flew to Cabo just to FlyBoard with us. That’s an honor.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT COMPETION IN YOUR AREA? IS THERE ANY? DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE NEXT CLOSEST PLACE TO FLYBOARD IS AND DOES THIS AT ALL AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS?
Cabo is small. The bay of San Lucas is a busy one. There’s really no space left here in this bay to do anything new. Outside of Cabo there’s a huge multi-adventure company (I don’t want to mention any names) but they bought some from us and they are renting as well. We haven’t noticed a huge impact. We are the originals, and the most trained. We focus 100% all the time on the FlyBoard. That’s a big key to this business so far.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE IS AN AFTERMARKET OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO CREATE ADDITIONS TO THE FLYBOARD AS WELL AS PRODUCTS SPECIFICALLY FOR FLYBOARDING? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS FOR ANY AFTERMARKET PRODUCTS THAT CAN IMPROVE THE BUSINESS OF FLYBOARDING?
Yes I do. Anytime there’s something this unique, there are things that can be made to compliment it. We are working on a few little pieces, one thing that will have an impact for sure I think. I don’t want to say anything just yet, but hopefully we can get these working for us all soon.
IF YOU COULD MAKE ONE CHANGE TO THE FLYBOARD, IF ANY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Make the FlyBoard and the hose lighter, everything lighter.
HOW MANY MACHINES DO YOU RUN DURING YOUR RENTAL SEASON? DO YOU PLAN ON EXPANDING YOUR BUSINESS AND ADDING ANY FUTHER MACHINES?
We are working right now to be able to run multiple units at once. The Port Captain here runs the water so we are meeting with him often, trying to satisfy all the requirements. We have the space, it’s just a matter of time.
OVERALL WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE ONE THING THAT YOU OFFER THAT MAYBE IS UNIQUE TO YOUR COMPANY? DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS WOULD WORK UNIVERSALLY FOR ALL IN THE RENTAL SPACE AND ARE YOU WILLING TO SHARE THAT?
The one unique thing… With Cabo FlyBoard, we are focused on the customer service. That branches out into 10 different things easy. Mainly people have a great time. They are able to try awesome tricks their first time out if they want and are able, or just fly a little, and we keep it safe. I know in this business there are amazing people out there with rental points who do the same thing, I say keep it going, and that helps the whole Flyboard world.
HAS THERE BEEN ANY COMPANY THAT YOU HAVE SEEN THAT YOU THOUGHT, “WOW WE NEED TO DO IT THAT WAY. IF YES, WHY?
Honestly, no not really. We had our whole plan laid out before I’d even seen another company running. Now we have been open for a while, we were one of the firsts. As with any new thing we understood right away that we didn’t know everything, but we had a vision and a lot of planning on our side, we’ve made our own little adjustments here and there. One thing though… I saw Leonardo DiCaprio Flyboard off his gigantic yacht in a photo a while back, I know it’s not another rental company, but I’d like to do it just like that, for all my customers, ha ha!!
WHAT, IF ANYTHING ARE YOU LOOKING TO DO TO GENERATE MORE INTEREST IN YOUR COMPANY AND FLYBOARDING IN GENERAL?
We (Andrew Salvador, and I) are going to Toronto in June to compete and to meet the community finally. That’s our first step, then just some simple expansion, and a lot more FlyBoarding. The more people see FlyBoarding the more the sport will grow. It’s all about letting people know that beginners can pick it up quickly, especially kids.
WHAT AS A WHOLE COMMUNITY SHOULD WE ALL DO IN ORDER TO BE MORE UNIFORM WITH RESPECT TO THE RENTAL BUSINESS?
Safety!! Everyone with a rental company should be certified by a professional trainer. To allow customers to go out with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing could ruin it for everybody.
SOMEONE DISCOVERING FLYBOARDING FOR THE FIRST TIME MIGHT SAY WHAT WE ALL DID AND THINK “I WANT TO DO THIS TOO.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM WHEN TRYING TO BRING FLYBOARDING TO THERE AREA?
We just went for it, so that’s what I would say. If you love it and want to introduce it somewhere new, go for it. Be sure to check for permits and insurance first, that’s usually the big issue.
WITH THE NUMBER OF RENTAL COMPANY’S IN NORTH AMERICA, AND THE WORLD OVERALL BEING VERY SMALL, DO YOU ANTICIPATE A RUSH OF COMPANIES OPENING AND IF SO WHAT TIME FRAME WOULD YOU SAY BEFORE EVERY LAKE HAS A FLYBOARD ON IT?
It has absolutely exploded since we started. There are FlyBoards and rentals popping up all over the place. I anticipate it will continue to grow. They will be everywhere.
IF YOU COULD OWN A COMPANY ANYWHERE BUT WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
Tough question, because I do it in sunny Cabo. I’d say my hometown, Calgary, Alberta, Canada!
DO YOU LIKE SOME OF THE NEW PRODUCTS FOR 2014 AND WHICH ONE’s DO YOU FEEL WILL BE THE BEST ADVANCEMENT OVER THE PREVIOUS VERSION? WILL YOU BE ADDING A HOVERBOARD TO YOUR RENTAL BUSINESS?
I love the 2014 FlyBoard. Everything is better. I made the switch from 2012 models, so I noticed a big difference right away. The board is better quality, lighter, more agile, more water-dynamic. The hose is lighter. The elbow is quick and easy. The quick nozzles are a great addition. The best advancement since 2012… There are two. The elbow connection to the interface plate is great! No tools. And second, the ability to detach the hose from the board, cleaning and carrying made way easier. The HoverBoard is something I’m dying to try as well, and yes, I’ll be adding it to my business for sure, as soon as I can finally get my hands on a few. I’m the most eager person on the planet for the HoverBoard. These inventions by Mr. Zapata have changed all of us for sure. They have changed watersports. People can fly over water now… That’s ridiculous. I love being a part of this. Let’s all keep it safe and keep introducing it to the world.
I want to thank Jason for really answering these in depth and I could not ask for a better company to interview. Cabo FlyBoard is running a next level company and we should all aspire to do the same.
I am excited for the next 3 months, to see how all of you do. I am pushing for all of you to have a safe and successful season. I hope to see some of you at the N.A Championship event in Toronto and like I said next month I will address everything from equipment to protocols as well as insurance and even a bit about sales tax. That question comes up a lot in conversation. So as usual, go get high…..flyboard high!!!