Flyboarding in the Olympics
Franky Zapata, inventor of the Flyboard and the sport of Flyboarding, has been working with the International Olympic Committee to have Flyboarding recognized as a World Sport. Tony Hawk expects Skateboarding to be part of the games in 2020… perhaps we’ll join them? This is just one part of a much bigger process which includes the creation of the World Flyboard Federation. With a parent Federation in place each country is now beginning to establish national associations. Both the United States Flyboard Association (USFBA) and the Canadian Flyboard Association have been born and the pieces are beginning to fall into place so State or Provincial competitions can feed National competitions which will in turn feed the Flyboard World Cup. FM is certainly very excited to see the competitive side of the sport progressing and to know that the young Flyboarders out there are going to have opportunities to learn and compete.
Back to the Olympics… we know that currently sports relying on mechanical propulsion are not allowed to be part of the Olympic Programme.
Sports and events in which athletes directly use and control automated propulsion as a component of competition should not be eligible for inclusion in the Olympic Programme.
However, Franky mentioned to H2RO in our interview during the 2013 Flyboard World Cup that his new Air Flyboard is electric and so we might see Flyboards powered by this electric source or the sport fall into the category of waterskiing, wakeboarding where the mechanical component is simply a means to allow the sport to occur. The rule would have to be re-written because the current beauty of competitive Flyboarding is the relationship between Flyboarder and PWC.
As for these new Associations they are becoming a source of strength and stability for the Flyboard companies who have chosen to become members and a support system for the Pro Flyboarders hoping to compete on the World Stage. Below is the first draft of the USFBA’s mission statement:
Created by Flyboarders for Flyboarders to provide a safe and structured environment for all persons associated with Flyboarding who are interested in promoting education, training, practicing or competing in the sport of Flyboarding. Additionally, we will provide a unified voice to any local, state or federal agency to enact legislation that is beneficial to the sport of Flyboarding.
These associations will work to improve and enhance the Flyboard experience by promoting the sport to the general public, protecting the rights of businesses and users of the Flyboard and providing a platform for businesses to share information for the betterment and expansion of the sport. Another key element of these associations is to provide a recognized education and training curriculum as well as act as a certification and licensing entity.
As we have been observing these early days we have already witnessed a potential issue with the US Coast Guard be dealt with professionally and with the countrywide Flyboard communities best interests in mind. I know that many companies felt they were navigating through rough waters alone but now it looks like our sport is maturing and proper steps are being made around the world to bring structure and cohesiveness at the national level.
Always interested to hear what you think…