FLY IN with Flyboard Niagara
Article and photos by Shawn Galiotto – Lake Erie Flyboard
Aug 17 th 2016
1st annual FLY IN (hopefully)
Location: Flyboard Niagara, Jordon Ont. Canada
So we approached the Peace Bridge, waiting in line to cross into Canada. My 16 year old son Tyler and I were talking about all the recent posts and blurbs about the current state of affairs in our sport. I realized at that moment that he doesn’t care. He just wants to fly and fly well. He wants to make friends and feed off of them. I realized that when business is not involved everything is so pure, so exciting, and still able to mesmerize those who lay their eyes upon us. That’s why were driving here, and I realize that more than ever right now. I realize that it’s just us for a day of father son time, time to coach, time to learn. Of course that’s him teaching me. In that moment I realize that’s what’s important. That’s why we fly, that’s why we will continue to fly.
We had the pleasure of attending an event today dubbed as the FLY IN at Flyboard Niagara, in Niagara Falls Canada, where several different kinds of machines showed up to enjoy the day and show off for the others and the spectators who lined the rocky shore. We saw Flyboards and Jetblades and Jetovators, even had a few Wataboards show up to join in the fun. A freedom flyer even put on a bit of a show for us.
We wanted to attend today for exactly this reason, the coming together of different devices, different people, and different opinions.
I’m not going to start to pretend that I know anything about the legal end of these manufacturers fight. Nor will I ever want to. I know that if I had a reason to fight for something I believe in I would. I would fight hard and never give up. That is important to being a whole person, to feeling like you have a purpose. That’s why in this strange time of segregation you should stop and take a second to see why this sport is important to you and try and understand why its important to others. This will allow for those on top and those on the bottom to hopefully move closer to the middle. Someday hopefully it will be what we want it to be.
As we walked down the road closer to the water at the Beacon harbor side Ramada, we see a Hoverboarder out showing us what he’s got. Making Sharp turns and some fast acceleration on the accent. Just beautiful, this is going to be a good day.
We arrive at Flyboard Niagara about 1pm and quickly are greeted by the other flyers waiting around to get in and share some airtime. Craig Bagshaw of Flyboard Niagara extends his hand and says welcome. Glad you’re here!!! Introduces us to a few others including his son Tyler Bagshaw. That’s a name you soon will not forget, kid is amazing on that Flyboard!!!
We check out the bay that they call home. One of the coolest spots I have seen and I have been to a few. A tall abandoned pirate ships sits off to the far side of the beach. Further making it feel like we just stumbled upon a great hidden spot. A spot that all these flyers are salivating over, they want to go out and shred it. I am quickly introduced to some guys out of Ontario. Jetovator Ontario and guys from a company out of Long Beach Canada, 905 Rentals. They were rocking a Jetovator and a Wataboard, which was cool to see in person. David from Jetovator Ontario gave a good show on the freedom flyer chair. They were ready to fly for sure, everyone seems like they came to play. We all talked shop and quizzed each other on the different ways to execute the tricks that we all were still trying to conquer. Everyone was excited to get a run in and headed out to share a small piece of this beautiful bay. We were stoked to get some runs in before some of the pros showed up.
Ben Merrell, all the way from sunny Florida, and some of the Canadian X-Jets crew were on their way. As well as the Muskoka Flyboard crew and Ashton Beukers, who is a personal favorite of mine. This dude has no fear of height and speed and it’s so beautiful to watch. If you have never seen him fly, look it up!!
Alex Barriera from Flyboard Quebec and a few of their crew were setting up also. This was going to get really good, and good quick. We all take a rip, feeding off the energy of the day. Tyler Bagshaw heads out and dazzles us with his execution of so many twists and flips. A few others take to the air, inspiring the ever-growing crowd. We all come in and enjoy a few “POPS”, take a few jovial shots at each others execution of the back flips, or should I say face first smashes, and then in comes Mr. Ben Merrell, current Hydrofest 2016 Champion in the pro-division. Now I have met Ben before and can say he is really one of the most genuine people I have ever met. I was glad to see he decided to join us and to give us all the privilege to watch him fly. His execution was flawless as always and he really hyped the crew. Then Alex Berriera and the Muskoka crew took to the skies. They all jack straight up to about 55 feet and start dropping layouts, and doubles.
The woman sitting nearby on the dock says “ Imagine if our grandmother saw this?” Her, I assume sister, responds with “UNBELIEVABLE”. It was quite the show.
Ben shoots up on a Jetovator. Ashton and Alex flipping each direction. I didn’t get his name but the other part of the Muskoka crew was just phenomenal too. (That was the amazing Aleks Skar)
Then everyone started to make there way out to join in the fun. Now there’s Jetovators, Wataboards, Flyboards, and Hoverboards, all just occupying the same beautiful space. Creating for those on shore a site like no other. Manufacturing a piece of moving art. The crowd was just in awe!!!
I know that originally they were trying to break the Canadian record and as far as I know we didn’t accomplish that but I believe at final count there were 14-15 DIFFERENT devices all just having a blast all at the same time, all in the same HYDROSPACE. It was a great day with great people. I did not see one person who didn’t have a smile ear to ear. After we all came to shore it was nothing but compliments from each other on all the chaos that we somehow just controlled. There were high fives and new friends made, and at the end of the day that’s what this sport is all about. It was a good feeling driving home and watching my son just talk about how great this day was. I know that this was a day he won’t soon forget and neither will I.
Thanks to Craig and Rodney of Flyboard Niagara for hosting us all and making for a memorable day. Hope there’s a 2nd annual!!
Go get high, Hydro fly!!!!