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Hydroflight sports such as Flyboarding are unique and though very easy to learn initially, can be physically demanding when flying at an advanced level especially when sustaining that level of intensity for long periods of time. Competitive Flyboarding is where we see the Pro Flyboarders pushing boundaries and in doing so identify various physical limitations that new Flyboard training regiments might help to overcome.
H2RO Magazine reached out to Pro Flyboarder Stéphane Prayas, Mark Baxter of PowerFly Products and Pro Hydroflight athlete Callon Burns to gather some information around training for the unique demands of our sports. We begin with two pieces of equipment now on the market specifically to address training for underfoot Hydroflight Sports, the Gyroboard and the Airboard.
GYROBOARD – FLYBOARD TRAINING
Stéphane Prayas is the official GYROBOARD representative. Gyroboard is the perfect tool for Flyboard® training. Check out Stéphane’s X Dubai Flyboard World Cup run that moved him on to the top four battle.
H2RO) Stéphane you are an official representative of the Gyroboard, how did you get hooked up with the company and what is it about this product that interested you?
I know the product from my osteopath , because he works with it and he told me about the benefits you can have with it. When I tried it I felt the immediate potential of this board.
H2RO) What would you say are some of the unique demands Flyboarding puts on the body and how does the Gyroboard help address those challenges?
When Flyboarding you need to use muscles you do not usually use. I mean everybody knows which ones I’m talking about… and with the Gyroboard you can work on these muscle groups better than anything else. So after working with this board for a while you feel so easy when back on the Flyboard. For me you can work on your balance with each and every exercise.
H2RO) Do you have a training routine specifically for your Flyboarding and what other exercises does it include?
Yes there are so many things to do because you can work in two modes. First for beginners you can lock the board so instead of 360 degrees of movement you only have the forward and backward movements. Then for the more advanced workouts put it in the full 360 degree mode and it will mimic the balance and movement of the Flyboard.
H2RO) Do you see any potential Flyboard related injuries that might become more common as more people fly at advanced levels? What types of exercises or strength training do you think would help mitigate the potential for these injuries?
All I can say to avoid injury is you must work each and every muscle of your body. That’s why a lot of athletes (skiers, tennis players, rugby players) use the Gyroboard. It’s a total body strength trainer.
H2RO) Lastly, how does someone get their own Gyroboard, what is the cost and is there a specific model that Flyboarders should be purchasing?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer your questions. For purchases you can also visit www.gyroboard.eu We can ship all over the world and the cost for the Gyroboard is $319 euros.
AIRBOARD – FLYBOARD TRAINER BY POWERFLY PRODUCTS
Invented by PowerFly Products, the Trainer Airboard gives a first time rider a practical application of how to maneuver the Flyboard. This is especially helpful for rental companies when instructing first time flyers.
H2RO contacted Mark Baxter to get more information about the Airboard and this is what he had to share.
The PowerFly Trainer Airboard has proven to help beginners maneuver the Flyboard quickly and understand the basic principle of how the Flyboard works.
Also, I noticed a lot of people, i.e. windsurfers, jet skiers, etc. would go over and experiment with the trainer board. For example, they would stand on the trainer board, jump in the air and do a 360, then land back on the board without falling off. They found ways to have a lot of fun with it.
It is great to get on for 5-10 minutes to stretch the calves, feet and knees before flying. The stretching capabilities the Airboard offers can be rehabilitating for anyone recovering from a below the knee injury.
This product is extremely light weight and durable, flyer’s can take this anywhere with them, including transporting in a suit case. Since it is designed with air bellows, you can adjust the pressure to accommodate the size and weight of the person using it or how much flexibility you want to have. The Airboard is a true simulator of how the Flyboard acts with your body. Practice on the Airboard will generate muscle memory. The Airboard can easily be transported, professional Flyboarders could take it anywhere to practice balance; stretch and maintain muscle memory.
For more information please contact PowerFly Products.
Pro Hydroflight Athlete Callon Burns
After looking at what the products above had to offer we decided to find out what it takes to get your body and mind prepared to fly at a competitive level from one of our sports top athletes and reached out to current H2RO HydroFlight World Ranked #8 Pro Callon Burns for his thoughts. Cal has a diverse sports background and is currently in training for the 2015 North American Flyboard Championship.
With every sport or discipline there is a certain level of commitment needed in order to maximize an individuals performance. When people think of Flyboarding the initial thought is anybody can do it and in most cases this is true. The world has embraced this sport because to go for a casual ride takes little effort and everyone (given they meet the safety requirements) is able to fly and have a blast doing it. There is however a big difference between recreational fun and competitive Flyboarding. The separation between the two is very big.
So, what does it take to be a competitive rider? How should you train and what separates the Pros from the public?
The answer isn’t that straightforward or simple because there are so many elements that make up the top Pro Hydroflight athletes but I’ll give you a starting point.
Mental preparation is definitely one strength of the top riders. Most of the best guys have a confidence and will of steel which allows them to have an edge. These athletes are willing to push the limits in practice so they can go BIG in competition and they also have the willingness to do the unexpected. Mental strength must be part of an athletes foundation in order to separate ones self from the masses.
Physical conditioning is also a top priority for riders wanting to maintain a high level performance. You have to understand with these new vertical water sports our bodies aren’t designed to naturally harness the power that we fly with, absorb the impact from big spills or be able to ride intensely without fatigue. This is were a competitors physical fitness comes into play. I’m not entirely sure what the majority of riders do but for myself I like to lean on high cardio, usually three days a week minimum. I’ll do a few miles, once in the morning and once in the evening just to build my stamina up. On opposite days I’ll work on recovery with some high intensity cardio like shuttles for instance. These workouts don’t have to be long but instead short and intense so you can train your body to recover from fatigue faster.
Overall body strength is helpful but not a necessity. Target the specific needs in your legs and core. A strong base will provide loads of stability and lots of explosiveness. A strong core does a lot of the same as well as allowing you far more freedom in maneuverability and the ability to fight through and fly out of challenging body positions in the air. Generally I tend to do lots of body weight workouts, push ups, pull ups, sit ups and crunches (all different variations) which help address my need for core strength as well as other muscle groups. Some gym work with weights is also needed but it all depends on the individual and what they are aiming for. For someone aiming to be very active (like myself) I’d say having a high level of stamina and ability to recover quickly is a must. Like athletes across all sports you must stay consistent and dedicated to taking care of your body.
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* William Mcelwee who flew in the 2014 Flyboard North American Championship has experience with this product line and said though it was challenging at first he began to find his balance and build helpful muscle memory for his flying. SI Boards
What are your training tips for Hydroflight Sports?
Do you use a specific product off the water that helps your flying? Do you employ key workouts that have proven to target the muscles needed to meet our sports unique demands? Please share and educate us in the comments.
Big thanks to Steph, Mark and Callon for contributing to this topic and this is one area that is sure to grow exponentially in 2015 and in years to come.