Hydroflight Athlete – Andrew Hickey
Hydroflight Competition Results
2013 Flyboard World Cup – 12th Place
2016 Update: In 2015/16 Andrew Hickey has been flying at Ocean Kingdom in China as part of one of the largest water shows on the planet. This is the same show that Ashton Beukers and Geoff Hulet used to fly in. We recently enjoyed seeing Andrew ripping on the Hoverboard during the first ever Hoverboard Races at the 2015 XDubai Flyboard World Championship.
Andrew Hickey one of the original co-founders of Aquatic Aviation in San Diego. Andrew has been a media dynamo since his companies inception. By the time they hit their second season Andrew had been on multiple television shows, news broadcasts and had really taken the lead as a promotional figure for the Flyboard community.
Andrew is definitely one Hydroflight athlete you’ll be seeing a lot of!
H2RO MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
H2RO: Andrew…you’re everywhere! Tell us about some of the promotional activities you’ve been up to?
Well, recently Aquatic Aviation was featured on a new show on the Travel Channel called RIDE-iculous and tonight we will be on Inside Edition where they’ll be covering the Leonardo DiCaprio story and asking me about the safety of the sport. It will include my own performance and I taught the producer of the show to fly…
We did a Japanese TV show back in April and I shot for Wealth TV a couple of weeks ago that will be airing in November. There are also a few TV Pilots interested in filming with me.
H2RO: You mentioned that it was only recently that you began training more in preparation for competing as a Pro. How do you approach your practice sessions and how are you gauging your improvement?
Aquatic Aviation has a limited number of staff at this time so I don’t get to practice anywhere near as much as I would like to but when I do, I go out full of confidence and spend most of my days thinking of new moves I want to try. From the start I’ve always been a big fan of the dolphin dives but now I’ve become a bit more adventurous with spins and flips and combining the two. I gauge my improvement mainly through the use of video and asking the people around me what they liked and if they had any suggestions. Our spot in San Diego is very public so whenever I’m out there there’s always a crowd.
H2RO: How would you describe your style and do you have a favorite trick?
I’m very fluid in my movements and like to mix between going forwards and backwards rotating frequently in between the two. My favourite thing to do is to strike different poses in between spinning dolphin dives but nothing is quite as uplifting as a backlfip.
H2RO: Backflips are seriously cool… and so is the idea of setting a world record. Tell us about your Guinness World Record attempt?
Sure. I recently attempted a Guinness World Record for most backflips landed in one minute on the Flyboard. Having only been able to do them for two days, I managed to attempt 12 flips in 48 seconds landing 9 of them according to the official Guinness Judge (the record set by World Cup Champion Stéphane Prayas of France is 10 flips). Unfortunately having attempted so many flips I kinked up the hose too much which caused me to lose power. That show called “Guinness World Records Unleashed” will be airing in October sometime . It was a great experience and I learned a lot about myself and pushing my limits in a short space of time. I’ve never even attempted doing a backflip on the ground in my life so going for a World Record attempt was not something I ever imagined doing and it will always be a great memory of mine.
I have taught two amputees to fly. One famous one in Bethany Hamilton the professional surfer (she has a feature film Soul Surfer based on her life) for a TV show called Supergirl on FOX sports which is airing on November 1st. The other amputee was actually missing his leg from the knee down after a motorcross incident. I got him flying in no time and he even attempted a backflip, all of which I have video evidence of. This inspired me to set up a program for War Veterans teaming up with an organization known as Operation Homefront to teach the Wounded Warriors how to fly as a thank you for the sacrifices they made in their lives and to give them a much needed morale boost. I not only believe in the benefits of Flyboarding for fun but also the physiological and psychological benefits Flyboarding gives people.
H2RO: That is a fantastic idea. Please let us know how H2RO can help support your program.
Thanks FM that’s greatly appreciated.
H2RO: As far as the progression of the sport, how do you see Flyboarding both as a recreational activity and as a professional sport evolving over the next 12 months?
Well I think first and foremost Flyboarding can certainly become a sport. I have seen already how different flyers have different styles and freestyle competitions would draw a great crowd as Flyboarding provides a spectacle like no other. Not only that but if performances were to be synchronized then you have possibly one of the most challenging and jaw-dropping performances around the world. I also think it would be amazing to evolve and create a team sport. Now that we can have our hands free to do whatever it just opens things up to a whole different ball game… literally.
Over the next 12 months I would like to see Flyboarding promoted as a workout for people. Flyboarding is a great calorie burner and can really give a good work out to the legs and core.
H2RO: Water Polo thirty feet above the surface! Awesome! Alright it’s time for Andrew’s tip for new flyers. What is one thing you always tell your first time flyers so they have the best possible experience out on the water?
My number one rule is always to RELAX. I myself struggled to grasp Flyboarding at first having zero water sport and board experience beforehand which is what I think helps me as an instructor to teach people who are in the same boat I was. Every single flyer I have tells me afterwards “you were right about the relaxing part”. I also tell people to be patient with the Flyboard, when getting used to the feeling it pays dividends to not try and move 100mph to start, small movements will go a long way.
Andrew, thanks very much for this and we’ll definitely continue keeping a close eye on Aquatic Aviation.
NEW: Andrew flies Audrina from Hit American TV show the Hills.