HYDROFLIGHT COMPETITION RESULTS
2015 XDUBAI FLYBOARD WORLD CUP – 5th Place
2014 XDUBAI FLYBOARD WORLD CUP – DQ
2014 FLYBOARD NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP – Top 8
Pro Flyboarder Jason Gauthier is going to win the next Flyboard World Cup. What? Do I have your attention now? Because the moment Jason ripped out of the water into a very impressive first 1080 spin in Toronto he had my full attention and reminded me of how I felt in Doha, Qatar last year seeing Damone Rippy for the first time. With a top eight finish in Toronto and as you’ll learn a healthy competitive spirit Jason Gauthier is sure to be fighting for a podium position at the next major Flyboarding competition.
H2RO Magazine is excited to introduce you to this talented pilot so check out his video highlights and enjoy our recent chat.
H2RO MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
H2RO: Jason, tell us a little bit about yourself, your sports background and how you got introduced to the world of Flyboarding?
Even at an early age I was extremely competitive…I should say almost to a fault. My dad told me a story a couples years ago about how when I was 5 years old, I was playing in a little church basketball league and I was just too aggressive. Apparently I had to win every time no matter what. He said on the way home he told me it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun. I looked at him and said, “well if it’s just about having fun Dad, how come every time I play we keep track of the score?” He had no real answer for that response, haha. It was pretty apparent God had built in me a drive to compete from early on so I focused that competitiveness growing up into any sport possible. Basketball, soccer, neighborhood football, street hockey, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding etc. If it was competitive, I wanted in.
I was introduced to flyboarding by Scott McRoberts, one of my business partners and long time close friend. Starting from when I met him in college he certainly was like a big brother to me. After looking at some YouTube videos and watching Aaron Gould press it to the max, I was in agreement this would be a great business to start in downtown West Palm Beach.
H2RO: What is it about Flyboarding that you love? Pls share with us what it’s like to be involved in such a young sport?
Where do I start with this? It sounds cliché but there really is just no other feeling like it. I love every aspect of the sport. I love how it’s not just about big time tricks but also the nature of hose management. The feeling of teaching others and the look on their face when they finally get it is second to none. For instance, I was doing an instructional with David Duprat of Atlantic Flyboarding. He goes I’ll show you how to teach someone to start back flipping on their first day. Took that knowledge with me and at home taught two friends to back flip. They were beside themselves with excitement. I don’t know, I guess it’s those little things that keep me motivated to get better as well.
Being involved in such a new sport is amazing. I mean, we literally can reinvent the wheel so to speak because there is still so much to learn. I’m a huge believer in this sport and I want to do my part along with everyone else to get Flyboarding in the eyes and ears of everyone globally.
H2RO: Let’s talk a bit about Toronto. You were very impressive during the Flyboard North American Championship and I’d like to know what you thought of flying in the competition and what were some of the things you took away that you’ll be working on in the future?
It was a great learning experience. Dealing with the nerves coupled with never having used the EMK were probably two of the largest obstacles. So gaining experience with both aspects was big. There is so much to work on all the time. The best athletes in the world never stop believing they can push themselves to be better. Everything I do now I want to work on to make it better and smoother, and of course the things I don’t know, I will push to learn. For me if there was one answer to things to be working on, it will always be the same no matter what, hose management. Without it, the tricks don’t matter. (H2RO: I can see Franky and Stéphane Prayas nodding their heads in agreement right now)
H2RO: You were part of our recent discussion about the double backflip and I’m curious what trick combinations you’ve dreamt up that have you really excited?
Although I’m still leaning more on the fence that the front flip is not possible and although probably not aesthetically pleasing as some of the other moves, to throw it down would be amazing for the sport and of course is a thought in my mind. The triple backflip of course and then working on a sort of barrel roll that if done right, seems almost impossible as well haha. But hey, that’s why we do this, try to bring something different to the sport.
H2RO: Who do you currently fly with and do you train with any other Pro Pilots? Which other Pro Flyboarders currently have your respect and attention?
Unfortunately I don’t get the chance to fly with anyone and I don’t train with any other pro guys. I wish I could but for work reasons I am just not located around anyone full time to fly with. I use the help of friends to help me fly. Looking forward to that wireless EMK though.
All these guys have my respect for sure. Aaron Gould stands out for me as he was in it from the beginning, has a great attitude, and brings a style to the sport that helps it grow. Scotty Knemeyer shares a similar style and flare as Aaron and of course the youth and incredible talent in Damone Rippy and everyone at Aquafly. Caleb Gavic and Ben Merrell bring a smoothness to the sport that I certainly admire and of course Cooper “big rig” Riggs. Although I really haven’t had any time to spend with Cooper, him and I are both from NH and oddly enough grew up only a few minutes from each other so naturally I have to stick with the hometown.
H2RO: The sport of Flyboarding and now Hoverboarding puts some unique strain and stresses on the body, how are you going to train for these sports and what types of workouts, muscles do you need to focus on in order to fly at the highest level?
We got all different shapes and sizes that go out there and make it look easy so I can’t say for sure. I have always tried staying in the gym a few days a week and eating right so I’m sure that doesn’t hurt but stamina/endurance to train certainly makes a difference. Personally for me, the thing I focus on the most outside of an overall healthy lifestyle is stretching. If I don’t stretch every day, I feel it after a good day out there on the water.
H2RO: With such a young sport there are obviously many opinions floating around out there as to how it should progress and grow. Specifically regarding the Pro competitive side of our sports. How would you like to see it evolve? What are some of the immediate improvements we can make prior to this years World Cup?
If done correctly and respectfully, it would be great if we could get some solid sponsors involved. At this point the sport is public enough where sponsors want to get involved and that would just help to reduce the cost that goes into buying the equipment, training, travel etc etc.. I respect the Zapata Racing organization on its stance on some of these issues so I just hope we can all find a way in the near future to make everyone happy.
H2RO: Can we help promote anything you’re involved in right now… take a moment hype whatever you want.
For me it’s simple. God, family and friends. Without these three things, none of this would be possible. The support from everyone is second to none.
H2RO: I’m not sure if you’ve been out on the Hoverboard yet but if yes, what has your experience been like? If no, are you excited to get on it and which device do you feel is more suited to you?
I haven’t had a chance to try it but I am definitely excited to try it. Having grown up in the north east I have been snowboarding since I was 10 so I hope I can transfer a little of that knowledge over to the Hoverboard if it has any similarities at all. (H2RO: With Jason’s athletic prowess and a snowboarding background… this guys is going to love the Hoverboard)
H2RO: Lets chat Triple Backflip for a minute because I’d love to get your take on how we get this trick locked down and how you might be approaching adding it to your arsenal?
I’ve had some conversations about this recently. I personally don’t feel more and more height is necessarily the answer as much as how straight you keep the hose while going up and of course, throwing it as hard and as fast as you can. We all have different styles approaching the double so I’m curious to see who will be the first to the finish line on this triple. I believe someone will do it within the next year.
H2RO: As we all know, hose management is a huge part of Pro Flyboarding which means that any tricks pulled have an exit strategy that goes with them. Talk about what you are working on to ensure your future runs are smooth and the sick tricks/combos you do pull don’t result in a flipped ski?
Practice practice practice. Knowing where the ski is at all times. It’s almost like the game of pool (I really don’t play). The shot you make almost doesn’t matter compared to where you leave the queue ball. Well with tricks in flyboarding it doesn’t matter how great the trick is if you don’t know where your jet ski is or where the hose is landing then you either can’t set up for the next trick or you’re potentially flipping that ski.
Constant practice is the only answer for this. Creating patterns and designs, learning the path of the jet ski, the straightness of the hose going up in order to not pull too much, speed of circling around the ski etc etc, these are all important things to be learning more and more about to ensure a solid run. It’s a never ending battle for me. (H2RO: and for most competitors at this stage in our sports evolution)
H2RO: Finally, I’d just like to say that from what I saw in Toronto you have all of the tools to be on top of future Pro Flyboarding podiums… what are your goals with this sport and what might we see from you come the World Cup?
I want to put everything I have into it. I want to do it for myself sure, but I want to accomplish something the people close to me can be proud of. It’s probably my biggest driving factor. My goal is simple, to always do my best and try to outwork the competition but I know these guys are great and I tip my hat off to them for what they’re accomplishing. You can expect me to just work hard and be as consistent as I can out there at the World Cup.
Lastly, Blaine…Thank you for all you do in this sport and your time spent with me here. Cheers to everyone and of course, God bless.
H2RO: Thank you very much Jason and it was a pleasure doing this interview. A very disciplined work ethic and thorough understanding of how important hose management is to success in competitive flyboarding is a combination that should have every Pro Flyboarder on the planet keeping their eyes firmly fixed on anything Jason cares to share prior to the next competition. I can’t wait!
Thanks for reading and if you enjoy H2RO Magazine please shoot our website address to any friends who might find our sports interesting.