Hydroflight Competition Results
2015 X Dubai Flyboard World Cup – 28th Place
2014 Flyboard North American Championship – 15th Place
H2RO MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Anyway, please tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be one of the best Flyboarders in the world?
I originally found the Flyboard when a friend posted a video on Facebook. That video was the original video of Franky Zapata when there were hand jets and when backflips that were performed 5 feet above the water were cool (2012). I showed Caleb and once we got one we could not get off of it. From then on we continually got better and started distributing them across the state.
Now here is a little background of my Flyboarding experience. I ended up breaking my ankle the first year, July 2012, which put an early stop to training. After 3 months of healing, the weather was getting cold and the fact that I was at college really stopped my training process. The following year, 2013, I started working on some “fear/trust” issues with Flyboarding and getting my ankle back to normal rotation. Things were starting to improve until my EMK wire started to have some grounding issues and cut out mid-flight. This was seen during the Dallas Flyboard Family weekend when I fell from 45 feet receiving a bruised arm, face, and bloody nose. The year after that, 2014, I decided to make sure all equipment was working and break through the “training wall” that seemed to keep me from excelling. My first competition in Toronto gave me good insight on how competitions work and how to better train for them. Summer was a great training session and I really excelled a lot this last summer. Once school started again I couldn’t Flyboard anymore and I didn’t get to train before the X Dubai World Cup except for one day at the Arkansas Flyboard Family event. Once getting to Dubai, I was excited to perform. Although, as everyone saw, on my first run the jet ski lanyard had problems dropping me twice resulting in the blood vessels in my lungs to burst. Fighting through these struggles has given me good insights on becoming a better Flyboarder. Though I’ve only been on the board once this season, I am very excited to start training for the NAFBC in Louisiana. (Sorry that might have been long winded, but it is an interesting the story.)
H2RO) H2RO readers are familiar with your brother Caleb Gavic and so I’m curious how you guys have influenced each others flying and push each others skills when training?
My brother, Caleb Gavic, has pushed me immensely. He has broken through many training barriers and has helped me get to where I’m at right now. When we Flyboard together we find we fly fairly similarly and I think that is from training together. We both help push each other to try different tricks and different techniques. When we watch each other we are able to give advice on how to better perform tricks and execute them well. Training with each other also gives us motivation to become better and just get out on the board. As life gets so busy we find it is harder to find time to just train.
H2RO) Your first competition was the 2014 North American Flyboard Championship in Toronto, then we saw you in Dubai and now as you get ready for Louisiana I’d like to know what your mindset is going into the event and how your previous competitive experiences will help this June?
I think my answer in question (1) gave good insight of preparing for competitions but I’m definitely looking to expand my tricks and perform them with good execution. Though I haven’t had much time to practice yet, I would like to work with high intensity to prepare for Louisiana. I think the biggest factor for me is using my competition time wisely. Meaning, when I start my run, eliminate empty space and keep moving with good technique. It is all too easy to have bad runs and now my mind is set on taking out those bad runs and just stay consistent.
I think there is a lot to Flyboarding that is still unexplored to me. This summer will be a training ground for new tricks and combos. I always try to be different in the way I perform and how I execute my tricks so I will be looking to make unique adjustments to existing tricks and come up with new possible combos. Looking forward to the future, I am working on a more efficient or quicker way to pull doubles and in turn, complete some triples ☺. With that, I’m searching for the best way to complete that while maintaining hose control to avoid flipping the jet ski.
H2RO) Caleb said he hadn’t actually been working on his doubles much prior to Toronto, what was your preparation like for last year’s event and how is your training different for this year?
I think my answer in question (1) also pertains to this question. So as you know training has always been difficult for me but I think that this year will allow me to practice more and train for future events. I only have a couple weeks before the Louisiana competition but I plan to dedicate the time I can to advance my Flyboard capabilities. Before I never had a lot of time to dedicate for competitions but this year I will have more time to fine tune my skills. So I think the big difference in training this year versus last year is simply the amount of time spent actually training.
H2RO) We are all very aware of how good Team Aquafly are and if the current World Champion makes it to Shreveport then Suksan will be a favorite for sure but which other competitors are you expecting to make some noise next month?
This year I am very excited to see Callon Burns and Ronnie Feise fly. I have been in contact with them and have seen pictures of their training process. I know they will bring a high level of competition. I am also excited to see Chase Finley fly. I’ve only seen videos but I feel he will be a new force to be reckoned with.
H2RO) The industry is working very hard to find solutions that will reduce ski flips but hose management whether you loop the strap twice or not in Louisiana is still a big component of a Pros run, how do you balance flying aggressively while at the same time managing your hose and ski?
Also, how do you feel about some of the new product solutions coming out geared towards managing this for you?
When it comes to hose management it depends on the setup of the trick, the speed of your trick, how tight the rotation of your tricks are done, and your throttle control. I think the most important would be the setup of the trick. You can fly as aggressively as you want but if you don’t have good setup then ski flips are likely to occur. For some tricks, if you don’t perform them fast enough or tight enough then the ski can get out of control. I haven’t tried out the new products to prevent ski flips but I think they will prove themselves useful. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them but the big factor in controlling ski flips is keeping the hose in front and off the hood of the ski.
H2RO) Talk to us about your business and what the people in your state think about this whole crazy Hydroflight world?
Skyhigh Flyboard has been around since the beginning of the Flyboard coming to the U.S. It has been difficult at times to grow the business as Flyboarding in the Midwest is only available for 3-5 months (depending on people’s cold water threshold). However, selling units has never been a concern of ours. Rentals are always a hot item and this summer we are projecting to at least double sales in that area. We are also seeing more opportunities for Flyboard shows for resorts and events around the states, which is really exciting. People are amazed at the possibility that Flyboarding provides and that really attracts people to it. Our next challenge is to show them how easy it is to either own and do. Many people don’t know how easy it is to use or they think that this hydroflight business is just too dangerous. So our main goal is to show how safe and easy it is to use and own.
H2RO) Finally, is Caleb going to have a Flyboarding groom on his wedding cake and if you had to guess how many times will the name Flyboard come up in your speech…ha?
I am looking into the Flyboard bride and groom idea! I think it would be a great fit but will probably have to make sure the Mrs. is ok with that. 😉 Since Flyboarding is such a huge part of our life I’m sure the speeches will be riddled with Flyboard stories!
Looking forward to seeing you fly here in Louisiana… assuming you guys can find your way into the state with all this flooding… yeah I saw your FB post.