Hydroflight Athlete – Stephanie Wells
Hydroflight Competition Results
2015 North American Flyboard Championship – 6th Place
2014 XDubai Flyboard World Cup – 2nd Place
2012 Flyboard World Cup – 14th Place (Competed in the Pro Division)
Stephanie Wells was the lone female competitor in 2012 when she finished 14th in the first ever Flyboard World Cup. In 2013 she was not able to compete in Doha but at the 2014 X Dubai Flyboard World Cup Stephanie finished 2nd in the Ladies Division. It was the first time in any Pro Flyboarding event that a Ladies Division was offered. She battled her fellow female Hydroflight athletes once again in Shreveport, Louisiana at the 2015 North American Flyboard Championship finishing 6th.
H2RO MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
H2RO: What is your sports background and how did those skills translate to the Flyboard?
I don’t really have any serious background in any specific sport, but I’ve been pretty athletic and adventurous my whole life. When I was a kid I used to be into sports like baseball, basketball, wrestling, dirt biking and dance. As an adult I got into things like snowboarding, surfing, scuba diving, kayaking and climbing. Snowboarding is my favorite winter sport, and scuba diving used to be my favorite summer sport until the Flyboard came around. I think certain skills like stamina, balance, endurance, body awareness and movement translate from my history with dance; and skills like controlling a board, your body’s momentum along with speed and movements translate from board sports like snowboarding and surfing.
H2RO: Which athlete (any sport) has motivated you the most in your life?
To be honest, I am not really the type of person that follows organized sports very much. I can think of certain athletes in different sports that stand out to me but I wouldn’t say I am motivated by their performances or desires within the sports they belong to. I am motivated by my own desires for adrenaline, or challenge or need for self-accomplishment and as an adult I’ve really gotten into sports that are personal and individual, which is one of the reasons I love the Flyboard so much.
H2RO: What do you find most exciting about being at the forefront of a new extreme sport?
There are so many things that are exciting about being a pioneer of a new extreme sport! It is amazing to know that you were one of the first people doing something so cool and be able to teach others the skills so that they can feel that same adrenaline rush. The worldwide community that the Flyboard has created and the opportunities to travel the world and be a part of something that is so new and exciting is a spectacular and incredible thing. To belong to the “Flyboard Family” is just so special to so many riders. The ability to create and entertain using a machine that allows you to fly on water and transform into a super hero in front of people’s eyes and be the centre of attention is a surreal feeling. It is quite interesting to see the marketing and branding that each Flyboard team around the world has created and is representing. The time, devotion, passion, excitement, energy, enthusiasm and love that so many people have put into making the Flyboard a sport that is recognized is inspiring and breath- taking. I am truly so proud to be a part of a family that is so dedicated to the same thing and united no matter what language we speak, or the color of our skin, the location of where we live or the circumstances in our lives.
H2RO: What is your training schedule like and how do you approach your practice sessions? Do you have the ability to gauge the progression of other top riders as they work around the world?
I don’t have a training schedule and I pretty much ride for fun. Before the competition last year we got a lot more serious hours in but overall I just fly however I want to or feel like.
H2RO: Do you have a signature trick that you invented or a trick that is your favourite?
I am a back-flipper. The feeling I got from the first time I ever back flipped was just amazing, and I really love the wow factor you get with that trick, especially when you bust a double!
H2RO: Franky continues to push the limits of his invention but which other riders do you have your eyes on these days?
Well one rider that I will obviously always be following is my cousin, Brody Wells. I’m always interested to see how all the other competitors that I was fortunate to meet in Qatar are flying these days. One rider that I follow who is always pushing the limits and putting himself in the forefront of this new extreme sport is Aaron Gould from the United States. I really think the 2014 competitions bar is going to be set by him. All other female riders are ones that I am always keen to see fly as I need to know what my competition will be like in 2014.
H2RO: As a professional what events, competitions do you have on the horizon? How far do you think the world of flyboarding will have progressed by the next World Cup?
Well I can’t wait to see how the 2014 competition turns out this year. The new flyboarders, the structure of it, the changes, the reunion. I think the energy level is going to be off the charts this year so I look forward to that. But one thing I am really excited for is to fly (in a plane that is; flyboarding would take forever) to the other side of the world, and become a part of the New South Wales team in Australia. I will get a chance to work with the distributor from down under and a big name in Flyboarding, Peter Hendra as well as help in piloting a girls team that has big plans!
H2RO: Where do you see Canada positioning itself in the world of Flyboarding?
Canada sure has a disadvantage when it comes to our damn cold weather. Sweden and Netherlands ya feel me on that right? Yet at the same time, all of those countries kicked serious ass at the competition last year. Brody Wells and I represented team Canada and both consider that moment to be a huge accomplishment and amazing experience in our lives that will never be forgotten both placing higher than 16. This year I know Brody will be revving to go along with new team mates and there are some pretty hard core riders in Quebec. But who knows how anyone will place, it’s going to be an interesting year. I’m sure this year I won’t be the only female in the competition and I also might be representing a different country this year so team Canada could be some competition.
H2RO: Can you share with us what the atmosphere was like at the first ever World Cup and as a competitor what you left feeling regarding the future of the sport?
The competition was un-(insert f word here) real!! First off, how cool is it that the competition took us to Qatar? I never in my wildest dreams a couple years ago would have imagined that I would be going to a Middle Eastern country to compete in a sport where you fly on water!!! The country is beautiful, the distributor and host of the event was so generous and welcoming and put us in a great location with an unreal view of downtown. The people from all around the world were happy and excited and the energy was amazing. To see all different countries representing the same common thing but in so many different ways was inspiring. To meet with and shake hands with fellow flyboarders from around the world, even if you didn’t even speak the same language, created such a sense of belonging. Even though it was a competition, there was a feeling of unity and so much support from everyone to everyone as the competition went on. An unreal moment in my life.
H2RO: This would be a great chance to provide some advice to the boys and girls out there that will be getting turned onto the sport more and more in the coming years?
My advice is simple. Flyboarding or no flyboarding. Keep it real. Stay true to yourself and stay loyal to others you care about because one day you might regret it if you don’t. Work hard in life to be a good person and give but don’t be taken advantage of. Remember what is important, always, and don’t let something as cool as flyboarding change how you treat people. Fly high, fly safe, and fly on!
Hallelujah Sista! UPDATE: Amazing flying in Dubai and congrats on your second place finish. All the best with your Hydrosports Network gig and we’ll see you again soon!