Peter Hendra is a professional flyboarder who continuously takes his riding to the edge and beyond. He competed and finished 18th in the sport’s first ever World Cup and it is clear that was just the beginning for this Australian juggernaut. We dragged Peter out of the water momentarily so we could pick his brain about the sport of Flyboarding, his company Flyboard X and the future of this Xtreme phenomenon.
H2RO Magazine Exclusive Interview
FM: What is your sports background and how did those skills translate to the Flyboard?
I have never really dedicated myself to any particular sport. I have raced motor cross, played soccer, and was heavily involved with the hip hop dance scene. If anything these sports/activities have provided me with a great centre of balance, the ability to take something to the extreme, and a great handling over timing and performance skills all necessary on a World Cup Championship level. My love for Flyboarding comes from my deeper desire to take on a sport I could really take to the top!
I’m a Jack of all trades and a master at none. Starting from scratch with the freshest sport on the planet meant my stunts, my skill set was going to be watched by everyone wanting to enter the sport. The best part of it all I personally get to train each and every one of them; these guys look up to me and I get to feed off of their love for the sport too. If you’re all for the crowds and attention this is definitely a sport to get involved with, and guys the chicks dig it!
FM: What is your process for pushing the equipments limits and inventing new tricks? Do you have the ability to gauge the progression of other top riders as they work around the world?
A lot of it like any sport is watching the best and feeding off of them. Its hard to break new ground when you are at the top, but watching other sports; snowboarding, wake boarding even free running or tricking can present ideas that can be formulated into stunts on the board. After growing some balls and building some inner confidence, and realising fear just needs to be broken new tricks can be formed. I have some close friends, acquaintances and online friends within the Flyboard community, that I feed off of or ask for advice. I like to watch the latest clips on YouTube, or of Franky because you know the man has got it going on!
FM: Do you have a signature trick that you invented or a trick that is your favourite?
This is a tough one… A) because you don’t want to give anything up. And B) because you think you’ve nailed something new and original and the next week the latest clip on Youtube gives it up live for everyone to see and copy. I would have to say that some of my dives are the most impressive. I’m exceeding heights others wouldn’t have the guts to pull and if they do you know its going to hurt! I train them hard but not too often.
FM: Tell me a little bit about Flyboard X and what your goals are for the company?
Our territory expands across all of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. We were fairly happy with our first year of trade, andare currently deep into our Winter period. Everything is going to be amped up this financial year and our coming Summer is going to be next level. Flyboarding should be a sport for everyone, and should be enjoyed by everyone. Our youngest of 16 and our oldest of 68 on the board lets us know that our market is very broad. We would like to see the younger crowd get more involved and a few more females participating in the sport. We like to maintain our brand at the forefront of the industry as one of the industry leaders in the development of the sport. In November of last year we demonstrated at Big Boys Toys in Auckland New Zealand in a 10m x 10m x 1.8m (depth) swimming pool dug out purely for our demonstration; you honestly couldn’t fly in anything smaller and the crowds were left in absolute awe (and completely saturated). We have some big brand sponsors including Yamaha Wave Runner, Jet Pilot and Ion Cameras; we feel that the co-promotion of these products with our brand is going to help build the awareness of Flyboarding and provide us with the competitive edge over our market.
FM: 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?
We are now registered and involved with the official Flyboard Show and excited by the future events ZR is going to secure. We are also working on some events with our Sponsors to really amp up Flyboards visibility within our market. Red Bull X Fighters perhaps or getting in with some of the major players in the aquatic events industry within Australia as the demand for this new and extreme sports rises. I have personally just starred as the stunt double for one of the top actors on the planet in a $30 Million James Bond style film. We are due to continue filming later in the year; I can’t give away too many details but it’s nothing short of epic! (Launched mid next year). We are also going to launch our first of the Australian championships late Summer this year. It’s going to give those that want to get involved some time to train hard to show us where they want the sport to go. It’s hard to say how far it’s going to progress; it’s a fairly easy sport to become fairly competent in, but definitely a hard sport to break the barriers of the mind to overcome some of the fears and physical demands of the body and the laws of the universe. That being said there is going to be some stiff competition and the tricks are going to get very wild and raw!!!
FM: Where do you see Australia positioning itself in the world of Flyboarding?
Australia is built on its love of the ocean and its recreational water sports activities. We have some of the best surfers, and wake boarders in the world! We are born from the water and so the water becomes us. Flyboarding within Australia is going to be one of those sports that we really take ownership of and prove our superiority within the water sports industry. I have a handful of guys in mind that already compete with the top performers of last year’s World Cup Championships; look out for them in this year’s competition!
FM: Peter thanks so much for taking the time to talk. Totally looking forward to checking your movie out and definitely want to stay in touch and keep sharing you, your company Flyboard X and the many sick Australian riders you’ve now peaked our interest about.
See you up there!
Check out a news clip of Peter flying…
Here is the Big Boys Toys demo Peter referred to. He’s on the jet ski and Canadian pro Brody Wells is on the board.