Flyboarding: Check Out the Latest Water Sport Craze at the Jersey Shore
Adrenaline junkies can get a new rush from the latest water sport craze at the Jersey Shore — flyboarding over Barnegat Bay.
"You can compare it to skateboarding or snowboarding or wake boarding, but you're adding the whole element of lift, and going up," said Justin Chiusolo, owner of Superfly NJ on Long Beach Island. "We're pretty much as close as we can be to flying."
The thrill costs $150 per person for a half hour.
"You can pull up in your car and within five minutes we'll have you in the water and on the board and getting trained," said Chiusolo.
Users are given a five-minute verbal instruction and then literally learn as they fly.
Chiusolo says "98 percent of the people pick it up within five minutes."
Some of the more experienced flyboarders can do dolphin dives and backflips.
The user is equipped with a helmet and life jacket and fitted into a pair of boots, similar to those used for snowboarding, that strap onto the flyboard. A hose tethered by a jet ski pumps water under the board to provide the lift into the air. The jet ski throttle controls the water pressure.
"I can take a 200 pound person and put them about 55 feet in the air in about three-and-a-half-seconds," said Chiusolo. He pointed out that how high a person goes depends on how quickly they pick up flyboarding.
"For the most part, 5 to 10 feet out of the water is the sweet spot, where the water disperses the most and you have the most stable platform, so we keep our new flyers at about 5 to 10 feet," he said.
Surprisingly, flyboarding is very safe, according to Chiusolo, with the most common injury being a "belly flop."
The flyboard can accommodate any shoe size and Chiusolo said anyone at least 12 years of age and 100 pounds can do it.
Chiusolo accommodates a group from Long Branch each summer for an entire day of flyboarding.
Chiusolo opened Superfly NJ in Harvey Cedars in July, 2013, after trying it for the first time with his uncle earlier that year during a trip to Cancun, Mexico.
"We did it, and I was like I have to have one, so I got on the phone and tried finding it," said Chiusolo. It wasn't easy though because only a handful of flyboards were available on the market for testing, according to Chiusolo.
He said he was the first to introduce flyboarding in New Jersey and one of the first on the East Coast.
"The boards are about $6,000 and then the training is another $1,000," said Chiusolo. His business serves as a flyboard dealership and distribution site for New Jersey. He also is the flyboard trainer for the Northeast.
Chiusolo is a certified flyboard instructor, and has a Coast Guard license and a captain's license.
"If you want to buy one, you have to get trained by me. And unless I give you a certificate, you can't get insurance," he said.
Chiusolo noted that he's been unable to open other locations along the Jersey coast because of water depth issues in the bay.
Meanwhile, Chiusolso's friends are in the flyboarding rental business now, too — in Florida and North Carolina, he said.
More information about flyboarding can be found at superflynj.com.
Contact reporter Dianne DeOliveira at Dianne.DeOliveira@townsquaremedia.com