In 2011, Frankie Zapta prototyped and developed the Flyboard with $10,000 personal water craft (PWC) attachment. Since then, three championships of World Flyboard Cup has already taken place. The third championship was held in Dubai from December 4-6 at which 86 competitors participated from 29 countries. This year the competition was expanded to three categories with women and veteran (over 40 years) separated from the pro category.
The Flyboard World Cup is a freestyle competition where participants are scored on technical execution of tricks. A panel of 5 judges give points based on tricks (risk taking, technical difficulty, innovation, amplitude (height, use of the space), showmanship (presence, facial expression, interaction with the audience), energy (number of tricks, speed and pace) and artistic execution.
Franky Zapata was not dishearten when he was banned from PWC racing rather he used the time to develop his own creation which pioneered the market. Based on his knowledge that PWC has a 300 hp motor and pump, he realized that it could be used as major machinery to create the Jetley’s “firehose” system at minimum cost.
Zapata inspired three different models of PWC based firehose – Jetley, Flyboard and Jetovator, all of which established a global marketplace in the blink of an eye. He has also developed US $ 10,900 “Jetpack Add-On Kit” which uses an existing PWC as the power plant. He released it at the 2014 Boot Dusseldorf show along with an all-new US$37,500 Shark which includes the entire pump and boat.
The following were the winners of the World Flyboard Cup.
1. Suksan Tongthai (Thailand, World Champion 2013)
2. Damone Rippy (USA, North American Champion 2014)
3. Jake Orel (USA)
4. Stephane Prayas (France, World Champion 2012)
1. Da-Yeob Kim (South Korea)
2. Stephanie Wells (Canada)
3. Yolanda Baker (USA)
4. Claudia Osternaud (France)
1. Laurent Calliot (France)
2. Martin Von Steednik (Sweden)
3. Dong-Won Yang (South Korea)
4. Antonio Martinez-Yague (Spain)
The Best Newcomer award went to Hunter Verlander, (USA) who was also the youngest competitor at 15 years of age.