Wooooosh!

Imagine if you took the engine from a Jet Ski, strapped it to a wakeboard and pointed it “down.” That’s essentially the concept of the flyboard which, turns out, also makes a decent firefighting apparatus.

Local NBC station KARE reports that one of these vehicles successfully extinguished a powerboat fire on Cross Lake, Minnesota last weekend. Apparently Paul Gavic and his sons, who operate a flyboard rental outfit Sky High Flyboard on the lake, saw the burning boat and decided they were better equipped to render assistance than the local fire department.

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And indeed, NBC says Gavic’s two sons had put the fire out in about two minutes with the water-jets of a flyboard. Apparently nobody was injured in the fire or freelance rescue operation.

Now I must say, professional first responders generally hate being “helped” by good samaritans because these kids playing Iron Man could have easily fallen onto the wrong side of the rescue operation.

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That said, my instinct is to respect those who step up and lend a hand. Anyway, it worked out this time by my on-the-record advice is “let the real firefighters do the fire fighting.”

As for the flyboard, you get a decent idea of how these devices work by watching the video. There are plenty more flyboard clips on the internet, but unfortunately they all have the same soundtrack the military uses to torture Gitmo detainees. Pretty fancy footwork here, though!

A flyboard pretty much uses the engine of a personal watercraft to pump water through a hose at tremendous pressure, allowing for “flight.” As Gorge Flyboard explains;

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“The Personal Watercraft (PWC) provides all of the propulsion for the FlyBoard. Using a set of unique and patented adapters, inventor Franky Zapata of “Zapata Racing”, turned an ordinary watercraft into a water sports sensation. All of the thrust developed from the PWC is routed through the hose, so the PWC just follows behind the rider in trail giving you the freedom to accomplish 3D flight.”

Now I kind of want one.

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Hat tip to Dave!