Flyboarding, which debuted last year, is one of the newest activities available in Bora Bora. This one is a lot of fun, but it’s still relatively unknown to the general public. But what exactly is flyboarding? Is it difficult to learn as a beginner?
I tried flyboarding in Bora Bora for you and here is my experience!
What is flyboarding?
A flyboard is an exciting new way to experience water sports. Essentially, a flyboard is a board that attaches to the back of a jet ski and uses the power of the water to lift people off the water and into the air. As riders stand on the board, water is propelled through the board and out of nozzles, creating a force that lifts the rider up to 50 feet in the air.
The concept of flyboarding was first introduced to the world in the fall of 2012, during the Jet Ski World Championship in China, by a French watercraft rider. Since then, it has quickly gained popularity among water sports enthusiasts around the globe. Flyboarding has even paved the way for a competitive sport to emerge from it, with riders from all over the world competing in events and showcasing their skills.
Flyboarding in Bora Bora : My experience
Maxi will pick you up by boat from Vaitape dock or your resort and take you to the Flyboard area in the lagoon. This area is located next to the Four Seasons in Bora Bora, and only they are allowed to use it so you won’t find any obstacles around. The water is 4 meters deep with a sandy bottom, so there is no risk of hitting rocks or corals if you fall.
When you arrive at the location, Tehei, the (super-nice) instructor, will be waiting for you on a jet ski. It will take the crew a few minutes to set up the equipment. They basically need to untie the long cable (23 meters) and secure it behind the Jet Ski.
Once the activity is ready, you will be provided with a life jacket (mandatory) and a helmet (in case of falls).
The board chase takes place in shallow water. You will float on your back while the instructor helps you put your shoes on. The bindings are similar to those found on a snowboard.
The instructor will then provide you with all the necessary instructions and tips for a great flyboard session.
And then, you’re off!
From this moment on, the direction of the jet ski is in your hands (or should I say feet) as the propulsion is now controlled by your feet. It is up to you to steer the jet ski and yourself. The instructor will ask you to get on your back and will put some gas to put pressure under your feet to make you both move forward. It’s pretty easy: bend your left knee to go left and your right knee to go right. Once you are in the deep water, you can enjoy a 30-minute session!
The instructor will ask you to lie on your stomach with the board slightly behind your back. Once you are in the correct position, the instructor will start to send water under your feet to propel you out of the water. This is where the challenging part begins. The instructor is in control of the propulsion, so all you need to do is focus on balancing and having fun.
The sensation of flyboarding is new, so it will likely take you several attempts before you find your balance and can get out of the water completely. As total beginners, it took me and my husband about five attempts before we were able to fully get out of the water and start “flying”.
Once you are out of the water, you need to use your ankles (and ankles only) to move and maintain your balance. To steer, lean forward or backward. To turn to one side, sliiiiightly bend one leg. I insist on “slightly” as it is veeeery sensitive.
The instructor was able to get me up to 3 meters, but when you’re above the water, you don’t really realize how high everything is.
It already felt super high!
Although I am more comfortable on a skateboard or wakeboard, it took me a few tries to figure out how to balance myself properly. Here’s what worked for me: I stared at one point on the horizon, rather than at my feet, and kept my legs and knees completely straight (while others may prefer them to be slightly bent).
As the straps began to loosen, I experienced increasing discomfort and difficulty balancing. If you have small feet like me, don’t hesitate to ask your instructor to adjust the bindings regularly. Doing so will ensure that you can fully enjoy your flyboarding session in Bora Bora.
My husband went up to 5 meters, but for those wondering, professionals can reach up to 20 meters!
But worry not : If the instructor sees that you are not ready to go higher, he will not put more gas. He has total control on how high you go.
Once you are up in the air and well balanced, you can even try to do some tricks, such as the dolphin.
The sensation of flying over Bora Bora’s lagoon is simply incredible. I recommend it to everyone.
At the end of the session, I felt that 30 minutes was more than enough time for a first experience. I was almost relieved to get back on the boat because I was exhausted! The team will offer you fresh drinks and fruits as soon as you get out of the water, and on the way back to your hotel.
It is interesting to note that, in contrast to wakeboarding, I did not experience any aches the following days.
In short, if you enjoy strong sensations or want to try a new, super fun activity, I highly recommend trying the flyboard during your stay among the other top activities to do in Bora Bora!
Frequently asked questions about flyboarding in Bora Bora
Is flyboard hard?
No, flyboarding is not hard. It’s all about balance (and training).
At first, the feeling of propulsion under your feet can be a bit unsettling. The key is to focus on ankle movements. The board is very sensitive, so even a tiny movement of the ankle can cause you to lose your balance.
Similar to skateboarding or wakeboarding, it’s the ankles, heels, and toes that do the work, but with one important difference: direction. To go straight forward, unlike on a skateboard, you need to lean forward, which can be destabilizing at first.
To move forward, push on your toes. To restore your balance, push on your heels. To turn right, bend your right knee slightly. To turn left, do the same with your left knee.
Can a child flyboard in Bora Bora?
No, you have to be over 16 years old to flyboard in Bora Bora.
The regulations for flyboarding in Bora Bora are the same as those for riding a jet ski, which require riders to be at least 16 years old. However, guides may occasionally offer to fly while holding a young child so they can at least experience the sensation.
Is there a maximum weight limit for flyboarding?
Yes, the maximum weight is 150 kg maximum (330 lb).
Is Flyboarding accessible to everyone?
Yes, anyone can flyboard; it is not difficult. It’s all about balance, not strength. As mentioned earlier, I did not experience muscle soreness after my flyboarding season, unlike wakeboarding or foiling.
Can I flyboard in Bora Bora if I’m pregnant?
No, this activity is not recommended for pregnant women.
Do I need to know how to swim to do flyboarding in Bora Bora?
Before trying flyboarding, it is recommended to know how to swim so you will feel more comfortable in the water. However, if you cannot swim, you can still flyboard as you will be provided with a life jacket and boots that float.
How much is flyboarding in Bora Bora?
Flyboard in Bora Bora starts at $365 for a couple. It’s good to know that all tours are privates.
Book you flyboard session in Bora Bora
To book your private flyboard session in Bora Bora you can use the links below.
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