If you’ve ever watched Aladdin and wondered what it would be like to fly on a magic carpet, well I reckon I’ve discovered the next best thing, except, instead of a sitting on a carpet you step into a pair of boots. This fantastical thing I’m talking about is called flyboarding and it’s available right here in Rockingham through a company called Jetpack Perth. We all know our little coastal town has a lot to offer but this experience was mind blowing and made every sense within me come alive.
Jetpack Perth has been operating in Rockingham since 2014. Owner Edward has a passion for water sports and after watching some flyboarding videos from the US, he realised there was an opportunity in Rockingham for Jet style water activities. It was then that Edward ditched his office job, bought a jet ski and got to work giving people experiences of a lifetime.
I met Edward, owner of Jetpack Perth, under the Jetpack Perth tent on the Rockingham Foreshore, located on the beach across from 61 Rockingham Beach Road. This is a perfect location as it is well protected from the strong southerly winds that often hits during summer afternoons. After introductions and a short safety briefing, I put on my gear (wetsuit, life vest & helmet – all included in the cost), and made my way out to the jet ski which was parked in the shallow water. This is where I first clocked eyes on the fly board, a small board connected to a pair of open toed boots. The board is connected by large hose to the jet ski, the jet ski takes water in, that water moves through the hose which propels the flyboard out of the water, this is known as jet propulsion and that’s as scientific as I’m going to get. I sat on the back of the jet ski while Edward helped me into the boots, lacing them up tightly. I got into the water and was instructed to lay on my back while the jet ski slowly made its way out to deeper water. Once in deeper water, I was instructed to lay on my stomach with the board slightly behind me. Edward explained that when the jet ski fired up, I was to keep my legs very straight to then be lifted out of the water. The first couple of times my legs weren’t straight enough so I just toppled over into the water. A few tries later and really concentrating on keeping those legs straight, I got it and was up riding above the water.
I took flight! Not super high at first but I was above the water and moving forwards with jet streams below me like something out of a sci-fi movie. I must have been pretty tense because Edward told me to relax several times. Flyboarding is easier if you keep it moving, this involves pushing the balls of your feet down into the boots. At times when I forgot to do this, the board stopped and quickly became unstable, however, Edward was great at reminding me to keep it moving. As my confidence increased, I was propelled higher and higher and even got the opportunity to attempt a ‘dolphin dive’, a dive into the water then coming back up and flying again immediately. The whole thing was just so thrilling and when I remembered to look up from time to time, I was rewarded with an incredible birds’ eye view of Rockingham Foreshore on a perfect summer’s day.
Is it hard? You ask, if you listen to all of the instructions, it’s really no harder than ice-skating or roller blading. It’s definitely not for everyone especially if you’re scared of heights but most people should be able to get some flight time and gain a little height. For those who pick it up super quick or have done it before, there’s a heap of other manoeuvres to learn like 360’s, sharp turns and even backflips!
In addition to flyboarding there’s also – Jetpacking, Jetbiking and Hoverboarding. Flyboarding is the most popular choice and the one I was lucky enough to experience. Flight options include 10, 20 and 30 minute experiences. If you’ve got a buddy to split the cost with, there’s an option for 2 x 15 minutes. Jetpack Perth offer special packages for big groups, office Christmas parties, Bucks and Hens parties where they combine Jet Ski Hire and Jetpack/Flyboard flights. Visit https://jetpackperth.com.au for more information and pricing.
Jetpack Perth also offer Jet Ski Tours around Garden Island, Shoalwater Island Marine Park and Carnac Island. On the tour you will ride your very own jet ski, cruising around the beautiful islands taking in the stunning backdrop and watching closely for sea lions, dolphins and the occasional penguin.
Jetpack Perth are operating until the end of April and currently offer sessions on weekends. With the weather still warm and the long weekend approaching, I highly recommend booking in for some flight time. This is truly and experience that won’t be forgotten plus you’ll get some pretty epic photos!
What if I fall? Oh, but darling what if you fly… And that you will!