Flyboard and Hoverboard: What’s the difference?

The amazing Zapata Flyboard and Hoverboard have been the most groundbreaking and fun inventions to appear in the world of water sports in recent years. Combining the excitement of jetpack flying with the fun of water activities, Franky Zapata’s creations have captured the attention (and the hearts) of thrill seekers around the world.

Both the Flyboard and Hoverboard were developed in 2012 by Frank Zapata, the owner and founder of Zapata Racing, and both of them use the same system; the correct term for both activities is hydroflying, which certainly sounds professional but it just means you will be propelling above the lagoon with the help of water. With so many core similarities it is only natural to wonder: what is the difference?

In this second edition of our “What’s the difference” series we answer your questions regarding flyboarding and hoverboarding.

What is a flyboard?

The Flyboard consists of a pair of boots, similar to those used to wakeboard, which are attached to a board with jet nozzles on the bottom which are the ones that propel you upwards. A hose similar to the one used by firefighters goes to an intake, which is located at the bottom, and its other end is attached to the turbine of the jet ski.

The pressure of the water ejected from the jet nozzles provides the thrust and allows the user to rise above the water up to a height of 49 ft.

What is a water hoverboard?

The Hoverboard operates similar to the Flyboard but the water is propelled from the back end of the board instead of directly below. Riding the Hoverboard comes close to a feeling of surfing or snowboarding in the air, in fact people with previous experience in these sports might find it easier to learn how to Hoverboard.

The Hoverboard uses water propulsion to allow the user to fly 16 ft in the air up to speeds of 24 miles per hour.

What is the difference?

Although these two activities are so similar they’re practically cousins, the variations in design make for different experiences, techniques and possibilities.

The flyboard offers you more vertical movement; you soar above the water diving in and out and doing flips and spins. On the other hand, the movement of the hoverboard is horizontal, you soar across the water.

Flyboarding or hoverboarding: which one’s for me?

To be honest, it depends on your preferences. In interview with H2RO Magazine, Damone Rippy (currently the most well-known pro flyboarder, second only to Franky Zapata himself) gave key pointers to know what to expect from each activity.

For example, each one takes a different toll on the body. In Damone’s words “the Flyboard would be more along the lines of your calves being sore and some have said it works out your ankles too. The Hoverboard is a workout on your hips, legs, calves, and ankles because of the weird way that you bend when you do the spins on the board.”

Of course, what you can accomplish with each one is also different and could help you decide which one to go for. “The Flyboard is able to pull off more trick variations just because of the design and how it works”, says Damone. When you’re hoverboarding, to do tricks you pull the nose of the board upwards, which lifts you into the air and you can do corkscrews and turns, however, you can’t dive with the Hoverboard.

As we previously mentioned, people with previous experience in surf or snowboarding might not have so much of a learning curve with the Hoverboard, but in all honesty, the Flyboard is known to be a bit more beginner friendly since it is easier to keep your balance.

Hoverboarding and flyboarding in Cancun

Wondering where can you do this during your vacations in Cancun? Aquaworld is the place! At Aquaworld we pride ourselves on being innovative and water fun experts, which is why we are one of only a couple of operators offering this experience. Fly above the Nichupte Lagoon and feel the wind in your face as you glide across the water. Both will provide an unforgettable experience during your vacations.

It might not look like it, but these are great options of Cancun activities for couples…after all, you’re going to need someone to capture those exciting flyboarding wins (and the inevitable fails too). Either way, you’ll leave with some amazing shared memories of your first flight.

Ready to fly? Book your flyboarding or hoverboarding session with Aquaworld and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.