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06Sep 2017

Development of the hydro·score live competition scoring app has been in development since 2014.  The latest competition in Bermuda, Battle on the Rock, aka BOTR, showcased  hydro·score live in a new customized version to great success.  The stats behind the scenes tell the story.  2183 individual “instant scores”, 107 registered single rider sessions (some partial and restarts)

As with much of what we at Stratospheric do, we take existing examples in sport and determine the gap between the execution and the goals. These efforts are to drive forward the growth of hydrosport competitions, somehting that we value as essential for the advancement of the industry.  See our post here regarding the benefits of competitive efforts. hydro·score’s driving factor of creation was hydrosport needing a new system.

What would hydro·score live look like had it been developed without reacting against the previous “standard” that existed in hydroflight? We know it would be good, it would just not be as good, having been developed with the drive to be better.  In reaction and contrast, we put transparency and immediate feedback at the top of the list of features, calculation and visibility.

Each competition results in a new version of hydro·score live, bringing to fruition new capabilities, the BOTR version included five different categories and weighting of those category averages into the final score result.  In Bermuda, the judges used instantaneous scoring entry through number pads which displayed on a large LED wall overlaid on the live video of the rider.

How it worked at BOTR:

  • Instant scores.  These are displayed live on the large LED video during the actual run of the rider.  The purpose of these scores is to provide notes for the judges to determine their final score, and feedback for the audience to get a glimpse into the impression of the judges as the run progresses. Each of these scores is entered into a database with a millisceond timestamp for posterity.
  • Final Judges Scores at the conclusion of the run.  Using the “instant scores” as a basis, each judge entered scores into their laptops in five different categories.  Technical execution, Variety of moves during a run, Intensity of the run, and overall Flow, all of these factors and the judges impression distilled into the final category, overall Impression.
  • Notes.  Each judge enters notes into his laptop at the conclusion of the scoring process.  This moment is critical as these impressions are at their freshest.
  • The hydro·score live application then averaged all of the category scores from each of the judges, average technical, average variety, etc, and then weighted each of these category and combined for a final score.
  • Technical impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Variety impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Intensity impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Flow impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Finally Overall Impression was worth a higher percentage, representing 40% of the final score.
  • Each factor is based on a 1-100 scale and the final maximum score, 15 + 15 + 15 + 15 +40 would equal a perfect score of 100 points.

Here are some scenarios that were discussed and workshopped with the judging team ahead of time.

A rider executes a run of only perfectly executed doubles, smoothly transitioning from one to another, intense, high, no pauses, absolute double back perfection.  How would this potentially be scored?  Technical 100 pts, Variety 0 pts, Intensity 100 pts, Flow could also be 100 pts, then the biggest factor, overall Impression, a judge here could reasonably say, “I was bored after the first two backflips, this is a high level competition and we expect more” and give a score of 30 out of 100.  The total in this case would be 15 + 0 + 15 + 15 + 12 = 57 pts.

Another rider goes big, attempts some impressive tricks, a front flip but misses the landing, does a high triple but lands ankle deep, takes all kinds of risks and throws things not seen before but misses landings.  Technical would be a partial score deducted for missed landings but weighted for high risk 80 pts, Intensity 90, Variety 100, Flow 90, and overall Impression might be high for a given judge 90 for example.  12 + 13.5 + 15 + 13.5 + 36 = 90 pts.

Final example. A rider throws every trick into a run in a frenetic, pinballesque romp, non stop nervous crazy energy, technically complete but low and jangly.   Technical 100 pts, Variety 100 pts, Intensity 100 pts, Flow 10 pts, Overall Impression 60 pts. 15 + 15 + 15 + 1.5 + 24 = 70.5 total points.

These examples illustrate a score that would more reflect the impression of the audience and the enjoyment of watching the elements come together in a balance.  This is what we stirved for at BOTR and by all accounts achieved.

Stratospheric has been developing a scoring system for hydroflight competition

05Sep 2017

At the recent Battle on the Rock event, we once again saw the dedication of jetboard competitors.   For future events, there was talk of different disciplines, jetpacks and jetbikes and how to integrate those other pieces of gear into the competitive format.

We asked ourselves, “what can we do to create the same kind of energy behind jetpacks as exists for boards?”   Jetpacks are fun to ride, fliers like Mike Traster, Mike Helton and Sandy Burns know, but how can we expose more people to the thrill of jetpack flight?

We are going to make a large investment in the future of hydro jetpack flight by substantially reducing the price of our NX jetpacks. Currently the price for a full jetpack kit is $7495, we are reducing the price, effective immediately to $6145  matching the price of our Jetblade complete kit.  For a X-Jetpack NX alone to add to an existing setup, the cost is $2550.

This is a $1350 dollar reduction in the price of our jetpack.  Our aim is that by lowering the cost and the barrier to entry for jetpacks, we can build the number of fliers in the world and get more competitors in place for a healthy future.

This is a full, aluminum frame, full alloy power channels, composite seat, tripod stand, adjustable one pull safety release harness.  There is nothing else on the market that compares, the X-Jetpack has been the leader since the beginning.   In stock and available for immediate delivery, at an incredible price!

05Sep 2017

Hamilton Bermuda was the host city for “Battle on the Rock” August 25th – 27th, 2017.  Hard not to describe this trip in superlatives, so we won’t hold back!

The opinion was universal from all that attended, we had an amazing event at Battle on the Rock!  Hydroflight came together with participants from the X-Jets team, fliers on Flyboards, Flydive and Defy gear.  The best battled the best for a shot at the podium in the sports first international hydroflight competition of the year.  23 Riders from across the hydroflight spectrum competed from qualifying to the battle round finals.

Jake Orel, riding the X-Jets Scorpion rose to the top of the field, edging out Sean Ray in the final round, earning the top of the podium with consistent precision flying that impressed the judges.

X would like to thank all that participated in organizing, running and competing in this ground breaking event. Continue reading

02Jun 2017

Excellent scientific explanation of the physics in play in a water thrust powered jetpack (or jetboard).  Watch and learn!

23May 2017

Riders come in all sizes, Jetblades are designed for each rider to be able to find their optimum width for comfort and stability, not too wide, not too narrow, just right! Riders as young as 9 years old can fly with careful parental supervision. (For riders under 18, parental supervision and acknowledgement of the riders physical limitations and the risks of hydroflight over open water is paramount! Use proper judgement and take advantage of proper training and safety equipment.)

Stance width is not a fixed formula, outside shoulder width is a good starting point for a freestyle stance.  For advanced maneuvers where sideways tweaking in important and knee angles come into play, wider stances can allow more flexibility.  For beginners, wider stances can offer a bit more stability as long as not uncomfortably wide, for example, children riding wide stance adult boards.  All of this is dependent on the individual riders physical geometry and musculature.  Jetblades come with inserts mounted in slotted tracks that allow the user to vary the position and find the optimum comfortable flight position.  Advanced versions of the Jetblade such as the Jetblade CX and the Jetblade Scorpion feature customized stance width in any dimension for the advanced rider that has locked in their stance.

Continue reading

19May 2017

The man behind the camera, Chris Plunkett

Hydro Soul the movie is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, XBox, VUDU and Vimeo On Demand.

We had a fantastic time as captured on film as shown in the movie, behind the scenes it was epic as well. Planning began months before with the concept to shoot a film in the tradition of a surf safari. To go to an exotic place with a group of people and document what happens. We watched various surf and skate and snowboard documentaries, thinking how they locked down a moment in the development of a sport for all time. This was what we were after, not to make an advertisement for the brand, but to allow the riders to explore and be able to share this exploration with the world. From the origins of surfing came the name “soul” and the name Hydro Soul Project materialized early in the production.  We wanted to gently push the boundaries of what was possible, experimenting with inflatable Jaxx, camera angles, different styles of riding and a different more soulful way to look at the sport.  We wanted to give something back to the athletes that give so much to this young sport. Continue reading

18May 2017

Across all cultures, mankind’s universal dream is of flight… In 2011, a new sport was born: Hydroflight. Around the world, pockets of enthusiasts began to develop their skills, without much interaction with each other. In an effort to push the sport forward, ten of the most devoted and innovative riders on hydro Jetpacks and Jetblades got together in exotic Thailand, and the cameras rolled non-stop to record this historic moment in the infancy of the sport. The island of Koh Samui provided warm waters and a beautiful backdrop. This wasn’t about competition…they were free from all the drama…This was about creativity and the shared exhilaration of flight. Hydro Soul was about flying, and giving the riders the tools, time and freedom to explore. They came together from all parts of the USA and spent eight days flying, growing, expanding horizons and sharing ideas while highlighting the awesome attitudes and unbelievable skills.

X’s film project is being distributed through the Orchard by the following outlets:

iTunes

Google Play

Vimeo

Amazon

XBox

VUDU

15May 2017

We offer different combinations to fits your flying requirements and style of riding.  A complete system consists of one of the four choices in Hydro Systems and one of the six versions of hydroflight jet systems. Mix and match as you see fit, contact us our your nearest dealer for more information and assistance in selecting to optimum hydroflight system for you.

Hydroflight and hydrosport power system for conversion of a personal watercraft, aka jet ski, into a water thrust powered flight platform. The most technically advanced water thrust system in the sport. X offers several different configuration to meet your performance needs.

Base Hydro Channel System *components illustrated, actual kit comes fully assembled.

$3595 Base System The system to get you started in hydroflight or to start a hydroflight rental business. Conversion kit includes one adapter for your watercraft, Yamaha, SeaDoo or Kawasaki.  30 meters of heavy duty performance hose, and all high precision, extended durability CNC cut fittings made from marine grade metals. Continue reading