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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

16May 2017


Looking to upgrade from a Flyboard™* Legend to a Jetblade and get back into the game?  Does your current rental operation use the legendary equipment and you are looking to offer your customers a better experience with more up time?  Here are the notable upgrade differences between the two styles of hydroflight Jetboards and what to expect.

  • Jetblade, independent feet movement for natural movement and balance corrections.
  • Precision machined bearing races for stick free movement with no leakage, better for photos!
  • Efficient direct minimal part count design of bearing systems means annual maintenance only in the majority of usage situations.  Bearings reload into system without special grease sticking strategies. Servicing is a snap!
  • Good industrial design for sporting appeal.
  • Variable width stance options for larger and smaller riders when you want to be able to offer an optimized experience.
  • 316 stainless steel hardware,  not rusting!
  • CNC machined binding mounting inserts ready to go, in three years on the market have had zero failures. No aftermarket DIY through bolting required.
  • Low maintenance system in all respects.
  • For safety the board connects to the hose end swivel with a quick release big pin clamp, welded steel ring for a pull, can be easily accessed by rescuer in emergency.
  • Proper design o-ring connections sealed.

*Flyboard™ is a trademark of Zapata Racing, useage is for comparison purposes only.

15May 2017

You currently ride a Flyboard™* Pro Series or Legend are looking at moving over the an alloy independent foot Jetblade.  How does a Jetblade compare to a Zapata Flyboard™*?   What are the differences and advantages?

First of all weight, Flyboard™* 7.3 kilograms vs the Jetblade at 10.5 Kilos. Construction and handling is the key here. The Flyboard™* gets the advantage from an all plastic construction and inherits the difficulties of using that material.  The Jetblade is built from sandcast and CNC machined aluminum alloy and lasts for years with annual service.  To back this up, our Y’s and Nozzles have a lifetime warranty.

Nozzle bearings, the Jetblade has aluminum sandcast, CNC machined bearing races inner and outer, the result, no binding, no sticking, smooth action and response in all situations.  The engineering design is based on a lean design, each nozzle bearing cassette consists of two main parts, inner and outer machined ducts, 60 8mm ball bearings one o-ring and a port cap to keep the bearings in place.  The feeling you get when flexing the nozzles with no pressure is the same feeling you get while flying.  There is no “it all changes once the pressure comes on”, what you feel is what you get.

Maintenance.  With a Jetblade your bearings will stay functional for pretty much a whole season of professional use without servicing.  When it comes time for service, you need one tool, a 4mm allen key.  Undo the single screw holding the 316 Stainless steel port cap and empty out the bearings.  The nozzle will then disassemble for washing out, changing the o-ring seal, and replacement of the 8mm ball bearings. Bearings drop into place and rotary lock the nozzle into the Y pipe.  Clean, tight, precise, no locking, sticking or drag.

Swivel, the Jetblade hose swivel is X-Jets Billet CNC milled double row bearing design, smooth action, low maintenance, no water spray design.  Clean accurate dependable spins.  We make rotary swivels that will fit into the end of your existing 110mm Flyboard hose, 316 aka W5 clamps included.

 

*Flyboard is a trademarked name of Zapata Racing or one of their many shell companies, it is used here as a factual comparative basis.

14May 2017

JetbladeUSA offers certified training for individual owners and commercial use operators.  Certified manufacturer training is critical for proper safety and for insurance purposes.  Contact Carey Whitley at +1.386.837.5956

09May 2017

You currently ride a Flyboard Pro Series are looking at moving up to a carbon fiber Scorpion Jetblade.  How does a Scorpion Jetblade compare to a Zapata Flyboard?   What are the differences and advantages?

First of all weight, Flyboard 7.5 kilograms vs the Scorpion at 4.5.  Remember the feeling when you stepped off a Flyboard Legend onto a Pro Series for the first time?  The Scorpion weighs even less, a 40% weight reduction over the Flyboard Pro Series.  Quicker acceleration in tricks, less spin weight, overall faster response.

Nozzle bearings, Scorpion has aluminum billet, CNC machined bearing races inner and outer, the result, no binding, no sticking, smooth action and response in all situations.  The engineering design is based on a lean design, each nozzle bearing cassette consists of two main parts, inner and outer races, 60 8mm ball bearings one o-ring and a port cap to keep the bearings in place.  The feeling you get when flexing the nozzles with no pressure is the same feeling you get while flying.  There is no “it all changes once the pressure comes on”, what you feel is what you get.

Maintenance.  With a Scorpion your bearings will stay functional for pretty much a whole season of professional use without servicing.  When it comes time for service, you need one tool, a 4mm allen key.  Undo the single screw holding the 316 Stainless steel port cap and empty out the bearings.  The nozzle will then disassemble for washing out, changing the o-ring seal, and replacement of the 8mm ball bearings. Bearings drop into place and rotary lock the nozzle into the Y pipe.  Clean, tight, precise, no locking, sticking or drag.

Swivel, the Scorpion hose swivel is X-Jets Billet CNC milled double row bearing design, smooth action, low maintenance, no water spray design.  Clean accurate dependable spins.  We make rotary swivels that will fit into the end of your existing 110mm Flyboard hose, 316 aka W5 clamps included.

19Jul 2016

Summer of swivels, 2016.  Way back in “the day” when you learned to ride a jetpack, you learned that when you spun right, you counted how many times, and then you spun left the same number.  When you spin on a board or a jetpack, the hose spins with you, the 360 swivels were designed in on the connection to the hose reduce this spiraling effect and permit freedom. For normal riders this is enough, the tension is eliminated from the hose.  As advanced riders pushed the envelope, the spiral or twist of the hose limited the tricks and the speed at which they could do the tricks.  Too much twist and the hose can kink and shut off the flow of water.  Different approaches have been attempted to look for a solution and where to take out the twist.

ZR released a new U pipe SKU with a second one of their “swivels” built into the end.  Same diameter as the hose end and located at the back of the jet ski with the redirect.  The swivel is the same as the one mounted below the board. One row of bearings and an inadequate seal featuring junky cast “tech”. From the Zapata Racing website: “Double Swivel / Dual Swivel System is a modified u-pipe with a swivel at its end allowing the hose to rotate freely and avoid knots, especially during freestyle figures but also during initiations for beginners.”

Young Nick Homer and his brand “Defy” released a concept with half the distance covered by a large 6″ hose, the second half covered by a small diameter 4 inch hose and a rotary swivel in the middle.   We have not seen any details on this setup and as not sure the details of the swivel connection used or the floatation method to pad it and keep it from sinking.

X has added the option of an additional swivel to “unwind” the hose, we call it the Nose 360. We have determined is the best place for this unwinding junction to be the nose of the jet ski.  One section of the joint can be attached to the bow hook and secured and the other section can freely rotate without restrictions caused by the leash.

Back story: With the orange stripes in the Lemans style hoses, you can see the evidence in the candy cane effect of spiraling.  Starting in early 2015,  Frazier Grandison and Dean LaVelle experimented with a swivel at the front to the jet ski, in order to unwind the hose twist that Dean’s aggressive tricks were causing.

 

30Mar 2016

Let’s start with a controversial viewpoint, freestyle in any sport is fundamentally boring to watch and does not build an action sports audience for the future.  Ouch.  We know it hurts.  What freestyle athletes do is amazing, it truly is a great level of talent.  The level of commitment, training, involved are beyond compare, 99% of participants in the sport will never be able to attain the level of what the top 1% pull off. We do not question that a bit!  What we are saying is that it is necessary to innovate on the very nature of  hydroflight competitions themselves.  Take the time invested in training and help to turn the sport into more than a passing fad.

Gymnastics, skateboard freestyle in a parking lot, ski freestyle, all requiring great commitment and preparation, remain boring to watch when compared to interactions with a dynamic environment.  There are only so many flips that a viewing audience can watch before flip fatigue sets in.  Audiences are engaged for the first few minutes, and then start to fade away. In other sports, the participants themselves, once the boredom of the routine has set in, have sought out new challenges.  Skaters raided empty swimming pools and then built ramps and urban skaters utilized the very urban environment that surrounded them.  Parks, rails, benches became fail game. New forms of expression emerged. The added risk of judging abilities and limitations as well as adding imagination and creativity to a three dimensional  riding environment made everything new and engaging.

Stratospheric, X, develops solutions and innovative designs for the field of sports.  We know that the future of hydro is tied to participating and building audiences and bringing new people into the sport. A big part of this are competitions, interesting to watch competitions.  One of the things that we are working on are inflatable shapes that can be used as safe obstacles to illustrate the edges of riders abilities. We call the first developed shape a “Jaxx” a shape based in game history blown up to a superhuman scale.  No matter how you flip it, it lands on three legs and allows for both stability and flexibility to flip to a new position.  We have had one set of rider experiment with version 1.0 and we built version 1.1 for the Session One event in Florida.

JacksKnucklebones

We have a longer range view of this sport and the path to an interesting life that will attract particpants, viewers and sponsors.  Freestyle is a technical expression but technical movement without restriction is often viewed as repetitive and runs out of viewer engagement quickly.

Continue reading

07Jun 2015

Sport equipment development is a long term process, evolution of a new sport lead in new directions, yet certain things remain a constant. When we designed the hydro flight X-Jetpack and followed up with the Jetblade, we based our design decisions on years of experience producing outdoor sport equipment.

What are the driving forces of selection that act on a given design? Three things kick the daylights out of equipment, the environment, the riders, rental operations.  We keep durability priority number one from the start of every design. We want the users of our equipment to use it with the confidence that everything will hold together, whether for personal, professional or commercial use.

Over the years in snowboarding, skateboards and literally every other sport, inventors and start-ups have refined and expanded the equipment.  New designs are launched, new marketing campaigns devised and manufacturing tools are bought and paid. Some designs get more complicated, promising more functions, some are geared for mass production with cheaper, faster to produce materials like plastics, some are launched by dreamers and never hit the surface of reality, some are bogged down by complexity.  After some time goes by, market evolution and natural selection takes place, the equipment that lasts is the streamlined, efficient equipment.  Some of the negatives are apparent quickly, additional size, additional complexity, extra weight.  Riders are adaptable, they take good gear and take it to the limits.

We know the time proven sport design brief and we stick to it. Build efficient, easy to maintain equipment with a minimum of moving parts, a close center of gravity, minimum size envelope and the right materials for each component, period.  There are no sport points for “most technically advanced” or “most complicated”. Complications belong in watches, technology belongs in space.  We build the best. When someone tells you they have the most technically advance new equipment in the sport, congratulate them.  When you want gear that you can depend on, X marks the spot.

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