24Feb 2017

Competition is what drives most all of us. Not only survival of the fittest, but the desire to excel, that drives us and it shapes the way we think and the way we act.

Competition shapes sport the same way it shapes all aspects of the human experience. Men and women competing against each other to be the best to be number one. Teams of every size, supporting and working for the goal of beating the competition. Whether it was to hunt the biggest animal or to be first to reach the moon. We race forward and better what we do to compete, as individuals, organizations, countries.  Sport is one of the fundamental expressions of this personal and team competition.  A footrace between children no doubt was the first competition.  As technology has advanced, the races became more complex, in hydroflightwe find ourselves propelled through the air gymnastically in three dimensional paths, guiding and riding a high powered stream of water. Continue reading

22Feb 2017

What is the SWOT evaluation of the hydroflight industry? The image is of a SWOT table Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  These evaluations are used to study how to improve a business or a company. In this example, we’ll look at the hydroflight industry and make our assessment as a discussion starting point.

Let’s start with the positives.

Strengths:  The sport is dynamic, fun, easy to learn and challenging to progress one’s abilities. Hydroflight is the safest form of personal flight.  All ages can participate, and a low level of physical exertion required means that it can be practiced just as easily by men and women, young and old. People with disabilities can be guided into the experience.  Hydrosport is to watch and can be practiced in bodies of water available everywhere.  The sport is relatively new and remains attractive to alliances with other brands for promotional possibilities.

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07Feb 2017


Driven by function and use by experts, a purity of materials, the direct design purpose results in a minimalist beauty based on function and resulting in pure performance.

X is building equipment for a new targeted user for season 2017. For 2016 our operating theme was built on #serious, a serious approach to contrast with economy plastic approaches to hydroflight.  We have always placed a high emphasis on proper engineering and a ease of use.  We are doubling down this year on our core values and the core pursuit of building the world’s best performing, most awesome hydroflight equipment.  We love building cool sports gear and we just had to pursue building the ultimate gear we could think of.

With industrial design, and every engineering effort and design, there are compromises.  A series of choices on where to put the emphasis in a design.  X has always built products to fit the widest range of users, emphasizing ease of use, safety and durability.  In 2017 with riders capable of a higher level of riding becoming more prevalent, X has taken the direct riders feedback and continuously evolved its Jetblade and Jetpack line to meet their ever increasing demands.

At this point, a complete new line of product in the X line has been developed to take this shift in the market one step further.  A re-balancing of the core aspects of the design approach has opened up possibilities for higher performance Jetblades and Jetpacks. Continue reading

31Jan 2017

A jet ski is a high performance engine connected to a high volume water pump.  Although a jet ski was developed for sport and recreation, the efficiency of the package has been adapted to practical uses.  One of the most practical uses has been developed by the Deep Blue Sea company in Dubai, working with the Dubai Directorate General of Civil Defense. Continue reading

29Nov 2016
Full Carbon Fiber Baseplates, part of X's new CX Lab series of high end hydroflight products and product enhancements.

Full Carbon Fiber Baseplates, part of X’s new CX Lab series of high end hydroflight products and product enhancements. Shown above two sizes, 42 CM stance width and 58CM stance width.

CX Baseplates are one of the new products to come out of the CX Lab at X-Jets.  Fully carbon fiber baseplates offer the lowest profile, height off the pivot centerline and lowest weight with stiffness that is unmatched.  Each set of CX baseplates is custom made to order in the stance width of your choice.  Compact is the key factor here, so the variable stance width for different riders was superseded by a single stance width spec to allow the maximum design benefit.

Prices:

Jetblade Full Kit: Base Hydro Channel System + Jetblade with CX Carbon Fiber Baseplates $6535

Jetblade Solo: Jetblade with CX Carbon Fiber Baseplates (no hydro power system) $2940

CX Carbon Fiber Baseplates: Baseplate pair only as upgrade part for any existing Jetblade $950

[note: All CX Baseplates are custom made to order and have a six week production time.]
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13Nov 2016

Ben Merrell of Destin Florida is an absolute professional in every meaning of the word. Ben made the long trip from Florida to Osaka Japan to compete in the JABA’s Aquaboard Championship at Nishikinohama Park on October 21-22, 2016. Ben had a series of sensational runs that culminated in a first place victory decision from the judges. Continue reading

11Nov 2016

Jake Orel is the top seeded rider in the world on jetboard devices. Jake joined the X Rebel Faction in Osaka Japan at the recent Nishikinohama Park JABA Aquaboard 2016 Championship. Jake trains and rides for team Aquafly out of Austin Texas. Jake makes it look easy due to his relaxed style, but his technical ability has been honed to perfection. It shows in the video above. Jake took home second place in the competition and inspired the audience and the other competitors.

Jake summed it up by saying, “I was proud to compete in the JABA competition in Japan, it had to have been one of if not the most well organized competitions I’ve ever seen!”

11Nov 2016

Ryouichi Manyama, returning to the board after recovering from an injury, showed his trademark aggressive slashing style. We love the superman to grab to back. Nicely done! Ryouichi rides for his sponsor 3601 Motorsports.

11Nov 2016

Nishikinohama Park in Osaka Japan was the place to be on the weekend of October 22-23, 2016 as the JABA held it’s year end event for hydroflight in Japan.  The JABA Japan Aqua Board Association’s mission is to build the sport of hydroflight in Japan and encourage competition.  They have put on competitions throughout the summer and for the final, decided to open the field up to riders from other countries.  Scott Geltman, Ben Merrell, Jake Orel and Mike Traster made the trip from the USA to participate in the Jetpack and Jetboard divisions.

 

30Oct 2016

Scotty’s gonzo jetpack style was on full display at Nishikinohama Park during the JABA Aquaboard Championship, October 21-22, 2016. Full enthusiasm and expressing the larger than life thrill of riding a jetpack was evident in every moment of Scotty’s runs. Scott took home a second place to his team mate Mike, but left an impression on the crowd that will not soon be forgotten! Continue reading

28Oct 2016

Mike “Thrasher” Traster was part of the original hydro jetpack riding crew. Mike defined what was possible and inspired many others to jump on a hydro jetpack and define their own limits. Mike has continued to push the limits and develop a unique style that resonates confidence, style and creativity. Backwards slaloms are the smoothest in the biz, rodeo flips from the top, and all of the element linked together into the most action packed two minutes in the biz. An amazing run brought a re-energized Traster back to the top of the podium in the JABA Aquaboard Championship in Nishikinohama Park, Osaka, Japan. Mike Traster is the man, in black. Continue reading

23Oct 2016

X·Jets builds the world’s best selling and best built, serious hydroflight jetpack. The years we have been building, we have continually improved the X·Jetpack with feedback from the first time users and the pros that use our products.

11Oct 2016

Ran Xiao Qiang, in Xi’an China, knocking out the previously mythical front flip with casual ease. The elusive Frontflip had been documented once or twice before in blurry cell phone video segments and many times in verbal legend, this proves what is possible. Frontflip followed by Backflip just to show the control. Riding the X-Jets Jetblade, Ran shows that limits are only in your mind and redefines the relationship of East to West progression.

08Aug 2016

X-Jets, Stratospheric Industries, is now the proud sponsor of the China National Team for Hydroflight jetboards and jetpacks! The team selected X-Jets Jetblades and X-Jetpacks based on the superior quality of the gear, superior performance, and ease of maintenance.  The China team situation is an amazing one, unlike anything else in the world. Designed to develop and foster the growth of the next generation of hydro athletes, a marine sports school on the shore of a beautiful lake in eastern China.  Forty lucky young athletes live in a dormitory, eat, sleep, and live marine sports.  Jetskis, stand up jet skis, jetboards and now jetpacks.  The training is for shows and competitions, building the talent pool and ability levels in advance of the needs for competition. Athletes eat a healthy diet, run 5 kilometers in the morning, and then start to practice on the best marine equipment, SeaDoo, Yamaha, Rickter stand ups, etc.  Jetblades are naturally the best hydro jetboards available, and the team is fully stocked.  X-Jetpacks are new to the mix and the team caught on to flying quick!

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04Aug 2016

Dual 180 from X-Jets, the most technically advanced, beautifully finished, carefully engineered 180 U redirect in all of hydrosport.  X backs up the superior engineering with careful attention to fit and finish.  X anticipates high stress areas and goes and extra step to insure longevity and quality.  The CNC lathe finished 316 stainless steel inolet port on the Dual 180.  Higer stresses are on the mounting side and non-linear torques.  We decided to up the ante and make it stainless.   All this computer flow shaped goodness wrapped inside high temp powder coating inside and out with hard wearing thick epoxy graphics.

The proof is in the putting. Hydro-Fest top podium winner Ben Merrell.  This is the power that hydro has been waiting for.

$250 upgrade from standard X-Jets silicone U.

#superiority #xjets #trustx #

29Jul 2016

ceramic tough ax 3K

Ball bearings are what make things spin and in X-Jets hose swivels and thrust nozzles, the life of the friction free hydroflight party.  Hard round balls that ride in precision machined channels, taking up all the stresses and force and letting you steer and fly with precision.  The balls have to resist salt water corrosion, metals are out of the question, so the first choice is Acetal, POM Copolymer (Delrin®) (Celcon®) (Acetron®) engineering plastic with great wear resistance. What if you want to spring for the next level of friction resistance to alleviate the occasional sticking of the action of your board or jetpack when you have grit in?

Ceramic ball bearings are a step up in performance, they are hard, harder than almost any other materials.  They are twice as hard as stainless steel and an in an entirely different class of hardness than conventional Acetal bearings, incomparable.  Hard means they roll easier, grind up sand granules and never need lubrication, completely resistant to absorbing water and will never corrode, will never wear out.

hardness_zu

Grinding_media_Zirconia_ceramic_ball_634579832819734698_1

Ceramic bearings are performance items and are expensive, for the rider looking for every advantage, they are unbeatable.  Ceramic, M8 (actual 7.93mm), G5, 128 pieces in a set, for the Jetblade by X-Jets.  $620, free shipping.

07Jul 2016

munch-the-scream-doll

We came across a new term the other day the “high heel effect”, discussing the relative height of the base of the foot over the centerline of the nozzles. Flydive positions its one key tech, that the lower foot mounting points reduced the “torque” that can overpower a rider’s ankles.  This is the same erroneous basis as the now infamous spontaneous death spiral meme spawned by our esteemed competitor.  Jet forces “overpowering” the rider and leading to a dramatic crash. Let’s review the claim in it’s stated form.

DRS Tech™ stands for Dynamic Response & Stability Technology, it’s unique to FlyDive and solves two very important performance challenges. In other boards, foot positioning higher above the bearing rotational axis creates stronger torque on the ankles, a feeling we call the “high heel effect”. Balance corrections from a higher platform feel heavier on the ankles for both beginners and pros alike, and can overpower the rider, causing a crash. Additionally, a higher foot platform raises the center of gravity of the rider, and contributes to over-committed body lean and stability challenges for beginners. With FlyDive’s proprietary DRS Tech™ design, the feet are placed lower and closer to the rotational axis than any other board on the market (half as high). This empowers beginners to make small balance corrections easily and gain stability naturally, while advanced flyers enjoy better response for quick directional changes during tricks. DRS Tech™ endows the X-Board with the widest performance range available, making it the one board the entire family can learn on quickly, and progress all the way up through advanced skill levels.  

*courtesy Jetpack America website.

Let’s talk about the myth of the HiHE, high heel effect and it’s evil big brother, the SDS, spontaneous death spiral.  The terminology is the same, although downplayed from the  hysteria of the full blown death spiral mythology. The technical term for flexing at the ankle is dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.  Lifting your toes and pointing your toes down. the key movement in walking, standing and naturally, hydroflight jetboards.

Continue reading

20Jun 2016
hydro flight power redirection for increased power

Limited Series Founder’s edition July 2016, Steath Black, Dual 180 “Shotgun” U

Stratospheric is always looking for more power and less cavitation in hydroflight power channels.  Strato looked at the options and listened to the discussions and inputs from all sources and research through the historical records.  Applying the theories to jet ski powered water jetpacks and modelling them in three dimensional computer software and then running high powered water flow simulations to optimize the results.  X’s being able iterate, modeling new geometry and re-run simulations in a cycle resulted in a tuning of the channel shape, split and the structure of the chambers for an optimized flow. Two channels, one result, a more streamlined water flow with less mixing, turbulence.  Cleaner power. X’s new 2016 Dual 180 splits the water flow coming out of the pump into two streams around the U bend, minimizes power robbing intermixing, guiding through the 180 degree turn toward the front of the ski, and seamlessly recombining the flow into a blast directed at your ongoing conflict with gravity.  Look at the sculpted geometry, this is what sets apart X from the rest. Design is what we do, design is our strength and experience, combined with decades of CAD experience in surface modeling.  The ability to sculpt 3D surfaces into smooth water flowing channels.  Look at the smooth geometry inside and out, this is what water loves to slide against!

To prove the theory in practice, we took some big blocks of billet aluminum alloy, had our CNC machinist honed out the first of the new dual channels for real world testing, welding the two shells together and attaching CNC milled flanges with our marine grade 316 alloy hardware.  We gave sent the Dual 180 to Ben Merrell for testing at the Hydro Jam in Austin Texas. Boom!  Ben got out of the water shaking with adrenalin.  Power in spades.

 

shotgun dual 180 cross

Continue reading

13May 2016

x plus text-red

Once again we saw the commitment and dedication of hydroflight athletes involved in the recent Hydro Fest competition in Nevada. People traveled from across the US (and beyond) to compete and show their stuff.  We know we are lucky to be able to create hydrosport gear and be able to participate in such an exciting, fun growing sport. However, we seem to be using use the word “serious” a lot these days when we talk about the way we do the business.  Hydro sport is maturing, opening up and we are finally getting the chance to openly compare different products, company approaches and gear.  We treat our product development seriously and know that all of the people that purchase and ride hydroflight sport gear feel the same.  We value your choosing X-Jets and want to support you in your pursuits and businesses.

With respect, that we feel is equal to what all our customers put into our hydroflight gear, X is to raising its commitment bar with our new X+ lifetime warranty on Y tubes and Nozzles of Jetblades and X-Jetpacks, two of the key structural elements that keep your gear flying.  By lifetime, we mean the lifetime of the product, which we consider to be 8 years for personal use, four years for rental use.  For the lifetime of the Jetblade or Jetpack, we will repair or replace any Y-tube or nozzle that fails to perform due to materials, workmanship or regular wear and tear. This includes rental and professional use, including riders like Ben and Hunter and working pros like Jake (yes, we know there are not many riders like Ben and Hunter and Jake… )

(Jetpack nozzle assemblies consist of the nozzle, arm flex link and upper arm telescoping tube. The nozzle section with the bearing, sealing and torsion bar containment tube is covered by the X+ warranty.)

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11Apr 2016

X-Jets premiers the hydro splat logo.  3D to the core, splat to the action. Hydroflight sport gets the continuation of the real revolution.  Chrome seriousness and hydronomic frenetic extremity.  Stickers available. Don’t get it tattooed. X design born in the USA. Hydroflight for life.

rwbx

 

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11Apr 2016

The China Team video from 2015 in Qingdao, when they got their first couple Jetblades after using the French brand for the past few seasons for shows.  They love the durability and the construction and have enhanced the team cooperation with X for the summer of 2016.  China is going to be a great model for what the future of hydroflight sports will hold in terms of training and competitions integrating with boat and “aquabike” races.  X is proud to be supporting team riding Jetblades and X-Jetpacks and the looking forward to sharing the developments as the season progresses.

11Apr 2016

Sometimes we feel like we are back in high school, we wear an Iron Maiden t-shirt on Wednesday, and on Thursday, “that guy”, shows up again a day later, wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt and crossing his arms just like us.  We are flattered to be so many people’s role model.  We hope that all members of the hydroflight industry will follow the same principles that we try to adhere to:

  • Good design that allows anyone to participate in the sport.
  • Building gear from high strength materials that can hold up to foreseen uses.*  Gear that holds up to rental and backflips, (which have been considered ‘normal’ for the past four years.)
  • Explaining the technology in clear, concise and free from massive exaggerations.
  • Selling product and accepting payment only when the product is finished and ready to be delivered.  No deposits, no prepayments,  no months away promised and broken delivery dates.

*We can imagine someone might come up with cinderblock polo using a Flyboard as a mallet, we cannot “foresee” it with a Jetblade. 🙂

30Mar 2016

Hydroflight, as any flight based sport has risks.  We are determined to do everything we can to make it safer. Flying over the water you need complete trust in your equipment and your connection to it.  However in an emergency, the quicker you can get out away from it the better.  This is a common thread through sports, from car racing to skiing to paragliding.   The XTR Total Release is the next step in addressing the safety needs of the jetboard community.

We had one main requirement as the brief, give the ability for a first time user to exit the board as quickly as possible with as few chances for hang ups as possible.  Such emergencies can be simple or complicated.

  • A first time user might just want to be free of the board.
  • The hose can get caught on an obstruction under water and start to tug the user under water when pressurized by the jet ski.
  • An unpowered jet ski and rider in flowing water can get caught on a bouy and the rider and the ski can be dragged under due to the current forces.
  • A boat passing between the ski and the rider can catch the hose and drag the rider.
  • The jet ski could sink (unlikely given floatation foam inside).
  • Lots of things we haven’t thought of, in short, there are times you want to give the rider the possibility of a quick out.


This has been a concept that we have been developing since the start of the Jetblade development.   Continue reading

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