17Jun 2015

We have yet to tell the story of how we wound up flying on a beach in Dubai with Ben Merrell and his friends.  At the end of last summer, right at the end of July, we announced that the Jetblade was ready and we started to ship the boards. At the time we had no familiarity with the workings of the tight Flyboard circle and the carefully stage managed turmoil that was contained within. We got into contact with Ben Merrell and he was interested in trying the board,  at the same time, he and Jeff Elkins had announced their new wireless throttle project.  Essentially they had been “excommunicated” (a term that we would hear over and over from all kinds of affiliates) from the “Flyboard Family”, he had the option to try something new, the Jetblade was a perfect fit.

Ben got on the Jetblade and immediately began to explore its potential in a way that no one else had.  He was killing it on the Jetblade with new tricks and the freedom to move faster and easier than he had on his Flyboard.   He posted on YouTube the first video shot by Randy Borrell on September 15, 2014. ka-boom.

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15Jun 2015

X-Jets Jetblade

Boards sports have been around for ages.  Although the first tethered jetboard in 1956 actually had bindings, most of the first boardsport board had no bindings, the rider choose the right stances by moving around the board.  As performance demands increased, binding systems were added in many sports that locked the feet into the board.  The first thing that was recognized was that riders come in different ages and sizes, short through tall, and that all of those riders have varying stance requirements.  Additionally styles of riding and rider aggression come into play in determining a stance width.   The Jetblade has always offered variable stance width within a range of the standard 38 CM center to center to 42 CM. For riders such as Kevin Delaney, that range is not been wide enough and Kevin asked for wider stance possibilities. Continue reading

15Jun 2015

X-Jets JetbladeAs easy an intuitive as flying a Jetblade is, there are still occasions with younger, older, or less sporty riders that an instructor will take a passenger along for a ride standing between the feet on the torsion bars.   The instructor uses the conventional bindings and the passenger stands on the footplates (pads to be added) between the feet facing out to enjoy the ride. We listened to the requests of the instructors and rental areas and developed a tandem baseplate for verification in the field.  The first limited edition has arrived and is being dispatched around the world to various locations of getting real world experience flying first time “passengers” on the Jetblade.  X is committed to developing the sport and presenting solutions to new riding situations as they present themselves.   #tandemblade #seriousmetal #xjets

 

19May 2015

X-Jets-Serious-Crate

Every one of our units ships world-wide in custom built plywood and steel crates. We go the extra step to make sure that the best built hydro flight gear in the world, arrives to you the way it is supposed to, ready to fly.  Order today and your X-Jetpack NX, Jetblade, or X Hydro Power System will be picked up, put on a plane and delivered to your door, in one piece. Why do we go to such lengths to protect your gear? Because we care about what we make, and we make it the best we can, right down to the box it comes in.

16May 2015

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Around the time in February when Ben and Jeff visited Shanghai, X came up with what we thought was a winning slogan.  “We came to play, and we brought better toys.” X had raised the level of hydro jetboarding up by improving the equipment and quality, putting the industry leader on the defensive.  We thought that the term toys was cool because the super yachts industry uses the term “toys” to describe everything that gets stacked into the floating multi-million dollar playgrounds.  All good right? Cool high tech toys, just like Seabobs.  Then someone announced a plastic product to the market, with all the characteristics of a literal toy.  Suddenly it felt kind of painful to degrade our equipment with a name like “toy”, even for fun. Our gear wasn’t a “better toy”, it was sport gear.

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We decided to put some distance in between X and the others.  X takes this sport and its future seriously. What we make is sport equipment, real gear for a real sport.  The light came on, the contrast is clear, we will not refer to our equipment again as toys.  The “We came to play” slogan is officially retired.

08May 2015
X-Jets Jetblade Scorpion

Jetblade Scorpion, X-Jets Carbon Concept Jetboard

 

Carbon concept Jetblade from the design lab inside Stratospheric Industries. Not in production, this is a design study of a reality based concept, a so called “concept car”, a springboard for discussions with top level riders.   X wants to gauge the reaction from the target market and get feedback from the users of our boards.  The brief: design the ultimate competition machine with no compromises, a state of the art hydro jetboard.

As composite material is light and swing weight has a higher priority than floatation, it was the first to go. Reduction of parts and streamlining is always a priority at X, we don’t like complications, the ocean does not like complications, we wanted a stripped down lean mean marine beast. Continue reading

02Apr 2015

Before any one gets their panties in a bunch. X is not making this device or anything like it.  Got it? Crystal clear?   We just thought we’d share an experiment that Tim and Chai, our partners down in Ko Samui Thailand did last summer.  They panted over the Hoverboard release, scoured the globe (hard to buy in Thailand) when they finally got their board in, sadly, it flew nothing like they imagined.  It “just went straight up in the air”, and “you fall out of the bindings” because hoverboards are supplied with kiteboard bindings without heel retention.  Crestfallen, they decided to do the unfinished final development and see if they could turn it into a useable device. Continue reading

01Apr 2015

Don’t let the title mislead you, this is another awesome video from Ben Merrell! Maybe the future of hydro sport is some kind of biathlon type event.  “Playing” around is the biggest inventor for what happens next. Great work Ben!

20Mar 2015

At X we care a lot about materials and material science.  Boating equipment on lakes takes special care and attention, equipment used in salt water, ocean water takes much more attention. Our hydro gear gets flown in and over lakes and oceans around the world.  We know nothing is more important than maximizing your (and your customers) days on the water and in the air with equipment that holds up to the extremes of the environment.   Our Jetpacks and Jetblades are everywhere from rental stations on the beach in Dubai, various superyachts,  to little islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  Salt water will chew up and spit out corroded, most materials.  What are the materials that will hold up?  We run through the list of “marine grade” materials and how proper maintenance can make your investment in fun last. Continue reading

14Mar 2015

Jetblades were introduced with independent control of the thrust nozzles.  A concept introduced to thrust vector propulsion in the 1950’s by Thomas Moore. Adapted into hydro by Raymond Li, adapted in 2013 into jetboards by the Russian four jet Adrenaline board.  When we saw the movement on that board, we saw the future.  Flatboards liked the status quo. Flatboarders said it could not be done, that your feet needed to have a “spring return to center”.  The leader of the Family howled, “danger danger people, only a professional like Ben Merrell can control the wildness of independent feet.”  The enforcer crew argued “your ankles will get locked into position!”. Pfft, right….   Anyone can ride with independent feet, it is what we are born with.    The people that have the toughest time for the first few minutes are the pro Flatboarders.  They are used to having to swing around their upper bodies in order to get the board to turn.  It is surprising when the board reacts quickly and naturally and just follows you.  After five ten minutes they get into the groove and start to explore, after a few hours, no one wants to go back. Continue reading

09Mar 2015

Great to be back in Dubai for the 2015 Dubai Boat Show.  Our UAE distributor Deep Blue Sea had two booths showing the X-Jetpack and the Jetblade.  Just like last year it was non-stop from morning until evening with visitors from around the UAE and the Middle East and Europe.  Fawaz and his crew did a fantastic job of presenting the product.   Deep Blue also rents the Jetblade nearby on the beach and many of the visitors signed

 

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07Feb 2015

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When a accomplished pilot does maneuvers  on the jetboard or jetpack,  a  Jetblade or an X-Jetpack, the forces are transferred along the hose back to the jet ski, some of the forces are in waves pushing the ski, some are in tension, pulling the ski.  These hose waves can be huge, reaching almost half as high as the maximum height of a pilot.  These waves travel back to the jet ski base unit and can wrap around the nose of the ski and even flip it over.   In some competitions, the responsibility falls on the rider to keep the hose calm and make sure the jet ski does not get flipped over. If you watch a good rider, he spend a lot of his attention keeping an eye on the hose and making sure he does not do too many tricks in a certain direction in order to keep the hose calm.  Team-Z calls this “hose management” and has a whole category of points and penalties dedicated to it in their contests.   Different teams have come up with different solutions to try to cut down on these forces, shorter tighter ropes, elastic ropes, different connections.  These connections and modifications are banned in the closed competitions because everyone has to ride the stock equipment.  This has been the status quo from the onset of jet ski attached hydro, no changes, same problem. Solution? Riders change the style of their riding to prevent it from happening, they hold back.  Holding back is bad, we needed to find a solution…

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07Feb 2015

Want to try out the new X Sleeve on your existing setup?  If you have ordered an X-Sleeve from us or if you have secured a section of a double walled section of your own, here are the installation instructions to get you going.

Dubai Jetblade Demonstration

undo the clamps on the jet ski end of the hose (Speed Clamp end)

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06Feb 2015

Sometimes the innovations are a simple solution instead of a complex one.  The issue at hand, securing the hose connection to the front of the ski.   Metal clips can bend or distort under the high loads and cause impact damage to the front of the jet ski with hard use.  Working of the suggestion of one of the athletes, we settled on a nice simple solution that offers the flexibility and ease of use that fits the task.  The knot.

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insert loop through the bow hook

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16Dec 2014

X-Jets-Spare-Parts-Hydro-Sport-097

Hydro flight is all about the power tether between the flight platform, and the “base unit”.  The firehose, in common use since the first jetboard version in 1952, has been built in related constructions for over a century.  Stratospheric has become well versed in the construction and details of how the hydro flight hoses work and the various technical methods to build them. We have visited factories, studied the many weaves and lamination constructions  and had conferences with the engineers on the best systems for use with hydro jetpacks and jetblades.  We are and working with the best riders in the business to evaluate our power channels for performance and durability. Continue reading

16Dec 2014

jetblade-beach-days-8-119-X-Tension-Detail-1024x844

When a accomplished pilot does maneuvers  on the jetboard or jetpack,  a  Jetblade or other, the forces are transferred along the hose back to the jet ski, some of the forces are in waves pushing the ski, some are in tension, pulling the ski.  These hose waves can be huge, reaching almost half as high as the maximum height of a pilot.  These waves travel back to the jet ski base unit and can wrap around the nose of the ski and even flip it over.  In competitions, the responsibility falls on the rider to keep the hose calm and make sure the jet ski does not get flipped over. If you watch a good rider, he spend a lot of his attention keeping an eye on the hose and making sure he does not do too many tricks in a certain direction in order to keep the hose calm.  Team-Z calls this “hose management” and has a whole category of points and penalties dedicated to it in their contests.   Different teams have come up with different solutions to try to cut down on these forces, shorter tighter ropes, elastic ropes, different connections.  These connections and modifications are banned in the closed competitions because everyone has to ride the stock equipment.  This has been the status quo from the onset of jet ski attached hydro, no changes, same problem. Solution? Riders change the style of their riding to prevent it from happening, they hold back.  Holding back is bad, we needed to find a solution… Continue reading

01Dec 2014

Web

 

There are places in the world where X-Jetpacks, the big brother of the Jetblade, are hard to find.  For those locations, in the long standing tradition of parody and satire, we have printed these free stickers for giveaways. Enjoy. For stickers, contact us and we will send you a few for free. For the best jetpacks in the world, we will set you up there as well, for a reasonable price.

01Dec 2014

X-Jets Jetblade Jetpack Hose Testing

This is our in-house tensile testing machine.  Like a nearly unstoppable force, it pulls things apart and measures the force required to do so. Strato clamped in our new LeMans hose and gave it a go. At 2.5 tons of force, the 316 clamps slowly stretched over the barbs, the hose did not even blink.  Next time we’ll put twice as many clamps on and see what we get. 2.5 tons the hose is a tight as a drum but nowhere near breaking. Still we want to see what it take to rippy a LeMans hose up.  Then we will compare it to the red standard.