Of course we were amped when we first saw the YouTube video in 2009. We scoured the net for any news and where we could try and fly it. We even took a trip to Dubai to try and find it and see it at Pearl Watercraft. Now there were two websites sort of selling the same thing. The Jetlev-Flyer website and the Jetlev website. But it seemed sort of weird, one was selling, one was not, different prices, slightly diverging gear photos, confusing text, both a little bit uncool. Half of the people we talked to thought it was a fraud, that the video was somehow faked and the product was vaporware. We believed however, just knew there was some kind of story.
Here is the story as we now understand it.
MS Watersports brought the prototype idea over to Germany and started the continuous development it with Frazier and then Ray. The development had run through its course in Florida and the project was in danger of dying on the vine. MS Watersports agreed to partner up with Ray and Frazier in exchange for European, Middle East and Russian distribution rights. Frazier and later Frazier and Ray, worked with the suppliers for MSW, high tech German companies that did work on submarines, high end carbon fiber builders, the best of the best for these super luxury devices getting sold to Russian oligarchs. Money was no object. MS Watersports at one point ( the 2009 Boat Show) said “good enough” and began selling and taking people’s money. The very first MS Watersports unit was sold to a famous Middle East construction company family with a very infamous son. MS Watersports sank a boatload of money into the project and needed to make some money for its investors. The unit has lots of little nagging issues and Ray and Frazier are not really very happy with it. But they are investors too, and talking to Lars is like talking to a windmill. They both head back to the States, taking the current state of the art jetpacks back with them.
Frazier and Ray in Florida are working under Jetlev and Ray announces that the sales are going to be paused and the development is going to continue. Jetlev takes the design and evolves it forward. They continue to refine the concept, still maintaining the money is no object principle for production. The product sales launch hits one delay after another, the product seems locked in perpetual development.
MS Watersports struggles as well with producing something for the first time. They finally start delivering units in late 2011. We (then a water sport company partnership) take delivery of unit number six in Thailand, we meet Frazier.