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.
Axis of Rotation:
– Dorsiflexion: this involved the rotation of ankle in such a way that the angle between the shin and the foot decreased
– Plantar flexion: this involved rotation of the ankle such that the above angle increased
– Hetel rotation: this involved internal and external rotation of the foot and leg while pivoting the rotation on the toe of the foot
HiHE, this purported effect talks about the bottom of the base of the foot compared with the center line of the pivot of the nozzles. The nature of this discussion is really similar to the discussion about the “spontaneous death spiral”. Both of these discussions imply that the nozzle acts with twisting force on the foot. Proponents of “DRS Tech™ “ and DSPS Tech™ (Death Spiral Prevention Spring) say that the water jet nozzle forces are going to to overcome the strength of the foot, resulting in really strange positions, which in turn lead to a complete loss of control, an out-of-control spiral down into the water. The theory goes, that a nozzle will spin and direct those forces in a circular motion, much like a spinning lawn sprinkler. One theory moves your foot closer to the center, the other theory puts centering springs to “assist” your foot to return to its nature position.
Although we generally applaud the creation of acronyms, and stand in awe of the brutal efficiency of ZR’s back channel rumor machine, when the safety of our product is called into question, we have to stand up and call it what it is. Marketing nonsense and jargon made up with no basis in fact. The forces acting on a nozzle are perpendicular. There is no force acting in one direction or another. In hydroflight, the full rider’s body is an unconstrained system, meaning it is not held fixed in any location. You are floating in space, for every action there is a reaction, that reaction in this case is flight and movement. Nozzles and forces vector straight into the rotation axis where they are effortlessly directed by the ankles, knee angles and body motion. There is no force that acts upon the nozzle contrary to the bodies motion, nothing a rider fights in order to fly. (The exception is ZR’s DSPS Spring system.) The case that can be made is that the closer one’s foot is to the centerline the more angle can be achieved on the jets for a given foot plantar flexation with less forward knee offset. This would make boards with a closer mounting more sensitive and faster to spin Let’s look at a video of Hunter Verlander riding and see if he is having any control issues.
A fully independent board has now been over two years in the market, used by professionals and beginners everyday of the year. Small children with small ankles fly it under the watchful eye of their parents and trained instructors. They turn and laugh and self correct automatically and naturally, and they fly! The angles and forces are easily and naturally controlled. That is the pure beauty of hydroflight on a jetboard, it is easy and natural.
In actuality all hydroflight and hydrosport systems are equally “difficult” (not very) and most importantly, equally easy to learn how to fly on. This is due to the fact that the sense of balance, and coordination of the foot force direction to overall flight balance is really quite naturally connected. The method and mechanics of balancing on a hydro flight system are identical to standing. Just as our favorite aeronautical engineer Charles Zimmerman determined back in 1953. Yup, sixty three years ago.
So, is the Flydive “DRS Tech™” dive system more or less easy to learn on a than a Jetblade or a indyfoot Flyboard with DSPS™ or a Defy, or a Dolphin Board or the even cheapest indyfoot board bought from some guy in a raincoat you met on Craigslist? No, not in theory and not in easily observable practice. All indy foot systems are equally easy to learn on, you are out of the water in less than five minutes with a good instructor. Where to look for is the differences of performance once you learn to fly, and how your manufacturer stands by it gear. Read the rest of our blog, study our website, and best of all, fly and compare to find out the ways that X sets the standard. Read our section on why stance width is the key element for a comfortable rider for any size rider. And dont forget X’s Lifetime Warranty on Nozzles and Y tubes.