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. Being wakeboarders, they had a few wakeboards kicking around, they decided to experiment with the odd geometry of the hoverboard and see if they could get a more rideable board. Wakeboard bindings? Obviously. Full size standard width board that can plane? Obviously.
So to be painfully clear, this is a one off, modified Zapata Hoverboard jet that has been altered by our partners in Thailand to make it more useable, and fun. With a few days of work they made a better product that is not so hairy to ride. Play, adapt, evolve. Have fun. (See note below photos)
Note: Franky Zapata of Zapata Racing commented on this post on the X-Jets Facebook page, saying,
If you fall on the front, the hoverboard will go deep inside the water and you can drown. That happened to me during my 12 month R&D and testing flights. That’s the reason why the distance for the screw are different and nobody can put regular wakeboard binding on the hoverboard by ZR. Except for you. For the future of this industry, please please don’t do that.
Naturally it is good to insert a note of caution and we thank Franky for that. If you modify any equipment, you do so at your own risk. Tim and Chai are on the water everyday and are extremely comfortable in the environment and testing different equipment. That being said, as hoverboarding is similar to other board sports, and we know there is an evolution of equipment. No one made the first surf/snow/skate/kite/board perfect the first time. There are lots of different geometries available as well as styles of riding. Tim wanted most of all a full size board to be able to plane in the water. He thought and proved in prototype that a lower angle of the jet allowed for surfing the air more than riding a vertical inclined rocket. He also wanted the have full wakeboard boots, saying in reply to Franky on the same Facebook post:
Actually this is far safer since we modified it, it’s the same reason why you don’t put kites surfing bindings on snowboards or wakeboards, if one foot comes out then you break your leg or ankle or suffer horrific knee damage. I personally have broken a leg kiteboarding this way. As with the hover board, both feet can come out with the board falling on your head. The way we have positioned the nozzle and the bindings prevents you from going under the water at all.. And you always have a throttle man who is responsible for your safety.
Notice the difference in the geometries. (The jet system is the same, it is a Hoverboard Jet mounted to a wakeboard.)