The idea of using pressurized water as a kind of lo-tech jetpack has been around for a while, but this takes matters in another direction entirely.
The French extreme sports company Zapata Racing is officially unveiling its latest bananas concept, the Hoverboard, which essentially combines the elegance and grace of the surfboard with the raw power of the fire hose.
Jetpack Awarded Flight Permit, About To Take Off
It works like this: The Hoverboard is attached to a PWC (personal water craft - think Jet Ski) by way of an 60-foot hose and nozzle unit. Water scooped up by the PWC is pressurized and sent through the hose and nozzle, providing water propulsion for the board.
A lot of water propulsion - the device allows riders to literally fly through the air, up to 16 feet vertically at speeds of upwards of 15 mph. The statistics don't really do it justice, check out the video below to appreciate the madness.
The throttle is adjusted by the rider via a handheld controller. An optional control scheme even removes the need for a second person on the boat - riders can steer the PWC from the Hoverboard.
Drones, Jetpacks Take Stage At Futuristic Festival
Zapata Racing has been using the Hoverboard recently in extreme sports shows, and is now making the unit available for sale. Expect to pay around $6,000 if you're interested, and you'll need your own PWC. Training is also highly recommended, and Zapata offers that, too - though you'll have to head out to Europe or French Polynesia.
You can get the full brochure online. I note here that all parts come with a one-year warranty. If you survive, presumably. So that's nice.