Thinking Tech

Flyboard jetpack lets you perform dolphin aerial tricks [video]

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Jetski racing champion Franky Zapata has designed a water-powered jetpack you can strap to your feet.

If you've ever yearned to float around in your very own jetpack, I'd suspect owning a hoverboard would be pretty high on the holiday wish list as well. Now, for around $6,600, sci-fi fans can get a futuristic experience that combines the best of both worlds.

The Flyboard, invented by jetski racing champion Franky Zapata, is essentially a water-powered jetpack with bolted-in shoes that can be strapped to your feet, enabling users to skate around at a height of nine meters. Like the Jetlev jetpack, it's powered through a hose attachment that connects to a jetski's thruster. Propulsion is generated as the force of the water runs up through the hose and shoots out from the bottom of the board. Water is also diverted to a pair of arm thrusters that can be used to steer the device.

So why would anyone choose to buy the Flyboard over the Jetlev? Besides the addition of some nifty shoes, it costs a fraction of the traditional jetpack version ($99,500, includes boat). And oh, with some practice, riders can perform some crazy aerial tricks. In the promotional video, Zapata demonstrates some of these dazzlers by launching in and out of the water like a dolphin, completing 360 degree spin moves and even pulling off backward somersaults.

The minimal requirement to get the fun started is a jetski equipped with at least a 100 hp engine, which is sold separately (obviously). Learn more about how to get your own Flyboard at www.zapata-racing.com.

Contributor’s Note: Inspired by the upcoming Holiday season and emails from readers, I will occasionally spotlight and preview innovative game-changing new products that may be the perfect gift for you or someone you know. Subscribe to the RSS news feed or SmartPlanet’s newsletter for news and updates on more smart products.

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure