Many have trouble believing their eyes the first time they come in contact with the sport. The adrenaline squirting activity is the latest and most startling contribution to the world of water sports, and it has literally taken its practitioners to new heights. Who would have thought that it was possible to fly around in the air like a superhero? Flyboard is really something unique of its kind, and the best part is that it is easy to learn! We went down to Kyrenia harbour where we had a chat with the team behind Flyboard Kyrenia, Özgür “Ozzy” Özbilir and Sami Meyzin, two extreme sports-loving guys and licensed instructors who have taken this flying board to the island.
Adrenaline filled sports is nothing new for the two friends. The last fourteen years, they have been successful in sports such as jet ski racing and rally, and they are not averse to daredevil activities such as bungee jumping and paragliding. Their love for the extreme has taken them around the world and through the years they have been awarded prizes and awards for their sport accomplishments.
– The attraction to this kind of sport is the feeling of freedom, to feel independent and limitless, says Ozzy.
They came in contact with flyboarding a few years ago when it was brand new on the market. Sami tells us how they immediately rushed to purchase the equipment.
– We did not even know how to use it, he laughs. It was like: You or me first? We just had to try it and teach ourselves over time. We looked at some clips on the internet, then it was just to go for it.
Flyboard is a water sport where you stand strapped to a board with water jet nozzles. The water jet propulsion system comes from a personal watercraft that is related to the flyboard through a long hose. The water pressure makes it possible to go 21 meters up in the air. Steering is done by shifting your body weight sideways and tilting the board with your feet. The inventor of the sport is the Frenchman Franky Zapata, who is a multiple world champion of jetski. He is currently the best practitioner of the sport, but he is continually challenged by new talents.
Earlier this year Ozzy came sixth when he competed in the European Championships in Flyboard in France. This fall it is time for the World Championships in Dubai. Flyboard Kyrenia, together with Flyboarding Cyprus from the south side, also sponsors the talented Suksan Tongthai, from Thailand, whom is a growing profile in the sport. In flyboard the participants compete against each other in groups of maximum 35. You are awarded points by a judging panel that assesses the contestants for communications, public contact, how skillful the trick is and how relaxed you are on the board.
But flyboard is not only for the professionals, quite the contrary. Although it looks advanced it is relatively simple and easy to learn. It’s about finding the balance and relaxing. It is a fun and rewarding activity that most people can perform. Lately it has became a hit in tourist resorts around the Mediterranean, where vacationers constantly look for new and fun activities to try on their holiday. Flyboard is a favourite of many because it is a fun activity for the whole family.
Ozzy and Sami are the only licensed instructors in flyboard in North Cyprus and they regularly organise classes for those who want to try the sport. A class lasts usually for 20 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on how much the student can handle. It can be a strenuous exercise for the body when you are a beginner. The first time you fly a maximum of six meters in the air. The instructors are constantly beside you on a jetski, and they are the ones that control the altitude. You should focus on keeping your body and legs straight, standing relaxed and keeping your balance. Afterwards it is difficult to stop smiling, it’s a real adrenaline rush to fly through the air! Classes are held every Saturday and Sunday at Camelot Beach. You can also fly further out to sea from the boat Happy Dolphin that flyboard Kyrenia cooperate with.
After our interview, we would of course like to see what it looks like when the real professionals are flying. Sami jumps in the water and buckles his feet on to the board. Then he’s off into the air. The pressure from the watercraft he controls himself through a control that he holds in his hand. He moves seamlessly with the dashboard and offers us a variety of cool tricks in the air. We watch him do impressive tricks such as the Bonzai, Superman and Backflip. Afterwards, it is Ozzy’s turn to fly. Two touristic boats are just beginning to steer into the harbour and the passengers shout and wave when they see Ozzy flying through the air. He spins a few times and then makes a plunge nearly twenty metres into the water. The people on the boat are now clapping and whistling. They had not expected to see a superhero flying around in Kyrenia’s harbour!
Flyboard is a fun and exciting activity. To get in contact with Flyboard Kyrenia, please visit their Facebook page: Flyboard Kyrenia