Type ‘flyboarding’ into google and it’s near impossible not to be intrigued. Part space-age, part super human, I decide Darwin is the place I will fly. Starting out in France, it only hit Australian shores in 2012. I motor along, spluttering behind the jet-ski, nodding as if I understand all the directions. It happens to be the first time I’ll be attached to what looks like a fire hose and shot vertically toward space. What could go wrong? What I do recall is, “keep your legs straight and your feet flat.” With this is mind, and a powerful rocket launcher beneath me, I pray that perhaps I too will walk on water.
A few feeble attempts send me straight into the water from which I rose, typically head first or awkwardly sideways for the onlookers to enjoy. Then it happens…on the third or fourth attempt I shoot up from the water, like a platform diver in reverse, and remain suspended. I’m so shocked by my very own miracle I can do nothing but screech with excitement. I’m flying. I’m really flying. I think I’m still flying….now I’m on a very odd angle plummeting awfully fast towards sea level. That’s the joy of fly boarding, the moment you feel like a 16 metre high champion, you’re brought quickly back to earth.
The feeling is surreal, and just as contagious as the girl on the jetski warned. “I loved it so much I just had to get a job. I’m addicted.” As I proudly paddle to shore, I wonder if I’d climbed a few stories high on my escapade, to which she replies, “you did so well, you were at least a metre or two from the water.” A metre or two?? But why did I feel like I could have lit the Olympic flame?
In any case, it was the best fun I’ve ever had with two feet locked in boots. And as I watched the fly board co-owner dive and swerve like a pro - destined to be the first Australian female to compete at the world championships in Dubai later this year - I understood that this fly boarding is a sport of precision and skill. Oh, and a whole lot of watery fun.
Words, images + footage: Alice Hansen
*Please note, images and video are not myself (I wish!!) but Darwin Flyboarding co-owner Helen. Helen and Gerard also support the local NT community including Anglicare and tourdecure, they're a good sort. So head out and fly with them when you're in the Top End.
WHERE: Darwin Waterfront Lagoon
WHEN: Thurs, Fri - 12 noon onwards, Sat - 9am onwards & Sun - 11am onwards
Bookings are Essential
PRICE: Start at $160 for adults, $90 for children U/16