The Jetovator has already made fair strides in the UK and America over the last year or two. However, a planned Southern Hemisphere launch at Australia’s Gold Coast International Marine Expo in October has put it back in the spotlight - and that’s no bad thing. After all, as a means of burning fuel, making a racket and getting soaked, tired and content, it appears to have a lot of promise...
Conceived by the same team who brought us the extraordinary dolphin-shaped Seabreacher, the Jetovator works by channeling the thrust of a personal watercraft through a 40-foot hose and out through a set of adjustable nozzles on a lightweight and buoyant bike frame. Designed to combine the acrobatic ability of an aircraft with the rider simplicity of a motorbike, this system enables riders to fly at heights of 25 feet, dive to depths of ten feet and cruise along the surface at speeds of up to 22 knots.
It’s remarkably similar to the Fly Board, which I personally tested last year. That particular device sees you standing upright on a board instead of sitting on a bike – but it is fiendishly difficult to master. Instead of the soaring aerobatics I had envisaged, I simply face-planted (repeatedly) like a man with a predilection for pain. I am therefore delighted to see a more pedestrian, middle-aged, sit-down approach to the ‘personal watercraft-hose-power’ principle.
Richard Gregg of Jetpack Adventures has explained the astonishing utopia that awaits the purchaser of the Jetovator. It apparently “allows almost anyone with a personal watercraft to start performing stunts like backflips, barrel rolls and corkscrews. They can transform their everyday selves into the superheroes they always knew they were born to be.”
I’m no cynic but it’s quite possible this is an exaggeration. It’s also quite possible there are more enjoyable ways to use your personal watercraft than as a floating slave unit to a hose-mounted toy. But if someone offers me the chance to test one of these things? I reckon I could probably sideline my reservations long enough to give it a go...
Mad fun on the water
Is there no end to the new inventions promising to take you over and under the water at dangerous, extreme speeds? We hope not!
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