How was your bank holiday weekend? Good? Maybe, but we’ll bet you didn’t smash any records for defying gravity and flying more than 2,000 metres on a hoverboard. That’s what Franky Zapata, a French jet-ski champion achieved on his prototype hoverboard, the Flyboard Air, in the French coastal town of Sausset-les-Pins this weekend. Smashing the previous record of 275.9m by Canadian Catalin Alexandru Duru, Zapata, 37, delighted onlookers and Guinness World Record officials alike with his overwater feat.
You’ve probably seen videos of people with boards strapped to their feet with huge jets of water flowing out the bottom, making thrill seekers float above the sea, but the newest invention from Zapata Racing uses an independent propulsion unit to lift riders up to 3,000m high at a speed of 150km/h.
Rather Franky than us while the device is still a prototype, but the company hope it will be available to the public in the future. In the meantime, you can watch the record-breaking flight in the videos below:
Speaking to The Verge in April, Zapata describes how the system works in a similar way to a drone for stabilisation and has “six systems working together plus my brain and my legs.” Amazingly, the device has only been flying for a month, which is around about when their first video was posted on YouTube and went viral.
Next up for Franky Zapata and his hoverboard is to fly three miles from one city to another overland, eschewing the safety that the water provides. And beyond that: “My goal is to ride the clouds.”