Somewhere along the line, a watersports enthusiast went a little crazy, in the best way possible. The result was the Flyboard, a single-person apparatus that combines the movements of a flying superhero with the underwater mobility of a dolphin. Jump Right In Flyboarding, a purveyor of such aqueous adventures, straps its patrons into one of their propulsion systems to levitate above water on columns of pressurized water and dive underwater upon command, making for an exhilarating ride.
During instruction sessions that last about 10 minutes, aspiring aquanauts learn to control the water-spewing nozzles. Two nozzles attach to the wearer's feet and supply 90% of the propulsion, while two more nozzles attach to the hands and help with stabilization in much the same manner that poles help with skiing or machetes help with sprinting.
Cocoa Beach locals know that it's rare to spot Bill Kowalik on dry land. The Puerto Rico–born seafarer is at home on the water, constantly surfing, kayaking, or leading tours across the Florida Space Coast. Bill’s as passionate about the environment as he is about watersports, enthusiastically exploring the area's diverse waterways while taking pains to leave the least impact on the protected waters. Along with his team of trained instructors, he leads individuals, groups, and families on kayak tours through lush mangroves and island channels, pointing out dolphins, manatees, and exotic birds.
The water's calm. Almost too calm. Nearly imperceptible ripples begin to form, soon evolving into bubbles reminiscent of a hair-raising monster movie. A figure erupts upwards, the water peeling away in sheets to reveal not a creature of the deep, but a person with their feet strapped into a strange device. The machine, called a Flyboard, projects two jets of water out from right beneath the rider's feet, causing her to soar through the air. This propulsion lends itself to acrobatics, helping riders perform tricks such as spins, flips, and dolphin-like dives from the air to the water and back again.
The owners of Jump Right In Flyboarding say such tricks are not hard to master. They started their company to give everyone a taste of this hard-to-describe, impossible-to-imitate water sport, and today they specialize in the sales, service, instruction and rentals of FlyBoards. With locations in Sebastian, Cocoa Beach, and Key Largo, they are some of the coast's most experienced operators.
Looking a sea turtle right in the eyes. Paddling onto the white shores of an empty beach. Watching the sun set over the ocean, dangling your feet in the water. For over 25 years, Florida natives and visitors alike have enjoyed tropical experiences like these, thanks to rental boats from Relaxed Kayaks. True to the name, the team is so committed to relaxation that they don't even require customers to visit their shop?instead, they deliver and pick up their boats from waterfront locations throughout the area. Aspiring kayakers don't have to paddle alone, either. On guided kayak tours led by biologists and naturalists, participants learn about Florida's unique aquatic habitats, from its beaches to Disney World's magical castle, which is secretly full of fish.
While leisurely paddling along the Indian River, dolphins and manatees swim beside a kayak as a guide points out some of the 300 species of native birds soaring overhead. This is the kind of memorable experience that many customers have had during Island Time Kayaking’s two- to four-hour tours of Cocoa Beach’s waterways. The experienced team at Island Time Kayaking instructs future kayak captains on the basics before launching, so even those brand new to kayaking can partake in laid-back jaunts, which include stops at remote islands where guests can dip their toes in the sand and put seashells to their ears. Kayaking equipment and mermaid repellent are included, and sunset tours are also available.
You don't have to travel far from the shores of Cocoa Beach to spot the cresting fins of dolphins and surfacing snouts of manatees, and Go Paddle Board Cocoa Beach gladly supplies individuals making excursions off-land. Their paddle boards make an ideal transport for these trips, allowing riders to stand and glide peacefully along the water as they navigate with a long paddle. More than 300 species of birds reward those with sharp eyes, including osprey diving for fish and pelicans filling their beak pouches with water to douse forgotten campfires. But the wildlife isn't the only draw of the aquatic jaunts—voyagers can ride waves into shore, or travel to islands in search of shells.