The Water Jet Pack: The Extreme Water Sport Anyone Can Do
A water jet pack seems like something straight out of a superhero movie. It's exactly what it sounds like: a water-powered propulsion system that lifts its wearer as high as 30 feet above the water, spinning in corkscrews and circles at dizzying speeds. Suffice it to say, this experience—along with its pack-less cousin, flyboarding—is not your average water sport.
Luckily, this type of flying isn't restricted to superheroes. "Pretty much anybody can fly," says Nate Sinisgalli. Nate should know: as the manager of Jetpack America in San Diego, this is a guy who's spent countless hours hovering above the water.
Along with some info from Nate on what first-time fliers should know before strapping in, our guide will let you know how much a water jet pack typically costs, what other first-time jet-pack pilots said about their experience, and where you can find some of the coolest water-jet-pack deals in the country.
What You Should Know About Water Jet Packs
Just about anyone can do it.
Kids as young as 5 can participate in a tandem flight with an instructor, and seniors shouldn't have much trouble taking a jet pack out for a spin, either. "We flew a 92-year-old one time," Nate says. "We fly a lot of elderly people, to be honest." What's more, at least two paraplegics and one quadriplegic have been up in the air.
This goes for ability, too: flying a water jet pack is one of the few water activities that doesn't require much strength, and even if it did, the instructor almost always manages the throttle for you during your first flight. You don't even need to be that great of a swimmer, either, but you do have to prove that if you fall forward, you know how to get your face out of the water.
You'll feel like you're on a roller coaster ... in space.
Every beginner experiences three unique sensations when they're on a water jet pack: weightlessness, suspended height, and freedom of movement. Moving the jet pack takes only a small amount of force, so you can focus on how awesome it feels to be flying in a freaking jet pack instead of worrying about maintaining control.
Tricks aren't just for the pros.
Through walkie-talkie helmet communication, instructors will help you through entry-level tricks such as underwater submarines, low hovers, and donut turns. The easiest trick of them all? No-handed flying. "People sort of over-manipulate the control arms," Nate explains. "They think it's this intense sport, when it's really not at all. You can let go of the control arms and they'll stay exactly where you put them." This means that, once you're comfortable enough, you can let go and simply use your body to steer the hydro jet pack.
You (probably) won't get sick and you'll (definitely) be safe.
Panicking is usually a bad thing to do in general, and that applies to the water jet pack, too. "That's probably the biggest disadvantage people have," Nate says. "If you're out there to have fun ... and you're kind of open-minded to the idea of it ... then you'll do great."
One common source of panic for new fliers, though, is the prospect of getting sick. But never fear, says Nick: he's never had a customer complain about (or even so much as mention) motion sickness. And every instructor has years of experience and certifications in first aid and CPR, so you're in good hands. The worst that might happen in most cases is an awkward splash landing.
You should wear your glasses or contacts.
Clear vision is a requirement to fly. If you wear contacts, just close your eyes when you're underwater. If you have glasses, a sport strap to hold them in place is a good call. Nate doesn't recommend wearing goggles, as they tend to fall off during flights.
How Much a Jet-Pack Experience Costs
"It's a $30,000 piece of machinery that you're flying," Nate says. Such a futuristic, expensive piece of machinery means single rides can get costly: they typically range from $129 to $699. The good news, though? If you buy a deal for a water jet-pack experience near you, those prices can be cut down significantly—sometimes by as much as half.
Wanna know what other fliers had to say about their first time blasting off? Check out these reviews:
"My girlfriend and i had the time of our lives in our first ever time Hydroflying....and it will NOT be the last. SO MUCH FUN!" — Gregg H.'s review of Hydroflying Watersports
"Give it a try! It's so fun! And the instructors give great tips to help you succeed." — Jacquelyn P.'s review of Jump Right in Flyboarding
"I am completely uncoordinated and lack balance, so I didn't think I would get it, but Danny had me doing it within 10 minutes of being in the water! It was a lot easier to do than I thought and I absolutely loved it!!" — Dana A.'s review of Jump Right in Flyboarding
"It's so much fun! It would be a great gift for anyone who likes watersports or dreams of flying!" — Scott M.'s review of Jet Pack Water Adventures
"Everything from start to finish was such a great experience. The instructors were super helpful and patient. During his 25 minute session my husband was doing tricks (spinning around, submarine), and this was his first time!" — Aleida G.'s review of Jetpack America
Top Deals Across the Country
If you need some inspiration on places to start your water-jet-pack journey, check out the below handful of standout deals from around the US.
Jetpack America | Pahrump, Nevada location
If the novelty of soaring on a jet pack isn't enough to quench your thirst for adventure, take a water-assisted flight in the middle of the desert.
Ironmon Watersports | Palm Beach, Florida
Want to prove to your friends or stubborn college physics professor that you did indeed defy gravity? They offer photo documentation with each jet-pack ride.
Hydroflying Watersports | Lake Worth and Delray Beach, Florida
Channel your inner Tony Stark and check out flyboarding—the feet-only version of a water jet-pack.
Orlando Jetpack | Orlando, Florida
If you're looking for the biggest savings on your first experience with a water jet pack, deals here can be had for as much as 61% off.