Over the weekend, theObserver
received this message via email:
I'm Joe Upshaw. I don't know if you have heard of Flyboarding, but it's pretty amazing. It's the coolest, newest thing in extreme water sports. It's like a jet pack attached to your feet on the lake that let's you fly like Iron Man up to 35 feet! You can also dive in and out of the water like a Dolphin. I own a rental operation off of Lewisville Lake and I wanted to let you know that we would be able to give one of your journalists or reporters a free ride on the Flyboard and also a demonstration from one of our experts.
We were intrigued. Not so intrigued that we wanted to strap a jet pack to our feet, but intrigued enough to give Upshaw a call. Sure enough, he assured us, one needs only head down to Lake Lewisville's Party Cove to make like Robert Downey Jr. battling Jeff Bridges/myriad addictions, sans ridiculous metal suit, of course.
But don't take his word for it. Take the word of the drunken boaters who gather around whenever the flyboard appears. Their typical response, according to Upshaw: "'What is that, man? That's like Iron Man on water!'"
"Especially when I get on it," he adds. "I'm a little more experienced. I can do the backflips."
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The origin story for Upshaw's Flyboard Nation is a simple one.
"I had just seen [flyboarding] on the Internet, me and my cousin," the 23-year-old community college student recalls. "I said, 'Man, that was amazing, just flying over the water.' I just thought it'd be cool to have."
The two of them went in together on a flyboard and a couple of Jet Skis and set up shop on Lake Lewisville. (The Jet Skis pump the water through a 45-foot hose, which sprays down to keep the rider aloft). The rest is history. Upshaw says business has been brisk since they launched in May.
After all, who wouldn't want to hover perilously at 35 feet while drunken boaters criss-cross the water below?