Thursday, October 2, 2014

An Emerging Watersport Comes To Tidal Wave Watersports Near Morgan Creek On The IOP--Available This Spring

Over the past five years, stand up paddleboarding has mushroomed from the handful of surfers who were doing it in Hawaii. Since hitting California beaches, it has spread across the country to the east coast like a tidal wave. From Edisto Island to the IOP, Charleston's coastal beaches and tidal creeks have been besieged. A sport that now includes everyone from whitewater enthusiasts to people who like to practice yoga. There are an estimated 1.2 million SUPers. To those who do it, it is like walking on water. But how would you like to soar over water?

A new kind of watersport is emerging in Charleston. It is called flyboarding. A flyboard is a device that is attached to your feet via boots containing two high volume nozzles connected to a jet ski by a 50 foot hose. Water from the jet ski is forced up the hose to the board where it is ejected from the nozzles out of the bottom of the board at a high speed creating a thrust that sends you an estimated 20 feet into the air. By controlling the direction of the nozzles through which the water is ejected with your legs and arms, you can control the thrust and control the direction in which you move.

Besides flying over the water, once you have mastered the board anything is possible, which for most people generally takes about 15 minutes. Try a pelican high dive into the water and swim like a dolphin. You are only limited by your own imagination. As long as the jet ski is providing power, the rider can hover in the air for as long as they want. A certified instructor is on the jet ski the entire time controlling power and giving instructions.

Tidal Wave Watersports on the IOP is in the process of training and certifying its guides on the intricacies of flyboarding and plans on offering it to the public in the spring of 2015. One beautiful Wednesday afternoon, I had the opportunity to watch and take video as each took their turn on the flyboard. I would have loved to have strapped on the board and flown like an osprey or swam like a dolphin over and under the waters near Morgan Creek, but there is the thing about having the necessary insurance and license. I will have to patiently wait until next spring.

The Lowcountry is richly blessed with beautiful estuaries, tidal creeks, and barrier islands accented with shell-covered sandy beaches--a paradise for the watersport enthusiasts. Kayaking and paddleboarding for those who seek to enjoy the wild life and surround themselves in the beauty of Charleston's estuaries and tidal creeks. Boat Charters and Waverunner Safari Tours for those who crave the unspoiled splendor of the uninhabited barrier islands of Capers and Bulls Island. Jet skiing, parasailing, skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and banana boat rides for those who are in pursuit of fun and thrills, and next spring, the challenge of soaring on a flyboard by way of Tidal Wave Watersports.

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