“It’s like an extreme sport for beginners!” Kendal Brown said as he swam up to the boat ramp at Warriors Path State Park, his adrenaline still pumping after his flight high above the lake.
Limited only by the 60-foot hose running from his flyboard to a Jet Ski, Kendal’s flight was nothing short of something you’d see in a superhero movie.
Kendal and wife, Lauren, first discovered flyboarding in St. Thomas while on their honeymoon and immediately fell in love with it.
“We thought, ‘We’ve got to bring that to Kingsport. It’s too pretty, our lakes are too nice to not have something that cool out there,’ ” said Lauren.
So they decided to buy a board and start a business called Action Water Sports to bring flyboarding to the lakes of East Tennessee.
Along with the required life vest and helmet, the flyer dons wake boots, which are attached to the actual flyboard mechanism. The flyboard, in turn, is attached to a long hose that runs into the back of the Jet Ski, so all the water that would usually be shooting out of the vehicle to make it go 60 miles per hour is pumped out of the board instead.
Since flying is a two-person job, the flyer is taught hand signals before going out onto the water. From there, the person on the board controls where he and the Jet Ski go.
“It sounds so much scarier than it is. Kendal, the certified instructor, controls how high you go based on what you’re comfortable doing. Once you get in the water, it’s just lock your knees, tip those toes and you’re good to go,” said Lauren.
Right now, flyboarding is offered primarily at Warriors Path, but other locations can be used depending on the customer and other factors.
Flying times are offered on the weekends in 30- or 60-minute sessions. According to Lauren, it takes most people about five to 10 minutes to get comfortable enough to go 10 to 15 feet in the air.
The Browns have plans to switch to a longer, 80-foot hose, which is the standard size for the sport. Also in the works is a feature where Action Water Sports will provide a GoPro for flyers to attach to their gear so they can take home an action-packed video.
“I’m terrified of all water things, and this is the least scary thing that I’ve done,” said Lauren. “With this, you feel like you have a lot more control. It’s really an easy and super fun way to enjoy the lake.”
Action Water Sports has been open for only one weekend, but the Browns are looking forward to providing this fun activity to local residents for the rest of the summer. The business’ hours are Friday from 1 to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Flyers must be at least 13 years old and weigh a minimum of 100 pounds. Flights can be booked online at ACTIONH2O.com or by phone at (615)-477-7011.