Learning to Fly – Flyboarding in Dubai

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I try my hand at flyboarding.
Introducing the world’s newest superhero: Aussie Man! I try my hand at flyboarding.

I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings – John Gillespie Magee Jr

There’s a moment right before your body surges up and out of the water that you feel that this isn’t natural. Your body is being propelled up and into the air without any effort of your own, and the force beneath your feet that pushes you upward seems frightening.

And then, in that moment after you slip beyond the clinging confines of the water and up into the air, you’re at once both exhilerated and terrified. The air is cold up here. The world doesn’t look as it should.

While I soar high overhead, my cameraman watches from below in the water.
While I soar high overhead, my cameraman watches from below in the water.

You’ve seen the world from great heights before, but always from a point that felt concrete: a lofty vantage point of solid earth or a tube of steel rocketing through the air. Now, you ‘stand’ with only twin jets of water beneath you.

The boots you’re wearing, strapped to your feet, are not solid ground. They rock and twist and tilt with every slight movement you make, and there’s the ever present reality that should you over-balance you’ll plummet the 3, 6, 8 metres back into the water.

Managing to look calm and collected while I inwardly panic.
Managing to look calm and collected while I inwardly panic.

It’s a kind of magic, this temporary flight. Is this how Superman feels when he hovers – arms folded across his chest – and looks down on the world he’s sworn to protect?

And then, with the barest movement, the spell is broken and I’m falling back into the water – Icarus flown too close to the sun.

The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport – Orville Wright

Flyboarding in Dubai

The beginning of my day was entirely less poetic. My ride with the Hidden Dubai crew through the urban jungle of one of the world’s most famous cities is as unremarkable as the car park we pull into.

Dubai’s Fishing Harbour is bristling with the masts of boats owned by people who are far wealthier than I can ever hope to be, but it’s too an unassuming dock that we’re bound. After handing over the 300 AED ($105 AUD) for my flyboarding experience, I’m given a quick introduction to the technology, strapped into the boots, and sent on my way.

Ready? Ready!
Ready? Ready!

To get to our flight zone, I lay on my belly Superman style and use the yets to tow the jetski out of the harbour and away from the expensive boats. It’s a strange feeling cutting through the water at speed without moving my arms or legs, but I soon have the knack of leaning left or right to guide our passage.

We emerge from the harbour, hang a hard right, and soon come in sight of a beach.

And then it’s on. I’m flyboarding and it is magnificent

It’s a heady experience, and one I’m eager to have again someday. The cost may seem a lot for a mere 20 minutes of entertainment, but damned if it wasn’t one of the most memorable things I’ve done on the road.

You can learn more flyboarding and about how you can get out of the water and into the air (and then back into the water again) by visiting Searide Dubai.

Want to know more about everything Dubai has to offer, visit Hidden Dubai for more videos and insider info on why Dubai is so much more than you imagined.

I’ll leave you with one quote I feel best summarised my time in the air (however brief). It definitely rings true.

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss – Douglas Adams

Your Say

Have you ever tried your hand at flyboarding? What was your experience?

Is flyboarding something on your bucket list?

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My flyboarding experience was paid for as part of the Hidden Dubai campaign in collaboration with Yahoo, Dubai Tourism, and Emirates. All opinions are my own.

 

 

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