Flyboarding Ko Samui
Picture this: you're soaring through the air with water blasting from your feet. Waves that almost double you in height crash below, but you're too distracted by the panoramic view of palm trees, mountains and beaches before you. A crew of people on jet skis propel you, cheering you on as you carve across the water the way a snowboarder cuts through fresh powder. You don't have a worry in the world - except for how you're going to position your body to keep from diving headfirst into the water. This is flyboarding.
I knew I had to try this awesome adventure sport when I first saw photos of Leonardo DiCaprio killing it in Ibiza on a flyboard. If Leo's doing it, you know it's gotta be badass. It took a little while to get around to because it's a bit pricier to do than other water activities (about $120 for 30 minutes), so I saved it and surprised Casey with the experience for Christmas on Ko Samui.
After doing a bit of research, I ended up booking the trip with Aqua Man, a Russian-owned company that offered a deal of 6,000 THB (about $200) for two people for an hour (30 minutes each). I think it was their promotional video that really sold me.
I was picturing myself owning the board, gracefully diving in and out of the water like a dolphin and doing flips with ease. But it's not quite as simple as they make it seem...
We got off to a rough start when our instructor Nikita arrived to pick us up and proceeded to cruise through the streets of Samui like a mad man, as if he was in the heat of a car chase. Apparently this is the typical way to drive in Moscow. At least he had good taste in music and blasted Atmosphere from the speakers. Always cool to have a Minnesota moment with a random Russian in the middle of Thailand.
Fortunately we made it to Bang Kao beach all in one piece and the other two instructors joined us for a quick briefing. It wasn't long before we were in the water, tearing through the waves on the back of Nikita's jet ski, once again fearing for our lives.
When we reached a significant distance off the shoreline, Casey was first up to give it a go. He got strapped into the board (just like a snowboard with two boots to slide your feet into) and took a few safety precautions with a lifejacket and helmet. Just like that, he was off!
A large hose connects the board to a jet ski, which then pushes the water at a speed that propels you out of the water. Let's just say, it wasn't the easiest thing to get the hang of. But after playing around for a while, it started to look like Casey had a hold on it.
At one point he smashed hard into the water head first and I could tell he was a bit shaken. He landed on his neck wrong and inhaled a ton of water. Still a trooper, he managed to get back up and executed some solid spins. It was almost just as fun watching and cheering him on, but I was ready for my chance to try...
I was really scared of getting hurt so I didn't mess around with too many tricks, but I did manage a few spins and really felt like I was getting the hang of it towards the end, especially carving across the water.
I kept looking out at the palm-covered landscape thinking to myself, "How fucking awesome is life?! I am literally flying on water right now!" That's not something you get to do every day - unless, of course, you're a flyboarding instructor. Add that to the list of most awesome jobs in the world.
If it wasn't for the hefty price tag, I'd flyboard at every chance I got! It really reminded me how much I miss snowboarding, yet with the added bonus of conditions and climate that I'm much more inclined to enjoy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]