Flyboard Cairns: Water-powered Flight

Flyboard Cairns: Water-powered Flight

Flyboard Cairns has taken the newly invented flyboard sporting device and made a new experience for thrillseekers in Cairns, Australia [1, 2]. A Flyboard is a water flight device. Flyboarding is a relatively new sport that uses flyboard to power acrobatic manouvers in the air and through the water. The Flyboard was invented in 2011 by a French water-craft rider, Franky Zapata of Zapta Racing [3, 4]. The device set up is basically as follows: the rider is secured to the Flyboard with bindings similar to a wakeboard or snowboard; the Flyboard is attached to a Jet Ski or speedboat, which delivers the power for the water jets beneath the Flyboard; the power/thrust for the water jets is usually controlled by an instructor on a Jet Ski or speed boat, although with an Electronic Management Kit it is also possible for the rider to directly control the power for the water jets [3] . Riders use their feet to steer and control the movement of the board; and the jets beneath the Flyboard allow the rider to peform acrobatic manoeuvres both in the air and through the water [1, 3]. Despite appearances, flyboarding does not require special skills or lengthy training; most people can achieve water powered flight with relatively little instruction. Flyboard Cairns uses expert instructors to assist riders to achieve water powered flight, so it offers a “fly or free” money-back guarantee to all riders [1]. See it in action in this short clip.

Flyboard Cairns is a product innovation. Product innovations are “changes directly observed by the customer and regarded as new…[as in] never seen before, or new to the…enterprise or destination” [5]. Flyboarding is new to the tourist market, and this provides a novel experience for visitors to Cairns. As Flyboard Cairns says, “This action-packed sporting experience is a truly unforgettable addition to any holiday….” [1].

Recommended Citation

Reid, S. R. M. (2016). Flyboard Cairns: Water-powered Flight. INNOTOUR Innovation Cases. From


  1. Flyboard Cairns. Flyboard Cairns: Flyboarding – Get Set to Defy Gravity. 2015  16 August 2016]; Available from:
  2. Staff Writers, New flyboarding experience at Flyboard Cairns, Palm Cove in The Daily Telegraph. 2013.
  3. Blain, L., Zapata’s outrageous, US$6,600 Flyboard – Aquaman meets Iron Man, in New Atlas. 2011, New Atlas.
  4. Zapta Racing. Zapta Racing: History. 2015  16 August 2016]; Available from:
  5. Hjalager, A.M., A review of innovation research in tourism. Tourism Management, 2010. 31(1): p. 1-12.

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