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Two words: Dolphin Jetpack!
December 21, 2011 9:58 PM   Subscribe

Introducing the Zapata Flyboard, which is being described as a "dolphin jetpack." Designed by Franky Zapata, the French jet-skiing champion and founder of Zapata Racing, Gizmag says of the $6,600 leisure product: "Aquaman meets Iron Man."

Video of it in action; Zapata leaps 30 feet out of the water on a device cobbled together from a jet-ski motor, handheld stabilizers and jet boots.
posted by Unicorn on the cob (33 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think you need to knock a few zeros off that figure...
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:05 PM on December 21, 2011


30,000 feet huh? That's a long hose.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:05 PM on December 21, 2011


It's French, so it's 30,000 cubits.

Looks cool in theory, but human- or wind-powered anything is better. Think windsurfing versus those annoying jet skis.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:07 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're putting jetpacks on dolphins now? What's next, lasers on Colossal Squid? Look, people, they're going to come for us sooner or later, we're going to have to fight them for dominance of the planet, but we don't need to hurry them along.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:09 PM on December 21, 2011


Thanks for the correction, Kokoryu.

I feel like something's still missing: lasers, maybe?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:14 PM on December 21, 2011


You guys think it's all fun and games with those water jetpacks, right? What if you made an announcement on the news and your jetpack didn't work?
posted by P.o.B. at 10:30 PM on December 21, 2011


In Hawaii I went swimming with Spinner Dolphins. I did it because the Marine Mammal Protection Act was under review. Under that law, dolphin tourism was probably illegal, and the government was on the verge of shutting it down, so I went there as an impartial observer to experience what it was like to swim with dolphins.

We traveled by boat to an area in the ocean frequently traversed by dolphin pods. On the way, the person piloting the boat talked about how wise the dolphins were. "Ask them a question", she said, "and they will answer it, as best they can. If your question is a logical question, you may hear some words as your answer. If your question is an emotional question, the dolphins may convey feelings to you."

The Spinner Dolphins showed up... a truly amazing sight - they actually do jump out of the water and spin around in the air. I put on my mask and snorkel and jumped overboard.

I dove as deep as I could while holding my breath, and three dolphins circled the waters below me. I could see their aquiline forms spinning underwater as I framed my question. I focused, and I tried to send a mental question to the dolphins: "Do you give a shit if I swim with you?"

The dolphins circled around me, then dove even deeper. Then they took off.

To this day, I still believe they were saying "yeah, we're dolphins, but if you think we're afraid of an idiot with a snorkel then you aren't very bright."
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:31 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


[fixed the "30,000 feet" typo]
posted by taz at 10:35 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Super Mario Sunshine!
posted by mikw at 10:45 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


hope they outlaw on lake Tahoe.

hhahaha
posted by Shit Parade at 10:51 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know what every douchebag in cottage country wants for Xmas.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:58 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do not want
posted by flabdablet at 11:01 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Douche-Nozzles of the world, your time has come!
posted by Skygazer at 11:09 PM on December 21, 2011


Really with that massive hose, it's just to aesthetically crap to be the future.
posted by Skygazer at 11:10 PM on December 21, 2011


El double?
posted by fistynuts at 12:32 AM on December 22, 2011


What the hell is wrong with you people? It looks like fun. What's wrong with just enjoying fun things instead of worrying about the asthetics of hose or whether it sends an anti-environmental message by not being wind powered?
posted by delmoi at 12:52 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's wrong with just enjoying fun things

If your fun thing involves ruining my day at the beach by making it sound just like I'd stayed home next door to the guy with the leaf blower fetish, I reserve the right to wish you ill.

Jet ski riders can kiss my hairy arse.
posted by flabdablet at 1:09 AM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Of course, you have to trust your friend who has control of the throttle.
posted by arcticseal at 1:22 AM on December 22, 2011


Delmoi: instead of worrying about the asthetics...

Dude, there a massive fat ugly hose on that contraption that looks like some sort of insane sea snake trying to eat the guy. Flying above water should be elegant and unalarming.

In the final words of Oscar Wilde, as he lay upon his deathbed:
Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
posted by Skygazer at 2:43 AM on December 22, 2011


What the hell is wrong with you people? It looks like fun.

I'm sure it is. If they were fairly silent and didn't stink -- like sailboats -- they would be of no concern to anyone else. But jet skis are annoying as fuck to everyone else.
posted by pracowity at 4:04 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder what happens when an idiot on once of these zooms at full speed and height past a fishing boat and the end of the snorkel gets hooked?
posted by sammyo at 4:16 AM on December 22, 2011


Another overpriced toy for underdeveloped tools, just under the wire for the '11 Darwin Awards. And yeah, jetskis are abominations - insults to nature and all that is considerate in life.
posted by item at 4:28 AM on December 22, 2011


I'm actually looking forward to watching many youtube videos of rich idiots (who are NOT French jet ski champions) slamming themselves face first into the water.
posted by orme at 4:31 AM on December 22, 2011


I'd like to talk about how the interviewees are all holding what appears to be a shotgun mic up to their mouths, and how that is the exact opposite of the whole point of a shotgun mic, which allows you to place the mic farther away than you could otherwise get away with.
posted by echo target at 6:13 AM on December 22, 2011


What the hell is wrong with you people? It looks like fun. Yeah, it looked like fun until about halfway into the the video where the female world jetski champion got to try it out and it was faceplant city. I think the dude looks awesome 'cause he's had a lot of practice.
posted by Runes at 6:15 AM on December 22, 2011


I'm a sailor and environmentalist enough to ride my bike to work even in the snow. I hate leaf blowers with a passion - what was wrong with rakes?! And yet I say that this an amazing invention and looks really fun.

Seriously, I'm betting the price and learning curve keep these things from becoming a big problem. I just don't see them becoming a staple of marina rental fleets - it'd be like renting out Jeb Corliss wingsuits.
posted by richyoung at 6:30 AM on December 22, 2011


Christ. Whinge city in here today. Looks brilliant. Lighten up.
posted by howfar at 6:35 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Super Mario Sunshine!

I just bought this used for my son last night as a Christmas present. That's the first thing I thought as well when reading this ... graffiti cleaning ho!
posted by freecellwizard at 7:16 AM on December 22, 2011


Never before has the idea of belly-flopping been so terrifying to me.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:16 AM on December 22, 2011


I'm not sure how this is an improvement over existing water jetpacks. I mean, it's kind of cool that you can drag the jetski around, but it's slow and you have a very short hose compared to one attached to a dock or attached to a boat. The ability to operate solo seems cool on the surface, but really it just seems like a really easy way to get knocked out (g-forces, impact with the jetski, hitting the water wrong) and drown without any kind of assistance.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:03 AM on December 22, 2011


I think you need to knock a few zeros off that figure...

It's only $66 bucks?!?
posted by boofidies at 11:20 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


oww my face
posted by kanemano at 11:41 AM on December 22, 2011


Don't fret delmoi, I want it. I squeeeeeeeeeeed and everything when I saw it.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:51 AM on December 22, 2011


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