When James Bond used a jetpack to escape the bad guys in the movie Thunderball, it ignited the imaginations of fans who wanted a real life version of their own. The original packs were designed for the military and were fueled with hydrogen peroxide, which only lasted for flights of about 20 seconds.
Fast forward to 2016 and a company called FlyDive has been able to get entire powersports families into jet-powered fun, flying on a hydroflight board for much longer periods of time. Instead of jet fuel, FlyDive’s X-Board flies on jet streams of water supplied by a high-pressure hose connected to a personal watercraft pumping water through the hose and out the jet nozzles under the board.
If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, FlyDive executives say they are actively pursuing powersports dealers to sell the board kits for about $4,500 a piece MAP pricing (giving dealers a 33% margin). The company also has an attractive incentive program for multiple unit sales, and a simple-to-use online dealer portal for ordering parts, accessories, registering new customer purchases for warranty coverage, and more.
According to Matthew Behrendt, Executive Vice President of FlyDive, after company founder James Plante tried out early jetpack systems costing nearly $100,000, and early hydroflight boards that were difficult to operate, he decided to create a more user-friendly, affordable solution and bring it to a broader market.
“We’ve been able to not only introduce the easiest-to-fly hydroflight board, but also bring the price points well below where our competitors have been, allowing us to offer significant margins for our powersports dealers.”
While hydroflight has only been around a few years, it’s growing and evolving quickly.
“There are several different types of devices,” explains Dave Cynkin, FlyDive Chief Marketing Officer. “The Jetpack preceded what we have today, which is now a board type of format. It’s really a natural progression for anyone who has ever used a skateboard or is familiar with surfing, snowboarding and so on. But many PWC customers have never done any of those things, and dealers need to have a product to sell to all of their customers, so we’ve engineered a board that makes flying accessible to practically anyone who can stand on two feet, athletic or not.”
FlyDive’s X-Board is especially easy for first-time flyers to learn, which is one of the reasons they are targeting powersports dealers to help them reach a broad market of enthusiasts. “In terms of distribution and internal infrastructure, our company is specifically designed to partner with powersports dealers,” Behrendt says. “That’s where most people buy their PWCs and other equipment. We’re all about a great customer experience, so partnering with dedicated PWC dealers is a perfect match.”
The X-Board is versatile enough for everyone in the family to enjoy. Its proprietary DRS Tech design helps new riders gain stability and begin hovering with ease within the first few minutes flying.
Says Cynkin, “The X-Board features DRS Tech, our proprietary patent-pending design, which stands for Dynamic Response & Stability Technology. DRS Tech makes the X-Board the most versatile hydroflight board in the world. Since our dealers cater to families with PWC’s, it was very important for us to present a product that was user-friendly for beginners and action sports athletes alike. With DRS Tech, the feet are placed lower and closer to the jet nozzle rotational axis, so beginners can make small balance corrections easily and gain stability naturally, while advanced flyers enjoy better response for quick directional changes during tricks.”
In addition to great margins selling the X-Board, dealers have found that they can capture new opportunities to sell higher-powered PWCs to customers. The more powerful the PWC, the more water pressure, and the higher the flyer can go on the X-Board.
Minimum recommended PWC power at sea level is 110hp, according to Behrendt. “If you use a 110 hp PWC then you’ll need to upgrade to a dual impeller. Typically you’re getting people up a few feet in the air for a rental operation and that’s fine. For personal use, however, it’s a little bit different. At sea level we recommend 150 to 180 hp minimum, which will provide more power to accommodate riders as they increase their skill level and want to fly higher.”
Currently, FlyDive is offering a special promotion for its first 100 dealers. They are providing at no cost a video-enabled POP display that includes a mount for an X-Board, a flat screen TV that shows exciting footage of customers in action. With this POP, the X-Board might practically sell itself.
For more information, visit www.flydive.com.