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Lake 'surfing' comes to Utah as company purchases new invention

By Mike Anderson | Posted - Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:12 p.m.


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WILLARD BAY — Using the water exaust from a Jet Ski, Thom Hall propelled one of his employees over Willard Bay Wednesday morning.

"I think this will change water sports," the co-owner of Rocky Mountain Flyboard said. "You can spend $150,000 on a surfing boat; or for a lot less than that, you can have your own boat, go faster, and do things you can't do otherwise."

The Hoverboard is an invention created by famous French jet-ski racer Frank Zapata. Hall got a look at a prototype late last year, and now he has one of only three existing models in the world. Zapata also created the "Flyboard," a similar device that puts water jets on the feet of the rider.

"I think the biggest difference is anyone who's used to a board sport — whether it's a skateboard or wakeboard, or a surfboard, or a snowboard — it's a similar feeling," Hall said.

Several experienced Flyboard instructors got a first crack at the Hoverboard on a recent trip to Cancun. Jordan Wayment, one of Hall's employees, is being credited as the first to fashion trick moves.

"We were all out there crashing," Wayment said. "Once I finally landed the first back-flip, then everyone else started landing back-flips. Then we started spinning and doing double front-flips."

The Hoverboard will start being sold from select locations at a very limited supply toward the end of June. Hall says a Jet Ski owner can buy a setup and training course for around $6,000.

Hall runs his water-sport business on the side with the help of his brother Dave and a few other co-owners.

"I'm a certified financial planner full time," Hall said. "I love being on the lake. And so this marries together love of being on the lake and flying. It's great fun."

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Mike Anderson

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