Flyboarding growing in popularity on metro-area lakes

  • Updated: August 26, 2014 - 3:53 PM

Holly Matzke tried flyboarding recently on Lake Waconia under the instruction of Rodney Jansen, center. Tom Garneau snapped photos.

Photo: MONICA HERNDON • Star Tribune,

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On many west metro lakes this summer, a new water sport has created a sensation — flyboarding. Wearing a jet pack and with blasts of water seemingly shooting out of their feet, flyboarders zip high above the water and sometimes do back flips and other jaw-dropping acrobatics. Part science fiction-inspired, part water sport, flyboarding’s takeoff on Minnesota lakes started in 2012, and it now may be the fastest-growing water sport industry. Its popularity is growing worldwide — the 2013 Flyboard World Cup was held in Qatar. Industry leaders are even pushing for an Olympics berth. The sport is not cheap — practitioners often spend $20,000 or more on equipment and lessons. But according to Twin Cities flyboarding instructor Rodney Jansen, it’s not that hard. “From a 7-year-old girl to a 72-year-old guy, and everybody in between … it’s a lot easier than it looks,” he said last week.


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