When Frenchman Franky Zapata and his Zapata Racing company put their Flyboard Air video up on YouTube on April 9, the flight seemed so advanced that people questioned if it was even real. But Zapata put the doubters and the haters to bed this weekend by smashing the world record for the longest hoverboard flight by 6,486 feet.
The new official record Zapata set for hoverboard flight is 7,388 feet, which beat out Canadian inventor Catalin Duru’s record flight last year of 905 feet.
Zapata broke the record on Saturday morning in front of a crowd of around 200 people in Sausset-les-Pins, France, as reported by The Verge. The Flyboard Air’s 250-horsepower, jet-fuel powered turbo engines shot Zapata around 100 feet into the air and then forward over the water. It’s still not the 93 mph, 10,000 feet high, 10 minute flight Zapata Racing promises on the product page, but it’s far more than it needed for the record.
During Zapata’s record run, a crew of water-locked boats and jet skis followed him. The ear-shattering engine roar that you would expect from a jet engine filled the air. All can be seen and heard thanks to a drone which followed close behind, videotaping the entire trip.
It took only three minutes and 55 seconds for Zapata to claim his record. Then he went for a victory lap.
“In fact, it’s like walking,” Zapata told Jalopnik after the flight. “It’s only really physical in case of a crash. The moment you take off, your heart races, but other than that it doesn’t take much muscular effort, it’s psychological, and does take concentration.”
Eventually, Zapata and his team hope to enable people to Marty McFly their way to work. For now, Zapata and his Flyboard Air Independent Propulsion Unit will have to settle for amazing onlookers and breaking records.
Photos via Zapata Racing