It’s now possible to get from England to France on a hoverboard
Franky Zapata not only has an awesome name, but an awesome achievement to brag about. He has now succeeded in crossing the English Channel on a hoverboard that he made himself.
Hoverboards and jetpacks are suddenly a realer reality than ever, albeit still a comedic one. Mythbusters legend Adam Savage earlier this year made a real life Iron Man suit, complete with jetpack. Now we’re also seeing hoverboards making a splash.
Well, thankfully it didn’t actually make a splash this time, this was Zapata’s second attempt at crossing the English Channel as his first one ended a failure.
The English Channel, the small-ish body of water separating France and England is something that people have been conquering for a while now. At only 22 miles, it only took Zapata around 20 minutes to get between the two countries.
20 minutes, no passport control, no traffic getting to the ferry, hoverboards are sounding rather appealing.
It’s not as easy as it sounds though, Zapata had to refuel his paraffin backpack around half way to give himself enough juice to keep on hovering. He also said that the strong winds in the Channel posed a big issue, saying he had to bend into the wind gusts.
“Your body resists the wind, and because the board is attached to my feet, all my body has to resist to the wind. I tried to enjoy it and not think about the pain.” he told The Guardian.
Zapata created the Flyboard Air himself over the past three years, even losing some fingers in the process in a turbine-related accident. The French-born, former military reservist even attracted the French military, whom gave him almost $1.5 million dollars to further develop his invention.
It is hoped one day his hoverboard will have some kind of military application.
“I’m feeling happy ... it’s just an amazing moment in my life,” he said following his touchdown in Britain. “The last 10% [of the flight] was easier ... because I had the time to look at the cliffs.”
Here’s to hoping one day we can use something like this to jump from emirate to emirate out here in under five minutes.
Watch the video of his successful journey below: