There’s many reasons why I love travel. Experiencing new cultures and expanding my worldview while learning about others, discovering amazing sites, enjoying new foods, and seeing a side of life different from my own. Really, the list of reasons goes on and on. One of my favorite things about traveling is getting to try new things. Generally speaking, there are a lot of great things available in other places that aren’t part of the daily routine where we live. When there is something that forces you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, and it gets your blood pumping, I’m all for it.
Flyboarding has got to be one of the most exhilarating things we have done lately! We wanted to try jet-packing, which is similar to this, when we were in Antigua, but the company just closed up shop and returned to the US. We were thrilled when we saw flyboarding offered in Puerto Vallarta! This was the highlight of our trip!
We watched the instructional videos, signed the releases, and got all prepared to head out on the water. Although the information tells you to wear a “secure swimsuit”, it is not a problem because they have you wear a wetsuit. This was good news because I didn’t want another wardrobe malfunction like I had in Jamaica. It is also bad news because wetsuits are really not flattering or comfortable! After we arrived at the site and were fully suited up, the staff gave us our final instructions and pointers before telling us to climb out of the boat onto a floating “mattress” where they fasten your feet into the bindings on the fly board just before your scoot into the water. I’m a fairly strong swimmer, but I still had a hard time controlling the buoyant board and hose without independent use of my legs while in the water.
I went first, and was so excited to get out of the water on my first attempt, although I crashed immediately after. It didn’t take long before I was actually air born and hovering a just few feet above the water while trying to figure out the mechanics and balancing. It is a little hard to figure out at first, but once you get the hang of coming out of water and finding your balance, it is so fun! After getting the hang of that part, the instructors offered tips on how to turn. I could easily turn to the left, but I could not turn to the right if my life depended on it! While this was funny and a little frustrating, it wasn’t too surprising as my left side has always been my dominate side when I’m doing physical activities (as a dancer, my turns and leaps were always better on my left side). After mastering my large left-hand only turns, it was time to learn some tricks like tight 360 degree turns and flying forward. Once I had learned all of those things and was feeling pretty confident, my instructor started increasing my height above water. Earlier, I had taken some really hard falls, but I was less than 5 feet above the water. As I noticed myself getting higher and higher in the air, all I could think about was how bad it was going to hurt if I fell. I broke the number one rule and looked down! Oh crap!! I started to fall, but with enough arm flailing and a miracle, somehow I caught myself before I crashed and regained control. This was cause for applause by my instructor and celebration on my end too!
Our time was starting to wind down, and our feet and shins could feel the fatigue from the half hour of flying we had just put them through. After learning a few final tricks, we flew like Superman back onto the mattress to have all the gear removed. Upon returning to the boat, the next group of three nervously prepared for their turn. With a twinge of hesitation in their voices, they asked if it was fun. My husband’s response?!?! “Well, we also started as a group of three, so…” I think they about jumped out of the boat right there…
The company we did this through is Vallarta Adventures. They are all so friendly and you can tell they all love their jobs. The team that did our flyboarding session was Israel, Ivan, Alex, and Natalia. They were wonderful and made sure you had a great time! I was also interested to hear about all the great things the company does in terms of community service and conservation work. They are in other locations around Mexico (Cabo, Cancun, Punta Mita and Riviera Maya), so be sure to check them out if you’re in one of those places.
Shooting like a rocket out of the ocean and hovering above the surface while turning, balancing, and diving is as fun as it sounds! There’s so many words I would use to describe flyboarding: propelling, balancing, rocketing, thrilling, challenging, fun, exhilarating, etc. But, if you want to know how it feels, you better try it for yourself!
All photos by Natalia Serrano with Vallarta Adventures