Zapata Racing is on a roll — the company recently demoed its new Flyboard Air hoverboard, and now it has used the prototype to set a new world record for hoverboard flight. Guinness Book of World Records adjudicator Sofia Grenache was on hand to document the historic flight.
The record-breaking hoverboard flight took place in over the weekend in Southern France, in the coastal community of Sausset-les-Pins. With a fleet of power boats and jet skis in tow, inventor Franky Zapata climbed aboard the Flyboard Air hoverboard and rose 50 feet above the water. He then flew for a record-breaking 2,252 meters (7,388 feet), smashing the previous record of 275.9 meters (905 feet, 2 inches) that was set last year by Canadian inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru.
The Flyboard Air was the talk of the internet last month when Zapata released a video showing an early test flight of the device. In the 2-minute clip, Zapata is shown soaring into the air with only the Flyboard Air attached to his feet. The trip was so spectacular that many people questioned whether the device was real.
Unlike other hoverboards that are tethered to a jet ski, the Flyboard Air has a self-contained propulsion system that allows the unit to operate independent of any other vehicle. Because it is free-flying, the cutting edge hoverboard is capable of flying up to 10,000 feet in the air with a speed of 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour). When fully powered, it can remain airborne for up to 10 minutes.
Zapata is no stranger to jet packs and world records. The former French jet ski champion previously held the world record for the most back flips (26) with a water jet pack, only losing title last year when Liu He of Beijing, China beat Zapata’s record by one with 27 total flips in 60-seconds.