Blast Off With St. Thomas JetRiders

The jetpack craze involves St. Thomas

If you happen to’ve ever had James Bond-style fantasies of flying round with your individual private jet pack, St. Thomas is the place to satisfy them.

OK, you almost certainly will not be darting over rooftops whereas attempting to flee enemy brokers like 007 did in Thunderball, however St. Thomas JetRiders can present you learn how to soar as much as 30 ft above the wonderful Caribbean sea whereas executing some spectacular stealth maneuvers.

Powering above the surf at Frenchman's BayPowering above the surf at Frenchman’s Bay — Photo courtesy of St. Thomas JetRiders

JetRiders, which is run by the exuberant Mark McKellar (additionally the proprietor of the St. Thomas Adventure Center), has been providing jet pack rides on the firm’s location on the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef since January 2013. McKellar stated the gadgets have been initially created as on-board toys for mega-yachts, however at the moment are a preferred thrill trip that may be discovered in lots of resorts across the US and Caribbean.

Mark McKellar, co-owner of St. Thomas JetRidersMark McKellar, co-owner of St. Thomas JetRiders — Picture courtesy of Karen Elowitt

Here is the way it works: an authorized coach offers you a 10-minute orientation on dry land, masking the fundamentals of security, ignition, and steering. (All instructors are required to undergo a three-day jet pack “pilot coaching” course in Florida.) Then you’re strapped right into a life jacket, helmet, and eventually the jet pack itself. You bounce off the sting of a ship, energy up, then take off!

The coach, who’s watching from the boat, controls the ability, however the rider controls the route. Handles that transfer up and down allow you to carry and decrease, and turning is achieved just by shifting your physique within the route you need to go. The helmet is supplied with a built-in speaker, so the coach can present steering.

Evan Mason, co-owner of St. Thomas JetRidersEvan Mason, co-owner of St. Thomas JetRiders — Picture courtesy of Karen Elowitt

It takes a couple of minutes – and few messy splashdowns – to get the dangle of it, however when you do, what a rush! The jet pack unit, which is made by a Florida-based firm known as JetLev, shoots water out of the twin nozzles at a charge of 1000 gallons per minute and supplies a whopping 420 kilos of carry.

My very own try at jet-riding was moist and clumsy, however enjoyable. I had a bit bother with the handles, that are very delicate, so there have been a whole lot of jerky ups and downs at first. However ultimately I bought right into a rhythm and was in a position to follow “strolling on water,” which entails powering ahead simply above the ocean floor and shifting your legs in a strolling movement. By the top of my trip I used to be in a position to execute a number of rudimentary twists and turns, however they have been nothing just like the sequence of 360s the specialists are able to.

Perhaps subsequent time…

St. Thomas JetRiders is open seven days every week, and a fundamental 30-minute session prices about $150. For extra info or to contact them, name 340-626-8500, or go to http://www.stthomasjetriders.com/

The author's first attempt at jet ridingThe creator’s first try at jet using — Picture courtesy of Mark McKellar

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