Extreme rides at Hillarys

Gary McGowan of Jet X-treme flies high. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d447638
Gary McGowan of Jet X-treme flies high. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d447638

DIVING like dophins and high flying acrobatics will become regular features at Hillarys Boat Harbour from next month.

Gary McGowan said after more than a year of negotiations, his business Jet X-treme will start offering jet board experiences at the marina from January 2.

Mr McGowan said his “quintessential Aussie family” – wife Sarah and sons Kael (11) and Rusty (9) – loved having fun and seeing others have fun.

“I grew up on the northern beaches surfing and being a water baby,” he said.

“We are a very active family who live and breathe the outdoors and are forever in the water.”

Mr McGowan said he first saw the jet board on a television show in 2013, and was inspired to bring it to WA, so started offering experiences in Mandurah last summer.

He said recently 12 people aged 14 to 65 tried out the board there, and they customised each experience to suit how confident those people felt.

“The instructor controls the power,” he said.

Mr McGowan said while the jet boards required a jet ski, they operated the latter differently.

“When you get a jet ski normally, it draws pit water and spits it back, and propels the jet ski forward,” he said.

For this sport, they used a special footing on the back of the jet ski to connect an 18m hose to the board, and that jet propulsion made the board take off. “It’s a seat for the instructor and the engine provides the power for the board,” he said.

Mr McGowan said the board could go up to 10m high, allowing people 14 and older to “fly above the water like ironmen” or “dive into the water like a dolphin” during the 20-minute sessions, which start with a land-based safety briefing.

“The beauty about a jet board experience is that it can be done without having any prior experience – we teach you,” he said.

“The Flyboard is fitted to your feet and blasts water out of specially designed thrust nozzles allowing you to fly in, through and above the water like a super hero.

“In one lesson, we can get people up flying around the sky; then we can get them to fly higher; then we can teach them to do a spin on the board. We can event teach them to do a dolphin dive – we generally achieve that in one lesson.”

For more information, visit www.jetxtreme.com.au .