I think I’m up for most challenges. I’ve white-water rafted in Africa, climbed a volcano or two in Central America and hung out with orang-utans in Sumatra. So when I was asked if I wanted to fly a water-powered jetpack called the JetLev-Flyer you can imagine my response.
Malcolm Scott, managing director of Jetlev-Flyer operating Ride Leisure from Wyboston Lakes said: “Jetlev uses water for propulsion. It’s a unique experience and one of the most exciting things to do in the UK. We operate solo and twin seat flights.”
After going through comprehensive safety checks Malcolm asks for volunteers. Instinctively I take three paces backwards. Eventually I put on a wetsuit. Luckily they had one in XXL size, although I’m not sure the skintight-style did anyone any favours, not least for those who had to look at me. Malcolm then helped me put the pack on, which was surprisingly heavy. The best angle for a person to fly a Jetlev is to lean forward with your face near the water and relax, which, although great advice is completely counter-intuitive. With the weight of the Jetlev on my back it felt as if I was sinking face first into the water!
Malcolm powered it up and after a few tries I found myself rising out of the water slowing heading for the deepest part of the lake. Once I had gained control (sort of) the feeling was one of pure exhilaration as I found myself gradually being lifted out of the water by the power of the Jetlev. The feeling of weightlessness was amazing. I was determined to get fully airborne and gave it my best shot but levitating ten foot in the air above water with a heavy pack on proved a tad too difficult.
“You were getting to grips with it, you almost had it,” said Malcolm kindly. Soaked with water and perspiration I could barely reply.
Macolm’s colleague Ricky Brason took a turn and made flying ten foot in the air look completely effortless. He told me later: “It was great fun.”
Jetlev instructors are professional, safety standards are high, and the buzz you get from being powered above water is as exhilarating as it is thrilling. Jetlev is a must for all adrenaline junkies, even if you’re a complete novice like me.
As Malcolm said: “We are becoming busier and busier. It’s fun for everyone but we’ve also had hen and stag do’s - funnily enough the women are far better at it than the men!” To book visit www.jetlevflyeruk.com