For those who would like to try something new and fun, I highly recommend this activity and this operator for a truly enjoyable time.
I have done many different things in my life, but this one was completely new and presented a new experience and challenge. The operator of this location has a site in Sandusky, Ohio, as well as the one I used, which is just south of Lancaster, Ohio and just north of Hocking Hills.
The Lancaster location is quite nice, and much more pleasant than I expected. The lake's water is unusually clear and the facilities at the Campground and RV park are very nice.
I did a half hour session, which allowed me plenty of time in the air after getting appropriate instruction and checking to make sure I had sufficient swimming and water skills to be safe working with this equipment. You wear a life jacket underneath the harness being used to strap you to the jet pack. A serious five point safety belt connects you to the jet pack and to the triangular saddle on which you “sit.” All is tight, tight, tight! Was I being jammed into the seat or was the seat being jammed into me?
The activity operator is in control of the rate of thrust from a remote control on the shore, and is in communication with you throughout by using a microphone which sends to speakers in your helmet. This communication is essential to help you learn how to operate this complicated setup effectively. Doing this without continuing instruction would have been a disaster! While the operator handles the amount of thrust, you are in charge of turning and the direction of the thrust front to back. You are connected by a 30 foot hose to an engine behind you, in the form of a trailing small boat, and it is your job to pull the boat around behind you by keeping your jets in the right position. Small inputs are essential – slight changes in various things will translate into desired outcomes. Larger changes can have the effect of dumping you into the water or putting you into a stall or a dive or whatever. Save the big stuff for your fifth time as a pilot of this setup after you have mastered the physics.
You can fly up to 30 feet in the air, or go underwater a similar depth (how long can you hold your breath, really?). I chose to spend my time airborne since I prefer to have an air supply when I am underwater…. I am sure with more practice I could become proficient with this equipment and fly all over the place. In my introductory half hour, I got to learn the ropes and have the thrill of a new adventure under a controlled environment. It was fun!
The people behind this operation are friendly, conscientious and engaging. They were a delight to work with and I highly recommend them, and the experience.