FlyDive, a leading watersports product company specializing in Hydroflight, in early November announced its Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio acquisition that now makes the company owner of the patents that encompass most of the major components of all modern Hydroflight products. Hydroflight products are ridden by way of water jet propulsion via connection to a personal watercraft (PWC), enabling riders to fly above water.
The Hydroflight sport was introduced to the U.S. in 2012 and features several devices for riders to experience water-jet-powered flight, including: jetboards, jetpacks and jetbikes. The first Hydroflight systems were expensive and designed with competitive athletes in mind, proving somewhat difficult to fly for the general public. In recent years, new companies such as FlyDive have come to market with more user-friendly, affordable designs, making Hydroflight accessible to the mass market of recreational watersport enthusiasts.
In 2015, FlyDive entered the market with its goal of providing safe, family-friendly Hydroflight products. The company’s acquisition of the most comprehensive patent portfolio in the Hydroflight space, along with its own patent-pending technology, allows the company to continue to innovate and expand its roster of retailers and watersport rental operators nationwide. FlyDive is privately held, funded by venture capitalists including Thynk Capital, a prominent venture fund focused on innovative technologies. FlyDive is raising additional growth capital to fuel its fast-growing product roadmap and market expansion. The company, in early 2016, began rollout of its flagship product, the family-friendly X-Board, and the reception was exceptionally positive as newcomers to Hydroflight took to it with ease. FlyDive aims to use its powerful patent portfolio to propel innovation forward, and build a healthy Hydroflight industry and ecosystem.
“We’re thrilled to announce that FlyDive is the owner of the leading Hydroflight technology,” stated FlyDive CEO Christos Nicolaidis. “Unbeknownst to many, we innovated early, as this industry was just beginning, and some of the most valuable and impactful performance designs were developed in our facility. Now that we have acquired the patent protection covering our original designs and more, we’ve secured proper growth and a healthy runway for our product development. We understand the potential impact of what one company can do with this ownership, and we’ll continue to grow the sport to be one that is inclusive of professional athletes, novices and families, benefitting retailers, rental operations and other product companies within our industry as well.”
The original design and utility patents were filed in 2012, with additional filings through 2016. The comprehensive portfolio of Hydroflight patents includes: the individual jet nozzles enabling independent foot steering; the 360-degree swivel joint that attaches the hose to a Hydroflight device; the handheld wireless controller which operates the PWC throttle and includes engine cut-off switch; the quick-connect coupling that attaches the hose to a Hydroflight device; the quick-connect coupling that attaches the U-pipe to the back of a PWC; the quick-disconnect for interface of Hydroflight devices with bindings or boots; the locking mechanism to enable or disable the individual foot steering capability; springs to return the individual feet to their neutral position; the Hydroflight board which floats in water; the wireless controller that adjusts jet nozzle direction; the thrust nozzle reducer; adjustable thrust nozzles; the Hydroflight board with a narrow mid-section; hand grips on Hydroflight devices; the hoverboard; and many other claims.
FlyDive invented and developed strong original IP as well. Its experimentation with advanced waterflow analysis unlocked proprietary methods for designing jetboards with optimized performance and led to patents encompassing jetboard shape, waterflow management and more. This led to engineering of a board on which beginners could quickly and easily conquer the art of flight. With lighter, softer control inputs and a compact, balanced platform employed in the X-Board, FlyDive proved the theory that Hydroflight could be learned and adopted easily by the average person. They have additional proprietary designs in progress focused on maximizing performance of Hydroflight athletes.