Photo: First-time flyboard “pilot” John Durbin gets acclimated to flying during a visit to Ark-La-Tex Flyboard on July 27.
Have you ever dreamed of flying? A new service in Shreveport, Ark-La-Tex Flyboard, offers thrill seekers the opportunity to soar above the surface of Cross Lake using a water-powered device called a flyboard. I “flew” for the first time this past weekend, and the experience made for one of the most unique and unforgettable afternoons of my life.
Ark-La-Tex Flyboard is a locally owned venture run by two couples, Rich and Paula McGahan and Randy and Lisa Arendell. Their warm, enthusiastic personalities and patient instruction make a world of difference. It takes the average “pilot” a few attempts to get the hang of flying, and a few gentle falls are usually involved. But Rich, Paula, Randy and Lisa had me flying within a few minutes of getting into the wetsuit.
Flyboarding experiences last about 30 minutes per flight and range from $70-$99 per person, depending on the size of the group. Outings depart from Melvin’s Landing on Cross Lake, located at 1550 Cross Lake Boulevard in Shreveport, and must be booked in advance by calling 844-TRY-2FLY (844-879-2359) or visiting the company’s website at arklatexflyboard.com. Their Facebook page is a great place to see photos and video of the flyboard in action.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, 12-5 p.m., Ark-La-Tex Flyboard will host a pro demonstration event at Port-au-Prince, located at 5301 South Lakeshore Drive on Cross Lake. During the event, North American Flyboard Champion Damone Rippy will present flyboarding demonstrations and there will be giveaways, including chances to win free flights. Admission is free and the public is invited to bring lawn chairs and watch.
Here’s a video of Damone Rippy in action: