Dad Days Out – I audition for the Avengers

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– YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST FAMILY AND ‘DAD ONLY’ DAYS OUT – 

This is the first in my brand new series – Dad Days Out. For our debut day I tell you all about how you can become one of the Avengers – Iron Man! Watch the vid, then check out the review and find out how you can live the Marvel dream!

If your girlfriend bought you an experience day which involved strapping on a rocket pack to your feet, which launched you 20feet in the air over the river Thames, you might think she was trying to kill you. Well, turns out she wasn’t actually planning the perfect crime – but instead gave me the gift of pure exhilaration by sending me flyboarding!

Flyboarding is best described as a combination of wakeboarding, waterskiing and space travel. The premise is, if you strap a jetpack to you feet and then connect said jetpack to the throttle of a jet ski, you will have fun – and this is absolutely true!

Upon arrival I was led on to a barge moored on the banks of the Thames, near the Excel Centre. Like with all good weekend activities I first had to sign a disclaimer to say I wouldn’t sue the company if I picked up Weils Disease from the river. I then got given a wetsuit, some giant plastic jetpack boots and a hearty pat on the back from a friendly staff member. After getting suited up I popped my feet in the Thames and within 3 seconds my feet had gone completely numb. It was so cold – however, I didn’t want to show this, as I was keen to impress my 7 month old son who was watching intently on the quayside. I would prefer him to be at least 5 before he realises I am not the physical embodiment of Superman.

I then launched myself in to the water and proceeded, with great flair and panache I might add, to crack my head on the side of a jetski. Fortunately, Big Crazy, the flyboarding specialists who run the centre, had factored in my own incompetence and provided me with a sturdy helmet. My instructor, seated on the aforementioned jetski, then floored the throttle so my boots could zip me out in to the middle of the Thames. It was now time to give flying a go.


My first flight was exhilarating – all 0.3 seconds of it. Okay, this was going to take a little practice. Unlike most board sports, the  trick is to keep you legs locked. During the introductory briefing, my instructor told me that you bend your left knee to go left and bend your right knee to go right. I asked what happens if you bend both knees? He said I would launch in to an uncontrollable backflip. On my second flight this happened, completely by accident! It was awesome!After a few more flights…and even more wipeouts, I actually started to get the hang of it. The people watching me from the bank turned the concerned expressions on their faces in to wry smiles as I started to zip about. My son even gurgled excitedly as I began to whoosh through the air – though he may have just caught sight of a full bottle in mummy’s handbag. I am hoping that his lasting impression of the day was that his Dad might actually be the real iron man. Maybe not Robert Downey Jr in his prime, but instead Iron Man in his twilight years, when he had started to rust a bit and only used the blasters in his hands to scare squirrels off his allotment.

The whole experience from briefing to end lasted about 1.5hrs. All in, the cost is around £65, and friends/family can watch for free from the nearby moored barge.

The staff were excellent and I cannot recommend the experience more highly.

RATING – 5/5IMG_4042

Want to become a mildly incompetent superhero too? Then check out big crazy flyboarding. You will not regret it.

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