Recently, a good friend of mine sent me an invitation on FB for his birthday party. I was already in, but there was a twist. This was going to be a flyboarding birthday party. Flyboarding is something that I had seen done before (mainly through YouTube videos) but never done myself. Let me quickly explain. Take 1 part wakeboard, 2 parts Jet Ski, shake thoroughly and garnish with Ironman. We’ll call it the Awesomesauce Cocktail. Seriously, just imagine a wakeboard with a jet mounted to the bottom. Fly around like a superhero? This was going to be a great party.
My friend told me he had been in touch with a guy from On Purpose Adventures, a company that specialized in adventure themed group events. Whitewater rafting bachelor parties, scavenger hunt corporate teambuilding events, stuff like that. My buddy wanted to do something big, but he wanted to do something totally different than the typical dinner out/barhop/hangover routine. For the record, let me state that I am actually a big fan of that routine. If I wake up feeling great, something went horribly, horribly wrong. Variety is the spice of life, though, and I fully supported his wanting to mix it up. On Purpose gave him a few ideas and said that they knew the people at Hydrofly Watersports. Flyboarding sounded perfect.
We all met at a marina downtown and were ferried out to a floating tiki hut. Not even kidding. There is a tiki hut chillin in the middle of our harbor. This was no floating plank of wood, either. There were over 20 of us, and we fit comfortably. Seriously, I’ve lived in Charleston for years. How have I never noticed a giant tiki hut in the water?? Once aboard, we strung up a few hammocks and then got to work. (I love how we use “work” to refer to really awesome things. “My wife and I are working on having a kid.” “I went on a Santa pub crawl last night. We did work.” “We got to work strapping in to jet powered wakeboards...” For the record, the “work” comes AFTER you and your spouse have the kid. Just saying.)
I digress. Back to the Ironman party. I think everyone was feeling about like I was at the time. Excited to try it but also a little intimidated. I don’t think anyone was scared of hurting themselves. I think we were more scared that we wouldn’t get the hang of it, or wipe out in a really awkward way that gets caught on video and goes viral, ruining our chances of having sex forever. Like I said, I’m an adrenaline junkie, but most of the things I’ve done didn’t require exceptionally good balance. Even racing bikes, you really let the bike do most of the work. I'm still thinking this would make a great Charleston bachelor party idea.
After the 3rd or 4th person went out, I noticed a trend. For the most part, everyone was able to get acclimatized pretty quickly. There may have been one girl who had a rougher time, but given another chance, I’m sure even she would come around. Me? Oh I totally ate shit a few times, but after a few minutes, it was no big deal. I would be willing to swallow a LOT more seawater for the experience that followed. Once I got the hang of it and was flying 10 ft over the water, I felt like a champion. Even when you are in the middle of doing it, you’re already thinking about when the next time will be. I compared it to a mixed drink earlier, but crack cocaine would probably be a more appropriate analogy.
Like just about any other activity that involved sun and water, you eventually get kinda hungry. Can we all agree that being able to eat $15 worth of Taco Bell just because you swam 60 feet is very unnatural? Now take that feeling, and multiply by 20. Not a big deal. This floating tiki party was catered. No, that doesn’t make sense. Don’t think about it too hard. Catered it was though, by the Burrito Babe. A babe on a waverunner cruises out to your boat and delivers burritos. Again, I’ve been playing in the Charleston harbor for years… never knew about the Burrito Babe. Maybe I should get blackout drunk less. I may have gotten greedy. I ate two. How do you decide between the turkey/bacon/ranch and the grilled chipotle chicken? That’s not a fair situation for anyone.
Once everyone was full, feeling heroic, and had at least 30 potential new FB profile pics to choose from, we packed it in. It was around 7:00 or so… plenty of time to go recharge for the evening. I went out that night and literally couldn’t stop talking about the awesome time we had that day.
And I still woke up with a hangover. Jackpot.