By Cailey Rizzo
August 06, 2019

Over the weekend, a French man became the first in the world to cross the English Channel via hoverboard.

Inventor Franky Zapata rode his own hoverboard about 22 miles from nearby Calais, France to Dover, England. He stopped halfway through to refuel on a boat, completing the journey in only about 20 minutes.

Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

“For the last five to six kilometers I just really enjoyed it,” Zapata told reporters on arrival, according to Reuters. “Whether this is a historic event or not, I’m not the one to decide that, time will tell.”

At points in the journey, Zapata said the hovercraft was reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Zapata was accompanied by three helicopters throughout the journey, just in case anything went awry. He previously tried to complete the Channel crossing a few weeks ago but failed, falling into the sea when he was landing to refuel.

The jet-powered hover-board used by French inventor Franky Zapata to cross the English Channel to Dover.
Steve Parsons - PA Images/Getty Images
French inventor Franky Zapata
Steve Parsons - PA Images/Getty Images

He calls the aircraft a “Flyboard Air,” according to The New York Times, and it’s gaining attention in France. Zapata impressed spectators last month during France’s Bastille Day parade in Paris, riding the hoverboard over the national celebrations.

Despite the successful journey, it is unlikely Zapata’s hoverboards will be available for mass consumption anytime soon. And even once they do reach the public, they will likely cost more than $250,000.

And those who are able to afford the Flyboard Air, users will have to undergo hundreds of hours of training to be able to use them.

And then, of course, there will probably be government regulations if we’re using them as a form of transportation. It might not be long before we’re debating Hoverboard traffic conditions, after all.

Zapata's not stopping with hoverboards, according to Reuters he’s also working on a flying car.

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