TIERRA VERDE (FOX 13) - Think of a jet ski and a surfboard having a baby and you get jet surfing. It's kind of like surfing, but with horsepower.
"It’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” one rider offered. “I mean, you’re going over water at 35 miles per hour standing up, with a motor between your feet. It's like something you’ve never experienced."
The sport started in New Zealand and is just now making waves in the United States. It's growing in the Tampa Bay area because of our calm gulf and bay waters.
The boards will cost you upwards of $10,000, but you can rent them. Lance Shonts, who moved down from Chicago, now runs Surfs Up Watersports Florida off of Holmes Beach. He rents out the boards and teaches how to operate the boards, and take it from me -- it is much easier than it looks.
"It's good to see them get up, and when they stand up, I’m just as happy as they are,” Shonts said.
A Formula One team were the designers of the first boards. You hold a throttle in your hand. And, like a water scooter, if you get thrown off, it will automatically shut off.
It's fun to watch and even more fun to try. Its popularity is keeping Shonts busy.
"The world is so crazy. When you’re able to get some time away and go on the water and just rip it with one of these, you can’t help but feel good afterwards,” Shonts added.
LINK: If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can learn more at www.surfsupwatersportsfl.com