UND senior Jesse Gavic is making a name for himself in the high-flying new sensation known as flyboarding

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UND senior Jesse Gavic is making a name for himself in the high-flying new sensation known as flyboarding

University of North Dakota senior Jesse Gavic has his biological family and another one thanks to the new sport of “flyboarding.”

His flyboarding roots started three years ago when Gavic pulled up a YouTube video and found the beginnings of a revolutionary idea. Franky Zapata, a French inventor, posted a flyboarding clip that caught Gavic’s eye.

Gavic, a native of Coon Rapids, Minn., passed the video along to his brother and recruited him to help invest in one of the new contraptions. The two of them now spend their summer days 50 feet above the water, flipping, dipping and spiraling for audiences. Although maybe not a lifetime profession, Gavic, who majors in air traffic control at UND, and his brother have become so passionate about flyboarding that they sell, rent, perform and do party rentals for the Midwest region in the summer.

The flyboard is a type of personal jet pack that binds to one’s feet. The water pressure created from a personal watercraft is redirected through a 60-foot hose that splits into two downward-pointing nozzles underneath the feet. This allows the rider to lift from the water and hover above the world below. The apparatus has connections with bearings on them which allow it to swivel, preventing the rider from getting tangled up in the hose.

After several tough practices, a broken bone and much persistence Gavic, along with his brother, have become some of the top competitors in the world. This team of brothers has been able to travel to several competitions and performances, including stops in the Midwest, Arkansas, Texas, as well as international locations such as Toronto, Cancun, Mexico and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“One of the more memorable experiences was the world championships in Dubai,” said Gavic. “It’s amazing the family that flyboarding has created. I have learned that staying connected is vital to excelling in any field of expertise ? or should I say any lake of expertise.”

In Cancun, Gavic performed in a video with Devin Graham, better known by his YouTube name “Supertramp.” He also competed in the American Championships in Toronto and attended the North American Flyboard Family Weekend in Rogers, Ark. where a record for most riders in the air at one time was set.

Gavic even hosted a getaway weekend for UND’s Chi Alpha ministry members, giving them a chance to try it out. The Gavic brothers also performed a night show in LED light show in Mankato, Minn.

“There have been times when it was very challenging; I learned to push limits physically, financially and mentally,” Gavic said. “The support of my brother and my loving faith have allowed me to excel in perseverance and resilience.”

Gavic credits his faith for all that he’s achieved.

“God has been my foundation from the very beginning; I owe the accomplishments I have earned to Him,” he said. “Flyboarding reminds me of being a part of something bigger, a complexity you can’t quite understand until you experience it yourself.”

Gavic is excited to see where flyboarding lead him next. He said it’s important to step outside of the daily conundrum and see the potential in new things.

“No risk, no reward,” he says.

Teresa DiGregorio University & Public Affairs student writer

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