maanantai 29. toukokuuta 2017

Interview: Ile Ranta's way to the official Flyboard Show was fast like a bullet train's visitors have been mainly from Finland, but spring 2017 has brought us a whole new trend that seems to be here to stay: growing amount of people from all over the world search their ways on this website via Google and during May only half of our visitors have been Finnish. Therefore it's time to start offering content in English too.

Our first English article is an interview with Ile Ranta (in pic above), Finnish jetski pro, who's way to Zapata Racing's Flyboard Show in China was breath taking fast! got to meet Ile in Tampere, Finland, where the most enthusiastic Finnish jetboarders gathered to open season in 2C degree water in the beginning of May.

Season opening in Tampere, Finland.
In pic from left: Ile Ranta, Miika Tourunen, Vadim Nekhaev and Lauri Huuskola.

So, Ile, you are a relatively new dude in hydroflight sports. What's your background and how did you find your way on a jetboard? 

- New guy on the block here! My background is in jetskiing, I have been riding for the past 12 years and from my passion, got to work as a professional mechanic for the past few years also.

Some time ago, on a sunny day here in Finland (yes, they do happen on the rarest of occasions) I was freestyling on my standup on the local lake. Next to me someone was teaching people to fly, I remember thinking that it looks cool and definitively is something i need to try in the near future.
As I was catching my breath on the beach, a guy comes to me asking was it me who was doing some backflips there and I replied with a yes, he then proceeded to ask me to follow him on the docks without really saying why.

I got curious and followed the guy, and as we got to the docks, he told me to put my feet in the Flyboard boots and to go fly. I was dumbstruck as to why, and how and what! But like I said I did just think about trying it and did not back down on my own wishes.
I tried asking for pointers on how to do it but he just said that try it and if it does not work out then he will instruct me. And I just went and flew.

It was easier than expected but then again I have been training my body for many years and have a solid foundation. I did try straight away the dolphin dive which to my knowledge went pretty neatly.

How did you end up in China, and how long did you work for ZR's Flyboard Show there? 

- China.. What an awesome experience! It is impossible to imagine having to perform for crowds up to 60000 people for a small town guy like me!

Last year, on social media, I saw a post from Mr. Zapata himself saying in French that they were needing a tech guy for a project. And I got interested so I followed suite and sent an email explaining my know how knowledge and situation.

 After that I got to messaging with the show manager, and him asking me some additional questions for example when can I leave and so on. And they let me know that they were in a hurry to get a guy there so I made all necessary arrangements to be able to fly out immediately. As soon as I had my Chinese visa in hand, they sent me the flight tickets for a plane leaving three days after.

So before I knew it, I was watching the most awesome show with six people flying at the same time before a crowd of around 50000 people! I was really mesmerized!

Lots of Love to all my Chinese experience coworkers! My Flyers! Adrew Hickey, Alejo Sotelo, Eric Diaz, Daniel Guerra, Damone Rippy, Remco Weistra, Petr Civin, Jaxon Hannigan, Connor Brondes, Spencer O'Brien, Oscar Schönberg, Sam Bell, Simone Careddu and John Albinsson!!

And My Favorite Techs and Jetski maniacs! Arthur Catoira, Florian Jullien, Xan Sampaio!

I suppose you must have had an awesome team sprit in China to cheer people up both in highs and lows. Could you share us some of your greatest moments / memories from that whole journey? 

- Wow! Greatest memories were made daily with this group of multinational people all driven by the passion of this awesome sport! My greatest memory must be on the day that Sam Bell instructed me while I was in the air on my headset to try and headbutt the board to perform the backflip!
After I had been trying it many, many times, this was definitively the advice that got me inverted.

On the next training session I did straight away go and try the back to back going really sideflip to sideflip and over rotating like a madman... Well, that is all it really takes, a great team spirit and lots of cheering to really have the confidence to try new stuff on the board while being an amateur.

Let's look at the future a little: how do you see jetboarding as a rising sports here in Finland - in your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses if compared to other seasonal sports, let's say for example snowboarding?

- As it is now, I think jetboarding will remain a marginal hobby, it is an extreme sport and has many enthusiastic people really pushing it to make it more visible to any and all; but still, as the water is not an element for everybody I do not see it becoming something as popular as motocross for example.

Maybe, as nowadays you can start with a low cost jetski and get a second hand board, it is getting easier to start the sport for almost any young guy or girl wanting to fly; which it was not when you had to buy a jetski costing more than 10k.

What about your own goals in jetboarding? Are we going to see you in competitions in the future, or are you going to keep it just as a hobby? 

- I will definitively advance my flying skills and even get to competing. Maybe not this year since I have to readjust to being back here but next year would be nice to get to compete. Also, I would get to see my friends from China, I know they will be there and they will bring a whole new level to the competitions, keeps your eyes peeled for those I mentioned before! My goal is to enjoy myself and get to keep meeting awesome people that share the same Passion!

Thank You Ile for the interview! May you and all our readers have a great year on every corner of the world, on every hydroflight device! 

Yup, Ile sure is a true Finn!

About this website: is dedicated to hydroflight sports, mainly jetboarding. We follow the scene and bring all the info for our Finnish readers - no matter how much ice we got on our waters! 
And a little Finnish lesson: suihkulautailu is a straight translation from English word jetboarding.

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