For nine months, the Riverhead Town Board debated, discussed and argued over whether to allow flyboarding, a new extreme watersport involving a jetpack-like device strapped to users feet. Eventually the board kicked the sport out of Town waters and into the Peconic.
But it took two weeks for Greenport Village give the sport a green light.
At a meeting Thursday night, the village’s Planning Board approved a flyboarding business to operate off of Preston’s Dock in downtown Greenport this summer.
That approval came with conditions: the marina manager will review the business — called Shaka Flyboarding — to see if it would pose issues for the village.
After being assured that Greenport would be included on the company’s insurance policy, chairman Devin McMahon said he supported the idea.
“I would like the project to go forward,” he said.
Brian Carrick, Shaka Flyboarding’s owner and operator, said the idea to run a flyboarding operation has been in the works for a year and a half. He said Shaka Flyboarding is not related to the company that tried to operate in Riverhead, which has since moved to Port Jefferson.
Mr. Carrick became certified to flyboard in January.
“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” he said. “Skydiving, scuba diving, motorcycles. You name it, I do it.”
Mr. Carrick will start with one flyboard, offering it for rental or using the board to teach newcomers.
“I’d like to end the season with two,” he said hopefully.
He said the dock’s location is perfect: He’ll have a changing station and some bathing suits for sale on the dock, and will mostly operate in the waters at least 300 feet out.
Since the bed of Greenport’s harbor is dozens of feet down, there’s no concern of disturbing the sea floor, something that was mentioned in Riverhead.
Mr. Carrick said his operation will not be “anywhere near” incoming boats or ferries and won’t impact neighbors since there are no houses nearby.
“I’m staying near Preston’s,” he said. “It’s not a tour, it’s a sport.”
Shaka Flyboarding will likely open around Memorial Day weekend and remain open throughout the summer into mid-September, Mr. Carrick said.