Back during Paris’s Bastille Day parade last month, a surprise guest made major headlines. French inventor Franky Zapata flew just above the parade on a hoverboard, in probably the most impressive stunt in all of the particularly militaristic showcase.
This weekend, Zapata successfully used the same hoverboard to cross the English Channel, after a failed attempt on July 25th ended with him falling into the sea. Zapata himself stated before the attempt that he thought he had only a 30% chance of making the crossing, so the fact that he went for it at all is impressive on its own. The 20-minute journey required a refueling halfway through, and was incredibly taxing on the body, according to the flying man himself. “Your body resists the wind,” Zapata said, “and because the board is attached to my feet, all my body has to resist the wind.”
What is next for this new invention is uncertain, but in the meantime Zapata and his wife, Christelle, will get to enjoy their historic moment — and perhaps, Christelle jokes, a vacation.