How A Hoverboard Upstaged Paris’s Bastille Day Parade

A man flying through the air while riding skis

Like time travel, invisibility clothing, and robotic police officers, hoverboards just seem like one of those technological advances we gave up on having outside of cartoons and 80s action movies.

But this weekend, Franky Zapata proved us wrong. The French inventor showed off his newest creation, a jet-powered flyboard, at the Bastille Day parade in Paris. It can fly up to 118mph, and though it needs to be refueled every ten minutes or so, the feat is still incredibly impressive, and the implications for its use as weaponry are enormous.

The parade was designed to be a swaggering display of military might, the kind a certain type of world leader has praised in the past for its opulence and intimidation factor. But if France is peacocking its defenses, it definitely has the goods to back them up. Including, it seems, Zapata’s flyboard.

But for now, the inventor’s eye is set not on grand military strategy, but on testing the board out on the English Channel. A crossing has been scheduled for July 25.

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