Behind a million-dollar home on Star Island, sunbathers do a double take as an unusual vessel
Its driver, Anthony Michel, does circles around one of the ships his company, Vice Boat Club, uses to ferry partygoers through South Florida waters. Today, the ship is escorting members of the press into the Intracoastal Waterway to see the product in action. Michel approaches the boat before coming to a full stop.
The Frenchman asks everyone onboard who would like to go next.
He's showing off the G2X, an electric-powered jet board he claims is the future of watersports. Created by Swedish entrepreneur Alexander Lind, the G2X is new to many watersports markets, including Miami, but it's already made a big splash. An image of Richard Branson clowning around on a G2X gave the product something of a publicity boost back in 2017.
“They were scouting, looking for partners,” Richer says about
The company is looking for U.S. retailers interested in acquiring the G2X, although the product is already available to order online for the hefty sum of 10,000 euros. According to Richer, 250 units of the G2X prototype had already been preordered ahead of the product’s official launch in Miami.
“Florida is the best place for riding,” Richer says. “We have sun almost every day of the year.”
Michel gives everyone on the boat a tutorial on how to use the G2X. He explains everything, from properly mounting the board to using the Bluetooth control that regulates its speed. The ankle strap attached to the board via magnet is also important: The G2X halts once the strap is detached from the board. I compare the strap’s function to that of a safety cord used to stop a treadmill.
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“It is just a switch off,” Michel says. “Like on a Jet Ski.”
The board itself is easy to maneuver. While it requires some level of mastery to pop up surfer style, an uncoordinated amateur such as myself had a pretty good time safely cruising atop the G2X like a boogie board out of Tony Stark's workshop.
I hit the board's maximum speed of 35 mph maybe once or twice during my encounter. I could've done it more often, but I was a beginner. My fear of smashing into the side of a yacht or careening into one of the luxury backyards of Star Island outweighed my need for speed.
For this novice test driver, everything went fine. It's a fun ride. But that 10,000-euro price tag is steep. And after South Florida's many Jet Ski mishaps over the years, I was left wondering whether the G2X would one day become an accessory in future Florida Man stories.