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Jetpack Racing

Jet Pack Racing Takes Center Stage at Dubai Boat Show



Dubai International Boat Show 2024

The Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) stands as a testament to the innovation synonymous with the city’s identity. Established in 1992, this annual event has become a global showcase for the maritime industry, attracting boat enthusiasts, industry professionals, and luxury aficionados from around the world.

Marina on Display

Beginning February 28 until March 3, this year’s edition of the DIBS takes center stage, offering a unique platform that goes beyond the allure of opulent vessels. At its heart, the event is a celebration of technology and innovation, themes carefully chosen by organizers to underscore the pivotal role these concepts play in shaping the future of the maritime sector.

Held at the iconic Dubai Harbour, the Dubai International Boat Show is renowned for presenting a display of luxury yachts, boats, marine equipment and more. A stunning showcase awaits, with last year’s event presenting a cumulative value exceeding Dh2.5 billion($700 million), featuring over 175 exquisite yachts and vessels. The event provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to explore the latest trends and advancements in maritime design and technology.

One of the highlights of the show is the presence of some of the world’s leading yacht builders, showcasing their most impressive creations. From renowned shipyards in Italy to bespoke craftsmanship from the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai International Boat Show is a melting pot of global nautical expertise.

Jetpack Racing Show by Gravity Industries

The news of world’s first jetpack race was unveiled at Burj Park in a press conference for the boat show. The announcement was accompanied by a live demonstration featuring three of elite jetpack racers from Gravity Industries, who will take to the skies in the inaugural event.

As highlighted earlier, the event is a result of a collaboration between the Dubai Sports Council and Gravity Industries, the pioneering jet suit company founded by Richard Browning. The event is poised to redefine the boundaries of air sports, with Gravity Industries at the forefront of bringing the exhilarating vision to life.

Among the contenders vying for victory in this historic race is Ahmed Al Shehhi, proudly representing the United Arab Emirates. The inclusion of racers from eight different countries adds a dynamic international flavor to the event, creating an atmosphere of friendly competition and camaraderie on a truly global scale.

The Race & the Racecourse

Each participant will navigate the skies using a specially designed jet suit, propelling themselves through the air with precision and skill. The futuristic event promises to captivate audiences worldwide, as racers defy gravity in their quest for supremacy.

The racecourse itself is a carefully designed aerial track that challenges participants to navigate a series of twists, turns, and altitude changes. This demanding course ensures that the jet suit racers not only showcase their speed but also their ability to maneuver through a complex airborne circuit.

Richard Browning expressed his excitement about turning a dream into reality. For Browning, the race in Dubai is more than just an event; it is the realization of a vision nurtured over many years. He envisions this inaugural race as the launchpad for a series of high-flying competitions that will captivate audiences across the globe.

Dubai as the Venue

The choice of Dubai as the host city for this groundbreaking race is no coincidence. Known for its audacious endeavors and commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible, Dubai provides the perfect stage for this gravity-defying spectacle. The Dubai Harbour, with its stunning backdrop of futuristic architecture and the azure waters of the Persian Gulf, serves as the ideal setting for a race that promises to be as visually stunning as it is groundbreaking.

In recent years, the Dubai International Boat Show has embraced a commitment to sustainability, reflecting the global shift towards eco-friendly practices. The event has become a platform for companies to showcase their dedication to environmental stewardship in the maritime sector. With state-of-the-art waste management systems, energy-efficient lighting, and eco-friendly construction practices, the venue aligns with Dubai’s broader sustainability goals.

As the show evolves each year, it reinforces its status as a crucial meeting point for industry leaders, enthusiasts, and innovators. The Dubai International Boat Show not only celebrates the beauty and opulence of maritime design but also challenges the industry to steer towards a more sustainable and responsible future.

A lifelong sports enthusiast with a recent interest in technology, Web3, and cryptocurrency. Every weekend you can find me watching football(soccer) and keeping up to date with stocks and crypto. Writing about the things I love and hopefully painting a picture for the reader.

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The Future of Racing: Beyond Wheels and Into the Skies



How flying cars and jet suit racing are redefining the boundaries of sports.

In a world obsessed with speed, the race track has long been a battleground for the most audacious of dreamers. 

It’s where innovation meets adrenaline, where the sound of engines and the screech of tires on asphalt have defined generations of speed fans. 

But as we stand on the brink of a new era, the race track is no longer confined to the limitations of the ground. We are entering an age where the sky becomes the ultimate racing frontier, and the boundaries of sports are being redefined right before our eyes.

Believe it or not — we already have a virtual reality gates for the flying cars. 

Growing up, I was mesmerised by speed. The faster, the better. Cars, bikes, rollerblades — if it could move, I wanted to see how fast it could go. Yet, even in my wildest dreams, flying cars were a fantasy reserved for superheroes and sci-fi movies. 

Little did I know, the future of racing was quietly brewing, not in the pages of comic books, but within the labs and minds of engineers and visionaries around the world.

And I was a part of it. — Lexie Janson, a flying car racing pilot

Lexie Janson (racing pilot) and her flying car.

When Dreams Take Flight

The pursuit of flying cars has long captured the human imagination. It’s a symbol of our desire to break free, to defy the very laws of nature that have bound us. But what once seemed like a distant dream is now palpably close. 

Companies around the globe are developing flying cars, not just as luxurious gimmicks, but as the next big thing in personal transport and, more importantly, in racing.

Imagine cities hosting grand prix events not on closed circuits, but above them, with flying cars racing between skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and down the riverbeds. 

And of course — crashing, which is a way less desirable part of it. 

Maybe let’s skip landmarks and historically important spots. 

The skillset for pilots in this new era goes beyond steering and braking. It is a mix of jet fighter pilot and Formula 1 driver. It’s about surviving the G-forces, creating a strategy for 3D circumstances and quick reaction times (especially if another pilot comes from above or below). 

Jet suit racing (Iron Man!?)

If flying cars promise to redefine racing on a macro scale, jet suit racing touches upon the individual’s quest for speed (and nerdy dreams of becoming an Iron Man)

Picture this: racers dressed in jet suits, lifting off from the ground, powered by the sheer force of technology strapped to their backs and hands. This sport requires an extreme core balance and body control strength. One missed move may mean crashing or spinning uncontrollably. 

“Oh, this is still an imagination,” you may say. But it’s not. It’s real:

CHeck out our vlog from the test flight vlog

In February 2024, Dubai, UAE — has conducted the first jetsuit race in the world. In this historical event 8 pilots have been fighting for the title of the first champion. The event had it all: crash into the water, disqualification, a pilot “losing it” and extreme circumstances. 

The final race lasted 90 seconds.

Its winner — Issa Kalfon has left his name on the pages of history for ever. An ex-gymnast claims that his past career path was one of the deciding factors in his training and win. Because machina sports are not just about the machines. It’s about human and the machine. 

Jet suit racing isn’t just about who crosses the finish line first; it’s a testament to human ambition and ingenuity. Each race pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, challenging pilots to outmanoeuvre their opponents while maintaining control over their high-powered suits. 

It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and extreme.

But is not only about racing. Their jetsuit is also created to help medics get to their patients in less favourable spots, transportation and military use. Dubai Race promotional picture

FPV Drone Racing — Esports and athletes

But not all the new sports require athletes to get into any type of a suit. FPV Drone racing is a discipline that connects esports with athletic abilities. 

As esports players get their time in the gym for reaction times, cardio, and general health — FPV Pilots need to do the same to withstand the stress and pressure during their races. 

It’s not all about the drones that one can buy in the store. It’s mostly self-built racing drones that can fly with a speed of 200km/h. 

FPV Racing Drone during MultiGP Sharjah event (owned photo)

During an FPV Race 4–8 pilots fly the FPV Drones through an obstacle track. Pilots see what their drones see in real time through FPV Goggles, and control them via an RC controller. 

Pilots often experience midair collisions, crashes, and exciting chases throughgout the race. But is it a spectator sport? Yes! In the recent event MultiGP Sharjah — FPV Drone Racing has reached a brand new level of spectator-friendly event. The audience could see what the pilots saw on the screens, but also “line of sight”. And the view? Easy to understand, and pretty exciting. If you are interested in more visuals — check out our vlog.

Long-exposure picture of the race in Sharjah (owned)

The Evolution of the Spectator

The sports as we know them haven’t changed much in the last decades, as the human bodies have limited capabilities. This is why machina sports are popping here and there showing that human and the machine mean even more excitement and a new, fresh outlook on sports and athletes. 

As racing seems to take to the skies, so too must our conception of spectatorship evolve. Traditional racetracks may transform into multi-dimensional arenas, offering views from below, above, and all around.

Can you imagine!?

Lexie Janson and her flying car (licensed photo)

Fans might follow races through augmented reality interfaces, experiencing the flight from the perspective of their favourite pilots. With the virtual reality tracks — the world becomes a stage, turning spectators into an integral part of the racing narrative.

And I guess we are all here for it. 

Embracing the Future

The migration of racing from wheels to the skies is more than an evolution in sports; it’s reimagining of human potential. 

Picture cyborgs…

In this era of air racing, every pilot’s journey, every race, every breathtaking moment reminds us of our collective drive to break barriers and explore new horizons.

As a child, I could only dream of such marvels. Yet, as we stand on the cliff of this thrilling future, it’s clear that those dreams weren’t just flights of fancy (pun intended). 

They were visions of what was to come. 

The future of racing is here, and it’s inviting us to look upwards, to the skies where the next chapter of human achievement is waiting to unfold (and entertain).

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Jetpack Racing

How Issa Kalfon became the World’s First Jet Suit Racing Champion

Learn how Issa Kalfon emerged as the inaugural Jet Suit Racing Champion, his journey with Gravity Industries, and the rigorous training regimen that propelled him to victory. FuturePlay Exclusive.



Issa Kalfon Dubai Jet Pack Racing Winner

I think we all know who is Iron Man. Generally, a normal person, that uses technology to do things none of us can even dreamt of. While Iron Man Suit still remains a piece of fiction – a Jet Suit or Jet Pack is not fiction anymore – in fact Jet Pack or Jet Suit racing has become a reality now.

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.

Juma Ikangaa

While Gravity Industries continues to shocks us with their technology and Jet powered jetpacks – they recently exceeded their own benchmarks by hosting a first in the world jet suit race that occurred on the February 28th in Dubai.

If you want to see the full race – there’s a vlog on our FuturePlay YouTube channel.

Eight Pilots were in contention for the title of the world’s first jet Suit Racing Champion and after an extremely exciting fight – the title landed with Issa Kalfon.

But how did Issa become one of the 8 pilots chosen for this race and what did he have to do to become the best of them?

The Leap into Jet Suit Racing

Issa’s story with Gravity Industries starts in the gym (out of all places), where he got contacted by the owner of Gravity – Richard Browling. Richard was reaching out to gymnasts and athletes that had a well-developed core strength and control over their bodies, therefore gymnasts seemed like the best choice. Issa was one of the people, who answered the call and never regretted it. But it wasn’t merely his past that prepared him for this new challenge; it was his unwavering belief in a vision, a dream that jet suit racing could one day mesmerize the world as much as it did him.

I think this is a good lesson for us all – if we get some interesting emails about technology we have never seen before – we should reply.

Training for the Uncharted

Training for a sport as innovative and risky as jet suit racing requires more than just physical endurance; it demands courage, innovation, and meticulous planning. Issa’s regimen leading up to the historic race was as much about pushing physical limits as it was about strategizing for safety and performance. Hours were spent in the sauna, cutting weight and enhancing fitness, while flight training sessions focused on minimizing risks – Issa focused on speed and precision of movement.

In the interview with FuturePlay host – Lexie Janson – Issa explains how serious his training has been during the race warm-up. Issa’s training program required him to attend the training in suit, but also to go to the gym after work for 1-2 hour sessions before bed. This has continued for a couple of weeks, but has visibly paid off.

Want to know more?

Check out our in depth write-up about Jetpack Racing.

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Editor's Picks

Why the Next Big Sporting Event could be Jetpack Racing



Jetpack Racing - Art - AI Generated

In the realm of extreme sports, jetpack racing has emerged as a futuristic and adrenaline-fueled spectacle that takes racing to new heights—literally. Pilots strapped into powerful jetpacks navigate through a three-dimensional racecourse, defying gravity and pushing the boundaries of speed and agility. As this high-flying sport gains momentum, it is essential to explore how jetpack racing compares to traditional motorsports, its potential for growth, and the involvement of major companies propelling it into the mainstream.

What is it?

Jetpack racing is a spectacle that captures the imagination, combining cutting-edge technology with the thrill of high-speed racing. Pilots, equipped with state-of-the-art jetpacks, navigate through suspended three-dimensional courses that challenge their skills in altitude control, sharp turns, and mid-air maneuvers. The result is a visually stunning display of human prowess and machine precision, creating a unique blend of excitement and awe.

The jetpacks themselves are marvels of engineering, featuring powerful propulsion systems that propel the pilots through the air. These devices allow for vertical take-offs, rapid acceleration, and precise control, making them the perfect vehicles for a sport that defies the conventional limits of racing.

Comparison to Motorsports

While jetpack racing shares some similarities with traditional motorsports, such as Formula 1 or motorcycle racing, it introduces an entirely new dimension—literally and metaphorically. Unlike ground-based racing, jetpack racing is not confined to a two-dimensional track. Pilots can ascend and descend freely, creating a dynamic and challenging environment that demands a unique set of skills.

In traditional motorsports, the focus is primarily on horizontal movements—sharp turns, acceleration, and braking. Jetpack racing, on the other hand, requires pilots to master the vertical dimension, adding a layer of complexity to the sport. Altitude control becomes as crucial as speed, and the ability to navigate obstacles in three dimensions sets jetpack racing apart as a thrilling and visually spectacular experience.


The potential for growth in jetpack racing is as limitless as the skies the pilots navigate. As technology continues to advance, making jetpacks safer, more efficient, and accessible, the sport is poised to capture the attention of a global audience. The futuristic appeal of jetpack racing, combined with the innate human desire for speed and excitement, positions it as a potential mainstream entertainment phenomenon.

Safety considerations have been a crucial factor in the development of jetpack racing. As safety measures improve and regulations are established, the sport becomes more attractive to both participants and sponsors. The gradual integration of jetpack racing into mainstream sporting events and media coverage could contribute significantly to its growth.

Involvement of Large Companies

The development and promotion of jetpack racing have attracted the interest of major companies, particularly those with expertise in technology, aerospace, and entertainment. Companies specializing in propulsion systems and aviation innovations are at the forefront of advancing the technology that drives jetpack racing. Sources such as JetPack Aviation and Gravity Industries, which is actively involved in the development of jetpacks for recreational and racing purposes, highlight the technological advancements in the field.

We also see that NASA is looking into the implementation of jetpacks for their astronauts. A Colorado business named Special Aerospace Services(SAS) is attempting to leverage the experience gained by NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless, who conducted the first-ever untethered spacewalk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit over 40 years ago, to create a commercial version of the equipment that will aid upcoming astronauts. SAS and NASA have teamed up and will work through a series of 12 milestones over 4 years to advance the development of an Autonomous Maneuvering Unit(AMU).

Entertainment and sports industry giants have also recognized the potential of jetpack racing as a captivating spectacle for audiences. Sponsorships from these companies contribute not only to the financial support of the sport but also to its visibility and appeal. As jetpack racing gains traction, partnerships with major broadcasters and streaming platforms are likely to play a pivotal role in bringing the sport to a wider audience.

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