Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
James Jenkins grew up as a surfer so travel for him has always revolved around the pursuit of riding waves. With the rise of the hydrofoil in recent years, he began to carrying a foil in his board bag, enabling him to still have fun even on the days when surf conditions weren’t ideal. When his friend from our Performance Team, Adam Bennetts, introduced him to Fliteboarding on Namotu in Fiji, he was hooked.
"I recently had the chance to bring my Fliteboard ULTRA to the British Virgin Islands and after that trip, I will never go anywhere without it. It truly is the perfect surf exploration toy. Every morning I would launch off the boat wherever we were anchored and check out new reefs or any wave that looked like it could be ridden.”
The footage is stunning, captured by his friend Cole Cutter, who he first met in university. Their passion for adventure sports and videography bonded them, so they’ve worked together a lot. For those who are curious, James has a variety of DJI drones and currently flies the Mavic Air 2. He uses the most recent GoPro or an Insta360 and films on his Panasonic Gh5. Cole uses the same drone and shoots on a Sony A7iii.
“Every morning of the trip I would start the day with a Flite. There were so many pinch-me moments! I combined the ULTRA with the True Glide prop and all of a sudden, I was towing myself into unpowered foil rides in some of the most beautiful water I have ever seen. Fliteboard has given me a completely new way to travel and explore waves."
As a professional athlete, he’s made it a goal to find and ride as many waves on a foil as he can. The Caribbean is one of his favourite places to travel. “With so many different islands, reefs, and rock structures, the potential for finding new rideable waves is unlimited. While the surf in the Caribbean can be hit or miss, there is almost always something for a foil.”
Like so many others, he’s discovered that eFoiling gives him a unique way to fly. “Fliteboarding to me means total freedom. It gives me the ability to get out on the water no matter where I am and explore. I find it really therapeutic to hop on my Fliteboard and go ride some waves unpowered or just explore new places by water.”
Forever influenced by his surfing background, he describes his style as “very surf and surf-foil influenced.” He was the first person to circumnavigate St. John in the Virgin Islands on a wingfoil and his talent landed him a gig as a stunt double on Season 3 of the Netflix hit Outer Banks. As a native of that area in North Carolina, he was a natural fit for the part. And while he loves to ride in Outer Banks, he says “it sure is hard to beat the clear water of the Virgin Islands and Fiji. My goal is to keep pushing and seeing what’s possible with unpowered wave riding on a Fliteboard.”
As far as what he wants to achieve next, he says he wants to “keep sharing the positive energy and fun-factor that comes with foiling and Fliteboarding. Many sports have a lot of ego and are taken too seriously sometimes. I’m on a mission to always keep foiling and Fliteboarding fun!”
To follow more of James’ journey, you can find him here on Instagram.