Flyboarding with TOP GUN Flyboards
In 2013, 22-year-old Jonathon Brockhoff was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. Today, he’s cancer-free and the Flyboarding instructor at the only place you can Flyboard in the Bradenton Area. If you haven’t heard of Flyboarding, it’s kind of like surfing on a hoverboard. Brockhoff’s company, TOP GUN Flyboards, was founded in the spirit of living every day to the fullest. And that’s exactly what Brockhoff and his team have done since. His story is unique. But it’s his enthusiasm for life that makes him and his company so special. He sat down with us to talk a little bit about his story, Flyboarding in general and what he likes best about the Bradenton Area.
Q: Can you start just by telling us about who you are and what you do?
A: My name is Jonathon Brockhoff. I’m the owner of Top Gun Flyboards. Any vacationer coming down can come fly with us for a super good price. And everyone has fun and leaves with a big smile.
Q: You’ve got a fascinating story. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
A: Before I was a certified Flyboarder, I was working toward my dream job of being a welder. I ended up getting the job, and my first day of the job I had to go in and tell them I was diagnosed. It was a super rare cancer – one in three million chance. But it was stage one, only one tumor. So I was super lucky in that fact. They took out the tumor and all of my chemo was precautionary. So I’m cured now! I’ll be good for the rest of my life.
Q: So, what’s it like being a Flyboarding instructor? Would you say it’s rewarding?
A: Yeah! It’s awesome. The worst day at work is a cold day on the beach. People come, and they might be excited, nervous, scared, whatever. But they always leave with a big smile on their face.
Q: What other sport does Flyboarding relate to? Surfing? Skateboarding?
A: It’s a little bit similar to those since it’s a board sport. But it’s mostly like snowboarding, I’d say. Your feet are strapped in and it’s all toe-heel movement. But I’ve also heard it’s a little bit like being on a Segway.
Q: What do you tell someone who’s unsure about being able to stand up on the board?
A: It only takes five to ten minutes to learn. Anybody can do it. Everybody stands up and flies around. I mean, we’ve had a 65-year-old fly. We’ve even had people who can’t swim do it. It’s just easy. And a lot of fun!
Q: Do you teach people any cool Flyboarding tricks?
A: If they’re comfortable with it, and I feel comfortable with them, we can teach you how to spin, dive, fly up to 20 feet – whatever they want to try, really.
Q: Have you always lived in the Bradenton Area?
A: Actually, I moved from Illinois when I was five or six because my brother was born with a congenital heart disease. And down here they have the best heart doctors in all of America. It’s funny because it turns out they have the best cancer doctors, too (laughs).
Q: Have you always liked being on the water?
A: No. And that’s what’s funny! When we first moved here, my mom would always want to go to the beach. Always. And I would throw the biggest hissy fits and temper tantrums because I didn’t want to go to the beach. I didn’t like the sand, the saltwater and sunburns. Now, she thinks it’s hilarious because I run a business in the water.
Q: What’s one thing you wished people knew about the Bradenton Area that they might not know?
A: This is one of the only places around here that’s still that island feel. You won’t find a McDonald’s or Walmart on the island. And I think that’s why people come here. But the whole area also has all of these new things like the Riverwalk, TOP GUN Flyboards and other fun things for young people to do. I think people will start seeing it as the up-and-coming place that it is.
Q: What’s next for Top Gun Flyboards?
A: Well, we’re trying to get a new location behind a hotel here in the Bradenton Area. Then, who knows? Literally, we can go anywhere.
Q: How does someone book a session with TOP GUN Flyboards?
A: Since we’re so new and not a lot of people know about us, a lot of people book through Groupon. People find us there or on Facebook or the website and give me a call. From there, we schedule a time that works for them and we’ll see them out there.
To learn more about Top Gun Flyboards, go to their website at TopGunFlyboards.com. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To speak with Jonathon Brockhoff about booking a session, call (941) 565-1727.
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