Born in California

FlyDive was born in sunny San Diego with one sole purpose – to make hydroflight fun, safe and easy for EVERYONE. Not just the pros, but everyone.

So we huddled away in our warehouse with our testing and design engineers and in 2015 launched the FlyDive X-BOARD. The first of it’s kind, the X-BOARD delivers on the promise to provide the stability needed to boost the confidence of a beginner AND the performance and agility required to take the pros among us to new heights.

With an unparalleled distribution, training and support network, the X-BOARD is easy to purchase, learn, service and maintain so you can maximize your flight time.

Meet the FlyDive Team

At FlyDive, everyone on the team lives an active, adventurous and athletic lifestyle. The FlyDive brand is all about positive energy, discovering new capabilities and sharing exhilarating experiences, and we live the brand every day.

Christos Nicolaidis

Chief Executive Officer

Christos has over 20 years of experience taking consumer products to market from the executive ranks. He is an entrepreneur who is personally committed to the extraordinary effort needed to bring about success for an early-stage business, and has co-founded several successful venture-backed consumer product and internet companies, taking them from concept to market and exit.

Christos believes in creating a customized organizational culture for an organic synergistic approach, “Executives with huge success in different business sectors and environments can only deliver repeat success when they are merged with having similar personal interests in the product and people they are surrounded by every day. Passion drives creativity and focus among like-minds, and this is what drives successful execution.” He chooses both the investors and staff wisely, which builds cohesive guiding principals, ensuring the money the company is backed by is in alignment with the corporate mission and causes FlyDive wants to support. He is a strategic thinker, and this can clearly be seen by the variety of his facial expressions; if you have met him you will know exactly what we are referring to, he exudes authenticity.

As CEO of FlyDive he is dedicating time to unify the leaders in the industry to participate in shared initiatives that drive the sport for years to come, such as: industry events, competitive rules & judging, and at the top of his list are safety standards for both rider physical protection as well as water safety.

His strategic planning will position FlyDive both nationally and internationally in the latest action sport, making FlyDive the consumer hydroflight industry leader. Thus far, he has led the deployment of FlyDive’s proprietary flagship product (the X-Board) and personally secured distribution in several key U.S. markets including Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. He has formed a team of executives that are athletic, have a personal drive for the industry, and specific expertise in their areas of discipline. The team plans collectively and is able to execute independently, when necessary.

Christos is a first generation child of Greek immigrants, husband of a successful psychologist, father of two, and an avid athlete, wakesurfer, and hydroflight enthusiast.
 

Ryan Lorence

Lead Engineer/Certified FlyDiving Trainer

Ryan is an experienced Mechanical Engineer with an EIT Certification from the California Board of Professional Engineers. He’s also a seasoned Level 1 sailing instructor and competitive sailor, surfer, wake boarder and all out water thrill seeker. Ryan has been principally involved in the development and engineering of the FlyDive X-Board from the beginning, and he is driving product development ongoing with up-and-coming FlyDive products.

Diana Baker

Business Relations Manager

Diana has been expertly organizing and managing large and small companies for 15 years. She has a successful track record of developing internal company operating procedures, implementing account management systems and designing customer service processes of the highest standards.

She is particularly interested in the Sports and Fitness industry and loves being a part of companies that are focused on introducing innovative technology to the public. One of her best qualities is her ability to make a connection with a client or strategic partner and turn it into a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.

When she is away from the warehouse, Diana can be seen spending most of her time with her family at the beach or enjoying a good spin class at the gym.

Diana is drawn to FlyDive, because she sees the potential for a new sport that is safe enough for her three kids, but thrilling enough for the biggest sports enthusiasts.

Mike Santomero

Dealer Development

Life has been a nonstop active lifestyle adventure for Mike Santomero! After 4 years of undergraduate studies at Providence College, he has been on a mission to pursue active experiences all over the globe.

After backpacking through Europe, Mike pursued work in the travel industry, giving him the opportunity to explore many diverse environments. He’s toured over 100 college campuses in the Midwest and East Coast of the U.S. while running promotional road trips for STS (Spring Break Travel Agency. He additionally spent more than 6 Summer seasons in Connecticut working at an adventure club & resort by the name of Club Getaway. He served duties as Lifeguard as well as Wakeboarding and Trapeze instructor!

Mike has lived in New Zealand and Australia as a snorkeling & ATV tour guide, Acapulco as an on-site Resort & Tour Director), California to pursue surfing, and spent time in Philadelphia working to get customers healthy and active thru his personal training mentorship.

Mike then toured Amsterdam, Tokyo, Kong Kong, Macao, and went backpacking in Southeast Asia before settling down in California.

He’s lead an eventful life enriched by the people he’s connected with all over the world. His passion for extreme sports keeps him learning and advancing his skills, and this adventurous fire has led him to FlyDive as the newest member of our Dealer Development team! Mike is a serious water man, with extensive training with the US Coast Guard and expertise in personal watercraft, boating and now of course, flying and training others on the X-Board!

Bobby Vance

VP of Domestic & International Sales

Bobby started his professional career in 1980 at the age of 22 when he opened a Landscape Irrigation Company in Brownsville, Texas. He grew the company into one of the largest and most respected Irrigation firms in the State of Texas with offices in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and Austin. He sold the business in 2011 and moved to Lakeway with plans to retire.

A visit to Florida where he first experienced Hydroflight was all the inspiration he needed to launch his own Flight Center at Lakeway Marina on Lake Travis. His new venture, Aquafly, was born in the fall of 2012. Growth occurred very rapidly and he found himself involved in product distribution for Zapata Racing in a five-state region of the United States. By 2015 Aquafly was known world wide as a leader in competition, shows, events, marketing and flight center operations. Today Bobby serves as Flydive’s Vice President of Domestic and International Sales and brings his marketing. industry knowledge and experience to a team of professionals focused on growing and shaping Hydroflight as a safe, fun and family friendly sport. Bobby attended Texas A&M University in Kingsville where he studied Business Administration and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

An avid water sports enthusiast, Bobby first started water skiing at the age of 4 and was slaloming by age 5. His love for water sports grew over the years as he became an accomplished barefoot skier, scuba diver and now Hydroflight enthusiast. He is a Private Pilot, enjoys photography, cooking, carpentry and just about any outdoor activity.

Bobby resides in Lakeway, Texas with Wife Gretchen who also works for Flydive as Vice President of Events and Sponsorships. Together they have 8 Children ages 14 to 35 and two adorable Grandkids.

Gretchen Vance

Gretchen Vance has over 3 decades of experience in the hospitality and special events industry and has worked for multiple industry leaders, including The Ritz Carlton, Starwood Hotels and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2012 she was the co-founder of Aquafly; a hydroflight company based in Austin, Texas. She elevated Aquafly to be the leader in Hydroflight events, shows and productions. She has directed numerous high profile hydroflight events with tremendous success and continues to develop ways to share the love of hydroflight. She brings those skills and experiences to her role as the Vice President of Events and Sponsorships for FlyDive

In addition to event planning Gretchen coaches some of the top hydroflight athletes in the world including, Hunter Verlander and Jake Orel. Her attention to detail, creative imagination and concept design is an asset on and off the water.

When not engaged in the world of the Hydroflight, Gretchen enjoys spending time with her family, including her husband Bobby, their 8 kids and her prized pug Tiff.

Jim DiMatteo

FlyDive Board Advisor

Ex-top gun commander turned Breitling and Red Bull air race director, Jim unites his passion for aviation with his love of the sea to evangelize the FlyDive experience via epic, gravity-defying shows across the globe. Captain Jim Guido DiMatteo spent twenty-five years flying fighters in the U.S. Navy. He logged more than 5,000 hours flying the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet, A-4 Skyhawk, F-5N Tiger II and F-16N Fighting Falcon. He commanded Top Gun adversary squadrons (VFC-13, VFC-111) on both coasts and led the foundation stood up by the Commander Naval Air Forces to organize the Centennial of Naval Aviation Celebrations in 2011.

DiMatteo retired in 2013 and currently serves as the Race Director for the popular Red Bull Air Races and as vice president of flight operations, features and attractions for the world’s largest aviation event, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. His deep background and connections in aviation and his experience organizing and managing large-scale events make him an ideal resource for Breitling.

Dean O’Malley

President of Jetpack America and EVP of Flight Center Technology and Innovations

Like many people out there, I’ve always been drawn to adventurous activities that allow me to get airborne, whether it’s jumping from a plane, snowboarding off a cliff or strapping a jetpack to my back. Through some amazing luck and good timing, I’ve been given the chance to live my dream of combining my love of flight with my business background. As owner of Jetpack America, I wore many hats, from Certified Flight Instructor to Social Media Rep to Marketing Manager, but my primary job remains to help the world see just how much fun it is to fly a jetpack. My biggest satisfaction comes from the countless happy customers who come to me with positive feedback from their flights and rave reviews of all of our Jetpack America staff members. I am thrilled to have become a part of the FlyDive company after their acquisition of Jetpack America and its flight center locations in San Diego and Las Vegas.

Sean Meadows

Marketing, Advertising, Web Development

Sean joined the FlyDive team through their acquisition of Jetpack America in early 2017. Sean leads the team’s efforts in online marketing, advertising and ecommerce. Sean’s background in web development ensures that FlyDive will be at the forefront of incorporating the latest web technologies to better serve our customers. Sean also assists the consumer sales efforts of the FlyDive team. He is always available to answer questions about waterflight and loves helping customers get set-up with the right gear.

Sean is located in Newport Beach, CA. He is an avid surfer and loves to get in the air on a water jetpack or X-Board as much as possible.

Nate Sinisgalli

Flight Center Manager

Hi, I’m Nate. I’m the Manager of Jetpack America San Diego. I’m originally from Bend, Oregon and moved to San Diego about 5 years ago in search of warmer waves and weather. I started at Jetpack America in 2013 and quickly realized that it was a company worth staying at. I’m extremely fortunate to be working alongside a wonderful staff that prides themselves in their customer service and will do anything to make each customers experience an unforgettable one. Not only is the Jetpack America team set on providing a great experience, but they are some of the most talented and selfless employees that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I am very excited that Jetpack America is now part of the waterflight powerhouse that is FlyDive! If you’re looking for a fun, safe, and unforgettable experience, give us a call.

Mitch Mulenix

FlyDive Board of Advisors

With over 25 years of experience of working inside politics in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Mulanix has advised top officials at the federal, state, and local levels. He began his political career on Capitol Hill as Chief of Staff to a member of Congress in 1988.After leaving public service, Mulanix partnered with legendary political consultant George Gorton, a member of the American Political Hall of Fame to establish Gorton & Mulanix, a California-based government relations firm that has provided winning political strategies for Fortune 500 clients such as Sprint Wireless, Koch Industries, and Lucent Technologies.  He also managed successful large political campaigns for several initiatives including the San Diego Padres, and California Workers Comp Reform.He worked exclusively for Arnold Schwarzenegger for 5 years guiding his transition from actor to political activist prior to running Arnold’s first campaign for Governor.  He now oversees government relations for Pathway Genomics nationwide, and will be key to advising FlyDive in its efforts to pass reforms that will make the new world of waterflight sports more accessible to consumers and athletes.

Marco Thompson

FlyDive Board of Advisors

Marco Thompson is the founding board member of SDSI. Marco advises several local firms on finance and growth, and successfully raised growth capital in 2008 for a Connect S.I. member company. Marco is also a Managing Director of Express Ventures, an early stage technology venture firm. He has operational experience at up to $50-million revenue run rates, and he has led marketing & sales strategy development for diverse technology enterprises.

He founded and self funded Doctor Design, which grew to become San Diego’s most successful Engineering Design Services firm and was eventually acquired by Wind River and then Intel. Marco has founded, financed, guided, and mentored numerous startups, and he currently sits on the board of directors or advisors of several early stage companies. Some of these companies include:  MaintenanceNet, Entropic, Profitline, Intellitouch, Rosum, Drivecam, Objectiva, V-Enable, Benchmark Revenue Management, Qthink, and Philometron.

Marco has been very active as a startup CEO mentor in the San Diego community, thru programs such as Connect Springboard, Commnexus Next Stage, and the Chairman’s Roundtable. Marco is a founding board member, past president, and past chairman of CommNexus. He holds three patents and has written a book on memory design. He has been honored as “Technology Supporter of the Year,” and is the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Alumni of the year for 2003. Marco has also been awarded the Gray Cary Award for Technology Innovation in 2003. Marco graduated with a BSEE from UC San Diego.

John Grimm

Product Design and Manufacturing 

An 18 year product development professional specializing in design innovation, and project management. With an expertise in mechanical design and his out of the box approach to engineering problem solving, John has spent the last decade and a half patenting over 40 inventions in both the U.S. and Europe. Along with his experience, he brings his passion and enthusiasm from a lifetime of watersport activities such as surfing, wake boarding, and boating.

Brandon Robinson

U.S. Master Certified Hydroflight Instructor

Brandon Robinson, is the Original Master Instructor in the United States. His father brought Hydroflight to America in 2012. Brandon started the very first instructor school and literally wrote the book on Hydroflight. His mission was to teach people to fly safely and how to become Hydroflight Instructors.  He has trained over a hundred instructors throughout the United States. He also traveled worldwide as an ambassador for the sport, creating awareness in places like Hawaii, China, France, Morocco, Canada, South America. Brandon has always had ambitions to be the best. That is why he chose Flydive. At 15 years of age he joined a semi-pro paintball team where he learned to become goal-driven. He was the youngest semi-pro player in the world at the time. At age 18, he and his paintball team set world records for the most back to back tournament wins in one season. The team won over $150,000 in prizes and sponsorships such as Allstate insurance. At age 20 he became pro, he had made his greatest dream come true and he move on to become the the best Hydroflight Instructor in the industry.  Brandon now runs a rental location in west palm beach, still teaching people how to fly. His favorite thing is watching people react as they experience flying with the X-board for the very first time. He is regarded as the best Master Instructor in America.

“We have noticed that an average customer gains control of the X-board in just under 5 minutes. On the [popular competitor’s brand] the average customer gained control at about 8 minutes. They have an easier time getting up out of the water after their first time trying the X-Board…also much easier to get the board underneath them.”  

 

– Shyanne Mitchell, Water Buzz, Lake Havasu, AZ

 

 

“The hydroflight industry is growing exponentially, and we didn’t want to miss out. We chose FlyDive because they’ve got an innovative product, and the board in particular is so intuitive and easy to ride.”  

– Chrissy Beck, Lauderdale Diver, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

 

 

“What we want to do is give people the best experience they’ve ever had while they’re on vacation. We chose FlyDive because we felt it would significantly give us an edge in the marketplace, and we would be able to come to the table with more value than anyone else could offer. We chose the X-Board because of the unique design; it’s not like any other hydroboard or jet pack which is pretty hard to learn in initial tries. We felt FlyDive after trying it was the way to go, and that people could learn it really easily. We’ve gotten some young kids up, and some older folks up and we’ve got our boards in and can’t wait to try them with our customers. My guys can’t wait to get this out in the marketplace and show people what it can do!”

 

— Todd Baker, Blind Pass Boat & Jet Ski Rentals, St. Pete Beach, FL

Hydroflight is not just a sport to us, it’s a movement: Hydroflight for all.

 

We’d love for you to join us in our cause. Contact us today to find out how to get started.

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