Neighbors complain of noise from flyboarding in Riverhead

Flyboarding is a water sport that is taking off on the East End: water-propelled jet packs thrust people into the air above the water for a thrilling, surfing-in-midair experience.

The sport has been a draw for tourists in Riverhead, but neighbors say it's been a noisy nuisance. Some add that it's potentially dangerous.

"It's been really annoying to hear," says Tina Taborsky, who says her summer was ruined by the noise of flyboarding right outside her home on the Peconic River. "I've hardly been outside at all, because I can't. It gets on my nerves, all day long, 12 hours a day." Taborsky adds that flyboarders come very close to her dock, and she's worried she could get sued if someone were to get hurt.

Riverhead town officials say they want to put the same restrictions on flyboarding that are in place for water-skiing: banning it within 500 feet of the shoreline. The ban would make Riverhead the first municipality in New York state to regulate the relatively new sport.

"The problem for us is even though it's exciting to have it downtown, it's got to be done in a safe way that respects the environment and respects the safety of the riders as well as the residents," says Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter.

The owner of a local flyboarding company says he hopes the town will consider looser laws. "It's very secluded in here, not many boats coming in and out," says James Bisset, of Flyboard Long Island.

The Riverhead Town Board will have a public hearing on flyboarding regulations on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.

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