Updated: Sep 10
There is not much you can do at the Provo Boat Harbor on Utah Lake in the winter. Unless you have a hovercraft of course! Hovercrafts are a lot of fun and can provide hours of entertainment and can go on water, ice and land making them ideal for the lake in winter. Even if the ice breaks, as it does this time of year on Utah Lake, you can easily transition to water to ice and back to water again with no problem.
Flying a hovercraft is definitely a unique experience. It is quite different from ATVs,waverunners, snowmobiles or any other type of recreational vehicle I can think of. The ride is pretty smooth since your riding a cushion of air, and since you have no breaks suddenly coming upon an obstacle and having to swerve out of the way is always fun.
While I did undergo some pre-flight instruction, I was told the golden rule of Hover crafting is that “power is your friend.” While I think this statement is often over used, and has led me to roll snowmobiles among other things, it is definitely true for hovercraft. Cutting the power on a vehicle that needs power to keep you floating above the earth, only leads you to contact that earth rather dramatically. Also in a hovercraft since steering is not so great, it is usually better to power around obstacles rather than cutting power and drifting into them.
While hovercraft are a lot of fun they can be a challenge to drive/fly for the beginner. Since you are essentially riding on an air cushion to turn can take a while. It is kind of like driving a car at 150 mph, you need to be thinking about making a turn 100 yards before the turn.
Hovercraft can go pretty fast on the water and even faster on the ice. Since there are no brakes on a hover craft, to stop you either need a lot of space, or you can flip the hovercraft around really fast so the fan helps to counter your momentum. This is especially true on ice as it could take several hundred yards for the hovercraft to come to a stop without flipping it around.
While hovercrafting is not the most practical outdoor activity, but if you ever get the chance to drive one – take it! It is worth the ride. If you have any questions or comments about hovercrafting on Utah Lake or any other outdoor activity in Utah leave me a comment or send me an email at DustinACook@gmail.com. And as always don’t forget to go outside and have some fun!