Meet the team

Russell Poppe

Russell

Nickname
Rusty
Position
Owner/Driver
Home Town
Te Awamutu
Time in Taupo
Since 1996
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
Driving the boats
Favourite thing about the Rapids Jet ride
Surfing the pressure waves
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
Small population & incredible scenery.
Other Hobbies
Riding road & dirt motor cycles, water & snow skiing, fishing
Jet Boating Experience
Commercial driving since 1998.
Favourite Quote
A person who never made a mistake never made anything.

James Tazewell

James

Nickname
Jimmy
Position
Owner/Driver
Home Town
Taupo
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
Giving people a taste of something they have not experienced before.
Favourite thing about the Rapids Jet ride
The rapids
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
The freedom
Other Hobbies
Motorbikes, fishing, golf
Jet Boating Experience
Commercial driving since 1997
Favourite Quote
Isn’t it funny how the harder you work, the luckier you become

Garry Stephen

Garry

Nickname
Gazza
Position
Owner/Driver
Home Town
Timaru
Time in Taupo
Since 2004
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
Putting a smile on peoples dials
Favourite thing about the Rapids Jet ride
The power & sound of our V8’s
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
The great outdoors
Other Hobbies
Boating & Fishing, Snow Boarding, Mountain biking, Jet Sprint Racing & Travelling
Jet Boating Experience
Commercial driving since 1995.
Favourite Quote
It’s a great day for the big race………the human race!

Sam Yelchich

Nickname
Sammy
Position
Jet Boat driver
Home Town
Waiuku
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
The feeling of freedom when the wind rushes through your hair
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
We have cool inventors that have made things like the first Jet boat
Other Hobbies
Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Hiking, and exploring new places
Jet Boating Experience
In training!
Favourite Quote
YES! I’ll do it…

David Hooton

Dave

Nickname
Hooters
Position
Manager/Jet Boat driver
Home Town
Taupo
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
The speed & crystal clear water
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
The great outdoors
Other Hobbies
Hunting and Fishing
Jet Boating Experience
Driving since 2006
Favourite Quote
Just another day in paradise

Shannon

Nickname
Shan Shan
Position
Jet Boat driver
Home Town
Alexandra
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
I just like driving things, Jet boats are just “Cool”
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
Everything
Other Hobbies
White Water Rafting
Jet Boating Experience
Started 2017
Favourite Quote
It’s not Rocket Science

Krista

Rapids jet staff

Nickname
Kris
Position
Front office
Home Town
Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, Canada
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
The smiles and excitement it brings to everyone’s faces
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
The beautiful native birds
Other Hobbies
Snorkelling, Ocean conservation, hiking and eating sushi
Favourite Quote
You can’t change the past so focus on making a great future

Rose

Rapids jet staff member

Nickname
Rose
Position
Front Office
Home Town
Enschede, Netherlands
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
The fast speed
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
The nature is absolutely stunning
Other Hobbies
Surfing & Motorbikes
Favourite Quote
Travel. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller

Jesse

Nickname
Jess
Position
Front office
Home Town
Australia
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
360 spins
Favorite Thing about New Zealand
Nothing wants to kill you
Favorite Quote
Kia Ora, my name is boy. Welcome to my interesting world

Rapids Jet George

Nickname
George
Position
Mascot
Home Town
Taupo
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
The wind in my fur.
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
All the space to run around in!
Favorite Quote
Fetch.

Rapids Jet Max

Nickname
Mad Max
Position
Security
Home Town
Taupo
Favourite Thing about Jet Boating
The jet boat brings heaps of people to play fetch with me!
Favourite Thing about New Zealand
The endless supply of rocks and sticks!
Favorite Quote
ROCKS! Who needs a tennis ball?