Electric Hydrofoil Surfboards: The Next Big Thing on the Water
By Samantha Butts
Electric hydrofoil surfboards are the gift that keeps on giving and it’s easy to see why.
There’s nothing not to love as you fly effortlessly, emission-free, and silently across the water, no wind, waves, or sail required.
The eFoil board is proof of the evolution of watersports.
EFoil boards combine two major trends in the outdoor sports industry — electric mobility and hydrofoil technology.
How do they work?
The eFoil board looks similar to a surfboard until you look underneath. There you will find the wings and stabilizers that help you cruise over the water.
The boards are ocean-friendly as they run solely on electricity and are not putting chemicals in the marine environment.
The board operates like a wing that would be flying in the air. As that wing is moving through the water and gathers speed, it generates lift. Suddenly you are flying and the board is out of the water. Since the board is over the water, it is creating less friction with the waves which allows the rider to go further, for longer.
Learning to Fly
Christine Hajzak, 53 from Virginia Beach VA, rode an eFoil board in September of 2021 through AF Wake, a water sports school. She rented a two-hour lesson on Lake Gaston which sits on the North Carolina and Virginia border. Hajzak described the experience as “amazingly fun.”
You start off on your stomach like you’re on a surfboard, said Hajzak. Then you work on gaining speed. Once you’re really moving, you can transition to your knees. When you get your balance, you stand. Now you are gliding over the water.
For Hajzak, the tricky part was controlling the speed and keeping her balance at the same time. To control the speed of the board, you are given a joystick-like device. All you have to do is squeeze the trigger. At first, it can be difficult to control the speed, but once you get the hang of it, there is nothing but enjoyment.
Hajzak was able to learn how to fly in a half an hour, with an hour and a half remaining to have fun. Miklosvary, from Fliteboard, said “most people get it within 20 or 30 minutes” and once they do, they want to keep doing it. This was certainly the case for Hajzak.
Surprisingly easy to learn, Fliteboard has revolutionized e-foiling with its patented designs giving riders an experience like no other. Any body of water more than 3’ deep becomes a playground: the ocean, rivers, lakes, and bays are yours to explore like never before.
If you’re traveling and want to take Flite, the company has partnered with watersports centers around the globe, creating Fliteschools, which offer private lessons and other Fliteboard activities (and you don’t even need to buy a Fliteboard to experience it).
The company has over 100 Fliteschools all over the world in beautiful locations such as the Hawaii Islands, south of France, the Caribbean, Maui, Chicago, Boston, New York, and many more.
Rudi Miklosvary, a general manager at Fliteboard who runs their North American business, said, “flite board becomes [their] customer’s new favorite toy.”
Customers have loved the Fliteboard. So much that the demand for them exceeds the company’s ability to supply, says Miklosvary. Currently, there is a six to eight-week gap between the placement of an order and its delivery. The company is working towards shortening this time frame to ensure customer satisfaction.
A Fliteboard costs $13,000, so Miklosvary recommends trying the product before buying at one of the many Fliteschools. This way you can learn how to operate the eFoil board safely and responsibly first.
Visit https://fliteboard.com to learn more, including which board is best for you, or to find a Fliteschool location near you or your traveling destination. For inspiration, take Flite on YouTube and Instagram.
Freedom across the waters
For the rider, eFoil is an entirely unique experience. Hajzak describes it as pure freedom and she would not be the only one.
“It truly feels like flying,” she said. The scene is beautiful as you soar over the waters on the eFoil board. The wind in your hair and the water glistening in front of you.
For the onlooker the scene is unbelievable. “It looks like you’ve got this person that’s flying a magic carpet across the surface of the water,” said Miklosvary. This immediately creates a sense of intrigue for the watcher. Can I do that?
The benefits of the eFoil board
Complete silence. That’s what eFoil offers that other watersports cannot. There is no noise from an engine like a jet ski would create or from the splashing waves. This lack of noise adds to the experience and truly allows the rider to enjoy the nature that surrounds them.
Since electric hydrofoil boards float above the water, there is no turbulence or bouncing. This helps prevent a future headache that may follow other watersports. Hajzak found it not harsh on the body at all. She said, “as a 50 plus-year-old woman that’s a beautiful thing.” It is a product for all ages.
Another company shares Fliteboard’s high hopes for an electric boating future
In February 2022, an electric jet board that breaks new ground is coming onto the market: mo-jet. This unbelievable gadget made up of a total of seven modules can be transformed into a diving jet, a foil, or a rescue board with a click-snap in no time at all. The mo-jet also sets new standards in weight, speed, and battery performance. The mo-jet is available for $10,900 EUR.
These three Hamburgers are successfully hitting the waves of the global market with electric jet boards
Jennifer Köhnsen, Carsten Höltig and Holger Daum love fast water sports. For twelve years the insurance broker, the surfer and the engineer worked meticulously on electric bodyboards and surfboards that set new standards.
In February 2022 their module set, known as mo-jet, comes on the market where it is expected to make waves worldwide: Speeds of more than 65 km/h and 116 kg propulsion meet a separable, self-cooling battery that is easy to transport, thanks to its weight of only 8.4 kg and is charged in only 45 minutes.
What’s more, the modules not only glide on and over the water but under it too! The MBG Schleswig-Holstein has already invested into the project. In December, three private sponsors joined up as further investors.
The trio also raised funds through a kick-starter campaign at the end of 2021. A complete success: The financing target was reached in less than five hours.
The future of outdoor recreation
EFoil is an excellent example of how electric mobility is taking over the outdoor sports industry along with products like electric snowmobiles and electric jet skis. They are not only environmentally friendly but much quieter than a gasoline engine.
“I think electric sporting equipment is going to be a huge change for the way that we enjoy the outdoors,” said Hajzak. “I just think it allows you to enjoy the experience of being out in nature in a totally different way.”