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eFoiling: Surfing Above the Waves
Riding the waves on an eFoil is the newest trend among extreme sports enthusiasts. What is an eFoil? An eFoil is a surfboard with an electric propeller which powers the board to move through the water. The board flies above the water surface due to a hydrofoil, which creates lift similar to an airplane wing. Basically, the world's smallest personal watercraft, the rider does not need to paddle or pump with their legs to keep the board in motion.

eFoiling: Surfing Above the Waves

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The electric motor on an eFoil is nearly silent and rechargeable. Riders control the board using a hand held remote that syncs to the eFoil through Bluetooth. Complete eFoil setups can range in price from $4,000-$12,000. Similar to surfing, the cost is based on the quality, technology, and size.

I found surfing on an eFoil to be much easier than on a conventional surfboard, but make no mistake, there is a learning curve. You are likely to fall off the board many times until you are able to maintain your balance. The ease with which the board rises out of the water is controlled by the speed of the board and pressure on the rider's back foot. Turning the board requires the same skill and balance as with using a standard surfboard or skateboard. They can be used in any body of water from lakes and rivers, to oceans, as long as the water is deeper than the depth of the foil.

Quality eFoils are designed and built to withstand corrosion, allowing for little maintenance. Rinsing an eFoil with fresh water and storing in a dry place is all that is required.

There are currently two brands leading the market in this emerging sport - Lift Foils and FliteBoard.

Lift Foils is a 10 year old, family-owned business based in Puerto Rico that claims to be the pioneer of eFoil technology. They have recently introduced a fiberglass board that promises increased stability at a lower cost when compared to conventional composites boards. Their line of boards offer up to 100 minutes of ride time, a top speed of 30 mph (48 kph), and advanced safety features. With hundreds of demo and sales locations globally, the company is well positioned to continue leading the industry.

FliteBoard is an Australia-based company founded in 2016 by former kite surfing world record holder David Trewern. It states on its website “Fliteboards are possibly the world's most efficient and environmentally friendly, powered marine vehicles.” In 2021 Flite hosted the first official international eFoling race - the Flite Cup. The company touts their innovative manufacturing processes and hydrodynamic efficiency motors as industry breakthroughs. Fliteboard now has over 200 locations and worldwide partners selling the brand.

Keep in mind that eFoiling can be a dangerous endeavor even for experienced surfers. Injuries can and do occur. For example, a rider can fall off of the board and land on natural objects in the water such as, reefs, rocks, and logs. A rider also runs the risk of falling from the board and being hit by the board itself (there are several sharp edges on the foil that can easily injure a rider). Collisions with other riders or watercraft are also a possibility. All of these incidents can result in lacerations to exposed skin so, gearing up and protecting yourself is highly recommended. In addition, to protect your skin when operating any type of personal watercraft it is always good practice to wear a quality, certified life preserver 

By no means is this an inexpensive hobby to take up, but taking a ride on an eFoil is a exhilarating experience once you have mastered the skill. You will find many locations throughout the world to take a test drive in this rapidly growing sport.


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