Surf and soar above the water on an electric hydrofoil surfboard.
That’s the excitement offered by a new product being sold from an office near Lake Austin. No waves needed, the electric hydrofoil surfboard, called an “eFoil” and manufactured by Lift Foils, literally floats above the water, allowing riders to speed over waterways at speeds of more than 25 mph.
Not as easy as it may look in videos, I tried the surfboard on a Monday afternoon. Being able to stand on the board requires a lot of balance and skill – something I couldn’t quite master. But, I was able to go “full throttle” on the board, as they call it. Basically, going full throttle means the board is going as fast as it can go – and you are propelled as high out of the water as the board will allow. But getting to that point requires more than you’d realize.
First, you’ll need to get your board out on the water and position yourself toward the front of the board. But, not too far to the front because if too much of the tip of the board is in the water, the electronic part won’t work. The electric hydrofoil surfboard includes a remote control, which you give a light push. As your board starts to lift off the water, you pull yourself up higher on the board, allowing the board to gain even more momentum.
The eFoil surfboards are new, but they combine two technologies that have been around for a while.
“The surfboard is made up of hydrofoil technology, which has been around for more than 100 years, and also drone technology,” said Adam Hoffman, a Lift Foils representative with Guinn Partners, the company selling the surfboards in Austin.
In case you are wondering, a hydrofoil is a lifting surface or foil that operates on water. That’s how the surfboards are propelled into the air. Previously used primarily for boats, the hydrofoils are now bringing smiles to faces of surfboard riders.
Lift Foils, based out of Puerto Rico, wanted to create an entirely new experience for watersports, using all of the modern technology that’s been applied to vehicles on the road, airplanes in the air, and boats on the water. That resulted in the eFoil board – which Lift Foils describes as a “mix of all sports experiences we’ve grown to truly love over the years: flying and deep powder snowboarding.” With a powerful, silent electric motor, a state-of-the-art battery and the high-performance boards, foils and wings combine together to allow riders a “flying above water” experience.
“It’s the closest thing you’ll get to feeling like flying,” said Hoffman. “It will kind of make you realize what it would be like to fly on Aladdin’s flying carpet.”
No wind, no waves, or towing required, the Lift Foils, similar to owning a kayak (but requiring a little more care), are designed for individual ownership.
According to Lift Foils’ website, the eFoils start at $12,000 and are available for purchase online. The surfboards are recommended for riders ages 16 and older, who weigh less than 250 pounds. Product developers says almost any adult can easily learn to ride the eFoil with a little time and commitment.