I heard that Hawaii’s north shores are really so martian when it comes to waves. There, surfers tend to take the hardcore waves that nobody wants, the ones that fulfill your yearning to be a dog off-leash. Where you dance on the water and give the killer waves a fabulous death!
But who said you got to wait till November or December to catch the perfect wave? As eFoiling offers such a perfect ride in Hawaii when there’s pink and purple in the sky – just like Katy Perry said!
You got me right! The eFoiling lets you not stay a wave & weather beggar, as you can surf even the smallest wave.
So what is an eFoil? Being a portal to new beginnings, this new kind of water sport uses an electric motor attached to the hydrofoil that lets you levitate about 80 cm above the water’s surface. All you need is the necessary water confidence and some balance to nail this sport – an epitome of performance art.
Now let me take you on a ride and show you what is it and what it’s like to eFoil.
What is an eFoil?
An eFoil is an electric-powered board that comes with an advanced rechargeable lithium-ion battery to ignite the virtually silent electric motor attached above the wing of the lift hydrofoil. Unlike simple hydro foiling, this water sport involves riding an electric surfboard with a hydrofoil as well as an electric propeller attached to its bottom instead of a fin.
An eFoil let riders catch any kind of wave, thus, eliminating any wave size restrictions. The riders don’t need to push or paddle for the water swell or waves to enjoy the foiling experience, that part of the job is not yours. Instead, eFoil board does it for you and all you have to do is control it via a handheld wireless remote. Feel like flying already?
Controlled by a wireless Bluetooth remote, this board uses a propulsion system to keep the board moving fast and forward. The propeller is attached to the mast of the foil, powered by a battery, and activated using a wireless controller.
How Much Does One Cost?
Complete eFoil setup price falls between the ranges of $5000 to $15000.An eFoil cost can vary according to the quality, size, design, and setup you are opting for. Currently, three major brands offer eFoils with the best performances – Lift Foils, Waydoo, and Fliteboard.
How Does The eFoil Work?
As eFoil is a surfboard with an electric motor, it works through a rechargeable battery that powers that motor. The motor has propellers that create lift by displacing the water behind its wings.
A hydrofoil lifts your eFoil board clear of the water, and its shape and angle of attack determine the length to which the foil wings can deflect the water flow. That deflection, in return, exerts some pressure on the foil, which creates lift just like an aircraft wing.
How Hard Is It to Ride an efoil?
Given your full attention, eFoil learning process takes not more than two hours. With zero to no experience, even the newest beginners can easily comprehend the basics and enjoy the eFoiling experience. Just remember two rules – not the shallows, but deep water is your friend, and it is all in your booty!
What does that mean? It means that the riders need to put their weight on the front foot while turning their hips forward to get started. To lift, they should simply shift the hips backward and not the weight. Because you only switch weights to push while hydro foiling when you need to propel the board.
Not following those rules can make eFoiling a dangerous and extremely difficult sport. Finding balance can be challenging only in the beginning, and you may fall off the board a few times, but the positive news is that eFoil can become extremely reliable as most eFoil boards are built to automatically shut down when the controller trigger is released.
Do eFoils Require Maintenance?
An eFoil generally requires little to no maintenance. It resists common water damages like corrosion, as its components are designed and manufactured corrosion resistant and super sealed from moisture, hence, demanding zero to minimal maintenance.
Components of eFoil Surfboard
As an eFoil is the upgraded version of a hydrofoil, it comprises similar components besides, a propeller, a battery, and a controller. Let’s have a look.
While selecting the board, one should consider not only the length, width, and thickness of the board but also its weight. For beginners, it is recommended to use a board weighing the same as their body weight. For instance, a beginner weighing about 75 kg should go for a surfboard of 80 liters in volume.
Alternatively, an experienced rider can ride a board that is 30% to 40% of their body weight in volume. Remember, the more liters a board has, the more stable it will prove. Besides just volume, the size of the board also matters. Even though eFoils are not made for gliding over the surface of the water, the truth is that a larger board makes it easier for the rider to achieve levitation than the smaller one.
Heavy riders should always ride larger eFoil boards for the sake of stability. While the experienced riders with less weight can go for smaller boards as it allows technical maneuvers and sharp and speedy turns.
A mast is a rectangular bar that stays submerged in the water and connects the fuselage to the board. The purpose of the mast is to hold the board above the water as its bottom supports the fuselage, wings, propeller, and stabilizer.
The size of the mast determines your foiling experience. The short-sized masts are suitable for beginners as it does not rise too much from the surface of the water. So, in case of losing control, the impact of the board with water will be softer.
On the contrary, large masts enable easy maneuvering during edgy cuts and turns, as the fuselage does not come out from water easier (known as breaching) than it does while using a shorter mast. Hence, the longer mast keeps the rider from losing stability and falling from the board. The large-sized masts are also recommended to ride with swell because it enables the rider to adapt the height of the mast to the waves.
The fuselage is the bar attached parallel to the board but perpendicular to the mast. On its one end is attached the stabilizer, while on the other end is fixed a wing.
In large fuselages, the front wing is fixed closer to the board’s prow, which makes the board more stable and lets it reach planning at low speeds. However, this characteristic makes possible the risk of breaching very high. For faster speeds and turns, a comparatively shorter fuselage should be used.
The front wing of the foil normally possesses a curved-shaped top and a flatter bottom. Its curved up and down nature can give the wing more directional stability.
The front wing of the foil or Anhedral (downward angled) foil shows less stability but easy and enhanced maneuverability. It works as fins on a board, making the foil easier to control while also reducing the induced drag and improving the foil’s glide and speed.
- Stabilizer (Rear wing)
The rear wing, also known as stabilizer or dihedral (upward angled) foil, handles water turbulence better and has higher roll stability and more drag, thus, making it harder and slower to turn.
Characteristics of eFoil Board
Now let’s put light on some frequently asked about characteristics of an eFoil.
- Ride time
Since the foil lifts the board clear of the water, there remains no contact between the surface of the water and the eFoil board, which leads to less drag. This implies that the source of drag is actually water that adds resistance to the board’s movement when you surf without a foil.
Now that the foil negates any need for contact between the two in the foiling watersports, only the foil components, i.e. mast, fuselage, wing, and stabilizer, have to face the water resistance. This decreases the battery consumption to a great significance and increases the ride time.
To summarize, on two hours charged battery, one can enjoy a ride time of 100 minutes. The battery consumption rate also depends on the wing set-up, speed, and the rider’s weight.
An eFoil bears the weight of the board, the foil, and the battery. The standard battery of an eFoil weighs around 14kg, and that of the board is about 20 kg, which makes the total weight of the eFoil 34 kg.
- Maximum load
The maximum weight of the rider that an eFoil can bear depends on two factors. One is the board’s volume, and another is the motor’s power. The maximum weight an eFoil can stand is higher when one is using a more powerful battery and motor.
Besides the weight of the board, other components like foil, battery, motor, and wings also add to the overall weight of an eFoil, which in return makes it possible for the heavy riders to enjoy eFoiling.
Bigger boards are heavy in liters and best for heavier riders. It allows one to lay on it without sinking in the water.
- Max speed
The maximum speed of any board depends on the rider’s weight a great deal. That makes it important to set the max speed always by using the same weight as the rider. An intermediate rider’s weight can be 75 kg.
In addition to that variable, it is paramount to take into account wing size also to set the maximum speed, as the larger wings tend to lower the speed of an eFoil.
To summarize for you, an intermediate rider weighing about 75 kg can enjoy usually a 43-45 km/h ride if the wing they are using is faster and shorter in size.
If you fancy yourself riding fly like a superman while actually floating above the ocean’s surface, then eFoil is your Santa that can grant your wish. The good news is, that you need not wait for waves or wind to enjoy your riding moments. You can pick whatever wave you like, not giving a damn about its size.
This electric-powered board provides such an exhilarating experience when you ride across the ocean like a free soul with a remote in your hand, which allows you to steer your board wheel however you like. Riding with no such restrictions that may get on your nerves is worth trying. Isn’t it?