This summer, a father and son hit the headlines when they became the first people to cross the Channel on eFoil boards, which are a bit like hoverboards that can reach speeds of up to 20mph on water. The brand that made the boards, Fliteboard, has launched the next generation hydrofoil sea hoverboard, but does this mean they are set to become the next big thing?
They are certainly catching on, with watersport enthusiasts catching the at sea hoverboard bug, but the latest model will set you back a cool $12,495.
An eFoil doesn’t actually allow you to hoverboard on sea, as it is a different piece of kit entirely. It looks like a surfboard with a rudder and it hovers about 3ft above the surface of the water, making it look as if the rider is literally flying through the air.
Rob Wylie and son Morgan, who made the record breaking hoverboard sea crossing, managed the 23 mile trip on just one battery charge – it took them an hour and 44 minutes.
EFoil technology is a fairly recent development, with the first models being developed around two years ago. An eFoil, is powered by a marine battery and this powers the propeller which propels the rider forwards – the propeller is at the base of a mast and it is this that makes it look as if the rider is levitating. There’s no need for any wind or waves and an eFoil works brilliantly in calm waters.
Traditional eFoils have a pair of wings attached to the fuselage – the wing at the front is what lifts the board and the rear wing, also referred to as the stabiliser, exerts a downward force to keep the board steady.
Because the body of an eFoil is not actually submerged in the water, there’s no drag, which is why they can reach such high speeds with a relatively small motor.
Many resorts now offer eFoiling as an activity for holidaymakers. Sea hoverboard Dubai is really popular, which is no surprise, as the weather is great year-round and they do love a bit of tech in Dubai. A 30 minute hoverboard water ride there will set you back around 345 Arab Emirate Dollars. Riders doing tricks and stunts in the air is now a familiar sight in the coastal waters.
eFoils are great for beginners as it is much easier to balance on one that it is a surfboard for example. You will probably fall of once or twice if you are a newbie and it is important that you push or jump away from the board, so that you don’t come into contact with the propeller.
The size of eFoil that you choose, depends on the rider’s size and weight – bigger eFoils are better for heavier riders. Experience level is also another important factor to take into consideration. Those with a larger surface area will be more stable and easier for beginners to ride.