LIFT-OFF FOR FLY­ING BOARD

Action Asia - - NEWS & VIEWS -

Hy­dro­foils are sprout­ing ev­ery­where and now Puerto Rico-based com­pany, Lift Foils, has launched an elec­tric-pow­ered surf­board us­ing one: the efoil. Once upon a time seen only on fer­ries and other high-speed ships, the hy­dro­dy­nam­ics have been honed to suit ocean-rac­ing yachts and now, slimmed right down to a stick-like mo­tor and pro­pel­ler to bring ‘fly­ing on wa­ter’ to even a soli­tary wave-rider. A hand­held blue­tooth joy­stick dic­tates the board’s speed while the surfers ma­neu­ver their bod­ies for turns and cut­backs. The 2kwh bat­tery – a stand-alone unit priced at US$3,000 – can run for up to 45 min­utes at a speed of 30kph, though top speed is capped at 40kph, af­ter a 2.5-hour full charge from a house­hold out­let. Priced at US$12,000 with an ad­di­tional US$1,000 for ship­ping to Asia, the efoil is avail­able in four colours – car­bon blue, black, pur­ple and green – and in two sizes, the more sta­ble E1 (5’6”x 28”) and E1 Sport (5’x25”). Lift sug­gests 45-85kg is the op­ti­mal weight range for the new gad­get. Co-founder and head en­gi­neer, Nick Leaso, says de­mand has been in­cred­i­ble and talks of scal­ing up in 2018 are al­ready in mo­tion; he also hopes to see a more di­verse range in the fu­ture.

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