LIFT-OFF FOR FLYING BOARD
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.