Sports

Want to Go Surfing Without Waves? Try eFoil

The electric propulsion is derived from U.S. military technology.
IMAGE CYRIAN AGUJO
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Surfing has always been among the go-to activities for adrenaline junkies. But, the fact is that it isn’t always easy to just pack your bags to go ride some waves. Yes, you can always go to La Union or Baler or Siargao, but you’d need at least several days and you need to go during surfing season to catch good waves, which isn’t the easiest to plan. 

But what if you can grab a board, find the nearest body of water, and surf without waves? Well, let me introduce you to efoil surfing. 

Photo by Cyrian Agujo.

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eFoil surfing makes use of hydrofoil boards which have, well, hydrofoils instead of the traditional fins under the surfboard. This gives the board propulsion without needing big waves (the science behind it is an entire article in itself.)

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With traditional hydrofoil boards, you still need a small wave or a pull from a boat or kite to get the board going. But with everything going electric, we now have a hydrofoil board you can control with a remote!

Lift3 eFoils use technology derived from the US military

According to Access Plus Group, which brought in the Lift efoil brand here in the Philippines, the electric propulsion technology in its Lift3 efoil boards were derived from US military technology. Its mast and wings are also made from carbon fiber, ensuring maximum durability. 

Photo by Cyrian Agujo.

But the question is, how does this thing actually work?

You start off by climbing over the board as you would any surfboard, but since it’s a bit wider and you have the mast and wing underneath, it’s more stable. You also have a remote on one hand with levels of 1 to 7, which correspond to the propulsion speed. Once on board, you select a speed then slowly pull and hold the remote trigger to start riding. Releasing the trigger stops the board.

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While not too different from surfing, it’s actually a bit easier to learn because the board is more stable. Just like with surfing, you can start off riding just lying down; then you can work your way up to the kneeling and standing positions. 

You can control the direction of the board by shifting your body weight to either side. Shifting your body forward or back dictates how much your board “lifts” from the water, because yes, you can glide a few feet over the water with this board. If you ever had magic carpet fantasies, this is probably the closest you can get to flying on one.

Lift3 eFoils use technology derived from the US military

Photo by Cyrian Agujo.

Aside from not needing any sort of external forces to start surfing, you have control of the speed of the board, making it really quite addicting.

Safety is always a priority, and, thankfully, the Lift eFoils have some built-in safety features. The remote and board are, of course, waterproof, but the board also automatically stops once the remote is submerged in water, so you won’t get hit by the propellers if you ever fall. Still, you do need to get over from the side to avoid getting scratched by the wings at the back.

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While there seems to be no downside to this incredibly fun activity, it does come at a literal cost. As of now, eFoil boards are available for rent at the JET Water Sports in Club Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Batangas for P4,800 per hour. But Access Plus Group says they are already in talks with several other beach resorts to offer the activity. If you fancy having your own, you can also buy it directly from Access Plus for around P900,000 and up per board.

Photo by Cyrian Agujo.

Pricey indeed, but if you can swing the cash, eFoil surfing offers unlimited stoke sessions for sure. (Now excuse me as I try to find things to sell).

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