It’s surfing without a wave, snowboarding without the powder, flying without a plane… it’s eFoiling, your new (albeit expensive) board sport! An eFoil is a motorized surfboard with a sleek hydrofoil design that lifts the board out of the water at speeds of up to 25 mph with control of a wireless handheld remote. Lift, the family-owned, Puerto Rico based company, is the creator of the best-selling eFoil on the market — and one can be yours for a mere $12,000.
You are likely familiar with the concept of foiling as it applies to sailing, and have seen the hydrofoil race boats that have become standard design in the America’s Cup. As speed increases, wing-like foils propel the board up and you float above the surface as the blade slices through the water below. A two-hour charge lets you ride for about 90 minutes.
Described by some as a cross between a Jet Ski and a surfboard, thankfully the electric motor is silent, and eFoiling takes some athletic skill to master. I’ve been wanting to demo an e-Foil for a while, and Lift hooked me up with a lesson in Montauk, L.I. earlier this week. Kai Costanzo, owner of KaiKai sandals located at Gossman’s Dock (and other locations) was my instructor. Telling me most people don’t stand up on their first lesson, such would be my motivation!
The sport is for all levels of surfers, from beginners looking for a fun new water activity, to experts seeking a new thrill. Throughout the learning progression from lying on your belly, to sitting on your knees, to standing up (yes, I did!), the sheer sensation of gliding above the water is exhilarating. The biggest challenge standing up is hanging on to the remote control and not accidentally gunning it, while balancing on one knee and with one hand to pop up. I did manage to put it all together for one long ride at the end of our session that left me wanting more…
Though there may be a chill in the air, the water is still warm and the weather beautiful. Costanzo charges $400/hr for a lesson and the shop does have the Lift eFoils in stock. If $12,000 is a little out of your budget, pick up a pair of affordably priced KaiKai sandals while you’re there instead. In addition to being a surfer, Costanzo was also a competitive triathlete and designed these Hawaiian style leather sandals ergonomically to be surf and post-workout footwear as well.