How do Electric Hydrofoils Work? | E-Foils 101

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Foils. How do Electric Hydrofoils Work?



In recent years, one fantastic activity has become commonplace on earth’s water bodies.

If you’ve been to the beach recently, there is a good chance you’ve seen someone in the water surf foiling. The board used in this activity is called the electric hydrofoil or Efoil. Efoiling or surf foiling is an absolutely incredible experience. A few years ago, though, with the progress in marine battery technology, the idea of an electric motor hydrofoil board crossed a few people’s minds.

If propellers could push a boat quickly through the water, why couldn’t the same principle be applied to the board? It would just need to be light enough to not weigh the board down but powerful enough to give the board lift. Over the years, designs based on this simple principle gradually evolved into what we see today.

The propulsion unit is attached to the board, usually on a long 75 cm mast. Also found within the board is a power marine battery. These durable and powerful batteries have made the top speeds much faster than ever, reaching up to 50km/h, and have also extended ride times for the users up to 2 hours.

The ride time is the main advantage of efoils over traditional electric jetboards. Since the conventional electric boards have a minimal riding time of around 30 minutes due to more significant drag and more powerful motor needed. Finally, the most crucial component of the entire efoil unit would be its hydro wings.

Each foil comes with two wings usually made from carbon fiber which can serve different purposes. The front wing is the most important wing in the design. This wing generates the lift necessary to bring the board off the surface of the water.

Also, its placement is directly in front of the propeller. This is incredibly important because it minimizes drag and allows the maximum lift possible with the least amount of power needed. In machines like Fliteboard, the motor is aligned with the wings, making riding smooth and stable.

If the motor is higher than the wings, it will create instability, making the board more difficult to ride. However, the difference is not that big, so both models are popular amongst pro riders. The second wing is a smaller wing that is known as the stabilizer. Positioned to the rear and just below the propeller, this removable wing can be used to generate an upward angle, allowing the rider to actually jump out of the water if necessary.

The size of the board itself matters a lot. A large-sized board or an inflatable board is very floatable and easy for a newbie to learn. You can even stand up on the board like with eTakuma without moving. However, a smaller board gives you much more freedom to carve and do the sharp turns and jumps, which is essential for professional riders.

There are also new systems like eWave that combine the jetboard and efoil two in one using a hydrofoil attachment. New professional efoils like Fliteboard series 2 Ultra use the straps to help pro rides turn faster and jump. Additional features like folding propellers from Liftfoils and the new gliding prop from Fliteboard allow riders to use efoil even without power in the surf.

Overall, electric hydrofoils are quickly becoming a trendy way to enjoy aquatic activities. More companies are inventing new models every year. Today, we have different efoils on the market like Fliteboard, Liftfoils, Waydoo, Getfoil, eTakuma, Powerfoil, Ewave, Mantafoil, just to name a few.

These companies offer variations and customizations of the same type of machine, and you can check the detailed review of every model on our Jetsurfingnation Channel.

In the end, though, it’s more about how unique this technology is and how it is revolutionizing an entire industry. If you’re thinking about getting into the sport, do some research and dive in. With the fast learning curve of efoiling, it is only a matter of time before you start having fun adventures on the water.


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Join me on my mission and spread the good word about this new exciting sport of Jet surfing and efoiling. I am Mike, the world’s “okayest” surfer, and passionate jet surfing fan, and I welcome all Jet Surfing Pioneers to my new video channel: Jet Surfing Nation: Make Your Waves. 

The new exciting sport of jet boarding and efoiling is evolving. Together, we can be on the edge of the new next-generation jet surfing technology to test electric and petrol jet boards, motorized surfboards, and efoils! I’m involved in testing Jetsurf, Fliteboard, Liftfoils, Onean Carver, Radinn, Lampuga, JetSurf Electric, efoils, Boosted fin, Scubajet, OneWheel, Mako, eSurf, eWave, and much more! 

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