Sadly, the ‘future’ did not quite turn out to be as cool as what many retro sci-fi movies have promised will come. Some emerged as true though—robots and holograms did occur, but affordable rides to the Moon and time machines, unfortunately, have yet to make their grand entrance into our midst.
While technological advancement can only be viewed in hindsight (and a far-sighted one at that), the arrival of the e-foil seems to haven gone under the public’s radar despite it being around for nine years, save for one or two viral videos. Created by Lift Foils founder Nick Leason, the e-foil is an electric hydrofoil that uses virtually silent lithium-ion batteries to foil through water, with no need for wind or waves. This enables the carbon fibre board and specially designed hydrofoils to fly over almost any body of water at up to 35mph you can be Aladdin or Jasmine on a magic carpet ride.
To be fair, foiling has been around for nearly a century. This is no well-kept secret by the water sporting community either. The steep price tags associated with the entryway into the sport might have deterred a few interested parties, but the global rider community stands in the tens of thousands today. That number continues to grow. Regardless of why it has not been more extensively talked about outside the water sports circle until now, the Puerto Rico-based family business is set on getting things to move faster with its latest board.
Introducing the Lift3 F, the most user- and wallet-friendly board to date. Instead of carbon fibre, the Lift3 F board is a fibreglass blend crafted in-house by Lift’s engineers. When tiny strands of fibreglass are melted into an ultra-sturdy material, they are moulded into the most optimal and aerodynamic shape for hydrofoiling. This makes it harder to destabilise or basically fall off; perfect for first-timers or more casual riders. As for the 71cm carbon fibre mast that comes with every board, the carbon fibre 200 Surf V2 wing is a safe choice to invest in since it is suitable for riders of all experience levels. But there is an option to play it safer, and that is with the 250 Surf V2—something that foiling amateurs or families can consider if they want to fly slower.
Beyond the board specs, you can (with limited choice) decide how you want your board to look based on function and, well, your confidence level. To make sure that this can be both a single and multiplayer ‘game’, the Lift3 F comes in two sizes; 1.45m, a good training board that balances performance and stability; 1.63m for bringing the whole family out to sea. For colour, pick either seafoam green if you (and your fails) aim to blend with the waves or vermillion red to stand out under the sun.
This dispatch also introduces a new light battery, which offers up to a full hour of ride time but with a significant weight reduction from the full range battery. Not only does this make the board lighter, it also lowers the overall cost of the package.
It’s obvious that Leason and the Lift family know what they were doing with these upgrades. But that’s because Leason is a surfer himself and watched Laird Hamilton ride giant waves with solid aluminium foils strapped to a pair of snow boots in Step Into Liquid. “Being the designer and the rider offers a closed loop experience where you can really hone in on what you’re feeling and why you are feeling it,” he says. “I guess you would compare it to the design of a good aeroplane. Great engineering is needed, but it’s a great design when the engineers are also experienced pilots.”
After growing a community of avid riders and proving that something as futuristic as flying on water is possible today, the next step is to push the capabilities of their gear to new heights. “I think the public is going to be very excited to see the novel crafts that we’re working on in our workshop,” Leason says. “The future of Lift is quite bright.”
The Lift3 F is available on Lift Foils.