E-Foiling in Miami
What is E-foiling ?
"E-Foiling" is short for electric hydro foiling.
Hydrofoils are under water wings which create a lifting surface allowing the user or vessel to levitate above the water. Hydrofoilis are similar in appearance and purpose to aerofoils used by aeroplanes.
In 1908 , Alexander Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was credited as the first successful hydrofoil maker, when his HD1 prototype achieved 72 km p/hr .
How difficult is E-foiling?
E-foiling is a fairly easy sport to accomplish , unlike Kiteboarding or Wing-foiling, e-foiling is easily learned within the first or second session, although a few riders may require more time, depending on their specific injuries or condition.
We have taught children as young as 4 years old to adults in their late 70's, and it mostly comes down to a few basic steps.
Here are some of our suggestions that can make your first flight a successful one :
Beginner Friendly Equipment :
E-foils are available in many sizes and configurations . We highly recommend on your first trial to select a larger and more buoyant size board which will allow you to easily transition from laying down, to kneeling and finally standing up.
We also suggest selecting a larger front wing which creates lift at slower speeds and foils more comfortably on a first flight.
Our favorite e-foil to teach on is the Lift 5'9" paired with the 300 front wing/48 rear stabilizer and selecting speed setting number 4 on the remote control.
This combo allows the students to slowly progress and safely foil for the first time without hesitations. You don't need to ride at a fast speed in order to foil !
Flat , calm and not windy days are best to introduce a new rider to the sport of e-foiling. Once you become proficient at it, you'll be able to ride in almost any condition but most people prefer to e-foil in calm days.
We highly recommend your first lesson take place in a calm body of water such as a lake , a bay or quiet area of the beach, away from sand bars, boat traffic, beach goers and surf.
Wind, chop , strong currents or busy boating traffic areas aren't ideal for a beginner lesson, thus making for a difficult entry to the sport.
Also, most beaches have restrictions regarding operating motorized vessels near shore. Florida law requires All motorized vessels (even wave runners) to stay at least 700 feet off the beach. You cannot enter or exit from the beach unless you are using a MARKED channel.
For example , our school is located on the bayside and we are lucky enough to have a few barrier islands nearby. We mostly teach on the open bay , when the conditions are suitable . However depending on wind conditions we may choose to bring our students to a more sheltered area in order to avoid being out on the open and choppy water.
The right attire is important when it comes to e-foiling. Just as you wouldn't show up for your basketball practice in flip-flops, you should consider wearing the appropriate attire for your first time on the e-foil.
Some people may have difficulty standing up on their first trial, and they end up riding for long periods of times on their knees. E-foils have a diamond EVA pad material that covers the surface of the board ( similar to a stand up paddle board) . That material feels great on your feet but not ideal for the knees and elbows. Here are our suggestions to make your first ride a bit more comfortable.
PFD - Personal Flotation Device -It's the law ! Efoil are considered as a motorized vessels. The Coast Guard requires you to WEAR a coast guard approved life jacket and whistle on! Failure to do so will result in a warning or a ticket.
Long Sleeve Lycra Shirt- for sun protection and to avoid getting a rash in your arms.
Lycra pants - for sun protection and to avoid getting a rash in your knee area.
Sunglasses ( with holders/ floats) - Eye protection is usually a must on the water , but you mostly likely will end up losing your expensive sunglasses without the proper lanyards to keep them in place.
Sunscreen Lotion. Avoid sprays which can run into your eyes or make you slippery while on the board.
Helmet - safety is always first. Helmets prevent more serious injuries.
Most people we teach have something in common , they have or had a specific body injury which they believe it might or might not be an issue.... and that's always a tricky topic. Knowing yourself and how far you can "push" through an injury is important information you should discuss with your instructor prior to your water trial.
Some of the most common specific injuries which can certainly affect your ability to stand up on the board are : Knee and wrist related injuries as well as having poor flexibility or tight hamstrings. Being able to extend your leg in a lunge like position is key to creating a stable position prior to fully standing.
This just means your journey to conquer the efoil might take a little longer than expected.
E-foiling is super fun but just like any water sport there are some dangers involved with it.
Choosing a reputable school to take lessons could make difference between an injury or a successful session.
Most e-foil brands will offer a dealer locator map on their main site, allowing you to choose a school who is insured and an official dealer .
Remember technology changes fast in this sport and you'll want to make sure you are learning on the latest model , trying out the best products from the most knowledgeable instructors.
Proper instruction is not only having an e-foil available and ready for the customer to ride, it also means that your instructor must be able to give you a full lesson plan on land prior to launching on the water, he or she is a trained CPR/ First Aid and boater and is aware of his and your surroundings during the lesson, has an emergency plan in mind should anything happen and he is able to physically assist should you need it.
Did you know :
All electric hydrofoils are considered as motorized vessels and they must abide the same navigational rules as a boat?
If riding on the ocean/beach side you must be aware of tides and specific areas where it might be too shallow to ride?
Navigational channels are technically not a place to teach, you may ride as vessel and not cross in front of other incoming vessels.
We hope you find this information useful and if you have any questions, always contact your local shop / school first in order to get the right information pertaining to your local riding spot.
I want to purchase an efoil. How Do I Choose the right e-foil for me?
Probably one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to e-foiling , is how to choose the right size and brand. Our recommendation is to always try before you buy it.
By taking a lesson at your local school, you'll be able to try different size boards, wings and propulsions which will allow you to make your final decision based on your specific riding style, weight , body of water and personal choices.
Did you know that Lift Efoil Schools offer a "money back" program throughout the globe?
You can simply book your first lesson through an authorized Lift Efoil School, try out different boards and then receive your money back towards a purchase of an e-foil.
A few options you should consider when making the choice of purchasing your e-foil:
Are you the primary user or will you be sharing it with friends / family members ?
What are the riding conditions of your local spot ? Waves or flat water?
How far do you have to walk or carry your equipment to enter/launch on the water?
Are there any restrictions regarding propellers in your area?
Where will you store your e-foil?
The questions above are relevant when it comes to choosing the size of the board and the type of propulsion to choose.
Be sure to ask your instructor or local shop to give you advice when it comes to selecting the right e-foil for you!
Do E-foils easily brake? How do I care for it?
Also another frequently asked question, and from our experience we can tell you that if you maintain and care for your product it should not give you any issues. However salt water and corrosion are the enemy of all electric components and it can damage important connections if they are overlook over a period of time.
Here are some of our top important tips which will prevent your e-foil from signs of damage:
EFOIL MAINTENANCE CHECK LIST
Rinse the inside and the outside with fresh water after each use.
Allow it to air dry completely in the inside before closing the hatch and storing it away.
Flush your mast after each ride.
Apply the Reelx lubricant to your data connector after each use.It allows for better connection between the battery and the board.
Always store your board in the carrying case and in a shaded area.
Take your board apart at least once a month to inspect the areas such as the mast connection and fuselage for sand and debris and rinse them well.
If you're getting water the battery compartment, check your hatch/ latches for a firm, tight closing . You can easily tighten the hatch fittings with a wrench.
Inspect the hatch seal for cracks or openings. If needed , replace it. Every Lift Efoil comes with a spare .
Lost a mast screw? Order a replacement online at the Lift website or at your local hardware store. Make sure you are purchasing the exact same size or you'll get water inside the hatch.
EFOIL BATTERY MAINTENANCE CHECK LIST
Lightly rinse it with water if it has been exposed to salt water during your ride. Making sure the data port is fully water or sand free before using it again.
Always store your battery in cool and covered area. Avoid heat or sun exposure.
Allow a cooling period between charging times. We like to give the cells at least 30 minutes before fully charging it again.
Do not leave the batteries charging unattended. Follow the proper instructions on how to charge. Videos included in this page.
Do not attempt to use or charge a battery has been dropped, shows any signs of damage or is blinking red or purple in the LED display.