Why it matters to you
Electric hydrofoil surfboards look like one of the greatest transport methods ever. A new Kickstarter wants to help you achieve this on a budget.
Have you ever looked at a surfer, paused to ponder the majesty of a man or woman gliding unaided over the waves, temporarily free from the steely embrace of technology, and thought, “Wow, they could certainly be going a lot faster if they strapped on some kind of electric propulsion system?” If so, then a new Kickstarter campaign may well appeal to you. What the creator of the DIY Electric Hydrofoil and Surfboard Remote Propulsion System developed what he refers to as the world’s first auto-stabilizing, cruise-controlled electric propulsion system for transforming any surfboard or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) into a high-speed electric hydrofoil board.
It means that you no longer have to worry about the perfect conditions to use your existing hydrofoil, SUP or surfboard; simply find a patch of water, fire up the craft, and hover over it like Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II. (Except that, unlike McFly’s hoverboard, this one works over water.)
“There is no doubt that riding a hydrofoil board and flying across any body of water is truly a unique experience, and highly addictive,” creator Chris Vermeulen told Digital Trends. “Imagine flying across the water on a hydrofoil and propulsion system that instantly adjust the board’s pitch for a more stable and smooth ride — saving you from all the fine-tune adjustments required for stable flight. It’s like a high-tech car which auto corrects minor vehicle movements.”
Somewhat unusually, this Kickstarter campaign is not manufacturing a product that will ship to users. Instead, the idea is to use the money to develop a finished product — including developing a long-range torpedo battery pack, a waterproof remote control system, and more — while offering users who pledge money guidance on how to build their own unit from the comfort of their home. You will need a bit of engineering skill to pull it off, but for the intrepid adventurer (and what other kind of person wants a flying surfboard?) this could be a great opportunity.
A complete video series, along with various tips and support articles, will set you back $39.50. Even when you take buying parts into consideration, that is a whole lot cheaper than some of the $12,000 completed alternatives we have seen on the market.