Is eFoiling the future of watersports. Let’s find out
Previously, beach-going regulars would have noticed a recent influx of people zipping across the water, strapped to what can only be described as a jet-powered surfboard.
It looks like they are surfing, but then they rise above the surface on a hydrofoil, and you realise that this is something altogether different.
“This is the future of watersports,” says Dan Van Dooran handing over a wireless handheld throttle. The finger-trigger throttle – which looks like a military-standard Scalextric control – operates the eFoil, an electric torpedo propeller that is attached to board by a hydrofoil. At full speed, the propeller can generate speeds of more than 35km per hour.
Van Dooran may be right. As the co-founder of Surf House Dubai, he’s witnessed the recent growth in popularity of e-Foils in the UAE, with the electric eFoil technology creating a new form of watersport that is environmentally conscious, silent and not dependent on weather conditions.
“It’s not here to replace surfing,” he says. “A lot of traditional surfers have tended to snub it at first, but once you give it a go, you’ll see that it is a totally different sport. And really good fun.”
While it may look intimidating from the shore, eFoiling has a rather short learning curve. It requires a similar sense of balance and steering as surfing or snowboarding, but the ability to manage the speed of the board gives it an entirely unique skillset. Most beginners will typically get to standing on the board within 20 to 60 minutes, and from there it is a case of getting a feel for it and eventually raising out the water on the foil.
That moment is unique. Rising out of the water and above the waves, the sound of the board across the water disappears, and it genuinely feels like flying – until of course, your body panics and you instinctively let go of the trigger, bringing yourself to an immediate (and emphatic) head-first dismount.
If this is the future of watersports, then sign us up.
For more information, head to surfingdubai.com
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