This electric surfboard looks like it floats in air above the water and can go up to 48km per hour — here's how it works
- Fliteboard sells the Fliteboard efoil, a battery-powered hydro craft.
- It looks like a surfboard, but moves above the water without relying on waves.
- It can go nearly 48km per hour, depending on the customisation options.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Australian company Fliteboard introduced its first e-surfboard in 2018. Founder David Trewern has always been a fan of surfing and kite sailing, and when he came up with the idea for Fliteboard, he left his current job to work on it seven days a week.
The Fliteboard looks like a surfboard from far away, but the person on it appears to be floating above water. For anyone who can afford the hefty price tag, the Fliteboard is a new way to experience the water. Because it doesn't rely on wave, the Fliteboard can go in the ocean, rivers, lakes, or anywhere with at least three feet (0.9 metres) of water.
Here's how it works.
Fliteboard sells three versions of the device.
The Fliteboard Air is six feet and six inches (1.9 meters) by 30 (76 cm) inches, an inflatable board meant for beginners.
The standard Fliteboard is in the middle of the company's offerings, at five feet eight inches (1,7 meters) by 28 inches (71 cm). Fliteboard says it's suitable for beginners and more experiences riders.
Finally, the Fliteboard Pro is the smallest option, five feet (1,5 meters) by 24 inches (60 cm), it's not recommended for beginners.
Each board starts at $12,935 (R220,000), but the price can go up based on other customisation options.
The piece that holds the Fliteboard above the water, the mast, is available in two sizes.
A higher mast means a smoother ride above waves and better turning angle, but the lower mast makes it easier for the rider to stay on.
Each Fliteboard is powered by a silent e-motor.
With the e-motor and G force gearhead, the Fliteboard can go as fast as 28 miles (45km) per hour.
The Fliteboard is emission free, and doesn't leave splashes behind.
Power for the motor comes from the Flitecell, a rechargeable, waterproof battery.
The Flitecell magnetic charger comes in two options, both fully charging the battery in under three hours. One charge lasts about 90 minutes.
The Flite controller is a handheld remote that lets the rider control the Fliteboard.
It's waterproof and wearable.
The remote is connected to the board with bluetooth, so it gives the rider useful information to help them plan their trip.
For example, it gives speed, distance, battery range, and energy efficiency. Riders can even set their boards to cruise control.
10 Fliteschools, or places where enthusiasts can get Fliteboard lessons, are around the world, mostly in Australia and Europe.
A few more are planning to open, in New Zealand, Indonesia, and other countries, although none in North America are listed.
The nearly $13,000 (R221,000) price tag is for the US, and includes shipping.
Fliteboard says there is a six week lead time on orders right now.
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