One of the biggest trends in surfing over the past few years has been the adoption of hydrofoil surfboards by some of the sports biggest names. Adding a hydrofoil to the bottom of the board creates lift and more speed, turning even ordinary waves into something that is a lot more fun and interesting to ride. But a new surfboard could eliminate the need for waves altogether, thanks to an onboard electric motor that generates all the thrust riders need.
The Fliteboard looks a lot like other hydrofoil surfboards already on the market, with one important distinction. Attached to the bottom of the foil is a small propeller that is engaged when riders fire up the built-in electric motor. When turned on, the Fliteboard is capable of reaching speeds of nearly 25 mph, while the removable battery pack — dubbed the “Flite Cell” — can give the board a range of up to 15.5 miles on a single charge. The engineers who designed the Fliteboard say that the battery is so powerful that it can actually keep the board moving for as much as an hour, depending on water conditions and the weight of the surfer.
Adjusting the Fliteboard’s speed is handled through a wireless remote called the Flite Control. This waterproof device attaches to the rider’s wrist and is equipped with an OLED display that can keep the user informed of their current speed, remaining battery life, and distance traveled. It also allows them to tune the performance of the board as needed simply by choosing one of several different pre-programmed riding profiles. The controller can even be upgraded via software updates to improve its efficiency and upgrade its features.
When the electric surfboard launches later this year, it will come in three different models — the standard version, as well as the Fliteboard Pro and the Fliteboard Air. Each one offers a slightly different performance to meet the specific needs of individual riders. There are also two different foil wings to choose from, as well as an extended battery pack for longer rides out on the water. The Fliteboard won’t come cheap however, as prices begin at $10,995. You can reserve one for yourself by plunking down $3,850 now.