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Efoils are a fast and fun way to fly above the water

It's described as flying on a magic carpet. #k5evening
Credit: KING 5 Evening

SEATTLE — At first glance, they look like flying mini surfboards. But in reality, they're one of the hottest and fastest rides on the water.

"This is the Lift eFoil," said Matt Dawson, owner of Urban Surf in Seattle. "And it's a self-propelling, battery-powered hydrofoil."

Matt’s been introducing eFoils to folks in Seattle for a few years now.

"I've heard a lot of people refer to it as like their best deep powder skiing. You just kind of have this nice flowy weightless feeling above the water."

"There is a computer and a battery inside of this compartment here, and we have a Bluetooth controller with a trigger throttle on it. And that's connected to the board that's going to operate that motor right."

For new riders like Abhinav Mehrotra, it was love at first sight.

"I was walking by Lake Washington one day and I saw this guy floating half a foot off the water and just zooming away," Abhinav said. "And I thought that is the coolest thing I've seen in a long while."

Matt says his eFoil lessons through Urban Surf have grown immensely since they started. 

"We spend about 30 minutes on land going through what we would be doing in the water. Try to get the mechanics of how to stand up and get to your feet and how to use the throttle. And then we just jump in the water and start ripping."

For many new riders, staying up isn't easy.

"I'm going to be honest; it was a little harder than I thought it would be," Abhinav said. "But the learning curve has been really rewarding. So every little step that you learn, you get to progress. It's really a great feeling."


"Once you start getting some speed under these wings here, they start generating lift and raise the board off the water," Matt said. "We typically run at level 5 of 15. So only utilizing a third of the power of the machine. You still get up, 10-15 miles an hour. Now cranking it all the way up to 15, you're gonna get into the 27-30 mile an hour range, and that's fast on the water."

"It comes back to like a little bit of jet skiing, you know, it's a personal watercraft and you're kind of able to go wherever you want to," Matt continued. "But it's efficient, it's silent, you feel just weightless and above the water."

“I would describe it like being on a magic carpet off the water," Abhinav said. "And it's a really incredible feeling."

A feeling eFoil riders can't seem to get enough of it.

"If I could do it every day, I would," Matt said.

KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email. 

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