Pics: Oli Lane-Pierce
Why would you?
Much as with bikes having the ability to boost, increase speed, cadence, climb and aid your efforts having the ability to inject a little extra juice when wing foiling is definitely welcome. Unfortunately, the UK’s wind isn’t as steady as you’d think. It’d be nice to enjoy non-gusty Trade Winds as they do in parts of the world but with weather systems (low/high pressures) controlling our conditions we’re reliant on Mother Nature’s moods. Different wind directions, speeds and all with local effects – such as topography and tides in the mix (at least where the accompanying pics were shot) means you’re forever battling (to some degree) what’s on offer.
Electric hydrofoils and associated boards are definitely gaining traction in terms of interest and desire. The stumbling blocks of price and weight (impacting transport) does halt riders in their tracks – for now. As the tech improves and costs come down it may be we start and see more eFoils at waterway locations. Only time will tell on this.
If you’re already a wing foiler and looking for something to aid your riding (and have access) then an eFoil in the mix when conditions aren’t tip top could be a way to enhance the fun. We’re not going to lie, it’s a tricky thing being able to control a wing and control an electric hydrofoil via the handheld, Bluetooth wireless controller. The throttle is super sensitive meaning a deft touch is needed. On top of which you need to consider foil ride height in relation to water state) and all those puffs of breeze coming at you like aerated bullets.
After a few runs, however, it can be picked up quite easily if you’ve got prior foiling skills in the mix. And we have it on good authority the lightweight, super controllable nature of the McConks Go Fly 5m wing helps things enormously. Whether levitated via the power of electricity or wind alone as soon as you have something like a wing flapping about behind you it does affect stability to a degree. But as we say it’s doable with the right gear.
Our rider in question’s using a 150L board for ample float. Those who’ve seen the McConks prototype eFoil may be intrigued about its eWing foil performance. We also asked the question the answer was that it’s too low volume for a 90kg rider to get into position (for the time being) in patchy breeze. Watch this space though as we know steps are being made to get over that plateau.
So, if you’re a wing foiler looking an additional form of propulsion to enjoy winging to the full maybe an electrically powered hydrofoil could be the answer. At the very least it’s some additional fun if you can get hold of the gear.
Anyone who owns a yacht (or yachties as they’re affectionately nicknamed) likes their toys. After all, that’s why you own a yacht, right? It’s also par for the course that many yachties also like to load up on extra toys for those all-important rest stops and recreational weighing of anchors. Once tied off there’s additional fun to be had to that of just sailing.
Over the last few years it’s been stand paddle boards that many boat owners have stocked up on, and you can see why (it’s still happening as well we might add!). Easily stowable on deck (or below), ripe for a bit of paddling fun having reached the destination in question, they’re a great yacht toy to have. But now there’s a new ‘toy’ that’s also a great fit for the yacht owner crowd…
As many regular McConks blog followers will know we’ve been putting a prototype electric foil through its paces. Yacht owners are one of a few ideal audiences who fit the eFoil buying demographic. Due to their compact nature eFoil boards, just like regular stand up paddle platforms, are easy to stow onboard. The foil itself is modular and therefore break down, again, making it easy to stash somewhere on or below deck. Having arrived at your chose spot it’s then a case of assembling and launching from the boat. Riders don’t need to be anywhere near popular beaches and, in fact, can be in quite deep water with the person’s yacht itself providing not only the launch pad but also a handy rescue boat in case assistance is needed (handy to have that as peace of mind).
With a yacht hard to access locations, at least on foot, can be made a beeline for. Then bust out the eFoil for a cruise around the locale and some additional watery fun. The easy transporting nature of eFoil gear makes it super attractive to anyone already owning a boat. And of course should yacht/eFoil owners want to take their toy elsewhere, away from their boat, then that’s possible. Unlike say a jetski, which requires a trailer, it couldn’t be easier transferring your eFoil to the car or van and heading off for further flights of fun.
If you’re a yacht, day boat or large vessel owner looking to stash some additional toys onboard for moored up laughs then give us a shout to talk about the McConks eFoil: the perfect complement to your yachting life.
Yesterday saw more testing of the McConks eFoil prototype in idyllic sunny, flat water conditions which were perfect. Having now got to grips (literally) with the handheld throttle trigger the act of powering up on foil is a simple act. As long as you keep enough momentum to shuffle to knees before getting to feet then it’s not too difficult – at least, if you have foiling experience. And even without we can see it not taking too much longer to actually gain those skills.
Once up and riding there’s a bit of testing foot placements to find the optimum. Having completed this it’s then a case of employing subtle movements of the head, shoulders and trunk to keep level. Riders will need to be aware of jerky, overzealous, itchy trigger fingers on the throttle. Fortunately you can set the % level to not be too boosty. But suddenly letting the trigger off results in the foil stopping dead and the rider in question exiting stage left (or right) – which is quite comedy to those watching. Stay tuned for more of an in-depth guide to eFoiling coming soon.
If you’re interested to see how the McConks eFoil prototype rides then check out the video below.
After a bit of a false start (we won’t get into it) there’s now a solid bout of electric hydrofoil board testing under our belts. For those not aware McConks currently has a prototype eFoil set up we’re putting through its paces to decide if its a thing that has legs – or rather, wings…
Suffice to say after some back and forth with the manufacturer we were on for today (Sept 15, 2020). Conditions for this session ranged from extreme light wind to totally glassy. Tide was high with a very small ground swell running at our test location. The sun was shining and temperatures were hovering around 30C, which for September is pretty good even if we do say so ourselves!
For anyone familiar with foiling the actual act of flying on an eFoil is pretty standard. What’s not standard is the controlling of a very sensitive throttle trigger which will ultimately dictate how easily you manage to get to your feet, get on foil and stay flying. That said with a little bit of perseverance and the correct technique it’s easily achievable.
So far so good then. Stay tuned for more updates as and when.
Thanks to Oli Lane-Peirce for the images.
Some of you may already know we’re testing and electric hydrofoil set up. We’re still not convinced this is the right direction to go but curiosity got the better of us and we’re now in the thick of it. For some electric hydrofoils are a great way to make use of the water, in modern fashion, when you don’t have a ready supply of waves and/or breeze to power you along into flight mode. And with many of these eFoil boards being hybrid SUP board designs there’s synergy. For others, however, they may just be a nuisance and detract from the purer parts of stand up paddling. Either way we’re intrigued.
If you’ve never seen an eFoil then check out the video below. This is how the propeller looks when powered up on land – make sure you turn the volume up. As you can see it’s got a lot of oomph! Stay tuned to see how we get on with further eFoil testing.