E-foiling, the fastest way to foil
We started early on Saturday morning to get some first hand information on how this all worked and make the most of the calm weather. We were met by Ruurd and his daughter at Kaiteriteri and given the safety briefing. The forecast lived up to its prediction with light winds and sunshine.
Now, most people would know what surfing is, some may know what foiling is (think America’s Cup and how the boats lift and rise above the surface of the water with a foil submerged). Electric foiling (efoiling) utilises a small battery operated motor on the foil. Seems simple, possibly not, we were about to find out. Once out on the water Ruurd gave us the low down of all the equipment and the all important safety blurb. Feeling pretty well informed and in good hands, Stefan was busting to give it a go. Disclaimer…he can already foil, but this was a new toy with a bit of a twist!
The foil uses a small hand held remote, kind of like a trigger operated game console. There is a battery pack inside the board that powers a motor located beneath the water. Speed is adjusted by a plus and minus button on the top. Nice and simple, reasonably straight forward. Next, the progression, starting lying down, getting used to the speed and trying to get the board up and foiling. Once you can do this, up onto your knees and then to your feet. Now Ruurd assured us most people can get to standing in around 15 minutes, Stefan being a sneaky pro, just how fast could he get to standing?
It seems that once you get the feel for the board foiling, keeping your weight forward on the nose and not stuffing up and letting go if the trigger, you can get to standing pretty fast. Stefan managed it in about one minute. I was pretty impressed that Ruurd had a great system to keep in touch with the person on the board, two way radio from the safety helmet. So no matter how near or far you were from his boat, he was in constant contact and checking Stefan was having a blast.
The wind started to not play ball, so we headed out to another sheltered spot on the other side of the bay, the great thing about Ruurd is he was constantly trying to ensure we had the best water and maximise our experience.
The grin says it all really, this is definitely a seriously good way to experience the Abel Tasman by water. And you don’t need to be a pro like Stefan, with Ruurd’s great instruction you will be up and off before you know it. Now, just have to concentrate at work and not get distracted by how we can get out on an eFoil again soon!
You can book a trip with Ruurd on his website (he can take up to four people at a time, as long as you are over 15 years old and under 100kg). And of course then after a huge morning on the water re-fuel at Gone Burgers here on the Reserve.
Words and images by Ali Kimber (Jan 2020)