Bought a lift 5' efoil, turned out to be diy. please help!

Hey everyone,

My name is Gabe, I’m in Southern Oregon and recently purchased a Lift efoil 5’ board on Craigslist. I was told by the seller that the board had only been used a few times, and that he was the NW distributor for Lift. I picked up the board for $8,000 with an extra battery thinking I’d found a great deal.

Fast forward a month to flying the board to Mexico with the intention of renting a battery from local enthusiast. The internals of my Lift are not stock and I cannot utilize stock Lift batteries. I have a Maytech remote control, some sort of DIY controller, and two 48 volt batteries… Looks like I have the stock Lift motor and wing.

I need some help moving forward here. I’m fairly decent with electronic equipment. I want a reliable, user friendly and safe board. The internals of my board currently do not look water proof enough to me. My phone number is 541 499 2662 if anyone is willing to look at some pictures.

So my two options are- 1) Purchase the correct controller, remote control, battery and battery charger from Lift - about $6,000.
2) Purchase a decent quality Maytech controller and rewire to work properly. Is there anything that users would recommend? Thanks for everyones help and input.

-Gabe Rowland
Southern Oregon

I think we talked about this on the Facebook forum already. Just throw the pictures up on here and we can all look at this together.

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Shoot, it says “new users cannot upload files”

Pretty ugly and embarrassing to look at… Looks like it was home made. It literally fell apart amidst the plane ride. I have two batteries, but my charger is like 3 amp. A friend in Mexico happened to have an extra Lift brain which he installed. My thought is probably purchase a new brain unit from Maytech? Thanks for your help Valhalla.

So for sure the motor pod is a lift? Can you take a pic of it? Also a pic of the diy batteries if you have em.

Thing is if it’s a lift motor pod we can take out the water pump. Curious what the solenoid in the back is for.

You are going to need to post WAY more pictures than that to sort this out, especially of the batteries.

Store the batteries in a closed grill (or anywhere you would want to build a large fire) until someone experienced can take a look. It definitely seems you bought someone else’s headache.

What are your electronics skills? Whoever put this together did not do it right. Odds are, their battery or ESC died and their solution was to replace ESC, remote, and battery to get running again instead of paying 3,500 for another factory battery. That might have been fine if they knew what they were doing.


Thanks for the replies guys. Should I even post more pictures of that controller or assume I start from scratch? I did ride it a few times prior to my Mexico trip (where it came apart and realized it wasn’t Lift equipment). It’s only letting me upload one photo at a time, so here they come. Thanks again.

Okay good news that’s a Lift motor pod. The battery isn’t. Well as of now is it running okay? I’d be wary of the batteries more than anything else more so it because it probably has a bms we know nothing about.

For speed controllers if it still works wonderful. (That’s the box that connects to the three motor wires) if not I’d recommend getting aluminum box and putting a trampa 75/300 inside. Can get rid of the water cooling pump and streamline it into an aluminum heat sink that’ll be thermal pasted to the vesc box.

For the remote controller, there are 6 screws on the side. Remove those and take pictures of the inside. The way the maytech comes they are not water resistant. Would like to know if the guy did any water proofing measures. Prob best to keep that controller as you’re probably on some budget.

Hi Valhalla, thanks for the help. Yeah, let’s hope the batteries even have a BMS. Speed controller still works but I feel like it needs to be completely redone in a better waterproof enclosure? Would you recommend getting rid of the water cooling pump? What do you mean by remove the 6 screws on the maytech controller? The remote control? All I see is that all the parts are covered in a plastic goop of some sort. I’l willing to spend the money if it makes sense, I don’t want anything dangerous that can set fire. Thanks!

I don’t know off hand the dimensions of your speed controller so can’t recommend a case for it. But check out the polycase website. They have aluminum enclosures that will work well.

From your pictures I can’t tell how the wiring of the water cooling is done. For simplicity you can remove the water pump just so there are less things to go wrong. But if it’s there and it’s working might as well keep it. Usually with the lift motor pods no pump is necessary because the movement of water is caused by the water pressure generated as the foil moves.

Regarding the screws these are on the handheld remote itself. There are actually 5 not 6. Just took a look at mine.

Well here’s the thing with li ion and lithium. There will always ALWAYS be a factor of danger when working with them. We can try to decrease the chance of danger but it will always be there. I don’t know your level of experience with Radio Control or electronics and honestly I don’t feel comfortable pointing you in this or that direction in regards to battery. You can keep the batteries as they are and make sure they are in a fireproof container when not in use such as an ammo box. You can also make your own pack with your own BMS or not do a BMS and use a hobby grade charger to balance it. You can also choose to CAREFULLY open the battery case and inspect what’s going on inside. If you do open it up you can try to find a way to connect to the BMS with your phone or use separate balance plugs to check it with a hobby charger. But yeah take my advice with a grain of salt. Do what is most comfortable for you.

Also if you have a voltmeter on hand you can just check the voltage of the pack as it is. If you open it up you can use the voltmeter to check each parallel series.

Hey!!! There he is! And look, getting MORE responses and better quality responses in less than 24 hours! Thank you for uploading pictures, I would keep uploading as much as you can. As already pointed out, the mast/motor is 100% stock Lift, so that’s cool. Looks like the ESC and battery are custom, but that’s not a death sentence.

I can see a water pump in the box, I can see some sort of switch/solenoid, a breaker, a BEC (to lower voltage to other components), I can’t quite see your ESC. Maybe some sort of Flier brand? It looks like a rats nest but that’s not the end of the world. Some cable ties and better wire management can fix that.

What is wrong with your board though? Like, does the battery read 48v when you test with a meter? Does the remote controller (Maytech) work? What happened in Mexico that stopped your riding?

What do you mean your friend in Mexico installed a “Lift brain”? What is that? A new ESC? DO NOT combine stuff. Not sure like is 48v so please don’t mix things if it was DIY.

P.S. Upload away, I’ve upgraded your membership level. I would probably spend as much time on this website as you can and you’ll learn everything you need to know. Currently you have less than 60 minutes of read time.

It is a rip off for $8000 and you could buy real one for $10000. From the battery pack I remember one of famous member of this forum listed it for sale here. I am wondering why you are not trying to return and get your refund


The wire nuts and electrical tape are not good for an efoil. Tyler asks some good questions and have you contacted the seller to find out why he would represent the efoil as factory new when it is clearly modified. It may be perfectly usable after a little more work, but there is work to do to sort it out.

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It wasn’t bought from that forum member. It looks like someone may have bought if from him and then resold it. But it has a different colour prop to the one sold on this forum…