eFoil riding regulations/laws

Hey everyone!

I was wondering if there are any known regulations/ laws when using electric hydrofoils on public lakes, waterways or the ocean/ along beaches.
I am asking this because I once was just as enthusiastic about something like now when I learn about eFoils: E-Skateboards and Longboards. Then I realized that I wouldn’t be allowed to ride those things outside my own property without risking a fine, loosing my driver’s license and the board being impounded.
So I am asking if anyone knows about anything, specifically for Germany and maybe specifically for self-built foils.

Greetings from the north of Germany!

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Interesting question. In the U.S the requirements vary state by state. Here in Florida the law states the following:

All vessels, with the exception of non-motor-powered vessels less than 16 feet in length, non-motor-powered canoes, kayaks, racing shells or rowing sculls, regardless of length, must be registered through your local Tax Collector’s Office

So technically an efoil ridden in Florida requires a registration. Further, if an efoil is determined to be a “personal watercraft” there are numerous additional regulations and requirements that would apply.


Thank you @sunrise305, very interesting.

What I found for Germany until now is the following, we need to differentiate between inland waters and coastal waters:

inland waters (not that relevant for me)

  • All vessels with more than 2.21 kW (3 PS) at the drive shaft require a registration. (I suppose virtually every eFoil has more than 2.21 kW of power.) (It could be hard to get a registration for a self built vessel, but I don’t know)

  • The number you get with the registration needs to be fixed with letters of at least 10cm height on both sides of the vessel.

  • On some waterways a license for sport boats might be necessary for more than 3.68 kW. It is mandatory for more than 11.03 kW.

  • Laws for jet skis may apply (defined only as ‘Personal Water Craft’ or similar): (WasMotRV)

  • Side note: the fine is up to 500€ if riding without a license tag (SZ: Wer E-Surfen will, braucht ein Surfbrett-Nummernschild)

coastal waters

  • It seems like no registration is needed

  • It might be necessary to put the name of the vessel and harbor on the back, but not sure.

  • License for sport boats only necessary for more than 11.03 kW.

  • There is a special, much stricter case for Jet skis, but they are defined to have a pump-jet, so it may not apply (SeeSpbootV).

Other sources:


I wanted to start and build an E-Foil for Switzerland but found following laws which would make it illegal to use in Swiss waters. Does somebody from Switzerland have different information?


22 Kennzeichen der Schiffe
Art. 16 Kennzeichnung1
1 Schiffe, die auf oder über einer Wasserfläche stationiert oder auf einem öffentlichen Gewässer eingesetzt werden, sind mit den von der zuständigen Behörde zugeteilten Kennzeichen nach Anhang 1a zu versehen.2

2 Davon ausgenommen sind:

a. Schiffe eidgenössisch konzessionierter Schifffahrtsunternehmen;
b. Schiffe, die kürzer sind als 2,50 m;
c. Strandboote und dergleichen;
d. Paddelboote, Rennruderboote, Segelbretter und Drachensegelbretter.

3 Schiffe nach Absatz 2 Buchstabe a tragen einen Schiffsnamen, der aus Buchstaben und Zahlen bestehen kann. Schiffe nach Absatz 2 Buchstaben b-d tragen gut sichtbar Namen und Adresse des Eigentümers oder Halters.

Art. 121
5 Schiffe nach Artikel 16 Absatz 2 Buchstaben b, c und d sowie Schlauch- und ähnliche Vergnügungs- und Badegeräte dürfen nicht mit einem Motor ausgerüstet sein. Davon sind Tauchscooter, die kürzer als 2,50 m sind, ausgenommen.5

Maybe will you receive some info from @Martin_Demierre ? Martin was planning to open a school early July 2018. He does boat rental for a living. Now that he is in copy of this post… maybe will he share what he knows. http://efoil.builders/t/efoil-for-rent-in-switzerland/2093?u=soefoil

Hi SoEFoil,

Yes I saw that thread but @Clarin, also from Switzerland, mentioned as well that they are banned, but did not know a source (which I then found on our GOV homepage).

I don’t think that @Martin_Demierre does know more, but I could be wrong…?

I really would like to start a project as I just finished building my own electric motorcycle project and need a new one :slight_smile: But if I can’t use it in switzerland i don’t want to invest the time and money.

For what I’ve found for the Baltic and North Sea I will probably just go ahead, since I live around there and for coastal waters I don’t really see much regulation. If I would live in the south I would think twice now.
That Art. 121 really seems extremely restrictive, it would be the best to just ask the officials directly, then you are safe.

I agree in general. However, if you get your foil longer than 2.5m it should be fine. It does not say you need a 2.5m steel body. Just your board has to be 2.5m+ long. :wink:

Where are you located? I just moved to Zürich and thought about building an eFoil as a new project.


Hi HPack,
I live in Winterthur so close to you.
I would say that a efoil might go either under the category 2d Segelbretter or Vergnügungs und Badegeräte.

I wrote a mail a few weeks ago to the Sea Police Zürich regarding this but did not get an answer…

I‘m also swiss :slight_smile:
Let us know if you get an answer :+1:

I agree, it will probably be a Vergnügungsschiff or something. It does not categorize as Sportboot.
Nevertheless, if below 2.5m it will not be allowed with motor (which I think seems rather odd).
Anyway, would be interesting to hear what the police has to say about it.

@Kivchief, where are you located?

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Hi @HPack

I live near Aarau

I don’t think that I will get a reply to my e-mail… it is already 1 month since i wrote them.
Maybe somebody else can try?

Can you send me the email address you sent it to and the text by email? Then I will try to write them something in the same lines.

My email is Heiko.Packeiser@gmail.com

Interesting discussion, I thought about it as well and my conclusion for CH is: try your e-foil early in the morning and don’t get caught…

Viel Vergnuegen!
There was someone that actually built a powered surfboard from Aarau. Had some cool video of riding the river. That wasn’t you was it?

No that wasn‘t me but i plan to foil on the aare :slight_smile:

Found the vid. They are actually from Solothurn not Aarau. Close enough though.

Wonder what the Polizei thought of them?

Transport Canada which is equivalent to US Coastguard just confirmed all efoils with a propeller open or ducted are banned in Canada because of safety. $300+ fine every-time your caught using one.

Jet surfboard and the Jet eFoil are allowed.

Standards Regulations Officer/Agent aux normes et Réglements
Small and Fishing Vessels, Design and Equipment Standards and Boating Safety | Petits bâtiments et bateaux de pêche, normes de design et d’équipement et sécurité nautique
Marine Safety and Security | Sécurité et sûreté maritime
Transport Canada | Transports Canada
330 Sparks St. 330, rue Sparks
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0N5
Telephone | Téléphone 613-991-1367

Did Transport Canada give you feedback that a jet drive is acceptable? If so how does one determine how long a duct needs to be in order to be considered a jet drive?