Going full circle and actally finaly bying a commercial efoil

The feeling is my efoil-building days might coming to an end. I’m episodic and usually spend about 3Y exploring new technologies,
After some 4 years of non successfully building gas and electric powered surfboards I got hooked on efoils in 2019. I hade never really surfed but allready spent >10k€ on esurfboard builds.
My mission took me to Sardinia where there was a rental shop in costa smeralda that had just recieved 2 fliteboard Air’s. I rented one, got a great lesson in the diffucult art of efoiling, managed to stand up for 20m and got hooked. My mission was to copy the design. Said and done I built 2 inflatables 190 & 140L using whimsifoul boards in 2020 and had som much fun. Being 44 y/o and learning to surf has been really rewarding. This year I tried to build a 110L lift inspired hard-board for the first time, using flite inspired fuselage and an old big efoil battery at 15s19p. It’s been inspiring shaping a board for the first time, but after burning yet another 2 controllers in testign phase (1 raiden 7 and 1 trampa 75/300) I just simply gave up after 200h spent. 2020 I burned 3 Trampa controllers just trying to get it right…
There is great pride in building things as an engineer and then having to acquire skills to test it out, i dont think I will ever embark on such a mission again in my life.
I’ve put a downpay on used a Fliteboard Pro S1, I’m picking it up in Sardinia next week. The feeling is bittersweet as I’m not sure it will actually be better that the boards i’ve put >1000kms on in the past year (dont even know if I want it to be better) but it will will for sure be cheaper in total money/effort.

I will update you guys for sure if the industrial stuff is really better that what we build in a couple of weeks.


Why do you think you’re burning through ESCs? My makerx vesc hasn’t missed a beat, but it’s only done 75 hours.

So, I start reading here in that forum in spring 2019.
In September 2019 I decide and start to build my own efoil.
Based on a Mala Inflatable.
I have no luck with a broken Flipsky 200A VESC and a burned down finished Akkupack. ( my BMS was not only charging)

After that problems, I take a Trampa 75/300 and no BMS.
I finished my build after 11 months and on 1. August I successfully ride. A period of learning how to efoil ( till now not finished)
In the last winter I worked on efoil V2.

What should I say, I ride this year around 800 km without problems!

So, what I want to say. Make your homework, read a lot, make the things carefully and you will have success!

We are on my place a small group of efoiler. Some have a DIY, some commercials. We are all the same when we are together.

But I am the proudest because I build it myself and by the way, it is one of the fastest :wink:


May i ask, what was your biggest challenge related to the drivetrain on the surfboard protos, just interested as I am doing the same :slight_smile:

I was lucky to choose an inflatable architecture on my first foild which meant easy of transportation and that I had the guts to cross straits since I could always sit on the foil if there was any event.
My main problem always was the ESC. But they usually died during construction before getting on water. Sometimes it was my mistake. I’ve had one trampa sit in my org prototype for a year now pushing 7kw sometimes for minutes with passive cooling, so when it works it’s great. Today there are clone 75/200 at low cost so not the end of world if a couple are burned.
The Trampas are not industrialized products, the are evaluation designs without any waterproofing. In retrospect i know I burned atleast 2 of them by soldering on my 8mm bullet connectors 3->1 on both Battery and phase wire side. Thing is today I can only get pure Sn solder with 350* or so melt point, but internally these are soldered with pre 2018 Sn69Pb31% with melting point at 200*. On the last one some of the FET solder had gotten too hot from soldering bullets 10cm out on the wire end. Instant death. So with 4 burned ones behind me, better to make 1->3 XT90 connector or as @nice2cu with non solder connectors. It just looks like shit in an allready crowded alu box…

ALso the motors at least the pre 2020 without mechanical seal they usually failed after some 20-30 rides even if filled with corrX. There is to much salt water coming in and after a while there is 60v on the external motor barrel. Not dangerous as such, but at that point everything galvanically corrodes real quick and it’s time for new motor. Have 65h on a mech seal one and it’s still OK after changing the back bearing once. I also cover motors completely in epoxy.

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You have been a great ambassadeur here Robert and made very good architectural choises along the way. Fliteboard or not. I will complete my 110L hardboard latest next spring and with the 19p pack the Austrian distance record will be history…
But until then you are the one to catch.
I also must admit that with age I feel afraid to push above 45kmh, tried last week and fell in and it’s quite dramatic at that speed. Even my first prototype is geared for 52kmh top speed on 16s, but I need to find someone young and foolish to test it out.

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Stats from my 190L Whimsi 1:st proto since Nov '20 when Metr finally began working. Yours is probbaly even more impressive! I only did about 20h on the samller 140L whimsi.


Believe its extremely though to seal a direct drive no mater what, especially in the long run. Most electric trolling motors dies sooner or later due to water ingestion, and they have been on the market for decades… The ceramic seals now some uses are common on pumps, not so much in the professional marine environment. Moving the motor up to the board would solve 3 things, torque, water tightness and short cables. In the long run expect someone to do this, using a outboard style gearcase, shaft through the mast and motor close to battery. This way you can use a big diameter motor for torque but also choose gearing. Only new problem to solve is cooling of the motor, on the other hand also a V8 can be inside the hull without cooling problems so this is solvable i guess…

The small one with 16s8p (21700) got me 27km’s at best, with Bat-zilla in the background i would have been able to go Swe-Lübeck without recharging. A pity that I ran out of controllers before trying.

Have tried, but would guess its also hard to seal the 1:5 planetary’s below water level. There is a reason why a boats gearcase is completely filled with oil below waterline and also you raise the motor when not in use.
I change my oil every year as it turnes grey and conatins some % water.
I think Flite is doing it right. Have everything swimming in oil and change oil every year in a easy way.

100% agree. Think the Flite is better because the gear is full of oil, the oil keeping the water out. What i described was basically using the lower leg of an outboard, maybe 1-2 gearing. They can last for 30 years, only by oil change one time a year. I have one old Evinrude from 1974. It has only one ball bearing and one a brass bushing( at the propeller shaft) as a bearing and a thick o ring type of seal, still working perfect. The gear oil is designed to work with small amount of water, no problem.

You guys are sure the new Flite models are still swimming in oil ? I’ve heard they went direct drive with no gearbox anymore.

Flite without gear? I doubt… then they would have to use bigger diameter on their fuselage. And did not recognize that…
So if you burned that many Trampa 75/300 I am really scared of the new audi etron efoil because I saw they are using it as well, and they have definately higher currents than in your setup! :crazy_face:

I had exactly the same reaction, but my source opened it up to confirm. Beware, we are speaking about the all new models, at least one of them would be running a direct drive. I’ll post the picture if I can share it when I have it.
Maybe @cim96dm7 will tell us if there is another feeling / noise sound on the one he’s getting to confirm.

Maybe for the prototype, but I highly doubt a commercial efoil would use a vesc. No one wants the user to tweak all the parameters on the go like this :sweat_smile:

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Yes you might be right… But that flite went to direct drive with same diameter and same high pitch prop? I really doubt…but what is very obvious on the photos is that their ESC disappeared into the mast…

Well, you pointed the main issue haha. Keeping same diameter would be really tricky because having as much torque with direct drive would be really difficult except if the rotor is really long. But even like that, new issues would arises.

So my bet is that they have a slightly thicker fuselage where they can put a 60-65mm direct drive motor.

I’ll post some pics, but again, I can tell this has been confirmed by someone that opened the motor already.

Oh, i’m buying a used pro S1. Has a custom neugart 1:4 for sure. S2 from this year is exarly the same. Its still a custom 56mm motor. Perhaps the go direct drive for future boards…

Btw I have the only direct drive ”fliteboard” that i know off😉 its great. 70mm pipe and normal flipsky motor…


Sorry Mattias, you’re not alone… :smile:
I’ve gotten this beauty of a fellow German builder which is also inspired by Fliteboard design.
It’s custom CF mast and fuselage with 65161 120kv: