Lowering the Price of eFoils with Smarter Manufacturing

Hey guys,

A few years ago, I saw Lift’s Miami Video and was instantly hooked on the technology.

Being curious, I decided to try and find out if the eFoil could be redesigned in a way that would dramatically lower the price point force a market reset.

Of course, a handful of companies have already tried this, with various degrees of success.

The main reason a major price reduction has not yet happened is production optimization in the wrong areas, like cheaping out on batteries and electronics (not the safest thing to do) or just producing everything in China. Neither method really works, and you end up with a substandard product that people don’t really trust.

Nevertheless, Companies like Waydoo have done great things for pushing the sport forward.

So why am I making this post?

You probably already guessed it - my company is working on our own eFoil product. More specifically, an eFoil and a eFoil scooter, which has been meticulously engineered to have an base price of well under $5,000 (USD). This is our conservative number, since we are actually aiming for a price lower than that.

So,hypothetically, if we created an eFoil board and scooter under 5,000 USD, would people be interested? Please tell us your thoughts.

We are located in Auckland, New Zealand and surrounded by water. We are incentivized to create a low cost eFoil, because the market here is perfect for it, and we plan to develop full scale electric boats in the near future.

The plan is to launch on Kickstarter, which will help with gauging interest and reaching a large amount of people. If we pre-sell enough boards, we will then raise money through external investors and partners to develop high performance and safe batteries. This is crucial.

Questions welcome, we will try to answer them all.

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This is what they will look like.

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The biggest understimation every company seems to make is just how badly users abuse their efoils. Then after the efoils stop working they want a free replacement and if you don’t give it to them then they drag the company through the mud.

Lift and fliteboards prices allow easy replacement of things and so their reputations remain good. The cheaper brands simply can’t replace as much so guys complain and their reputations are bad.

I have a lift and quite honestly prefer my DIY boards. I find them simpler and lighter.


Very true. I wonder if we can potentially fight the replacement parts problem by making our files open source… Could mitigate the issue for some parts and people with 3d Printers.

It’s not so much the parts, its the electronics that go. Guys open things, then don’t close screws properly and water gets in. Or they ride through seaweed, jam the prop and the motor and ESC go. Then they clean it up and tell you it just stopped working. I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things go on.
Most of my Lift gear is actually gear that guys warrantied and there wasn’t anything ever wrong with it, they just either had corroded connectors and as a result things didn’t behave correctly.

What I can say is that the simpler you keep it, the less returns you have! Having ESC on mast and only having 2 connectors means much more user simplicity.

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Interesting ambition!

would be cool to rather make it “open sorce”, to have a good standard for the DIY community’s. As Jezza mentions, ESC in mast and just two power connectors to connect battery would be a great feature to bring the development of efoils further. Then make varies documented modules.

I wish you luck! I feel like the best possibility to succeed is to create an all in one fuse like takuma. So no need to ship the board. I worry that just going cheaper and being a brand new name is not going to be enough to outcompete the established competition. Kickstarter is kind of a dead horse nowadays, you pretty much have to pay for the sales if you want it to do well. But respect that you’re willing to innovate and market yourselves. I would just advise to not overcommit on the initial idea in case it falls short of expectations so you have some room to pivot. It very well could be a smaller part of the efoil that ends up being the more successful business concept. Ie selling an all in one fuse or something rather than the whole system.


Is your prototype already in testing on the water, how’s that propellor going?

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Don’t know if it’s in the pipe but you must be able to use different front wing surfaces, aspect ratios and programs. A one type wing would maintain costs down though.

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This type of propeller with straight blades usually doesn’t behave at its best because water filets at the root don’t have the same speed as that of the tips. To make all water filets go the same speed, the blade is increasingly twisted towards the tip to compensate the radius increase. This way, the blade can slice through the medium with least possible drag like a screw in a solid material.
The straight blade type is praised in one application: food mixers because we want to push the medium to mix it and not slice through it.

Hey everyone.

Thanks for the great feedback so far, we really appreciate it!
We should be on the water in the next couple of weeks for preliminary testing of the foils themselves. Here are some more details of the design as of the latest iteration:

  1. There will be multiple different wings available at launch. To keep things simple, the boards will be produced like traditional surfboards, using a foam core wrapped in fibreglass or carbon.
  2. The battery will be placed underneath the board. Plugs will be dual sealed to prevent water ingress.
  3. The propeller is still in development. Straight blades are for demo.
  4. Due to the way most parts are produced, we will be able to offer pretty good warranty conditions, with many free replacement parts. For customers with 3D Printers, part files will be available for free so that some parts can be printed while waiting for replacements to arrive (For example, the prop). There are also many other parts which have been designed to be printable.
  5. At launch, there will be a standard eFoil as well as a scooter variant available.

We are absolutely sure that the base price of eFoils can be dramatically lowered while ALSO increasing the quality as compared to low cost eFoils that exist today. It would be great to hear some feedback about what kind of pricing you hope to see eFoils come down to.

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Hello, Altered. Your project it´s too good to be true - but I tend to believe on it. I was thinking about the same project here in Brasil but if you´re sucessfull, I´ll chat with you in PV to wholesale your boards in my country. Neverthless, I´d like to tell you the kickstart base projects tend to failure a good idea. Think about it.

Hi, I am from Italy and I am a windsurfer, wing-foiler and extremely interested to your project, so I will definitely partecipate to the pre-sell campaign if the tests will be positive.
I am also a manufacturer of carbon fabrics.
I know we are far far away, but just in case, I would be pleased to provide some material free of charge as a “sponsor-ship”, if you are able to bear the freight and custom costs.

Interesting project. where do you think you will be able to shave costs off compared to other brands to produce a step change?

Using approx wholesale prices for standard off the shelf components you get to about $3000USD for an efoil without labour/ warranty/development/advertising costs. Getting below that without scale or new manufacturing techniques could be difficult.

Motor cost $250 (65161)
VESC $200 (75200)
Battery $1000 (14s10p, molicel)
Foil $600 (cheap Chinese aluminium/carbon)
Board $500
Misc $300
Remote $100
Charger $150

Some of the cheapest efoils are Waydoo and Takuma have a retail cost of around $6000USD which seems about right considering component cost and mark up.

Some ideas to reduce cost.

LiFePO4 batteries which are cheaper and easier to assemble, but not as power dense as good 2170 cells.
Inflatable board which also reduces shipping costs.
Partnering with an existing foil brand like Axis so you can use their mast/ fuse and foils which are readily available on the second hand market.

Good luck!

Provision for warranty on Efoil or any EV product is a major and better not be underestimated especially on battery due to the cost and logistic around shipping.

Maybe rather than manufacturing a battery make a tray on which several 60V aeg or dewalt battery can be connected in parallel. Some E-Bike company have been working on such solution.