Simple Winch for a Foil Board

I want to build a simple and low cost winch to drag a foil board (small surf board).
Purpose is to learn/do foiling/pumping.

My plane is to use an regular electric bicycle with a hub motor - just instead of the rear wheel use only the motor. The dynema wires will wrap around the motor+something-around-it.
As a start - no remote - with bicycle operator.

The common bicycles motors here in Israel are 250W-500W and with additional cost it can be replaced with 1000W. Cost $500-$1000 including battery.

Rewinch - with taxes and shipment it will cost around $4500 without battery
FoilDrive - around same price $4500

What do you think about this plane?
How would you improve it?
These hub motors - how strong should be the motor?
If these motors are too weak, I can set higher requirement on the foil board volume - it can be even 160L…

I bought a rewinch mechanical only kit (I emailed them about it) and then did my own electronics. It’s came in far cheaper, but from a kit perspective it’s not the most ideal. There are a lot of improvements it could have. At one stage I actually planned on designing my own electric winch but I just don’t have the time at the moment.

I also made my own foil assist which I far prefer to using the winch. It give you more freedom. It also allows you to start anywhere.

There are other systems like bungees and board holder that help with pumping. Check out wakethief on YouTube of you haven’t already.

1 Like

If the budget stretches, a tow boogie is a winch and so much more.

1 Like

This is also a very good point!

How strong should be the hub motor to start a 95kg person + 30L board on large foil?

But when doing a build, it is so much more than money. The whole time investment on research, shipping logistics of parts and implementation…
This is why if doing a build, I will do foil-assist.

The bicycle is already accessible, the simplest it can be.

But maybe there is a simple tow buggie build, what would you recommend?

Ye , I plan to build a foil-assist , but first want to get wet :smiley:
Next step is winch and yes dock-start. My thinking is that winch will help me with the dock start…

In all honesty, a winch is a bit of a hack and pain to use unless you have friends with you or you design a closed loop setup. It’s a pain to have to go back and forth to pick up the handle.
The PVC dock launchers are fat nicer and simpler. Take a bit of a run up and just jump on…
The other best alternative is the tow boogie…

1 Like

Ok, I agree, you have the experience.
But when dock start by running, is the jump accurate regarding feet placement. From reading I got the impression that better is to place hands first. This is why I plane ladder start.

I had the same plan of practicing with a winch, and then going foil assist / wing / prone with those skills. I’m almost done with the winch now, and it was much more of a project than I think just going to foil assist would have been. Just feels like more moving parts and more things that can break. For reference, I built around a 6384 motor with a 12s setup. It can easily lift 16kg worth of water bottles at high speed (that’s all I had laying around - though the theoretical max should be 40kg) and should have a top speed of 25 km/h based on the RPM and spool size. Total cost so far including batteries is around 600usd. If I had to do it again, I would go right to foil assist. That said, my friends and I can now practice together - we are all relative n00bs.

1 Like

Would you have a picture of your setup ?

I will post a build when I have time, but the the key specs are 6384 140kv motor, 12s lipo battery, 6:1 gear ratio, 14cm diameter spool. I built it in an ammo box with another one housing the battery.


I posted the build here. Hope it helps.