Starting small w/ eSUP

Hi all,

First, pardon the heretical question. I realize that an efoil is not the forum to ask esup (?) questions, but this community seems awesome (after just a couple of days of obsessive lurking).

I bought a very used board off craigslist designed for windsurf foiling (232 x 95cm). Has a pretty solid tuttle (maybe deep tuttle?) port for a fin in the back. But I don’t feel skilled enough to make mods to the board itself to house ESC, batteries, etc. Is having a waterproof box somewhere on the surface of the board even an option? Here’s a pic:

Google Photos

As an incremental step, has anyone looked into a simpler build that is more like a powered SUP? Obviously way less cool than flying, but feels like more beginner friendly both to build and ride. Any thoughts on this? Do you think hydroplaning would be possible without the wing underneath?

It would involve a lot of the same parts, maybe less powerful and cheaper. Thoughts on a good motor and ESC if I want total cost to be sub-$1K?


The electronics box on the board is an option. It could only be a handicap if you still want to position yourself on the board or want to lie on it.

I tested my propulsion for the first time in the water yesterday. In the attached video I needed about 280W to go about 3km/h (throttle about 15%, no wind, no waves). Building a slow, cheap SUP drive with about 300 to 400W which moves you forward should be possible.

Why not just purchase 1 of these?

Nice work @Savoie, thanks for sharing. What motor are you using? So far I’ve really scaled back to like 1/10 just to get a sense for the components involved. From more research, eFoil electronics are just a scaled up version of an RC boat, so I figure I’ll start there. In particular, here’s my revised plan:

35$ motor, a 35$ ESC, a 5$ propeller, a 3S battery pack, and a DIY remote based on Arduinos with NRF24L01 TX/RX chips.

Thoughts on the components above? Once I’ve got the electronics figured out, I can slap on a body and a servomotor-controlled rudder and have an RC boat, or go straight to the 10x version of all of the pieces and build an eFoil or fallback to a fast eSUP.

@Foxyirish1987, seems sketchy. I’m into the DIY aspect and want to learn how to do basic stuff, like operate a brushless motor with an ESC, wire up LiPo batteries, etc.

I use the SSS 56114 500KV. You can find my used components in my profile or my thread “Jet Drive Build Switzerland”.

Currently I am more involved with a jet drive than a propeller drive. In general i can only say that for a jet propulsion an engine with high speed (high KV-engine / approx.16.000 rpm at your desired voltage) and for propeller propulsion an engine with less speed. (less KV engine) and propeller drives are more efficient.

I saw this small jet engine today, it delivers up to 3.5Kg of thrust. With two of them a stand up board could be moved.



If you have a 3-printer, this might be a project to start with.

And for parts, maybe Hobbyking is a good source for you?