Using efoil for surfing waves?

I realize it’s atilll early days for efoiling, but has anyone tried using an efoil as a way to catch waves (instead of paddling)? Seems like the performance characteristics of a surf boost propulsion system would be less demanding than that of a full blown efoil.

The only issue I can think of is how much more turbulent a board will have to endure if being thrown around in the waves.

Other than that, sounds straight forward. I can also see it as being viewed negatively because the whole point of electric powered is to go where you traditionally couldn’t go before.

Right now there’s an explosion of interest in SUPfoiling and SURFoiling. In both of these, you paddle into waves using paddle or your hands, then surf with the foil. What if you could use a motor to get you onto the wave instead of paddling? Might enable more waves to be caught and also allow marginal waves (not breaking) to be caught. The demands on the motor are not as high as pure efoiling - only need a short burst of speed to get you on the wave. The motor could be mounted on the foil mast, but alternatively it could be mounted on the bottom of the board - you only need the motor for catching the wave, once on foil, you no longer need the motor’s push. I’m envisioning a self-contained unit mounted under the board with batteries, esc, motor, and prop all in one unit. Just a thought experiment at this point.

In that use case you could actually simplify the motor design and use a high power sealed outrunner.

Hi Guys, I’ve been out in waves a few times a week for the past 6 months on various Fliteboard prototypes. I also get asked this question probably more than any other by potential purchasers. You can certainly carve on swells and waves - but it’s quite different to using a surffoil (which I also ride) that is 100% propelled by the wave. The prop act as brake when not powered, and efficient wings for fast riding are very different to surf foil wings which are designed for the slowest possible lift off speed, and with massive leading edge radius to support extreme angles of attack. So yes you can ride waves, but without dedicated components for waves (which come at a compromise elsewhere) the idea of using a motor to get into a wave and then killing the motor - is just an idea at this stage. Catching waves via prone paddling or sup paddle is super easy, so if you are mainly interested in riding the wave without power use a non powered surf foil. If you want autonomy to cruise around with the same feeling whether you are on a wave or not, then use an eFoil. It’s also important not to ride near surfers or swimmers because an eFoil caught in a wave without a leg rope could be quite dangerous to others (just like a kayak or surf ski but with sharper edges and more weight for example).

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I’m experienced SUP surfer & kitesurfer and just learning how to SUP Foil. The learning curve is steep - not easy! Anyone who’s ever taken a surf lesson where they push you onto the wave can appreciate how much easier that is compared to paddling into a wave under your own human power. I’m thinking there might be a niche for an electric motor boost system that will help propel you onto the wave and then shut off while you surf the wave. This could work really well with a foil if the motor was mounted to the bottom of the board - it could provide boost to get you going and when you go up on foil, it would be out of the water and would not affect the drag. This could turn marginal, non-breaking waves that are impossible to catch, into fun rideable waves. Its a very different product than a pure efoil board, but some of the technology and components are similar.

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To create this all you need to do is create a foil sup board with foul mount and also pod built into it. Then you can clip in the wavejet pod and off you go. It has two motors with impellers and battery, in off button. think wavejet is about $5k? (AUD) it is designed for paddling through the break and assistance catching waves. For example people with shoulder issues.

My sense however is that in learning to foil surf, the paddling part is the least of your worries. I’ve surfed and windsurfed since I was 10 and kitesurfed since I bought my first Naish kite from Don Montague 19 years ago. Also Kitefoiled competitively (racing) for 4 years or so. The paddling part is easy. Fouling on a wave is pretty extreme - probably harder and more dangerous than anything else I’ve done! Foiling with an eFoil in flat water however is much much easier.

Wavejet is cool, but I’d like to create a DIY system that can be easily added/removed from a regular SUPFoil. Battery pack can be scaled way down since run time is only a few seconds at a time when catching waves. This is not a pure efoil, but more of thrust assist to make it easier to catch waves. There’s quite a bit of drag when paddling into a wave with a foil. Having a bit of extra boost could help a lot. Also, if it allowed catching non-breaking waves, this would open up many more surf locations. SUP Foiling is definitely a challenge - but super fun as well!

I can stop the motor and surfing waves on propulsion jet, prop is not problem for hydrodinamic on jetfoil
My high lift wings are similar to gofoil, takuma, can surfing like a sup no electric.

@Virus That’s awesome! Your drive train system seems to have a very small diameter with low drag.

Hey guys… I’m in Southern Cailf, where the foil craze it huge on the waves. I also happen to work for Scubajet, the smallest self-contained jet power on the market, that can install in the finbox of any board or SUP. Please feel free to connect with me at or look at for more info

I wonder if ScubaJet has enough juice to get you up on foil. If so, it would be a great solution!

This could be achieved by simply placing the standard efoil drive unit higher up on the mast so that when the board raises up on the foil, the drive unit is no longer in the water. I have designed one for downwind runs. If you lose the wave, you can then just drop back down and give it some power to catch the next swell.

For sure this could work. I’m also thinking about a completely self contained unit (like ScubaJet) with drive unit, esc, and batteries all in one enclosure. Batteries could be less than pure efoil, since motor will only be used for short bursts to get you up on foil.

I am just getting into SUP foiling. Love it but planning on getting Scubajet and attach it at the fin box to assist in catching smaller waves. Has anyone tried using the Scubajet as an assist for foiling?

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