Dear Efoiling Friends!
So this is not an easy post for me to write. Everyone who followed my activities over the past years knows that I am a huge fan of efoiling. I want everyone to succeed, I love to share, I love the DIY community and also love the commercial efforts out here. And we have to make this work, I am very much interested that efoiling has a great future. I have been working with my friend Don Montague and his team since I started with efoils and we have been very concerned about battery safety all along. This is not about competition and bringing someone down. We all need to work together on safety and we have collaborated on safety topics with our friends at Lift and Flite in the past.
Unfortunately right now I am seriously concerned about the future for efoils. Dangerous products have entered the market at costs more people can afford. I am all for affordable products but safety has a price and we need to take this seriously. If not, we will all go down in a similar death spiral as the burning Hoverboards.
I am sure all the efoil builders here will agree, building an efoil is not an easy project. We operate in a harsh environment, we have thermal challenges, high currents and we need lots of power (10x more than electric bicycles) and we can not accept shortcuts that jeopardize safety.
You all saw that David W. Hill’s house burned down on December 21st 2020. I contacted the Lincoln/Nebraska fire department and Jason Relford, Fire Inspector/Investigator of the Lincoln Bureau of Fire Prevention, just today confirmed that the Waydoo lithium battery was the cause of this fire. They are working with a private investigator to attain more information as to the particular failure of the device. We heard horrendous stories about water ingress, Waydoo’s recommendation to simply drain the water and put it back on the charger. This is crazy.
Two Waydoos batteries were taken apart and they had serious safety issues. I feel that it is our duty to inform our Waydoo riding efoil friends and keep them safe. Please put your Waydoo battery in a safe location now. And yes, salt water ingress can cause battery fires, this is being discussed in other threads already.
Both examined batteries had pinched seals that would have allowed water to enter the battery if they would have been used. See images with descriptions for other safety related design flaws.
Call to action: Fellow efoil companies, please do better, up the safety even if the price goes up. This is not good for anyone. Waydoo, you rushed to market and cut corners on battery safety to make a quick $. Please recall your batteries. Burning batteries will kill efoiling. Together we can keep efoiling alive. Riders: Please thoroughly investigate the product’s battery safety before you make a purchase. Again, this post is not meant to piss on the competition or to bring Waydoo down. This is to bring everyone up. We love good competitive products. A rising tide lifts all efoils
Happy new year everyone!