Select Page’s Beginner Guide to:

The best efoil in 2021


The authors:

christos nicolaou

Christos Nicolaou

Divemaster and Paddler
Christos is a passionate diver, enthusiastic paddler & amateur SUP racer.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Editor at
Bradley is a sailor, diver and stickler for details

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to surf without waves or windsurf without wind? Enter the efoil!

Efoils are motorized hydrofoils that harness the power of electricity to lift you off the water and propel you across it. Whereas most watersports require either wind or waves, the efoil provides an experience similar to surfing (but above the water). Efoiling is one of the most fun water sports available and it’s also a great way to practice your balance and coordination.

It’s extremely easy to stand up on a efoil making it accessible to most riders. You decide how fast you go, usually with a controller and you can even reach speeds of up to 35mph. Efoil is a new and exciting way to hit the water with little to no preparation. All you need is to charge your board up and go.

Efoil Surfers Photo

We’ve made the most comprehensive guide to the efoil. Here you can find the answer to any questions you may have about efoil. You can also discover how to get started, how to find the right efoil and general tips for starting your efoil journey. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that this beginner’s guide to efoil will answer.

What is an efoil?
How does an efoil work?
How to efoil?
What happens if I fall off?
How are efoils different to surfboards?

What is an efoil?

An efoil is a type of hydrofoil that uses an electric motor to push the board, rather than a sail. Also known as electric foil, electric hydrofoil, and e-hydrofoil, this new niche of water sport is exciting because it allows you to go faster than windsurf boards (that are only equipped with a sail) and surfboards that require waves.

Efoil Solo Surfer

How does an efoil work?

Most efoils work through a lithium-ion battery that powers a motor that is attached to a hydrofoil. The motor has propellers that push the hydrofoil forward creating lift and thrust by displacing the water behind the hydrofoil.

How to efoil?

For your first ride make sure to take things slow and become familiar with the controller and handling of the board in order to build confidence and comfort with the efoil. Make sure to set your controller to a low setting and turn it off before taking your efoil into the water.

Find a wide open water area that has smooth water and no obstructions such as swimmers, buoys, or boats. It’s important that the water is flat as riding your efoil on rough water will make it difficult for you to find your balance and stand up.

Additionally, make sure the water is deep enough for your board to float before placing your efoil, so that the hydrofoil doesn’t get damaged by coming into contact with the sea bed.

Slide onto the board and lie on your belly and turn the controller on to ride. Gently engage the throttle and slowly accelerate while still lying on your belly.

Make some gentle turns and get comfortable with both the board and throttle. From there move to your belly to your knees and increase acceleration until the board becomes more stable.

Once you are comfortable with the speed and stability, slowly transition from your knees to your feet while maintaining the throttle. Try to take a wider stance when standing for additional stability when riding.

Efoil Surfing the Waves

What happens if I fall off?

If it’s your first time on an efoil you will probably fall off when trying to stand up. Don’t worry if you fall off, as you should hit the water relatively softly, and assuming you’re wearing a personal flotation device, you should be fine.

Do make sure to use the last bit of control you have when riding the board to bail, by pushing or jumping away from the board. It’s important to put as much distance as possible between you and the board when falling off to avoid getting hit by the propeller.

It’s important to remember to stop your board after you’ve fallen into the water as the efoil will only stop if you release the trigger found on the controller. The efoil doesn’t have a leash (for safety reasons) meaning you will have to swim back to it.

How are they different from surfboards?

Efoils are different to surfboards in a number of ways. Firstly, you don’t need a wave to ride an efoil, all you need is a charged battery and waves might actually make it harder to ride the efoil.

Secondly, you can go much faster than on a surfboard and your board won’t be making contact with the water at faster speeds, giving you a smoother and more comfortable ride.

For surfboard enthusiasts, electric surfboards offer an alternative to efoils, however they maintain contact with the water and do not have hydrofoil technology. Instead, electric surfboards offer a motorized version of a surfboard.

If you’re interested in an electric surfboard check out our guide to electric surfboards here.

If you’re more likely to take up traditional surfing make sure you check out our guide to surfboards here.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Efoil

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    How much does an efoil cost?

    Efoils are generally quite expensive and can cost anywhere from $5,000 on the affordable end of the spectrum, to $20,000 on the higher end. For example the Lift efoils cost just under $13,000.

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    How long does an efoil charge last?

    The ride time you have on the efoil depends on how long the charge lasts. Of course, the charge lasts a different amount depending on the brand of efoil you are using and the selected settings. Generally, you should be able to get between an hour and a half to two hours out of a single charge.

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    What size efoil should I buy?

    The size of efoil you should buy depends on a number of different factors. The rider’s size and weight should be taken into consideration for choosing a size as bigger efoils tend to have a higher weight capacity. Additionally, the rider’s experience level is also a factor that plays into choosing the right efoil size. Efoils with large surface areas will have more stability and are prefered by beginners to the sport.


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