Hydrofoil is a technology that allows to minimize friction of an object moving on water. Thanks to this, the amount of energy used to move is reduced. This is possible thanks to a special construction consisting of a mast attached vertically to the bottom of the board, ending with a horizontal fuselage with two wings. At a certain speed the board starts to float above the water and its entire mass rests on the mast and the wings submerged in water. As a result, in addition to the advantages associated with energy saving, there is a spectacular “levitation” of the board above water. Feelings of a surfer located a few dozen centimeters above water, constantly balancing to maintain the intended course, are surely not common.
This technology in a similar edition was invented a long time ago for the army. Originally used in warships, it allowed to increase their speed while reducing the enemy’s chances of survival. After some time hydrofoil was commercialized and started to be used in fast transport boats, passenger boats and sailing yachts. One might suppose that the latter paved the way for the modification of small surfboards.
Practically every kind of surfing – whether it is a classic wave run, wakeboarding or windsurfing and kitesurfing – has received a board version with a hydrofoil. The growing popularity of foils almost heralded the emergence of something new. Recent trends in the development of electric drives had a significant impact on it. In combination with the trend of adaptation of foils, it led to the creation of e-foil, i.e. a hydrofoil board with its own electric drive. No other type of drive available is suitable for hydrofoil surfboards. Taking into account the aforementioned advantages, this combination seems to be a real hit.
Currently, only a few companies have officially launched this type of boards, but there are numerous prototypes in the backstage. Let’s hope that at least some of them will turn into final products.