eFoiling is the most fun you’ll have all year

Posted on 10 March 2022 By Anita Froneman

eFoiling is the new e-biking. There are myriad ways to describe this watersport to someone who’s never heard of it: It’s like an electric surfboard, or a battery-powered wakeboard. But really, the only way to find out is to experience it yourself. Lukas Nel who co-founded Efoil Cape Town with his father is not just a good eFoiler, he’s also a patient and fun-loving instructor who claims anyone can do this. We shall see.

Lukas making it look easy.

On a sunny, windless day in Simon’s Town, I donned a life jacket and helmet (good thing I did, because I fell way more than I surfed) and took to the waters. Unlike surfing, eFoiling has nothing to do with the waves. In fact, a flat surface makes for smooth surfing (or flying, as some call it) and many do it on dams or lakes.

With a remote control in one hand to toggle between ‘gears’, I took my first shaky stance. And fell, naturally. I proceeded to fall off the board and clamber back on for a good amount of time while Lukas glided circles around me, catching it all on the GoPro.

I started on my knees at first. You can ride kneeling, standing up or even on your tummy, too.

Learning to eFoil is not the most graceful process on Earth.

Then, at last: utter delight. I stood up triumphantly, letting out a shrill ‘whoohoo!’ and felt the eFoil rise from the water underneath me. Yes, definitely flying, not surfing. Maybe closer to a magic carpet ride.

I made it!

The trick is to micromanage your weight on the board, shifting ever so slightly forward or backwards to maintain balance. Dip a shoulder gently to one side to make a turn, and find the speed you’re comfortable with. Once you’ve got that down, turn your attention to the bright turquoise water. Much quieter than a boat or jet ski and with no emissions, eFoiling creates a great opportunity to spot marine life. Sometimes, dolphins or seals join in the fun, Lukas told me.

Picture: Efoil Cape Town

The electric hydrofoil can whiz through the water at up to 55km per hour and the battery lasts for two hours (if the rider can last two hours, that is).

Take a look at the action:

Efoil Cape Town offers customised guided coastline tours of up to an hour and a half, or tailored to your preference.

Lessons include a thorough explainer and safety briefing, plus all equipment is provided. Lessons and tours take place in Simon’s Town, Hout Bay or wherever else conditions are good.

Rates: R1,500 per person for a private lesson, R1,000 per person for two people or R900 per person for three people.

Contact: [email protected] or phone +27 72 554 8623

Pictures: Getway


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