Author Topic: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review  (Read 774 times)

blueplanetsurf

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First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« on: March 10, 2019, 05:36:28 PM »
I had the chance to demo the Lift eFoil with Nick, the Hawaii distributor.  The price in Hawaii is $12,800 which is a lot of $$'s but it really is an amazing piece of equipment, it's kind of like a Tesla that can fly over the water.  Here is our video review:


Robert Stehlik
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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 01:57:18 PM »
Cool stuff Robert 8) Thanks for the review!

So in your experience with all things foil, who is this product aimed for other than people with some
money to spend?
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blueplanetsurf

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 04:49:31 PM »
Cool stuff Robert 8) Thanks for the review!

So in your experience with all things foil, who is this product aimed for other than people with some
money to spend?
After hearing from others, it's easier to launch if you get it to plane out flat while lying on the belly before trying to stand up.  I do think it can be a good learning tool for those getting into foiling.
It would definitely be a good learning tool for someone that does not have consistent wave conditions.  If I lived on an inland waterway, I would probably buy one, the eFoil would be a fun way to get around, for sure.
But otherwise, yes, this is pretty much for people with money to spend. 
There are plenty of people that would buy a Tesla instead of a Nissan Leaf or a Ferrari instead of a Pinto.  The R&D that went into developing this technology is impressive and after seeing and testing it, I think the price is actually reasonable considering the futuristic technology they pioneered.  That said, I'm sure the cost will come done once others reverse engineer it and there is a bit of competition.

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 07:01:53 PM »
Cool review.

It looks like it could benefit from footstraps.  The struggles you had appeared similar to the for-aft motion that we get on a bigger / steeper wave takeoff. 

Thoughts?

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 07:21:47 PM »
Could you use it to get into waves? Would you?

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 07:26:50 PM »
Manufacturers get to charge what they choose, and then the market acts accordingly. I haven't inspected a lift eFoil, but unless there's something unexpected somewhere, the technology is nothing special, hardly futuristic.  You aren't the first person who has said that Robert, and I need to look at one to find out what the heck people are talking about.

Hobbyists are building jet pump fuselages which would be much more likely to be used as an assist for surfing or downwinding. A shrouded prop is trolling motor tech from the 60's.  Electronics and electric motor systems have come a very long way thanks to RC models, electric bikes and skateboards, smartphone tech, and an army of geeks playing with IOT. From what I see the wireless control and motor controller are no more sophisticated than an electric skateboard. It would be relatively easy to add automatic pitch control for a learner mode with motor control only, easy for the system to understand how much the rider weighs and compensate, easy to kill the motor the microsecond the rider falls off. Any of the electronics geeks on the Zone probably immediately flash to how all that could be done.  The most sophisticated eSkateboards can compensate if excessive braking shifts the rider weight forward too quickly. Some bike and skateboard builders are experimenting with ultracapacitors to store the charge from dynamic braking, which comes too fast for most battery chemistries.

What is feasible and what gets done are two different things. But at 13K there is a lot of room for competitors. The only question is at what price would this be popular enough to sell in quantity. There may well be no price where it would really create a significant market--it could well be a self-limiting niche. About 40K jet skis are sold per year in the USA at prices ranging from about 5K to 15K. Manufacturers have had to deal with a significant liability and warranty costs with this craft, about the time a eFoil started selling in quantity the warranty and liability costs would start to mount.

At least they probably don't have to worry about the most common PWC liability issue--high velocity enemas. There have been several cases successfully brought with multi-million dollar awards to the plaintiff for the devastating abdominal effects of hitting the water butt first at 50+ mph. Hurts just thinking about it. I may have to beef up my boardshorts.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 07:30:31 PM by PonoBill »
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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 07:36:31 PM »
Really fun to hear about the latest and greatest foils out there. I live on the central coast of California. Three years ago we had four foilers, last year it was down to two. This year it’s just Trive. What’s going on?

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 09:10:39 PM »
It's really hard. I've been at it for either eight months or a year and a half depending on how you count water time, and I still suck. There are some people that get it right away. I hate them. But for most people this is perhaps the hardest sport they've tried.
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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 11:45:45 PM »
Thanks for showing the launch attempts - it looks harder than I thought it would be.

Pono is right, a lot of people will attempt foiling and find it much harder than anticipated - it takes some serious dedication. The dedication required seems to increase in linear fashion to ones age.....

It seems controlling the pitch on the e-foil was tricky, was that mainly because of the motor shutting down when it lost connection to remote or was there an element stall?

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 12:01:35 AM »
Beasho, yes, I think straps would be good.  Starting is not really comparable to breaching on a steep drop.  The motor is mounted low on the foil with a long lever and it has a lot of torque, so any acceleration pushes the nose up.  Nick had no problems doing high speed starts so I think its just a matter of figuring out the balance.  There is a beginner mode but I learned on regular mode and the trigger was quite sensitive.

Bill, those are some good insights.  The technology is probably similar to modern e-skateboards but it also has to  be completely waterproof and safe, you would not want to get zapped by that power pack.  The challenge is to make it all work together.  I can attest that designing and building good foils and boards that are light and strong and work well together is already very complex for regular surf foiling.  Adding the motor, battery, controller and remote control system, weight distribution etc is a big project.  Everything about the Lift eFoil is well thought out and put together, the boards were designed by Sean Ordonez, the foils are full carbon, the fuselage and wings are built as one piece construction and the mast integrates the motor and cables.  Lift has been making foils in Puerto Rico for 10 years and their foil designs are based on years of testing and incremental improvements.  There are a lot of people trying to build eFoils now and finding out that this technology not as simple as you would think. 

I think for beginners it would help to have a little rubber antenna that can be attached to the receiver in the nose so it can maintain the bluetooth connection even if the nose dips underwater, that would have helped my for sure.  I like the idea of automatic pitch control.  I'm sure we will see a lot of developments in this field, assuming there is enough demand. 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 12:07:59 AM by blueplanetsurf »
Robert Stehlik
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http://www.blueplanetsurf.com

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 10:40:22 AM »
On my flight to Hawaii, the American Airlines magazine did an article on Laird. In the article Laird talks about the eFoil and how he is training with it to take into big waves. There were a couple pictures of him on 6-10 foot waves coming down the face. No foot straps. So at least someone is thinking about taking th eFoil into big surf. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 11:26:20 AM »
That's pretty wild. He's going to want to do something about that big prop. Drag increases as the square of velocity, and an oversped or feathering prop has huge drag at any speed above 0--they wouldn't work as a propeller if they didn't--the amount of power a propeller can deliver is directly proportional to the area of water it intercepts. Close the throttle on a high performance boat and it stops like a chute was deployed. Even in air, a thousand times less dense than water, it's a problem. That's why airplanes don't glide for shit if the motor seizes. at the very least you need to feather the prop, and even then it's a lot of drag. A folding prop at minimum, though they still induce a lot of drag and it's more challenging to shroud them.

I've been considering doing a jet pump in the fuselage. The primary problem is that jet pumps work better in larger diameters, and you need either a torque-y motor, which means a large diameter outrunner (think leverage--small diameter motors have less and so are better for high rpm) or a gearbox to reduce the RPM--expensive and overcomplicated. My possible solution is a long stack of smaller motors connected end to end. Torque is additive. In theory I could get to the thrust I'm looking for with a 1.5" tube and five motors with a two stage pump. In theory. I might take a swing at that this summer.

Another solution is to have the drive attached to the board or high on the mast. It could get you into the wave and then get out of the way. But if you dipped the motor for a second you'd be off the board and tumbling in a heartbeat.

I built as wireless motor controller last night for fun. Two ESP32 boards, an ESC and a brushless motor I had kicking around from one of my dead drones. The ESP boards I'm using have 6 touch control pads, so I didn't even have to use a potentiometer. the speed control is in six steps. Just screwing around, and I wanted to watch the new netflix series on F1, so I didn't spend time on it, but it's simple stuff. I didn't even have to write most of the software--I found a sketch on the web that worked fine with a few little changes. Of course this is the most expensive way to do it, much cheaper to use WR boards, but I think I have about 30 bucks in parts there.

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 06:53:57 PM »
Interesting thread.  Check out VeConcepts - they are now in production of an e-foil that uses a jet induction direct drive for propulsion - they market it as being able to surf on a wave as there is very low drag from the unit compared to a ducted prop.  Still expensive at 8+ grand with shipping but looks like a robust design.  There are several cheap chinese knockoffs showing up as well.  Will be interesting to watch this one as it matures a bit......
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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 11:33:46 PM »
Here are some photos of Laird on the efoil.

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Re: First time riding the Lift eFoil- video review
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2019, 08:09:57 AM »
Interesting thread.  Check out VeConcepts - they are now in production of an e-foil that uses a jet induction direct drive for propulsion - they market it as being able to surf on a wave as there is very low drag from the unit compared to a ducted prop.  Still expensive at 8+ grand with shipping but looks like a robust design.  There are several cheap chinese knockoffs showing up as well.  Will be interesting to watch this one as it matures a bit......
Looks nice.
I guess it is a photo of one of their proto types mounted on another foil brand was for R&D. That would be a nice option.
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