In a previous article, we addressed the common question of:
WHY DO EFOILS COST SO MUCH?
We discussed how the combination of innovative hardware and advanced technology set within the thrilling environment of water sports created an expensive toy that seems out of reach for many people. The real question should be:
IS AN EFOIL WORTH THE EXPENSE?
That is what we will be tackling in this article. Currently, the price range for an electric hydrofoil board, or efoil, is as low as $7000 and as high as $13,000. The cheapest efoil on the market today is the Waydoo efoil, and the most expensive efoil is the Lift efoil.
At this price range, what are you getting for those hard-earned dollars?
When you make a purchase like this, there are certain thoughts that the buyer has:
- Does it work the way it’s supposed to?
- How long will it work?
- How often will I use this?
- What other expenses are associated with this purchase?
- Are the benefits of this purchase worth the price?
- What else could I buy that will provide similar benefits?
ALL EFOIL BOARDS DO EXACTLY WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO: FLY OVER WATER
We have reviewed several efoil boards in person and virtually. From the least to the most expensive, we can certainly say that all efoil manufacturers are providing hydrofoil surfboards that (1) are powered by electricity, (2) are safe to operate by new users, and (3) provide a flight-like experience as you get on foil with the board.
Some of the differences between the various manufacturers when it comes to performance is just like the car industry. Some efoils go faster and further than others. Some are more comfortable to ride. Some e-foils are sleek and sexy, while others are more practical in appearance and style. There are cruiser models and racing models. Some brands have a large selection to choose from, while other brands limit your options. The buyer must learn what they want out of their efoil. The best way to do this is to either take a lesson with an authorized representative or borrow an efoil from a friend.
MOST EFOIL BOARDS WILL INCLUDE A 2-YEAR WARRANTY
The warranty period indicates that the manufacturer has absolute confidence that their product will perform as expected for at least the two-year period. In reality, your efoil should perform as intended well after the warranty expires, as long as you take care of it. The efoil is intended to be used in water, and water can be corrosive, especially salt water. The proper care of your hydrofoil board will determine the life of your investment. For our efoils at Hawaii Efoil, we have daily, monthly, and quarterly maintenance routines that we perform on our equipment to ensure excellent performance for many years. We are just clearing the two-year mark with half of our efoils, and all are operating like they did straight out of the box. How often your use your equipment is also a factor in the life expectancy of your efoil.
HOW OFTEN WILL YOU USE YOUR E-FOIL BOARD?
Most owners of this type of equipment live near a body of water. Efoils are perfect for small and large lakes, large rivers, and ocean adventures. If you are in a tropical environment, the water temperature is not as much of a concern. Conversely, if you are in an environment that is arctic or can feel like it is arctic at times, there are times in the year that you don’t want to be on the water at all.
In our experience, people who buy the efoil use it way more than their previous water toys to include surfboards, jet skis, kayaks, and boats. Even if the water temperature is not suitable for half the year, they absolutely make up for that lost time by riding their e-foil twice as much during the warmer weather. The primary reason for the extended use is the simplicity of the efoil.
- It fits in your car or truck without a trailer
- You don’t need a boat ramp
- No special license required
- Clean-up is simple and quick
WHAT OTHER EXPENSES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE EFOIL?
If the e foil is so simple, then the associated expenses should be minimal, correct? YES. No trailer. Little to no maintenance. Only one moving part, so not much to do in part replacement. The bottom-line answer is that the primary ongoing cost associated with the efoil is the cost to recharge the battery… 2100Wh times your utility rate. In Hawaii, we pay about $0.33/kWh, so our cost to recharge the battery is about $0.70. Battery sizes vary amongst the manufacturers, but you can assume that your recharge cost is less than a dollar per charge.
WHAT ARE THE REAL BENEFITS?
In a single word, FUN. The efoil is such pure joy to ride. You realize it the very first time you get the board onto foil. We have seen it hundreds of times with our students. At first there is some apprehension, but then comes some confidence as our student understands the certainty of the motor and the stability of the board. Next comes determination to overcome the apprehension to stand. As obstacles are overcome, they reach a sense of achievement just before they start to ride on foil. The first few foil rides are unstable, but then they listen to their body and the feedback from the efoil board beneath their feet. Finally, there is elation as they trust in the foil, in the board, and in their own sense of balance. Once they find their center, they experience a sense of freedom and joy and exhilaration that is difficult to describe but is so addicting that you want more and more. The best part is that this sensation returns every time that you ride the efoil.
One side effects of this sort of simple fun is happiness that extends through the rest of your day. There is a level of activity that when performed on a regular routine definitely has health benefits. But can you really measure happiness? Can you really quantify fun? Improved health is just a sidebar benefit.
WHAT ELSE COULD YOU BUY AT THIS PRICE WITH SIMILAR BENEFITS?
The final question is can you find another way to spend this much money for this much fun? I think flying a plane would work for me, but it lacks the simplicity and freedom that comes with riding an efoil whenever and wherever I want. Maybe skydiving with some limited freefall could provide the same thrill level, but how often could that be done and for how long? The jet ski and the speed boat have so many benefits and applications, but complexity and effort get in the way a bit. A sailboat with a hydrofoil definitely has merit and could be a real competitor to the efoil. If the sailboat accommodated more than one person, then it may even surpass the efoil in simple fun and overall enjoyment.
So, is the efoil worth the expense? That is a very personal question that has been a resounding “YES” for thousands of people. The only way to truly answer this question is for you to get onto an efoil, either with a friend or with a manufacturer’s rep, and see for yourself. Even if you don’t buy the efoil, you won’t regret your effort to research it. If you have fun, you’re not wrong.