Aloha water-lovers, ocean-friends, and thrill-seekers! In this blog post, we are going to tackle the question that has been asked all over this planet in recent years:
SHOULD I BUY AN EFOIL?
This can be a tough question to tackle, and most of the struggle has to do with the price point of these amazing watercraft. First, let’s define the price point and address the major differences between the various efoil boards on the market.
Efoil prices have increased over the past two years. The lowest price in 2020 was the Waydoo at around $6000 US. Since then, Waydoo has improved their efoil board with longer ride times and additional options. Their current efoil board starts at $7360 US. The same is true for the top two brands at Lift Foils and Flite. Both Lift and Flite were offering their boards in 2020 at a price point of around $12,000 US. In 2022, each had increased their prices to just around $13,000 US. As this activity grows in popularity, the prices will continue to fluctuate.
The major differences between all manufacturers have to do with materials used and the performance of the boards. If we break it down to the basics, the top end efoil boards are made with carbon fiber while the lower end efoil boards are made with EPP foam reinforced with aluminum framing. The top end efoil boards have a ride time of around two hours, while the lower end efoil boards have a ride time of about an hour. There are many other differences such as foil options, size and color options, and accessories.
You will get what you pay for, and you will enjoy the board you get because the activity itself is absolutely fantastic. You can get to a lower price point if you consider buying a used board. We have seen prices as low as $7500 for used Lift efoil boards, and as low as $5000 for used Waydoo efoil boards. The largest concern for you should be the warranty coverage. The warranty usually only covers the original purchaser of the efoil. This can be a large consideration as replacement parts range in price from a couple hundreds of US dollars to a couple thousands of US dollars. The battery cost alone will range from $2500 to $4000.
SO HOW DO I JUSTIFY THE COST?
First of all, in order to truly consider buying an efoil, you should know that you really enjoy riding the board. We recommend that you take a lesson with a friend or with an authorized dealer. The authorized dealer will know the most about teaching you how to safely use the efoil, and they will also be able to help you to select the best options for you. At Lift Foils, we offer you a discount code after your lesson to use towards your purchase. This makes the lesson priceless…literally.
Once you know you enjoy riding the efoil, the next step is to justify the cost. We had a hard time with this also, but once it made sense to us, it became obvious that this would be the most expensive water toy we buy, and the best purchase we could ever make for water activities.
CONSIDERATION #1: TIME
Do you already spend lots of time on the water? Maybe you surf or body board a lot. Maybe you paddle a canoe or kayak. You may already own a boat or a jet ski. So how much time do you put into your water activity, and when? Most people who have a water craft of some sort primarily use it on the weekends when they are not working. This is obvious. For the surfers that we know, surfing on Saturday and Sunday mornings is the most popular time to get in the water, but surfing after work is also a common time slot. The surfers are spending 2-3 hours during the week and 4-6 hours during the weekend to get their surf addiction satisfied. For paddlers, we have seen the same amount of time put in the water. These two platforms are easy to get into the water and easy to get out. The maintenance is minimal and the washdown is quick.
Boats and jet skis are entirely different. Boats and skis are much more versatile, but there is a lot more involved in launching and recovering these crafts. We have seen avid boaters go onto the water primarily on the weekends only, but usually they are out on the water much longer, lets assume 6-8 hours. The maintenance and washdown process is additional time with your boat or ski, but it is not water time.
By contrast, we will tell you that the efoil gets used daily, sometimes twice a day. We have friends that get into the water with their efoil before work, and after work. They get out on the weekends as well. During the week, efoil enthusiasts will get on the water 2-6 hours, and on the weekend, another 4 hours. This is because it is so easy to get in and out of the water, have fun, and wrap up the session. The effort is minimal, but the fun is satisfying. In contrast to surfing, efoil riders are on their feet for the duration of their 1-2 hours on the water. In contrast to boating, efoil riders can go almost anywhere without restriction, and have a very short washdown procedure.
So if you already spend lots of time in the water, getting an efoil will actually increase the level and duration of how much fun you can have on the water. The added bonus is that it is easy to clean up and get on with your day.
CONSIDERATION #2: CONDITIONS
Do you have good water conditions for your activity? If you are surfing, you always are looking for the next swell with low winds. If you are a paddler, you sometimes want the mid-level winds to create a downwind swell for your paddle. If you are a boater or jet ski---er, then you may want calm water conditions.
The efoil rider doesn’t need one condition or the other. Swells for surfing? Great. Winds for downwinding? Great. Calm waters for exploring? Great. The efoil rider just wants to get onto foil and cruise. Sometimes that means wave riding, while other times it means exploring cliffs and caves and sandbars.
CONSIDERATION #3: ACCESS
Do you have easy access to a suitable body of water? Where you reside matters when it comes to owning a watercraft. You need to have reasonable access to water. If you are surfing, you definitely need access to the ocean where the waves come rolling in. With paddling and boating, a good lake is all that is needed while the ocean is an added bonus. Getting in and out of the water is also a consideration. Boats usually need a boat ramp while surfing and paddling usually needs a walking path. With the efoil, we usually need a walking path as well, but you don’t want too long of a path as these boards can get heavy. The efoil boards can weigh 50-70 lbs. Carrying this weight more than 100 feet can become challenging. Using a cart is always a good idea if the path allows for one.
HAVE YOU JUSTIFIED YOUR EFOIL PURCHASE YET?
We agree with most that the efoil is expensive at up to $13,000. We also agree that this efoil board is not for everyone. There are two groups of buyers that we believe should absolutely buy an efoil:
- WATER ENTHUSIASTS. If you already spend lots of time playing in the water, getting an efoil will only multiply the level of fun you will have in the water. You may inadvertently replace some of your other water toys, but then you can pass them onto the next person and recoup some of your expenses.
- PEEPS WITH TIME AND MONEY. There are many people with time and money on their hands that are looking for adventure. The retiree, the empty-nester, the successful business person, and the freelance creator are just a few that we can name. The investment into an efoil will more than pay for itself in fitness gain and stress release from daily responsibilities.
Either way, we hope that you make a sound decision based upon your personal experience and personal preference. Have fun in all that you do, and be grateful for all that you have.