E-Surfer Mag

Lift efoil 6 month review

I began riding my 4’4" board last October. Through the mild central Florida winter I usually rode every day, and sometimes twice a day. I’ve improved both heel and toe side turns, and am working on tightening my turning radius without backing off the speed. Although I don’t know for certain, it feels like I’m usually in the 18-20 MPH range, and sometimes slower than that to just enjoy a “relaxing” ride.
I have been looking forward to warmer water and air temps to fully push the foil to maximum speed. Well, we’re back into the mid-80’s air temp, with the water temp 75 and rising. Time to go faster. And remember, I’m an “older” guy, just had my 65th birthday.

Beginning 3 days ago I wore a full life vest and a helmet. I plugged in my waterproof iPod shuffle and turned the volume way up. Let me tell you this: When you fully floor the throttle on the 4’4" board it is an absolute rocket. There is a huge difference between 20 and 25+MPH. Just screaming across the water. A bit of a lower crouch, arms out more widely for balance. Definitely more vibration from the motor. Shorter battery life. The experience is so much “on the edge.” As other riders know, you often have a microsecond to compensate for a sudden shift in the foil height off the water, or riding conditions. At 25+MPH there is even less time to react. It is a very exhilarating experience that I could never tire of. For the present, I plan on taking one “speed run” per day, and then another, slower, less risky run later in the day. I anticipate the slower runs will actually be faster than before as I get more used to the max speed.

In reference to issues with my Lift efoil, I have had none. I probably have around 200 rides to date and the machine has performed flawlessly, no issues at all. Nothing last forever, so it will be interesting see in what area issues will start to show up.

Of interest: I ride on a very clear, clean lake, without any obstructions. However, there are a couple of things that can affect my ride. The most common is a piece of reed getting caught on the strut. It is usually a single reed, about 3mm in diameter, maybe a couple of feet long. When it gets lodged/trapped on the struct, I can immediately feel it. Just that single reed. It feels like something is periodically grabbing the bottom of the foil assembly and giving it a mild shake, a mild wobble. At that time I can either stop and remove the reed, then resume the ride. Or more commonly, with the chilly winter water, I’ll just ride more slowly back home and finish the ride. I am always surprised that such a tiny weed/reed can have the effect it does.

The other interesting thing is when I hit a fish. Our lake is full of bass and blue gill, along with a healthy complement of turtles. When I bump into a fish, it is a soft but solid thud, and I immediately get launched forward. No damage to any part of the foil or prop. I don’t think I’ve hit a turtle yet and I think it would feel like hitting a rock. I’ve only bumped into a fish 4 or 5 times, but always interesting. If I were to hit one at 25+MPH, I assume I may fly for a bit before hitting the water. Hence the helmet.

I look forward to hearing other people share their riding experiences.

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Great report. Thanks a lot for sharing. I will buy my Lift eFoil very soon and will report back.

Did you make any photos and videos which you could share?

I’ll look into shooting some video of a high speed run soon. Where are all the other Lift efoil owners posting their experiences?

Hi @bfoiler,

You can post them here and/or in our Facebook group:


Great report! In case you missed their recent video:

Great video. I love this guys.

this really inspires me when people take this so seriously like Nick. I had a honor to interview him last week which i will post soon and it was really amazing to see how much Lift is putting effort into growing efoil industry, reaching athlets like Laird Hamilton and Kai Lenny to use the product!

Looking forward to the Lift Foils interview …

I’m at about 10 months on a lift, about 275 rides, started with the 5 foot and a 200 wing…jumped to the 4.4” 170 wing a few months after. My current set up is just amazing to ride, I have the prop guard removed (this adds to the nimbleness of my ride and feels great). I use the folding prop, but have yet to make use of its ability to go off throttle and ride waves depowered…it’ll come tho. Although I feel super comfortable ripping around at high speeds, there is still plenty of room for progression. I ride daily, 6 weeks plus straight, 3-4 times on a good day. It’s safe to say I’m fully addicted to the efoil…
As far as I’m concerned it’s the ultimate water sport. No more depending on the weather to go for a ride, flat water, high winds, rain, snow, partial ice… I’ve ridden it all. I’ll hit the water at 1:00, go for a short 30 min ride, and still make it to work for 2:00… it’s just too easy to get in and out of the water with no set up required (if you have a truck). The two most common questions I get are regarding the battery ride time, and the cost. People are amazed about the ride time, and then freaked out by the 12k price tag. I do my best to explain that it’s the same cost as a good seadoo… BUT… you don’t have to put $50 gas in it every few days, insurance isn’t required, it’s quiet, good for the environment, it’s a great core workout… I get waaaay more use out of the foil vs sea-doo.
It puts smiles on hundreds/thousands of faces…especially mine :grin:. #loysltothefoil
As other companies compete to my less expensive versions the popularity will increase, make my word… this is the water toy of the future. Competition is great for the industry, I’m lucky to be riding the best of the best, but I’m interested to try out other options and help get as many people riding (safely) as possible. I’ve been asked by a number of people if they can rent a board. Just like kite boarding, strongly suggest a lesson for newbies. The learning curve for the average person is very minimal. Most will be standing in under 30 min, a larger board and wing will minimize the difficulty of getting up. Generally speaking the efoil is the easiest way to learn to foil. If you are looking to get into kite foiling for example, take an efoil lesson and get a feel for how the foil works, then take take experience to the kite. Wake foiling can be challenging as you depend on the driver going the correct speed. With the efoil, you are the driver… controlling the speed at all times. The only difficult part is learning to control/feather the throttle while edging your way up the board from chest, knees, standing. But practice makes perfect, I don’t even think of this process now… it just happens. My experience with the lift controller is overall very positive. The ability to make instant fine tune adjustments by feathering the speed/throttle has saved me from dozens of bails. I have yet to use the “geared version” controller (example. fliteboard) with a plus and minus button to scroll through different speed options…but it sounds interesting. My one complaint is that my throttle finger swelled up about 3 weeks ago (I presume it’s from holding that throttle position for 2-3 hours a day, every day for a month straight basically. I starter to use a different finger on the throttle to give my main finger a break… this has helped… but 3 weeks later I still have slight pain in my main finger. It’s a small price to pay for the amount of pleasure this thing provides me.:call_me_hand::surfing_man:t2:‍♂

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2-3 hours EACH DAY!? wow that is a dedication!!! impressive! Tell us more about adventures you had, did you hit a log? fish? did anything break down?

Here you go

The new exciting sports of electric hydrofoils or efoils in short is taking over the world. Today in our “Ask me everything” show we have an honor to meet Nick Leason, the creator of the first commercial electric hydrofoil called Liftfoils.

Experience surfing’s newest frontier with the Lift eFoil- the original electric hydrofoil surfboard and the world’s smallest personal watercraft. No wind? No waves? No problem.

Lift Foils $12,000, 25 mph electric hydrofoil surfboard efoil is first to ship thousands of professional efoils worldwide.


00:26 You were FIRST to develop EFOIL, how did it get started?
03:13 Why most EFOIL projects fail? What is the main CHALLENGE?
06:10 You have to LOVE IT
06:50 Traditional foils vs efoils?
07:10 Evolution of foiling sport? Hydrofoil Racing?
08:55 LIFTFOILS Wings and sizes
10:20 How to choose a right WING?
11:30 What efoil setup do you recommend to get started?
13:10 The Length of the MAST?
14:05 How we tested LIFTFOILS and what is NEW?
16:10 Big Wave hydrofoil riding?
16:30 Laird Hamilton, Kai Lenny on Lift efoil
17:30 Riding efoil in the SURF?
18:00 How to learn riding efoil in the SURF vs FLAT?
20:00 Why efoils are so expensive? $12,000 efoil?
20:25 Will the price decrease in future? Entry level efoil?
24:00 I could buy a jetski for that price?
24:50 How many efoils did you ship? Past-covid19 plans?
26:40 The future of EFOILs and the hydrofoil sport?
29:50 Adrenaline radical efoil riding and tricks?

I love the board. Great interview …

Oh, that throttle finger pain. I too have a case of it, I guess from “excessive” riding also. It is normal to hold onto the controller very tightly in order to make micro-ajustments in your speed to maintain balance through turns and changing wind/water conditions. And I think there is a price to be paid for so many hours of holding the controller so tightly. What may be surprising to all except those “suffering” from it is how severe/significant it is. It Really hurts, and not just while you’re riding.
To help, I first began wearing a waterski glove, to add more padding. I don’t think it helped a lot. I tried to change trigger fingers, and next tried not wrapping my thumb around the controller. None of the above made a significant difference.
My latest fix: I’ve switched hands. Gone from my normal Right hand to the Left. Yes it is a challenge, especially getting up on the board. As I’m Right handed, I probably don’t have those same fine motor skills on the Left side. But, I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now, getting steadier and steadier on the Left, and the Right hand is starting to feel a little better.
The hand/finger/tendon pain is very similar to that of having plantar fasciitis in your foot, a deep, somewhat constant very bothersome ache.
Are there others out there with similar issues?

Glad to have 15 speeds now… :crossed_fingers:

I did in fact hit a large carp while using my gopro 360… I had no idea what it was until I saw the video afterwards. I’ve hit a few sandbars. One sandbar I hit going about 20 plus mph… I thought I may have done some damage, but was very relieved when I flipped it over and it was fine. Almost Zero issues to report at 300hrs and counting. I hade to replace a 9 volt battery as the power button on the board was stuck in the on position due to some sand ( I failed to rinse properly). I also had to make a call to lift when the board didn’t seem to want to start up… easy fix… within 5 min, I had lift on the phone informing me how to reset the battery by holding the power button for appx 5-7 seconds… problem solved, back riding!!
Super happy with lift… just ordered a 4’ non electric with a 250 HA wing… going to see if I can get some serious exercise by learning to pump…, otherwise it’ll be fun behind a boat.:call_me_hand::surfing_man:t2:‍♂

@EfoilJunkie @bfoiler
You guys are an inspiration. Since I enjoyed reading your detailed reports, here is mine.

Got my boards in January, have been riding excessively since. I am probably at 200-250 sessions but have stopped counting. Starting in winter was a challenge as in the beginning you tend to fall more. But thanks to proper wetsuit/booties/gloves that was easier than expected. Only thing ever to get really cold was the trigger finger. Probably since this one is always a bit under pressure…

Did progress fast from the 5’6 to the 5’0. I recon it took me 3 sessions to get the flying and the takeoff to 100%, then went down and never ever looked back. I sometimes switch boards now with people I teach and the 5’6 appears to be a tanker now. I believe most people will get there that fast too, at least it is what I see with people I teach.

About 1-2 months ago I got the folding prop and the 250 surf and that has become my go-to combo. Chasing every wake there is on our lake… So fun. Figuring out the folding prop and riding depowered is quite a learning experience.
Here are the key points…

  1. go fast then don’t ease out the power, but depower in a split second (think boom), I almost always depower on the high end of the mast, you may drop a bit but once the motor is out, you don’t climb that easily
  2. at the same time, put much, much more weight at the back foot. The motor pushes you up all the time, this will stop immediately. anticipate this, and probably put your back foot back a bit, just on top of the mast/foil.
  3. learn to pump, you will need to feel where the power is in a wake, it is easier when you push in a bit. Easiest way to learn is just extending the glide at the end of each little run by a little bit. Do a couple of pumps until it feels more natural… try to extend the landing as far out as possible. I actually find it quite amazing how far you can glide with no additional power whatsoever (no motor, no wake, no pump)
  4. learn to anticipate where the power in the wake will go, then go there, too.
  5. learn to transition between wakes, from left to right and back etc (I am not quite there yet)
  6. if losing the power of the wave/wake you can actually bring back the prop while foiling. This is a reverse 1) obviously, so act accordingly. You need way more weight upfront. So move there…

I think one big prerequisite for waves/wakes is that you have your turns mastered. You need to be very nimble and execute your tight turns well in waves/wakes. Waves but I think wakes even more so are challenging environments for efoils since it changes so fast how high the mast is out of the water.
One of the weirdest feelings ever, is if you come from behind and try to overtake a wake. You will effectively go up a small mountain so you will have to point the nose of the board up but once you reach the top you need to immediately correct and push the nose down or you will crash fast.
Hope that helps. I actually believe learning to ride ocean swells has to be easier than that. We only have crap waves close by (think 1m+, 4-5s periods) so I work with what I got :wink:

Sorry, had to add one thing. Now I am really at a level where I appreciate all the different foils and the effect they have. It is difficult to overstate how profound that is. By changing the foil you change the whole experience of the efoil. In car terms, you would change the tires of your family van and put on slicks, boom formula one car. Then you put on fat/large tires and boom, off-road vehicle. I love it so much to revisit the different foils I have and learn about their specific behaviors. Well done, Lift guys…
waiting for the new 250HA…

I am so happy with my Lift eFoil, but I am eager to learn what the high aspect wings bring to the table.

@Bernd, did you already test them?

Unfortunately, order is gonna ship end of this month from US. To sweeten the waiting time, I ordered the 170HA in the meantime. That obviously backfired. Now I am even more eager to put these foils on :crazy_face:

How easy was it to remove the fixed prop and install the folding one? I’ve seen several people say they accidentally opened their motor and the oil spilled out.

I doubt I have the tools to safely pry a propeller off the shaft so I’m hoping it comes off easily.