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.