An Electric Hydrofoil Surfboard That Lets Your Soar Above The Surf

The Fliteboard can tackle any type of wave.

By Viju Mathew 06/01/2020

Not every day—or body of water—delivers waves worthy enough to ride. Hence the paddleboard, more serene than it is thrilling. But adrenaline junkies now have another option. No surf is no problem with Fliteboard, an electric hydrofoil surfboard that will make even newbies feel like Laird Hamilton. Developed by kiteboarder David Trewern, in our very own  Byron Bay, the $15,950 plank lifts a rider well above the water and can cruise as fast as 45 km/h.

Mediocre at best in my surfing heyday, I hoped muscle memory would at least allow me to stand during a recent demo off Malibu’s Carbon Beach. The Fliteboard, however, was surprisingly stable and easy to maneuver. In no time, I was levitating over small swells, gaining speed and confidence while gliding beyond the pier to carve wide, taunting turns within view of the surfers lined up, desperate for waves. And when I inevitably wiped out, the board shut off as soon as the throttle in my grip hit the water.

I imagine that for every hoot of approval heard from the distant wave riders, there was a corresponding snarky remark, as the tech has its detractors. According to Trewern, some of surfing’s traditionalists at his home break viewed it as sacrilege, but, as Hamilton himself reminded him, the early Hawaiian surfers were also innovators.


Courtesy of Fliteboard

“It looks very simple, but there’s a lot underneath the surface,” says Trewern.

“Using high-voltage electronics in saltwater is challenging, and there are about 500 parts in a Fliteboard, including the battery and connectors, all of which are waterproof. And it had to look at home on a superyacht.”

The deck is built from compressed layers of carbon fibre, fibreglass and PVC topped with an ash veneer or more carbon, depending on the model.


Courtesy of Fliteboard

Propulsion comes from a 7hp, brushless electric motor—encased in a unibody fuselage of aircraft-grade aluminium—mated to a Newton-Rader propeller and German-made reduction gearbox. The hydrofoil technology draws from competitive sailing and features wings designed by naval architects with America’s Cup experience.

Riders manage the entire system via the handheld Flite Controller (with Bluetooth connectivity and GPS), which allows for 20 gear selections and stores each session’s data, such as top speed, distance travelled and battery power. A charge is good for up to 1.5 hours on the water, which is plenty of time—this bit of fun is also a serious lower-body workout and builds core strength worthy of any marine mammal. As Trewern puts it: “We’re trying to make you feel like a dolphin.”


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Robb Report AU - Newsletter Robb Report AU - Motors Newsletter Robb Report AU - Property Newsletter Robb Report AU - Lifestyle Newsletter Robb Report AU - Style Newsletter Robb Report AU - Business Newsletter Robb Report AU - Travel Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Robb Interview: The Taylors Wines Family

How innovation and determination led this South Australian family of former hoteliers to become an award-winning, global force in wine.

By Terry Christodoulou


The Colourful And Alluring Work Of Australian Photographer George Byrne

Given the cold, dreary weather out, find a reprieve in the sunny, colourful world of Australian photographer George Byrne.

By Richard Clune


Own The World’s Oldest Cognac

Less than a handful of these incredible bottles remain – and one could be yours.

By Terry Christodoulou


Robb Interview: Architect Koichi Takada

The globally-renown, Australian-based architect on nature and the very real need to bend rules and rally against monotony.

By Terry Christodoulou


Phillips Asia Is Now Holding Its First Ever Cross-Category Online Auction

Bidding takes place between 20th and 28th May.

By Nick Scott


Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected