Hybrid foiling: the rise of foil assisted flights.

Hybrid foiling, foil assisted flights, boosted foiling or whatever else you want to call it is on the rise no pun intended!). At least that’s the perception from those on the outside looking in. As a foil frother you’ll probably be aware of all the recent Foil Drive developments with their Gen2 products. It’s all over social media with high profile riders like James Casey endorsing the brand. And now eFoil brand Flite has entered the fray with their take on hybrid foiling. The FliteLab AMP was recently announced with fellow Aussie ripper Adam Bennetts using it for downwinding.

Our experiences of hybrid foiling.

Back in 2020 – way before the assisted foiling hype took hold – we’d been testing a bunch of eFoils. It dawned on us that the powered nature of an eFoil could help with early takeoffs for winging.

Back in 2020: tackling wing foil assisted flights with the Takuma eFoil.

Wind a little bit marginal? Technique not quite up to scratch? Equipment (wing size and foil) not quite right for the conditions? Have no fear! Use the throttle of an electrically powered foil board to boost yourself up to ride height. Simple enough in theory. In practice, however, the weight and drag of eFoil boards meant the experience wasn’t quite as pure as we would’ve liked 

Advances in electric foiling technology.

Technology, engineering and know how will always move on. It’s inevitable. And as we’ve always maintained we’re still very much at the inception stage with the whole foiling thing. 

The Foil Drive Gen2 hybrid foiling system.

Foil Drive’s integrated Gen2 foiling assist has been well marketed. Rather than having a battery perched on deck the whole package is now much sleeker. Manta Foils are currently looking to enter the market with the Take Off. And then there’s Stoke who have their own way of doing things. In all cases, these hybrid foiling brands are helping to shape the future of what hydrofoiling can be.

What about across the pond in Blighty?

In the UK we have Esea Foil, based down in Dorset. Unlike some of the brands mentioned above this is a much smaller company born out of passion and a desire to tinker and tweak.

We’ve been fortunate to test and demo some of Esea Foil’s products which work just as well. They’re also available through the online shop. 

Flite Board announce the FliteLab AMP.

It’s inevitable that some of the eFoiling brands would sit up and take note of Foil Drive. Takuma – another innovative electrical hydrofoil board producer already has a bunch of different products – including the unique Scout drone like foil assist. But now Flite has stepped up.

The FliteLab AMP is the newest hybrid foiling product to emerge. As you’d expect from Flite they’ve paid particular attention to the weight of the unit and the refined design of the AMP is right up there. From what we can see the FliteLab AMP leverages the smaller board concept for foiling disciplines that may benefit most from foil assistance – prone surf foiling, downwind and wing.

The bottom line with hybrid foiling assisted flights.

Foiling in general is a pricey game for many. Whichever part of the sport you get into there’ll be an outlay of cash for the equipment needed to partake. Wing foiling remains the focus discipline as it’s the most accessible (globally at least). There’s no question other areas are certainly getting more popular though. Including eFoiling itself.

Hybrid foiling with the Esea Foil Boost
Hybrid SUP foiling with the Esea Foil Boost.

Hybrid foiling will also no doubt grow. How much is the question with foil assist products also being pretty costly. Products from all the aforementioned brands certainly can help foilers enjoy the sport more. Do you NEED them though? Not at all is the answer. Putting the time and effort into developing skills without the help of powered assists will still see riders reap the rewards of riding hydrofoil gear in standard fashion. For those who fancy stumping up the additional cash, however, a hybrid foiling setup will certainly expand the fun factor and perhaps fast track the learning process of foiling to get you frothing even more. 

If you want to discuss hybrid foiling options and have questions about foiling assists and how it may fit your situation get in touch.