FoilDrive - Is the tech there yet for advanced foilers?

Anyone try the FoilDrive and have a review for an advanced foiler?

Seems like all the reviews are from people saying how it helped them LEARN prone or LEARN to pump etc.

My idea would be to use it on tow days to boost way to the outside like a jetski tow. I live near Jupiter Inlet Florida and we get some absolutely legendary glassy perfect super long tow days during fall/winter/spring but the peak is almost a mile out. We normally tow with a ski but it would be awesome to both just be ripping the whole time.

Is the tech there yet or wait another generation?

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I tried a DIY local one from a guy who said he may start building them commercially

Tried with an Axis 1201 and a 44L board. On the big foils it isn’t as much of an impact from the weight than I expected. Bad but not terrible. Not super powerful but easily get to your knees and from there work your way up to your feet on the flat. Can chip into things you’d miss on a DW board with ease.

I think the thing that wouldn’t work for your use case is the mile drive out to sea. They are designed as chip-in boosts rather than motors afaik?

Still pretty fun, I think as a ski replacement maybe not ideal as the motor/prop combo seems tuned for low speed torque more than cruising at foil speed, but as a DW or chip-in I was quite surprised.

edit* just looked at their youtube, the setup I tried was pretty much the exact same as the one in this video but with a 1201. The power looks about the same as that clip. In flat conditions you’d work up a smaller foil quite easily.

(Rather a tangent - Foil drive is charging 3x cost or thereabouts, easy market as they aren’t really adding any IP to the system as far as I can tell. They’re developing new props and controllers so maybe not entirely correct.
I’d be a buyer at £1k but not £3.2k :jack_o_lantern:
Wary of their marketing spend, look at what happened to boosted boards when the Chinese suppliers got a whiff of that market and flooded the market with decent high quality eskates. Think the efoil market is only so big)

Look up skyrama and his foildrive with the battery on a waist belt. Not recommended by the company, but that will show you what a good rider can do with a foil drive.

I’ve seen guys doing the same thing over here. It looks pretty fun. There is apparently a learning curve to getting on and off motor power and height.

The foil drive + can be used as an e-foil so it has the power, they’ve recently added a 3 blade prop that owners are raving about that adds even more power.

I have an original assist that I was hoping would get me into light wind DW and winging (not much wind where I live). I mostly use it for really small days to catch unbroken waves or outside reefs that I normally wouldn’t ride on my prone board.

There is definitely a learning curve with the remote, probably less so if you are SUP or wing. It’s just another factor you have on you mind trying to catch waves.

I’m a fairly competent foiler and use Foildrive Plus on a small 12ltr board for chasing bumps then heading back upwind for another run.
Range is about 3 miles, that’s up flying on the foil but our sessions are often double that due to being foiling on a bump.
Around 14-15 knots is the max wind as above that it’s too hard to push back upwind but no problems downwinding.
I mainly use the PNG1300 or the 1010 when the swell is bigger.

One caveat to this that I’ve seen from the local guys here doing the DIY tow boogies. They spend A LOT of money on batteries or broken parts. I’m not sure how robust FoilDrive is, but maybe they have the battery side of things worked out a bit better. Buying hobby grade batteries and using them in the water and trying to manage charging and discharging them seems to be tricky. I don’t think any of them are on their original set of batteries.

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I was a hardcore FD addict. Used it daily for almost a year. Now, I’m hoping that I’ll never need to use it again. Having a tow is 100x better than FD. Reasons being, if you are at a long-ish wave, and there is some windy chop 10-15kn AND you need a wave in order to pop-up. Your battery will only last 3 waves or so before you need to head back to the boat to do a battery swap, this is using it at 60% taxiing on your belly and 100% while you are up and going. I found it hard to maintain e-foil flight on the 899, the 999 was fine up to 10kn (with 2 props at 85kg). The placement of the battery is key. I’ve chosen to put it in the center of my board, which means I am lying on the battery, and just barely able to swing my front leg over to the front. Putting the battery anywhere else on the board really throws everything off as all the weight is on one rail.

Its good for flatwater pump, but wave-riding, its not the same feeling as a normal board. When the pod enters the water, even when its at the closest to board position, you will experience alot of braking. Sky rama has a new mod that fixes this, but currently its absolutely an issue that interrupts your flow as an advanced wave rider, it wont matter to beginners tho. Also, the pop-up catcing waves process especially on larger waves, and if youre not 100% sure of what to do, makes it 100x more dangerous than a prone pop-up. Reason being, the spinning props, if you do something stupid like keep the prop spinning as youve caught the wave, yet you dig the nose and you fly forward. The board will keep going for 0.4 seconds because the board is underwater and hasnt received the stop signal from your controller. Ive only been hit by the front of the mast leaving a bruise, but it could have been much worse. When youre on a wave, you will be tempted to engage the prop instead of pumping, and you run the risk of nose diving forward and getting run over after especially if you are not experienced.

That being said, I feel like the FD is really the best thing for your first year of foiling, where you can learn to pump, wake thieve, ride some waves and mix in some pumping. It also allows you to do all of this in somewhat crowded lineups where you cant get a jetski, the key is to do it all the way in front or all the way in the back where there are no surfers. But if you’ve gotten through the beginner stage of things. For carving, it is not good because of the pod dipping into the water, will totally mess up your line and require a ton more pumps to recover. The additional risk of the motor cutting you up as it doesnt turn off even if you want it to when its underwater after a wipeout. Pumping, its actually only making it 33% harder to pump if you place your battery correctly, so that’s the least of the issues. In absolute ideal conditions, 1-2ft, zero wind, no crowd, then this foil drive can be quite cool to catch a ton of waves and efoil around for 45min, all on one battery. But having a tow-assist or boat would be way better experience. In case thats not available and you dont want to pump alot, then the foil drive still has its place. Im partially biased because I am at the point where Ive just moved on from using FD daily and loving the freedom from not having FD and thats helped me progress heaps.


Intermediate, 63 kg (and years old) foiler here riding Code 850 with Foild Drive Assist+, 3-blade prop. Absolutely fantastic. I can prone without it in the right conditions but for me there’s no comparison in terms of wave count. The ability to get on unbroken waves waaaay outside the surf lineup opens up conditions that could otherwise only be towed into. My tracks from yesterday’s session. 3 batteries, 3 hours. 17.5 miles.


I think that is probably true, but I would imagine largely the same from FD? Haven’t seen much anecdotal but largely haven’t looked. With eskate, ebike, e-anything the batteries will tire and need to be replaced, and I’d imagine on DIY you skimp on your first battery just to prove that it works. I think batteries largely you get what you pay for both in discharge rate and number of cycles, but I don’t think FD can do much there other than supply higher quality for people who intend to use it like an e-foil instead of an assist.

That said the one I tried was bought used with an old battery and had more than enough to give over an hour riding waves at the beach. The power draw was lower than I expected and more than enough for the DW purpose it was bought for.

This was interesting, I can see how pod dips would be an issue. I only had one wave with a turn on it and it was tricky keeping the pod out at the highest setting. I guess your experience settles it as good beginner and diminishing returns for advanced. I think same for DW, which is why I’m looking at one as a beginner with crap conditions.

Stoked boost seems like a less janky version of foil drive. You checked that out? There have been some great threads on the stoked here.

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I got a newsletter from Stoke saying their new version is more powerful and able to efoil. But still.havent figured out the battery duration or batter power to make a direct comparison. I would be worried if the battery is 1/2 or 2/3 the duration of FD. Also the pod dipping into the water would be way worse.

Word on the streets is that FD is coming out with a new version, no idea when, but likely one of the hassles of the current gen will be solved. I’m guessing we will see the battery built inside a board.

I avoid dipping the pod on my FD+ when proning, the drag increases heaps. The drag from Stoke must be much higher if you dip the pod due to everything being down there.
I too have heard a rumour of a new FD system, but wouldn’t want an internal control box as I swap boards a lot.

I’ve witnessed Dave West prone on the foil drive out at our local & he definitely makes me want to buy one.

He only uses the power to get up & when his legs need a break from pumping (uses a 90cm mast).

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I am very surprised that FoilDrive (or someone else) hasn’t built a system designed for any number of the very excellent power tool battery packs. These are absolutely the cheapest option for lightweight high power battery with a fast charger. The market is super competitive and because so many are made, its very hard to beat that tech. A big part of the foil drive price has got to be the battery, and even the very best power tool batteries go for a tenth of the cost. Being able to have several battery packs to swap through cheaply seems like it could completely change the economics. Also being able to select a small lightweight version or a heavier version with more run time is a built in feature.

That’s a brilliant idea!

I think the issue is the waterproofing, also it would be a touch bigger than the current FD batteries. And also look really unprofessional to ask users to buy a generic power tool battery. Also from the business side, the battery sales could be making up as much of the revenues as the FD units by itself.

Foildrive have announced a new model will be released on the 3rd November. The pre release vid shows no battery box on top of the board anymore, no visuals yet but looks to be mounted underneath.

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I wonder if the battery will be incorporated into some sort of baseplate that would live between the board and the foil.

I hadn’t thought of that, but if you look at the videos of the new product, none of them show the base of the mast.

Yes it does, sandwiched between the mast and board. The battery slides in from the front and easy to swap. A short cable runs up to the standard pod and motor.

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