Got to try a Stoke Foil Boost for 30 minutes today.
Not much info out there so I thought I’d share my first impressions. No affiliation.
It works! It has more power than I was expecting…
My expectations were low before I used it, as some folks online have wondered why Stoke doesn’t publish some power ratings, leading people to wonder why they didn’t… and to assume it must be underpowered. I don’t know how it compares to a FoilDrive in power. But seems like it has plenty of power for me…
It has three settings… Low, Medium and High…
Low is very slow. You could work out your flat-water paddleups with this setting, and they would still be a bit of work! Or you could slowly cruise back out to the lineup. It is slow!
Medium actually has solid power… I was surprised that it could get my 230 pounds up on foil without even paddling. No problem. (KT Dragonfly SUP downwind board, big foil, clean surface conditions.) I could eFoil around, basically, and it was pretty fast. It did require a bit of runway to build up to foiling speed.
High power is apparently for when the battery starts getting low. I was gassed faster than I expected from pumping and from trying paddle ups to catch unbroken waves using it on the low power setting. So I never reached the point where I needed High.
Setting up the whole system was fairly easy for an eFoil-type product. The instructions (which are not online for some reason) are pretty good and simple. Product looks good out of the box. The mast mounting system with pads is nice. It allows you to use one system with different masts. The skinny cable is nice. All pretty easy.
Issues I experienced…
The paddle mounted throttle came off the paddle once in the water, but it has a lanyard / leash cinched to the paddle shaft, so it didn’t move much and it was easy put back on. The throttle did want to slide down the handle a bit… maybe I was too heavy handed pushing on the throttle. It was easy to slide back into place. But I had to do that a lot. Maybe some electrical tape on the paddle shaft would create a bit of friction and grip there.
I “think” it lost the bluetooth connection from the throttle to the tail receiver one time when the tail of the board got washed with water. But maybe it was just my inexperience. For safety it’s a two step throttle-then-throttle-again-within-five-seconds thing to get going. So maybe I had passed the five-second mark of not throttling again.
Our Florida sun is BRIGHT. And the screen is dim relative to our sun. I could kind of tell if I was on L, M, or H by looking at it, but I had to LOOK. I could probably tell the battery life meters if I squinted or shaded it with my other hand. But the screen on the controller is not super bright. Maybe there’s a setting for that. I didn’t read the instructions too closely, I just hit the water.
As with other eFoil-type products, you will need to compensate your balance when you kill the throttle.
The battery was certainly warm when I was done.
One weird thing… at the mast track on the board, my front bolts were super loose, while my back bolts were tough to undo with the tool. I wonder if the thrust of the boost had some effect there.
I was trying it to see if this could be a downwinding “cheat code.” YouTuber Dave West said a Foil Drive would have sped up his downwinding learning curve dramatically, and it would have reduced his sheer frustration dramatically. I get that for sure now.
I will keep this. Power is no problem. And battery life (for basically squirts downwind to speed up the learning curve and fun curve) won’t be a problem for my needs.
You could say I gave the Stoke Boost an easy test… A board that flies easy. A big foil. Glassy conditions. But I think the Stoke Boost crushed it for my needs… I’m 230 pounds and it got me going no problem.
I thought I might try some flat water paddle ups while out there with the Boost on low… But there was enough swell energy… and flatwater paddle ups sounded like work! So instead I was paddling / pumping into unbroken waves on the Low setting, and then pumping and surfing from way outside, far past where a surfer could catch a wave, all the way to shore. On Low it was still work at my current SUP downwind board skill level to catch unbroken waves, even with wave energy and Boost energy. The important thing is… nothing was breaking on the bars, so this got me foiling when my normal foil gear wouldn’t work. Yeah! Stoked.
Then I got tired quick from the paddling and pumping on Low (jeez I’m outta SUP shape!). So I started “eFoiling” (on the Medium setting) into position on unbroken waves, just to see if that works, banking in and then pumping. Fun! I actually had to hold the foil DOWN on the water at speed to keep the prop in the water. Then rise up on the mast and bank into the unbroken wave.
Somehow I was gassed from all that work in about 30 minutes. Jeez. No downtime waiting for waves.
I didn’t check the battery percentage when I was done. I shut off the dim-screened controller in the water for safety coming to the beach, and I didn’t look at it before I shut it off. But I never lost any power, so I assume I was at least at 50%. I can check the battery later tonight and report back.
I don’t have any guess on how it works prone, what kind of board volume you need, or what size foil you need for prone (bigger than your daily driver?) to get it going. My goal is to learn downwinding. A downwind board and big foil is far less work to get this thing flying I’m sure than a sinker prone board and a small foil. It’s a keeper for my needs though.
My downwind journey begins… probably with a few more glassy small unbroken “surf” days to get the Dragonfly and the Stoke Boost figured out… before actually sending it on a downwinder.
Thanks to YouTuber Dave West for the pushing me over the edge to just bite the bullet, dig into my wallet to buy a boost, and save the frustration. And thanks to the fellow forum member here for selling me what seems to be a new Stoke Boost at a used price. Stoked.