Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating?

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating?

Foil assisted flight in the ocean is a little like electrically assisted cycling on land. eBikes, as with eScooters and eSkateboards, have become big talking points in the last few years. Back on the water eFoiling is the staple battery powered discipline (currently). Riders can throttle up, increase propulsion and with momentum, the thrill of flying above liquid is achieved.

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ESEA Foil's foiling assist - the watery equivalent of an eBike.

But for many electric hydrofoil boards are prohibitive. The cost is way out of most people’s reach at the very least. Also, eFoils, whilst being great modes of foiling ‘transport’ don’t quite replicate the true feeling of foiling without a motor.

eFoiling feels.

Before we get into the meat of what ESEA Foil assisted flight is we wanted to clarify a little more regarding the last statement about eFoils. Electric hydrofoil set ups are super fun. You can be up and flying within a short space of time. With a handheld, Bluetooth enabled throttle control it’s simply a squeeze of the trigger to induce speed. And with speed comes lift, the hydrofoil doing its thing like an aeroplane wing but under the water.

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eFoils are great fun but cost can be prohibitive for many.

eFoiling is a good way to ‘learn’ the foil - which can then be skills you throw at other foiling activities. The downside with eFoil boards - in terms of the experience - is weight. Most eFoils are considerably heavy and as such aren’t really conducive to maneuverability - not proper maneuverability that is. Some brands buck this trend a little but still, it’s not the same feeling you get when riding non-eFoil craft. This isn’t a criticism, it’s just fact. eFoils have their place. But for when you want a more nimble and free experience standard foiling set ups are where it’s at. We’re sure, as eFoiling tech evolves, this will change and equipment weights will drop. But for now, this is where we’re at.

Isn’t learning to foil hard though?

Foiling, whether powered by wind, wave or human energy, requires time, patience and perseverance. It doesn’t just happen. Prior watersports experience can certainly help. As there will be some synergy with stuck to water, fin riding. But foiling is all about the foil. As such, riders need to ‘learn’ the foil.

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
Foiling, as with anything in life, takes a little time to learn. But it's very doable.

With determination and the aforementioned dedication to the cause (plus the right conditions and gear), newbie foilers will be up to speed within a few short weeks. If you’re particularly attuned to foiling then you may achieve consistency even quicker. For the everyday rider, however, this may take a little longer.

If you compare your chosen foiling discipline to its fin riding sibling then the learning curve to fly is much quicker. Any windsurfer, kitesurfer or surfer will reminisce just how tricky the learning process can be. Fortunately, you’ll have the base muscle memory and relevant skills to drive your foiling learning curve upwards, on a much steeper trajectory. In no time at all you’ll be flying - literally and figuratively.

What’s a foil assist then?

Bringing it back to the opening paragraph point about electrically assisted riding and foiling now has this opportunity. Purists may pooh-pooh eBiking, for instance. Yet hop on an eBike and suddenly those arduous uphill battles become more joyous. This in turn leads to much more enjoyment of the actual fun bit within downhill MTB: zooming down the slope!

Having a product within foiling that can take away the arduous element of the foiling start is therefore a logical step. For all foilers it’s often the start that can be the biggest challenge - especially during the beginner and early intermediate stages. We know in some cases the foiling start has caused so much grief that riders have canned the activity completely. And that isn’t good…

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
The ESEA Foil system takes the hassle out of foiling. Especially during those early stages.

ESEA Foil is a system that’s designed to take all this hassle away. It can be retrofitted to your existing foiling set up and will make your foiling starts much easier. Foil assisted riding can fast track your journey without lessening the skills development angle. Riders will still be learning those essentials, just much quicker than slogging away in the normal fashion.

So foil assisted riding’s cheating?

Here at ESEA Foil we hear this a lot. ‘That’s cheating’ is often the comment. But is it? If using an ESEA Foil product takes away the hassle of starting, yet still allows the foiler to ride via natural forces once up and flying, plus maximise enjoyment, isn’t it therefore worth pursuing?

Mounting an ESEA Foil pod high on your foil mast means there’s enough boost to get up and hover. Once the propeller exits the water, and automatically folds, it’s then down to you, the rider, to stay on foil. So there’s still a requirement to develop the necessary skills and put them into practice. All we’re doing is giving you a ‘tool’ to bypass that frustrating element at the start. And in time, you’ll learn that as well, sans foil assist. Mostly, because your engagement levels will be much higher and you’ll have the motivation.

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
Is it cheating if you get to the fun part of foiling quicker?

Does the ESEA Foil assist work for all types of foiling?

ESEA Foil was originally conceived with SUP foiling, downwind foiling, light wind wingsurfing and prone foiling in mind. It’ll also work for flat water foil pumping paddle ups. Dig deep, hit the throttle, pop up and work on your pump drills.

In SUP foil or prone surf foil mode using the ESEA Foil will see those smallest of bumps ripe for your flying above water antics. Usually, to take off on a wave, you need some form of peak to fly. ESEA Foil’s assist method means you can access runners without any face - that rolling, slopey swell that seem unreadable in the past.

Downwind foiling is perhaps one of the trickiest aspects of the sport. Yet ESEA Foil makes the learning process simpler. Taking off on wind blown bumps with little energy is suddenly open for non-elite level riders.

If you’re a wingsurfer you may be wanting to foil in the lightest airs possible. ESEA Foil makes that possible. Flukey, gusty, changeable breeze less than 10 knots is now suddenly very doable.

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
There are many benefits to the ESEA Foil foil assist system, safety being one addition.

There’s also a safety element to the ESEA Foil system. If you should find yourself offshore, with a dying wind or dropping swell, as long as there’s enough battery you’ll be able to motor back to shore. Adding a peace of mind angle to your riding is a confidence booster. And this will help with foiling skills development.

What are the main benefits of ESEA Foil’s foil assist?

To make it even more obvious we’ve highlighted exactly what the ESEA Foil assist can help you with.

  • Initial boost of power getting you up on foil making the process easier.
  • Completely natural foiling feel once flying, but with teh added back up of getting back on foil easily.
  • Allows even smaller waves and lighter winds to be ridden on foil.
  • Great for beginners learning.
  • Also good for early intermediates developing their foil pumping technique.
  • Easy access to offshore waves.
  • Safety element of being able to motor back to shore if wind/waves shut off.
  • Awesome tool for downwind foilers who may just need a little extra oomph.
  • Allows smaller gear - foils and wings - to used.
  • Can be used to cruise around on flat water.

Anything else the ESEA Foil system is good for?

There is another beautiful aspect to ESEA Foil products. And it’s one we’re sure will prick the interest of more experienced riders looking for additional performance from their set up.

All foiling disciplines are conditions led. Whether charging big waves or small dribbles; high winds or light airs; your equipment will need to be tailored to Mother Nature’s moods and your style. It’s why bug bitten pilots will usually have a quiver of gear to tackle multiple scenarios.

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
The ESEA Foil system.

In particular, less quality conditions usually require bigger foils (for want of a better description). Using an ESEA Foil assist can remove the need for bigger gear and allow that smaller, more performance orientated kit to be used in the same less than ideal weather your larger stuff will be needed. And who doesn’t love jumping on their most agile foils? 

What about using my ESEA Foil as an eFoil?

ESEA Foil isn’t an eFoil. That said, if you choose to mount your ESEA Foil pod towards the fuse on your foil mast, with a bigger, liftier wing you can certainly get above water and cruise around. We have a video of this very thing on the ESEA Foil website.

No less, ESEA Foil is designed for assisted riding first and foremost. It’s really a tool to help get you up and flying with the option of an additional boost should you need it. But there’s nothing wrong with having some versatility built in.

A particular point of interest.

One particular point of interest with an ESEA Foil assist system is the folding propeller. This has been design to fold away when not in use and thereby reduce drag. This further enhances the natural feel of foiling, even if the pod is mounted lower on the mast.

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
The ESEA Foil prop is designed to fold and be minimal drag.

We’ve also built in the ability to vary the percentage of boosted assistance needed. As your general foiling improves you may not require the full amount of assist so can notch it down a little. Of course, ramp the throttle back up again if needed.

Don’t I need to be super techy?

Anything classed as ‘tech’ can be daunting for some people. We know riders who are put off from foiling in general by the different types of kit. And then there’s actually building your foil. Many a time has the wrong bolt been put in the wrong hole. Questioning whether you’ve set up your gear right is anxiety-inducing for sure.

So we get why it might appear the same with an ESEA Foil unit. Yet it only takes less than ten minutes of your time to retrofit. Following the instruction manual foilers should be able to install without too much bother and be on the water, ready to fly quick smart. Here at ESEA Foil we’ve simplified everything as much as possible to make sure user experience is right on point. But if you’re really having trouble then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. We’ll be able to run through anything you’re having problems with.

Foil assisted flight above water - is ESEA Foil foil assisted flight cheating
We pride ourselves on exemplary customer service at ESEA Foil.

ESEA Foil - designed and tested in the UK.

We’re incredibly proud of ESEA Foil’s UK routes. Unlike a lot of watersports equipment, we designed the ESEA Foil foil assist on the shores of the UK’s south coast. That means our gear is tried and guaranteed for real world conditions. No palm fringed, white sandy beaches here!

Wind and wave conditions in the UK can be inconsistent, to say the least. So it’s important that ESEA Foil products work for this kind of scenario. Which they definitely do. Also, we use (and are ourselves) real world riders. Of course, foiling skills will always vary from person to person but we’ve made sure the everyday foiler can get the most out of the ESEA Foil system.

Summing up the ESEA Foil foil assisted experience.

From the moment you lay your hands on the ESEA Foil setup you’ll note its refined manufacturing and premium build quality. We’ve taken the utmost care to ensure our product is as tip top as it can be. This goes for performance as well as engineering.

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Time to get your foil on!

On the water, you’ll enjoy a fulfilling experience with potentially the ESEA Foil system becoming one of your most used ‘toys’. We also pride ourselves on ESEA Foil’s after sales care and tech support. If you need anything we’ll sort you out. No overseas call centers and such. Instead, a friendly, helpful voice and prompt resolution of any issues. 

Ultimately, we want everyone to enjoy the sport of foiling as much as possible. And if we can help with that then we’re doing something right.

For more info about ESEA Foil products follow this link.

If you have more questions and queries then get in touch here.

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