Exploration

Standup Paddle Board Invention Hovers Over Water

The hoverboard has taken to the high seas with a new hydrofoil downwind standup paddle board.

<p>Franck Berthuot, Instagram<span></span></p>

Blink and you might miss this novel way to hit the water. Meet a hydrofoil for standup paddle boards that allows riders to glide through the water at a fast pace, and looks remarkably like they're hovering magically above the waves.

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If hydrofoils sound familiar, it's because they've long existed for boats. At increased speeds, strong foils decrease drag and help lift the vessel out of the water. The standup paddle board invention requires a strong initial glide, good wind, and works by supporting the board with a foil made from solid carbon and fiberglass. The new hydrofoil board named for flying fish, called the Malolos, took years of research and development, GrindTV reported.

Big wave surfer and standup paddle board champion Kai Lenny got to ride the special board in Hawaii. Calling it more fun than work, he praised the board's performance and said it had changed his perspective of the ocean. He credited Naish Surfing and Alex Aguera at Go Foil for making the dream a reality.

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"It truly felt like I was just standing there and like walking on water, but going 20 miles an hour," Lenny said in a video on his YouTube channel. I've never gone that fast downwind before in my life."

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After completing the elite standup paddle board race called OluKai Ho'olaule'a recently, Lenny told SUP The Magazine that these boards were going to transform the sport.

"In a year, all the top guys will be downwinding on hydrofoils," he predicted. I can see why. Although there's no word yet on when the boards will be commercially available, demand is clearly there. The Alex Aguera site says they'll be accepting deposits on hydrofoil packages soon.