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Lift News

Interview with a Lift Affiliate: Paula Ambrosio

We wanted to hear from some of our partners about what it’s like to give demos and introduce people to the awesome experience of foiling with the Lift eFoil. Here’s what Paula Ambrosio from E-FoilUSA in Miami, FL had to say.

Hey Paula, tell us about how you heard about foiling, and when you first tried the eFoil.

My first experience with foiling was probably back in 2002. I wanted to try kite foiling, but it just looked extremely difficult, so I watched my husband crash and burn for a while and thought, “Oh well, I guess I won’t be foiling.” Fast forward 17 years and thanks to Damien Leroy, I had a much nicer experience trying foiling for the first time on the Lift eFoil. I was instantly hooked! 

How long have you been a Lift affiliate? Why did this seem like a great opportunity?

We partnered with Lift this year, and we’re now busier than ever. Since the addition, we have gained new customers and, most importantly, been able to reach out to previous customers who are eager to learn a new skill and get back out on the water, especially during the summer months, when wind and waves aren’t accessible in South Florida. 

What has your experience with the Lift eFoil been like? How do you see eFoil pushing boundaries in terms of people’s experiences over the water?

I’m really excited to be a part of the Lift family. Nick and his team go above and beyond, always keeping us involved and informed. The eFoil has appealed to windsurfers, kiters, surfers, and novices, allowing us to expand our horizons and introduce a large number of our customers to the sport in a safe, fun, and exciting way. 

What kinds of reactions are you seeing in your community and with riders?

I have gotten so much positive feedback from our customers from how much they love the product to how exciting it is to learn to foil. We have students of all ages come out and learn and return for a second and third time with their friends. For instance, we had a client vacationing in Miami from the UK, and he and his son booked lessons for the entire two weeks they were here. We went to a few different spots and they basically got to experience the most popular sight-seeing destinations from the water. It was quite an adventure and they really enjoyed learning a new sport together while exploring the city.

How does your location in Miami offer something unique in terms of rider experiences on the eFoil?

Miami is unlike any other town. We have some of the most picturesque scenery. Our lessons are taught in a protected, flat water basin surrounded by mangroves on one side and the bright city background behind us. It’s ideal for riders of most levels to improve their technique and we’re only a few minutes away from fun-packed sand bars, the Brickell Bay boardwalk, and South Beach islands. It definitely makes for a unique experience, being surrounded by nature but with a Miami twist!

Passion runs in the family: get to know the Lift team

Get to know the Lift team

While founder Nick Leason had the original vision for Lift and the eFoil, there’s a whole crew of passionate people supporting the company’s mission to bring foiling to as many people as possible. Read on to hear from some of Lift’s team members about their unique experiences fine-tuning the eFoil, how they like to foil, and more.

Damien LeRoy, Sales and Professional Athlete 

What’s it like working with Lift?

It’s a dream job to work for a family-operated business. The Lift family really takes the time to listen to customers and affiliates to help ensure better experiences for anyone coming their way. It’s a great workplace that’s always focused on having fun and making sure that the customer is too.

How did you hear about the eFoil and what was it like working on the first iterations?

I think I was one of the first to hear about it. I remember a few of us sitting in a hot tub in Puerto Rico with the Lift family, having a few beers after an incredible kite foil session, and the electric foil idea came up. It escalated quickly! 

The first generations were really incredible, honestly. There were ups and downs for sure—let’s just say a few broken units. I ripped the whole bottom propulsion unit off the first board by striking bottom during a river test. Every day was exciting as each part got perfected. 

How is Lift pushing foiling forward, and what do you think makes the eFoil so innovative?

Lift has been innovating since the beginning and will always be working on new and exciting things! In fact, there’s already something big in the works… What makes the eFoil unique and innovative is the fact that anyone can do it! Simple as that.

What have been some of your favorite foiling experiences?

There are so many! Some of the most exciting experiences involved being among the first few people to kite on a foil from Florida to the Bahamas. Or helping celebrities like Will Smith find their love for foiling. 

Alan Vaughan, Purchasing and Supply Chain

What do you do for Lift, and what’s your favorite part?

I work in the brand’s day-to-day operations, talking to vendors and customers alike. My days are long and chaotic, but like God in the creation, I strive to erect chaos from the abyss without falling into it myself. I enjoy talking to customers to help them pick out the best eFoil setup for their age and ability and working with vendors to find creative solutions around the parts we purchase and supply chains. I also enjoy working with our production operators to implement lean manufacturing practices.

How did you start working with Lift, and when did you first hear about the eFoil?

I moved to Puerto Rico from Texas right before Christmas 2012 and started working with MHL Custom/Lift in February 2013. I was always the oddball in the bunch as I don’t come from a surfing or water sports background. I saw the entire eFoil process from day one back in 2015. It involved a lot of R&D and building prototypes only to break them in order to discover the questions that no one knew to askand then working on the answers.

What makes the Lift eFoil so unique?

It’s an original creation. Very little was available off the shelf as far as base level parts go, so a lot of engineering went into just making the idea come to life. All of our components are the highest quality, and the ride is fine-tuned because of our years of building and designing foils, plus Nick’s surfing background. Customers have told me that they’ve tried other electric hydrofoil boards, and they always come back to the Lift eFoilit just rides smoother and feels more natural in the water. You can’t copy-paste that kind of experience, and ours has it in its DNA.

What have been some of your favorite foiling experiences?

Solo missions after work, either testing new wing combos or just for stress relief. My favorite experience was riding solo in a crazy lightning storm a mile off the shore and seeing a black wall of rain to my right, rainbows in front of me, and flying fish all around me.

Ricardo Villanueva, Sales

What’s it like working with Lift, and what’s your favorite part?

I work alongside our team of reps and Affiliates to build the Lift Sales Network. I enjoy working with such a diverse group of people who are all passionate about foiling and spreading the love. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of a new sport.

How and when did you come to foiling and to working with Lift?

I’ve been a friend of the family for years and was always intrigued by the foils Nick was building. After riding them in the waves and seeing the evolution of the product from basic surf and kite foils to the eFoil, I was converted. Since I have a sales background, it was only a matter of time before we started working together.

How is Lift pushing foiling forward, and what makes the eFoil so unique?

Being able to refine, test, and repeat in our own backyard allows us to constantly improve and push the envelope. The eFoil enables anyone to ride over water, any place, any time. You feel like you’re flying above the surface of the water like a bird at incredible speeds. Then you start turning, and it truly feels like you’re carving a big turn in powder or pushing through a full rail cutback surfing on a solid wave. Being able to replicate these feelings with an electric-powered board, sometimes miles from the ocean or on a river or a lake, is incredible. Best of all, the eFoil poses no threat to the environment. Plus it’s quiet, and you can take it with you anywhere you go.

What have some of your favorite foiling experiences been?

Towing into the surf and open ocean swells with the eFoil and a surf foil is hard to beat. I really just enjoy the freedom of cruising and exploring.

Lift off: where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going

Lift’s journey to the eFoil has been a decade in the making, and the years of hard work and perseverance truly paid off this summer—it’s been an incredible season. We’ve heard from happy riders all over the world that they’re totally in love with the sensation of flying over the water, and we even saw a few noteworthy fans giving the eFoil a go (looking good, Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Oz). Foiling is still relatively new as a sport, and we’re in awe of how much it’s already thriving, thanks to the passion of people who are getting out there, trying something new, and exploring. 

Where we’ve been

After years spent perfecting our original, hand-crafted hydrofoils, we started selling to the public in 2013. In 2015, Lift founder Nick Leason started working on the electric foil or eFoil. 2018 was a big year for us–after years of research, development, and setting up teams around the world to build the necessary components, we were able to start delivering product. This summer, we hit the huge milestone of shipping over a thousand eFoils around the globe.

Where we are

Now that our eFoils are out in the world, all we hear from customers is how much they want to get another one or that they’re hankering to try a new board for a different experience. With the help of our partner retailers and affiliates in the U.S. and abroad, we’ve brought foiling to a wide demographic who are flying out on lakes, rivers, and oceans. We’ve also opened up demo locations around the globe, so anyone who’s curious can try out the eFoil and quickly learn.

With so much happening, we figured, why wait until 2020 to launch new gear? We just released our line of four new eFoil boards, from larger and more stable boards that are perfect for beginners to smaller and sportier foils for the advanced rider. We’ve also got an entirely new range of classic hydrofoils that are all lightweight and durable. We’ve considered and fine-tuned every detail on all of these new boards, incorporating a combination of premium materials and design features to make for the sleekest and most enjoyable ride on the water.

Where we’re going

Our ultimate goal is to get everyone foiling in some way or another. Beyond that, we now know a thing or two about electric propulsion and watercraft, and Nick has some wild ideas that might take years to develop (though that’s never stopped us before).

Picture this,” Nick says. “There are endless waves in the open ocean that run as far as you can ride them and we’re working very hard on the way that surfers can access that energy. In three to five years, it’s going to get very futuristic with the craft that gets you there. We’re already doing it with our current gear, but it’s only going to get better.”

NEW Lift Foils Battery Safety Update

You might have seen that we released a software update for your board and battery a few weeks ago. The main purpose of today’s NEW update is to make your battery pack safer! No matter which version of the battery pack you have, WE NEED YOU TO DOWNLOAD THIS NEW UPDATE (Version 3.0).

1. Download and update the software

(available for both Apple and Android products. If you previously downloaded the app, please revisit the app store to refresh with the latest software (your version of the app should read “Ver. 3.0”).

2. Review our software update video.

3. Reset your battery

(see troubleshooting section below for more info).

4. Review battery safety video.

Troubleshooting Tip #1:

A battery is fully charged on an existing software, gets updated to 0.9.40, and shows two yellow LEDs on the battery, indicating an error. This means the battery voltage is elevated from the previous charge and needs to come down by a slight amount.

Solution:

Shut down the board and allow the battery to automatically reset to its green LEDs. Allow it to sit for up to six hours before use. Or, when starting up the board, run the motor slightly to help reduce the pack voltage.

Troubleshooting Tip #2:

A battery is being updated for the first time and upon starting up the eFoil, you see an “over current” icon on the hand controller.

Solution:

Shut down the board and perform a quick battery reset by holding down the power button for about 7 seconds with the battery connected via the data connector.

Review our battery reset video

Additional battery tips:

  • Don’t charge if you don’t have to. Our batteries charge in about 2 hours prior to a ride and an uncharged battery poses less risk than one which is full of energy.
  • A battery is most vulnerable when on the charger and multiple hours after it’s been charged. Pick a safe environment for it while charging and do not charge unattended. Keep it away from other flammable items and avoid charging inside small contained areas.
  • If you must keep your battery pack in a contained environment such as your home or boat, we recommend storing your battery in a Zarges battery case. We use these in our shop as an added safety precaution.
  • Don’t overlook physical damage, and always ensure that your battery is watertight. If your board or its components fall or break, cease riding immediately. Give us a call and let us help you assess the problem.
  • When you use your e-foil a lot in a short period of time, be conscious of the battery temperature and allow it to take a break between charge and discharge cycles so that it can cool down. This will also enhance performance.

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us. We’re here for you, and we’re happy to help. eFoils, battery technology, and safe practices for them are new, so we can’t stress how important this is. Let’s work together to build an industry that is both fun and safe.

The Lift Team

Eight-time U.S. National Chess Champion and author Josh Waitzkin shares his love for the eFoil with author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss

Josh Waitzkin, the author of The Art of Learning and eight-time U.S. National Chess Champion, sat down with bestselling author Tim Ferriss for The Tim Ferriss Show to talk about how Lift’s eFoil factors into his learning process and his newfound passion for foiling. “It’s a crazy, intense feeling… [Lift’s founder] Nick is a real pioneer in the foil world,“ Waitzkin says, adding that “foiling is at the cutting edge of the surf world… I love it.” We can definitely relate.

Watch the full interview:

The Future of Water Sports

The Future of Water Sports - Lift Foils

How technology is changing water sports and why Lift is at the forefront of the revolution

It’s difficult to think of any industry that isn’t rapidly changing thanks to constant advancements in tech, and sports is no exception. Water sports, in particular, have seen major advancements because of various exciting innovations in tech. The advent of electric foiling, in which riders of all capabilities can lift above the water on a board attached to a mast with a motorized propeller system (otherwise known as the eFoil, which was pioneered by Puerto Rico-based company called Lift), has opened up an extreme sensation, previously reserved for professional surfers, to anyone who wants to try it.  

Along with making incredible water sports experiences more accessible, tech has made them safer and more precise. For instance, the Lift eFoil has a Bluetooth hand controller that gives the rider total control over their speed. If the rider releases the control, or if the controller is submerged in water, the motor automatically stops. Lift’s controller is also equipped to indicate when the foil’s battery is losing charge so that a rider can get safely back to dry land. Along with a fully submersible battery (or as Lift founder Nick Leason calls it, “17 miles of power for flying packed into a tight little black box”), the eFoil depends on five computers with individual software, all communicating together, to ensure the best rider experience. This hi-tech system is a big development in a sport that previously required a highly-skilled rider to rely on unpredictable waves and water conditions in order to propel themselves in the water.

Technology has also led to an evolution in the way people can follow and interact with water sports communities. Social media pulls more people into the conversation every day, and better Go Pro and drone tech has led to riveting, beautiful content that captures experiences like never before. A forward-thinking company today focuses on connecting people, creating spaces on social media where people from all over the world can connect. For Lift, an active presence means foiling fans and owners alike get up-to-date news, tips, inspiration, and ideas.

Consumers and companies alike have become increasingly environmentally conscious, and respecting the environment, especially oceans and waterways, has become a shared priority. It’s crucial that water sports companies take the environment into consideration as they develop products, and Lift has been a pioneer in this area. The eFoil, with its electric propulsion system, is a silent, emission- and pollutant-free watercraft so that riders can explore nature without disturbing it.

As tech evolves, it changes the way we think about and participate in our favorite sports. Companies that embrace and integrate high-tech features into their products can offer safety, more meaningful connections with fans, and more environmentally-friendly experiences. With Lift’s eFoil, technological advancements have contributed to a brand new water sport, open to anyone who wants to experience the thrill and sensation of flight above the water.

Experience the Freedom of Flight

eFoil

Why foiling is the hottest thing in water sports and should be your next adventure

As anyone who loves adventuring out on the water knows, the experience of moving quickly among the elements can provide a sense of quiet and calm, and also of thrill and exhilaration. Electric foiling, in which a rider lifts above the water on a board attached to a mast with a motorized propeller system (otherwise known as an eFoil), is one of the fastest growing trends in the water sports market. Seeing these impressive watercraft in action, it’s easy to understand why this one-of-a-kind experience is taking off.

Much of what makes foiling so appealing is the inherent joy in the adventure. It’s accessible and easy to pick up, with most riders comfortably gliding over the water within an hour of their first lesson—regardless of their athletic prowess. And unlike boating, it’s something almost anyone can try, since you don’t need a special license or permit to operate an eFoil. The rider isn’t overburdened by needing to master a special skill, which frees up the mind and spirit for true exploration.

Despite the complex technology and dedicated craftsmanship that leads to such a smooth and seamless ride, the mechanics of using an eFoil are relatively uncomplicated. The rider controls the eFoil with a handheld remote to reach the desired speed and can fly fast and yet never touch the surface of the water. It’s absolutely exhilarating. For families ready to bond on vacation together and solo riders who are driven to set out on their own path, foiling is a great, safe option. A rider can cruise in places where a boat or jetski couldn’t necessarily go, allowing for a singular peaceful connectedness with nature.

Since the eFoil’s motor is silent and powered by a battery, there’s no sound or gas pollution, unlike other watercraft. The rider is peaceful and weightless, but in complete control, soaring over the water. A more serious foiler can up the ante and crank up the intensity by confronting larger swells and getting air. The ride all depends on what the rider wants, allowing for a more personalized journey. This versatility just can’t be found in other water sports. The eFoil can be used on choppy seas, ocean swells, riding behind a boat, on rough rivers, or in quiet lakes. Any body of water that’s shoulder deep is fair game, and the next adventure is always within reach.

Since the eFoils are easier to disassemble and transport than a jet ski, for example, owners can take them along on a boat trip. This adaptability means that there are many different ways to have serious fun with this incredibly innovative technology.

Among companies that are active in the foiling world, Lift, a ten-year-old foil company based in Puerto Rico, has set itself apart with its eFoil, which has already shipped to close to a thousand people worldwide since 2018. For Lift Founder Nick Leason, the hustle is all about getting as many people out onto the water as possible. “People ride the hell out these boards! It’s great,” Nick says. “Our demographic ranges from the world champion of surfing to the guy that never even dreamt about it. There’s just something majestic about flying over the water.” From the thrill of the wave to the calm of a lake, you control your own destiny on the eFoil.

Breaking down the eFoil

Experience the Freedom of Flight - Electric Foil

Explore the high-tech components that make up Lift’s innovative flying surfboard

Nearly ten years ago, Nick Leason set out on a mission to bring the experience of flight over water to as many people as possible. His company Lift has since introduced the world to the first self-propelled electric surfboard, or eFoil. “We’re opening up foilboarding to a wide demographic of people,” Nick says of Lift. “Imagine that you’ve never surfed before. Now you’ve purchased an eFoil and you can carve perfect turns as you glide above the surface of any body of water and connect with nature. It’s the best feeling in the world.” Nick and his team meticulously crafted each of the eFoil’s components so that riders of all skill levels can easily rise up on the hydrofoil and glide at speeds of 25 miles an hour and over.

The board and hydrofoil

The optimal foiling board has to tick a number of boxes: it has to be strong but light, stable but small in size, rigid but thin, fully sealed but accessible. The Lift team spent years perfecting a board that fits within all of these parameters, and now they’re leading the market. Lift’s hydrofoils and boards are made out of carbon fiber, the best possible material due to its strength, rigidity, minimal weight, and excellent feel in the water.

The battery

The eFoil’s custom Lithium battery pack is equipped with a sophisticated battery management system to meet the highest safety standards. As Nick explains, “All battery packs are not created equal, and ours is top of the food chain.” The battery is powered to carry riders at top speeds for an hour and only takes two hours for a full recharge.

The motor

Lift contracted the best motor engineer in the U.S. to build a machine that could efficiently convert electrical power to mechanical power, to keep riders moving smoothly through the water. “I’m still impressed by what our motor can do,” Nick says, “and how well it’s holding up to the elements.” The motor on Lift’s eFoil is designed to be an extension of the rider and, because it’s electric, there’s no delay from command to action. Leveraging the eFoil’s built-in computer, which is programmed to set the perfect accelerations, decelerations, and speed outlets, the rider gets unparalleled stability and control.

The wireless Bluetooth hand controller

Lift’s team had to solve for the fact that radio waves don’t travel through salt water and carbon fiber. “You’d think that there are many waterproof wireless hand controllers in the world capable of throttle control,” Nick says, “but there were none. We invented it, and it was a beast of a project!” By pressing the throttle on the eFoil’s wireless hand controller, riders control their ride’s speed; the motor automatically shuts down when the controller is released or hits the water. The Lift team made sure the controller displays speed settings, alerts, and battery charge percentages too.

The software

The eFoil contains five “computers” with individual software, which all communicate and interact with each other. It all comes together to provide seamless control as the rider activates the power of flight.

By employing much of the same modern technology that’s used in other vehicles on the road, in the air, and on the water, Lift has not only pioneered a new sport but also a brand new, uniquely exhilarating experience. The journey from conception to mass production of the eFoil took a ton of work, but as Nick explains, “after almost a decade of tedious work and investment, things are taking off—literally.”

Off to A Flying Start: The Journey to Lift’s eFoil

efoil lift surf

Why and How Entrepreneur Nick Leason Launched an Electric Flying Surfboard Company

The Origin

When Nick Leason was young, he dreamed about being able to fly like his favorite superhero, Superman. Over the years, his passion and fascination with flight grew. In college, Nick saw someone using a foil for kitesurfing and, in his words, “fell in love.” Inspired, he then tried foiling and was instantly hooked. For Leason, nothing compared to the sensation of connecting to nature by flying over water, carving smooth, bottomless turns.

At 24, Nick had an engineering degree in aerodynamics under his belt, and a vision: bringing the sensation and freedom of flying to all kinds of peoplenot only those who live the extreme sports lifestyle, but also those who don’t. He set himself the impressive challenge of building a hydrofoil that worked flawlessly. In 2009, together with his father, Nick opened a foil shop in Puerto Rico. He assembled a team of accomplished shapers, engineers, and artists, equipped the space with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, and named the new company Lift.

A Higher Goal: The eFoil

Initially, Lift built and sold hand-crafted hydrofoils for surfing, kitesurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Creating these buoyant boards requires acute attention to detail. “At first glance, you’d think it’s a simple toy,” Nick explains, “But the foil demands precision and balance to work properly.”

As time went on, Nick wanted to push things even further by building a foil board with a motor and a Bluetooth controller, so the rider could fly in any body of water, no matter the wave conditions or their athletic ability. The team got to work, starting by strapping an electric motor to their foils. “My team and I pretty much duct-taped pieces together. It took some tweaking, but eventually, we got our first ride of about 50 feet,” Nick reflects.

But what Nick and his team thought would be a year-long project to bring the eFoil to life in 2015 ended up taking years of innovation, perseverance, and grit to perfect. First, the Lift team had to create a battery that could propel the eFoil over water for many miles in rugged conditions. Batteries can be dangerous when not properly designed and integrated into a system. Much like those found in commercial aircraft, the design and construction of Lift’s battery had to be reliable and safe. The next challenge was the hand controller. A Bluetooth, wireless, waterproof, buoyant hand controller didn’t exist yet, so the team had to design, build, and test one, and then integrate it with the foil’s machinery. On top of all that were the myriad other components, like a motor and software, that needed to be conceived and meticulously constructed (not to mention, there was no similar existing product on the market to reference).

Setbacks

In August 2016, Nick and the Lift team were fully committed to getting the eFoil to market when an electrical fire burned their 4000 square foot factory in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to the ground. Luckily no one was injured, but it was a huge loss for Lift and their custom stand-up paddleboard factory, MHL Custom. And yet, looking back, Nick now believes the fire was actually a blessing in disguise. The custom boards Lift had been producing were undoubtedly beautiful, but had consumed a lot of the team’s time. Nick chose to shut down MHL Custom and concentrate 100% of his efforts on rebuilding Lift and perfecting the eFoil, and the team got back to work in a new facility.

Lift was still pushing hard in September 2017 when Category 5 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, sending the island into chaos. Forced to temporarily relocate to the United States, Nick kept in touch with his team on the island, as they all continued to forge ahead.

Lift Launches

After much perseverance and innovative thinking, Nick’s dreamto bring the experience of flight within reachis now an inspiring reality. In 2018, after nearly a decade and many iterations, Lift took flight and started shipping eFoils to customers around the world. With facilities in California and China in addition to its home base in Puerto Rico, Lift is a proud leader in the ever-growing foiling industry. As of early 2019, it’s nearing 1,000 eFoils shipped, and this number grows and grows.

But things aren’t stopping there for Nick Leason and the Lift team. “We now know a thing or two about electric propulsion and watercraft,” Nick says. “I have some wild ideas to work on that will take years, but we’ll do it. Here we go again…”

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