What is the difference between a hydrofoil board and an efoil board?

What is the difference between a hydrofoil board and an efoil board?

Efoilboards vs foilboards

At efoil Miami, we're no stranger to the world of hydrofoiling. We're a Miami based efoil school but we also practice kitefoiling and wingfoiling! We love spending time with our friends and family in nature. At the shop, we get lots of calls for both sports. So when it comes to the differences between efoiling and foiling, we've got you covered. 

In this blog we'll explain. 

  1. What is a hydrofoil board?
  2. Types of hydrofoils.
  3. How are hydrofoil powered? 
  4. What is an efoil board?
  5. Can you efoil on a bike? 
  6. Efoiling vs foiling a side by side comparison.
  7. Where can I get efoil lessons in Miami. 

What is a hydrofoil board?

Hydrofoiling can be done with different types of boards or even sailing vessels. Any board that has a foil attached can be a hydrofoil board. Size, shape, and volume will vary depending on the sports. Some are small kitefoil boards not much larger than a lunch tray. Others are high volume composite boards. They can range from 35 liters to 140 liters.  Board size comes down to a rider’s weight, sport and skill level.

What kind of foils are used in efoiling and foiling? 

A hydrofoil is a wing that glides underneath the water. Like an airplane in the air.  The wing is attached to fuselage and a mast that connects to different types of boards. Hydrofoils don’t work on their own without an external force to propel them. This can be achieved by a boat, a wave, the wind, pumping the board or some kind of motor.

How are hydrofoils powered?

Some of the most common natural ways to power a foil are wing surfing., kitesurfing, windsurfing, pumping and waves. 

  • Wing surfing is where you use a wind wing to generate power for the hydrofoil.
  • Kitesurfing is when you use the wind and a kite.
  • Dock starts is when you run off a dock and pump with your legs.
  • Prone foiling is when a foiler uses the power of a wave.

Prone foiling is growing in popularity. A rider would paddle out into the waves with a small hydrofoil board or on a large downwind board like a stand-up paddle board. Regardless of the sport, new foilers are best suited to use large boards and large foils for stability while learning.

Outside of natural power some riders will ride the wake behind a boat or a jet ski on their foil.

Shop wingsurf foils here.

What is an efoil board?

An efoil is an electric hydrofoil board.  Rather than using nature, a boat or physicality to power the foil, a small motor and propeller is attached to the mast or fuselage of a hydrofoil.

 Efoil boards tend to be on the larger size. This is for stability and to house to efoil components like the battery. A remote control is paired to the motor so a rider can control their speed. You can expect anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes of rider time, depending on model and other factors.



Efoil board construction varies too. Waydoo, uses an Epp foam or carbon. Other efoils can use a wide variety of construction materials. An Epp foam efoil board has many benefits. They cost less, they are safer, and you don’t have to worry about damaging the board. In contrast, a carbon or composite board require more care.

Some boards have the option for mountable handlebars. The Hydroflyer is our top pick for efoils with handlebars. It’s the only brand with purpose build handlebars not designed as an afterthought for beginners.

The Hydroflyer handlebars have many benefits. They add stability to the efoil board, they aid in turning and they can be used for tricks!

The Hydroflyer is the easiest foil to use in our school. It's also one of the most advanced when you are ready to do airs!

Check out the Hydroflyer here. 


Can you efoil on a bike?

Some efoils don’t use a board at all. For example, there is now a hydrofoil bike called the Manta. A rider can use a combination of pedals and a throttle to power the bike. The manta might be out favorite new toy.

You can ride anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours and get a solid workout or just explore. It has 10 levels of assist so you can choose how hard you want to work out.



 Efoilng vs foilng a side by side comparison 

  • Efoil boards are powered by a motor attached to the board.
  • Foilboards are powered by an external force like a boat, the wind, a wave or pumping.
  • Efoil boards are most expensive. Ranging from $6000 to $15,000.
  • Foilboards can be very affordable. Ranging from $300 to $2000.
  • Efoil boards require no athletic ability and can be used by people of all ages.
  • Foilboards might require some athletic ability. They are also for people of all ages.
  • Efoil boards can be used to cover long distances.
  • Foil boards are limited by the external power source.
  • Efoil boards require more maintenance like charging the battery.
  • Foil boards just need to be disassembled and cleaned.

Where can I get efoil lessons in Miami?

If you want to learn more about efoiling or take a lesson give us a call. We're happy to get you started on your foiling journey. Reach out to us with any questions regarding foils and we'll help you out!

We offer efoil lessons in our beautiful location of Morning Side Watersports.  Please call if you are booking your efoil lesson within 24 hours of the lesson  to verify availability.

Book your new adventure here. 

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