What’s the difference between a hydrofoil and an eFoil?

What’s the difference between a hydrofoil and an eFoil?

What’s the difference between a hydrofoil and an eFoil?

All eFoils are hydrofoils but not all hydrofoils are eFoils. An eFoil, sometimes called an electric hydrofoil is a specialized hydrofoil board with a built-in motor, propulsion system and a battery.

There are many styles of eFoils and many styles of eFoils. Some eFoils use regular hydrofoil wings and some eFoils are aftermarket systems that can be used on a hydrofoil board.

Hydrofoils vs eFoils

It depends on what you want out of the ride. Wing surfers and prone hydrofoil surfers, might use an aftermarket eFoil for a small boost to get up in light wind on their traditional hydrofoil board. The tradeoff is these systems are not designed for true eFoiling.

They are a tool to pop you up and nothing more. These eFoils, give a small boost to any hydrofoil but they are more of an add on. With these, you are still reliant on the weather conditions to practice your sport. A wing foil still needs wind to ride. A prone surf hydrofoil still needs waves to power the hydrofoil.

eFoils are made to ride for hours on end with the power of the motor. They are usually larger and heavier. They can also be used in the waves, for racing or tricks. There are many different designs.

Some eFoils are made for beginners, some are for surf style, if you want to do eFoil Wave riding you would get an eFoil with a folding prop. Some electric hydrofoils might have extra features like handlebars. Handlebars are amazing for learning but with the right eFoil, they can be used more like a Jet Ski for tricks!

Hydrofoil boards

Some examples of hydrofoil boards are the Eleveight Evolve hydrofoil wingboard.  an example of a hydrofoil is  the Delta Aluminum Ha 1450 Hydrofoil set. This wing would be perfect for pumping and dock starts if you paired it with a small board. It has lots of glide so it would be a good fit for wing foiling.

We enjoy practicing both and you can find us out on the Miami Beaches wing surfing with this setup on the days where it is too windy to eFoil.


eFoil boards

A true eFoil will have a battery and propulsion system built into the eFoil board and the hydrofoil mast. These can be used for up to 90 minutes fully powered. They are best when you want to ride on your time and not rely on mother nature to deliver favorable conditions. You can use these on any body of water and ride with the power of the motor. 

They are popular on inland lakes or as a toy for people’s boat or yacht. You can ride up to 25 miles per hour with the help of the propellor built into the Hydrofoil mast. Speed is controlled by a handheld remote. Every good eFoil remote will have different speed levels.

What’s easier to learn? eFoiling vs Hydrofoiling

eFoiling is by far easier to learn than hydrofoiling. With the remote, you can control the speed and learn in flat comfortable conditions. Most people take 3 hours to learn how to eFoil. Regular hydrofoiling can take days or even weeks depending on the specific style of foiling you are trying to learn. For example, wing surfing typical requires at least one lessons to understand the fundamentals. Sometimes two or three lessons are required. 

After that, it takes several hours of dedicated practice to learn how to handle the wing and the board. That said, the small amount of work it takes to learn means hours of fun and most wingers become addicted for life. Whereas eFoiling is an instant thrill! Both sports offer unlimited progress you will enjoy either for years to come.



The Hydroflyer is an example of an eFoil that most can learn in minutes. This eFoil is almost like a Jet ski. You can stand on it with your feet facing forward. There are four points of contact with your feet and the handlebars. You can balance and stand up right away weather you are riding or just floating. The handlebars making learning easy for balance and falls. You can use the handlebars to turn the foils and board away from you when you crash. Later when you progress, this eFoil is designed for jumps and tricks so you can spend years progressing and working on freestyle eFoiling. 

if you want to learn more about eFoiling, hydrofoiling, or even wing foiling, give me a call or shoot me a text. My name is Chris Bobryk, I run eFoil Miami and teach lessons daily!  (786) 505-2305 


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