Efoils are interesting beasts. They present one of the more user-friendly ways to learn how to foil, but clock in at a tough-to-swallow price point, even for those willing to drop a few grand on a nice foiling setup. A few years ago, efoils generally ran about 12-15,000 bucks. When Waydoo hit the market in 2019, they cut that price in half. And while they may have raised a few eyebrows in doing so, now even the most skeptical have come around to a grudging admiration for the simplicity, ease of use, and lack of compromise on fun with the Flyer One Plus, the latest iteration of Waydoo’s flagship efoil.
The Waydoo Flyer One Plus presents one of the most cost-effective efoils on the market, priced at $6,399 and available on both MACkite and Amazon. We got our hands on a test demo and have been ripping around the San Francisco Bay on it. After a few weeks of testing, and interviews with experienced users from across the country, here are our thoughts.
|Very attractive price in the efoil market||As with any efoil — heavy|
|Modular design is easy to transport and assemble||Battery life not as long as the 120 minutes advertised and drops off somewhat quick towards the end|
|Can be adapted to work with different wings for different riding styles||Longer term users reported that the trigger on the remote has a tendency to wear down/break, but Waydoo has shown they’re more than happy to send replacement parts|
|EPP foam board construction won’t get damaged when moving/storing|
|App lets you track your sessions|
|Quiet – not much louder (if at all) than higher-priced options|
|Did we mention it’s insanely fun?|
What’s in the Package?
The Waydoo Flyer One Plus comes with everything you need to get up and riding: the efoil board, battery, mast with integrated propeller, front and rear wings, remote, chargers for the efoil battery and the remote, as well as a few nuts, bolts, and screws to keep it all together. Everything comes nicely packaged in a wheeled carrying case made of a similar foam as the board. The board straps onto the outside of the carrying case for easy transport and storage. When choosing your package, you’re able to choose between three options: the Explorer with a 240 front wing and a 25.6-inch (65 cm) mast, Explorer Long with the same front wing and a 33.5-inch (85 cm) mast, and the Patroller, with a 200 front wing and the longer 33.5-inch mast. There are additional wing options and other accessories available for purchase as well, allowing the Waydoo to progress with you as you build your skills on the device.
We’d also highly recommend adding on a helmet, as you’re sure to take a couple of tumbles as you’re getting the hang of riding on foil, as well as a life jacket, which may or may not be required by the Coast Guard depending on where you ride, but is always a good idea.
The Flyer One Plus is a fairly self-explanatory beast. The battery attaches to the top of the board with two latches, becoming a part of the deck pad. The bottom assembly (mast and foil wings) plugs into the battery through a reinforced hole in the center of the board, and screws in with two hand-tightening screws. All assembled, the setup is quite heavy, with the battery and board each weighing around 30 pounds, and the mast and wings a further 20 lbs. That’s about 80 lbs. all told, and an awkward package to carry. This proved to be the most problematic aspect, but it’s a problem for any efoil, not just the Waydoo Flyer One Plus.
We found ourselves to be huge fans of the Flyer One Plus’s EPP foam construction, making session-ending dings a thing of the past, and easing the process of transporting and storing the board without fear of damaging it. That’s especially useful for those living the boat life with plenty of hard surfaces to ding a nice carbon board on. The foam construction is also very self-repairable, any strong adhesive (our recommendation would be shoe-goo) should do the trick.
Once in the water, the board performed as well as any other efoil we’ve ridden. It’s quiet, powerful, and an exhilarating ride with plenty more oomph under the hood than we needed. We found ourselves sticking to around 10-12 of the 24 power-level settings in the first few sessions. Another feather in the cap of the EPP construction, is that it hurts less when you fall on it.
The unit we tested uses small magnets to activate the power and linking buttons located on the battery. At first this was confusing, and not clearly flagged in the directions, but once you figure it out the magnet-buttons were a non-issue.
The battery charger was another slight annoyance, with a bulky design and loud fan. But given the fact that this device was charging a battery that weighs 30 pounds and flies adult humans above the water, a gnarly battery charger is to be expected, and is offset by the fairly quick two-hour charge time.
The biggest drawback we found was the battery life. As with any electric recreational vehicle (I’m thinking about ebikes), the claimed range in “perfect conditions” is never quite the same as what you get in real life, and that’s certainly the case here with the Flyer One Plus. We were able to get about 60 minutes of ride time on the well-worn demo unit we had. This would lead me to believe the board has seen a decent amount of use and the battery, as with any lithium-ion battery, has likely lost some of its pizzaz, but there’s no doubt that the claimed battery life and true battery life were never one and the same.
|Board||Base Price||Claimed Ride Time||Top Speed||Construction||Weight||Extras|
|Waydoo Flyer One Plus||$6,399||120 min||29mph||EPP Foam||80 lbs||App, carrying case|
|Lift Foils Lift4||$11,995||90 min, 150 min w/ +$1,000 upgrade||30mph||Carbon fiber||Not listed||Full carbon construction, lots of foil wings/upgrades to choose from|
|Fliteboard Series 3||$9,995||90 min, 150 min w/ +$1,000 upgrade||30mph||Fiberglass||70/80lbs depending on battery||App, lots of upgrades|
Why is the Waydoo So Cheap? What are you Losing Compared to a More Expensive Foil?
There are a couple of places where Waydoo made compromises or deviated from “traditional” efoil manufacturing in the making of the Flyer One Plus. First is the construction of the foil board. Most efoil companies use fiberglass or even carbon-fiber as the main material in their efoil boards, with a lightweight but water-permeable foam core. Waydoo instead opted for a full-foam construction with internal aluminum reinforcement for stiffness. There’s no doubt you’ll be receiving a slight reduction in performance due to the loss in stiffness and increase in weight over a carbon or even fiberglass construction, but as mentioned earlier, for the casual rider that’s not so much of a curse as it is a boon with the increase in durability and peace of mind knowing your expensive toy won’t get damaged.
Second is the electronics, unlike popular efoil designs which store the complicated electronics in the board, Waydoo has all the “brains” of the efoil contained in the mast – which plugs straight into the battery – making for an extremely simplified design, which we can only assume translates to savings for the customer.
Finally, you won’t be getting the same plethora of options for upgrades and fun features like super fast charge times, but there are now a few different front wings to choose from engineered for surfing or gliding, and aftermarket products such as a Sabfoil Adapter that allows the rider to attach a Sabfoil front wing (The MACkite team are big fans of the Sabfoil W950).
The Waydoo Flyer One Plus is, as far as we know, the cheapest efoil on the market, and certainly the best value we’ve seen in such a highly-priced category. Are you making compromises on certain aspects of the efoil experience by chopping the price in half? A couple, but we found those compromises didn’t impinge on the fun and accessibility of the efoil, making the reduced price-point well worth it.
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