EFoil rider causes a splash in Kingston
Gliding and speeding along, Phill Yendt is used to causing a wave of commotion from the water. But that’s not hard to do when you’re hovering above it.
Yendt spends his days on his electric hydrofoil board, also known as an eFoil.
“It’s sort of a hoverboard-type surfboard,” he laughs.
He can be seen daily, flying and swooping through downtown Kingston’s waterfront.
"When I’m riding it. It just feels like I’m flying above water,” he says.
The surfboard platform connects to a propeller, with a rechargeable battery. A handheld Bluetooth controller runs the propeller, giving you speed, and drives the rider through the water.
Yendt says some models can reach up to 48 kilometres an hour, and the battery can last more than an hour. After picking it up three years ago, Yendt says staying on top is all in the hips.
“It’s just minor movements. A little bit of hip, a little bit of ankle, a little bit of everything now, really,” he explains. “It just takes practice, doing it over and over.”
However, the fun doesn’t come cheap. Yendt says models range from $12,000 to more than $15,000 Canadian.
Yendt says that thanks to a wet suit to keep him warm, he gets use out of the watersport equipment almost all year long.
"It’s pretty magical. It’s pure joy," he says. “People keep talking about mental health these days. This puts a smile on my face. Every day.”
Yendt comes out almost every day to the downtown docks, and the unique sport draws curious onlookers.
“I definitely would like to try it,” says Karen McConnell.
“I think we should all have one actually,” says her mother Doris McConnell.
“It’s pretty cool,” says Karen Blundell as she walks by. “I think I’d fall over if I got on it.”
Yendt says it’s growing in popularity in Kingston, and he even teaches lessons in both Kingston and Prince Edward County, for those who want to give it a try.
“It’s the most unique water sport out there and it’s the future it’s here,” he says.
eFoils are so far illegal in Canada due to a Transport Canada regulation prohibiting propeller driven surfboards.