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If you’ve already read our Backstory slot this issue, you’ll be aware that Fliteboard just dropped a whole new load of fun with their Series 3 release. Fliteboard founder David Trewern filled us on some particularly exciting aspects of that release…
Morning David. First up, we’re gonna assume the L stands for Light on the new ULTRA L Fliteboard… are we right?!
“L” stands for Life Changing… only kidding, yes it means Light.
Can you tell us what weight you’ve achieved, and how you’ve managed to get to that point?
ULTRA L weighs just 22.5kg/49.6 lbs, and that’s for the complete setup. In the pursuit of ultimate performance, we stripped back the footstraps and handles, as well as lightening the battery box by handcrafting it with carbon fiber. We didn’t just reduce the weight, but also the swing weight. By positioning the battery weight as close as possible to the mast, the improved dynamics make your Fliteboard even more responsive and maneuverable. This is a performance machine created for experienced water sports enthusiasts, with high design in mind.
How much better does all that weight loss feel in waves?
It feels so agile and responsive it’s incredible. Feedback from those who’ve tried it, is that it’s the closest you can get to classic/prone foiling. ULTRA L comes standard with our new longer 80cm/31.5” mast which is perfect for taking on bigger waves, deeper turns, and smooth riding over choppy waters.
The ULTRA L comes in a pretty bling new colorway, with both the board and mast a very attractive muted gold. What was the thinking behind this?
The new range of board colors was inspired by the dreamy locations where customers go Fliteboarding. ULTRA L is available in metallic gold, inspired by golden sunsets in Ibiza, whilst AIR is offered in matte coral reminiscent of breezy days in Miami.
You’ve also released the new Flitecell Nano battery to work with the ULTRA L. What are we looking at in terms of time on the water with the Nano, and how does it compare with the other batteries in the range?
Flitecell Nano is the lightest lithium-ion eFoil battery, weighing only 6.2kg/14 lbs. It can give you a solid 45 minutes of foiling time but you can enjoy much longer sessions when riding waves. On the other end of the scale, we have the Explore battery which can last for up to 2.5 hours and is great for longer missions, or teaching friends/family. It weighs 14.5kg/32 lbs. In between we have the Flitecell Sport, a great all-rounder. At 10.6kg/23.4 lbs, it gives foil times of up to 1.5 hours. Ride time on an eFoil is actually quite nuanced, as you need to take into account various factors such as the propulsion system, wing choice, rider weight and ability. We’ve now developed a Ride Calculator on our website that provides the most accurate information based on your setup.
Does the Flitecell Nano work across the Fliteboard range?
All our batteries work across the whole range and with the previous Fliteboard series too. We’ve created a great ecosystem with modularity and interchangeability being key, as most riders like choice. We’ve also had a strong emphasis on safety – the entire range of Flitecell batteries is made with phase change material for thermal management, and premium high-discharge and low-temperature cells.
Onto another pretty exciting new development… the Flite Jet. Tell us about that, and the major differences between the jet and the original prop.
Flite Jet is the world’s smallest and lowest drag eFoil jet. Made to be beautifully simple and engineered with precision, Flite Jet offers unparalleled smoothness and safety for riders. As eFoiling evolves, riders want different types of experiences, so Fliteboard now offers a choice of propeller or jet power. For the majority of users, our classic Flite Propeller (with or without the Prop Guard) will be the best choice, offering versatility and efficiency for a variety of riders in a range of conditions. True Glide is a free spinning propeller, designed for minimum drag when catching waves and riding swell. Using only the power of the ocean, you can release the trigger to glide. The transition between powered and unpowered is unbelievably smooth. This is the best choice for experienced riders looking for max range to weight ratio.
Are they interchangeable?
Yes, our Dual Drive system means that riders can choose their preferred propulsion option or seamlessly swap between prop and jet. The unique Dual Drive allows users to experience the best of both worlds in a matter of seconds, with no tools required.
What was the biggest technical challenge implementing a jet drive into your existing system?
We wanted to offer both propeller and jet for different situations and customer preferences. Propeller and jet systems require vastly different operating RPM and torque. Therefore, making one eFoil system that could support both propulsion systems was the biggest technical challenge. Fortunately, our reduction gearbox provided part of the solution here, allowing us to use the one motor for both applications.
You’ve also recently dropped the new Cruiser Jet range of wings as part of the Series 3 line up. Tell us about these…
As part of the Series 3 launch, we’ve developed two new Cruiser Jet wings that are perfectly paired with Flite Jet to unlock new possibilities for riders of all skill levels. A flatter rondure with only a small amount of anhedral and a lower aspect ratio than previous designs complement the wings' larger size to produce a very comfortable level of responsiveness/maneuverability. The larger area and a new section optimization process have resulted in these wings taking their place as the most efficient wings in our lineup. The performance unlocked by this increase in glide ratio means these wings are actually really great for unpowered surfing as well. There is even the capability now to connect waves by pumping without power. The Cruiser Jet 300 stabilizer pairs nicely with these wings to produce a more pitch-damped ride without the typical added drag of a larger stabilizer, and without the added yaw stability from winglets.
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