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SiFly are a new-ish entry into the world of eFoiling. Whereas the standard question when you see someone with an eFoil tends to be “woah, where did you find the cash to buy that?!”, SiFly have built cost/value into their business model, but also without compromising on quality. SiFly is very much a passion project, and was founded by Alexander Bachev who has competed in the high octane world of Formula Kite. His plan was to create a foil that could deliver the same sensation to newbies, and also for all the obvious benefits that the motor-driven world of eFoiling brings to the whole foiling community.
In terms of the price point, we had the “Rider” on test, which comes in at a very respectable €7490, with carbon wings and a long range battery (up to 120 minutes). There is also a cheaper edition, the SiFly ECO which comes in sub €5k with a smaller battery and non-carbon wings. Both the Rider and the Rider ECO also have one eye on the rental/school market with the ability to track and record session times and to monitor commercial use.
We had the Rider with two front wings, the Cruiser 1300 and the Sport 700. In terms of the board, the Rider boards are ‘soft top’ so are essentially a closed cell foam without any additional laminate. The result is a soft board which remains light, pretty much 100% ding proof, as well as being easy to bounce off for learners! Weight wise it is relatively light, admittedly not as light as the EPS/carbon alternatives but with the battery and motor eFoils are never going to be a light option and the board is far less of a variable than with its un-powered alternatives.
Setting up the board was easy, with clear ‘Quick Start’ instructions as well as an excellent range of YouTube tutorials for anything more in depth. The board pairs with the SiFly app on your phone which then tracks your sessions once you are back on land and provides you with all of your vital stats as well as the ability to share to your social media channel of choice.
We initially rode the board in ‘learner mode’ so with the Cruiser 1300 wing and with the prop guard on. The power and torque delivered are excellent and the controller provides an intuitive experience, with the ‘standard’ +/- power up and down options. We had some concerns that with the relatively flat base, the Rider would prove to be a bit sticky coming off the water but it released very easily and once up on the foil – with an assertive amount of front foot pressure – it accelerated smoothly and in a controlled manner. Increasing the speed, and each increment delivered a nice injection of controllable speed, overall a very smooth and reassuring experience which felt very comfortable in the 14-22kph range. This set up would be great for schools and for anyone without foiling experience, although the 1300 wing also provides enough performance to enter the fast and fun range too.
For the next few sessions we removed the prop guard and slotted on the Sport 700 front wing. To be honest, it looked very small compared to the 1300 and we were had some doubts around how it would perform. We expected to need a lot more power to get up on the foil and then potentially a slightly ‘skittish’ performance. We were wrong. The Rider accelerated just as smoothly and then – once up on the foil – was very well tuned. It provided a very lively and responsive ride, without feeling out of its comfort zone. Turning was crisp and tight and – with commitment – could be satisfyingly aggressive, and the cruising speed was comfortable around the 28kph range with the top speed well above 35kph range. We didn’t push it much beyond that, but mainly due to rider fear than the limits of the foil!
The SiFly was ridden by riders ranging in weight from 41kg through to 80kg and provided a comfortable and controllable foiling experience for all riders. Of course this is the perfect introduction to anyone looking to master the feel of foiling or other foiling disciplines, or if you just want to race around without having to concern yourself with unpredictable variables such as wind or waves, then the SiFly Rider provides a super-fun foiling experience at a slightly less eye-watering price point.