The Fliteboard Ultra Hydrofoil has received the 2021 Australian Good Design Award Best in Class in Product Design, Sport and Lifestyle Category for its innovative body design, electric vehicle technology and emissions-free watercraft. It’s basically a surfboard designed to make you feel like you’re flying over the water.
Fliteboard Ultra was designed by Fliteboard, Katapult Design and Tekt Industries and commissioned by Fliteboard Founder David Trewern. It’s a nearly-silent board that aims to shift marine craft toward more environmentally-friendly options. It’s two feet and four inches long, with reduced swing weight, adjustable foot straps and hydrodynamic unibody fuselage. It’s made of carbon fiber and ash veneer.
The designers emphasized that instead of retrofitting a motor to an existing board, they designed this new board with naval architects to be its own unique experience. The Fliteboard includes aerodynamic wings and the smallest diameter motor on the market (under 60 millimeter) — which houses a reduction gearbox that quadruples the torque — making the board more responsive and efficient.
Newly redesigned efoil electronics allow wireless communication and GPS between the handset controller and the efoil. The removal of the external receiver and data cabling creates a simpler user experience and better reliability. The Fliteboard’s new wings allow for more tricks, including turns, wave riding, jumps and max speed riding.
“This electric hydrofoil is smaller, lighter and more responsive than its beautifully designed and manufactured Australian Good Design Award-winning predecessor,” said The Good Design Awards jury. “The design improvements have resolved the desire to support more extreme performance for advanced riders. The designers should also be commended on the ‘limp home mode,’ which switches on when the battery is low.”
Images via Fliteboard