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Electric HydrofoilAug 25, 2022

One of the top requests in the electrification of water transport is for a jet ski that can deliver the same thrill as a gas powered unit for the rider - but with a lot less noise for those out on or near the water with them.

BRP, parent company of Sea-Doo, teased an all-electric jet ski at their annual corporate gathering in 2019, but so far the only electric option for ‘water bikes’ is the Orca from Montreal company Taiga.

As the development of the Sea-Doo electric jet ski presumably continues, BRP has announced another electric water toy - the Sea-Doo Rise - a hydrofoiling surfboard that gives the rider the sensation of flying above the water.

The board looks like incredible fun, and there are a number of companies already making these kinds of units – Awake Boards, Lift Foils, Fliteboard and Waydoo to name a few.

Sea-Doo Electric HydrofoilSea-Doo is the first large manufacturer to enter the field, and they are doing so with a couple of twists on what the others offer. Many of those companies were already in the surf-paddle-hydrofoil board world and added electricity to the options. Consequently, theos boards can require a fair amount of athletic ability and some training time to get the hang of the balance and steering. The Sea-Doo Rise has some options that will make it easier for a general audience to ‘get flying’.

José Boisjoli, President, and CEO of BRP, says "We have set out to be the key actor in growing and democratizing the hydrofoiling watersport industry. In true BRP fashion, we designed a product that is easy to use and adaptable for all skill levels, making it accessible for all those seeking to rise above the water."

The biggest and most immediately apparent difference is that the Rise has a fold-down retractable handlebar, which means the rider doesn’t need to know how to surf. The experience can be more like riding a bike, with the bar raised and extend for those who want some extra stability. The more experienced – or adventurous – riders can leave it recessed in the deck.

The other difference is that the rider can use the hydrofoils to rise above the water, but there is also the option to enjoy a cruise without deploying the foiling wing. Mainly, the other boards on the market are designed so that you either fly or stay home.

Full specs are expected to be revealed in August 2023, with the units available in 2024. One of the reasons for the extended period may be that hydrofoiling boards are not yet legal in Canada. Section 1006 (b) of the Small Vessels Regulations sets out that “No person shall operate a propeller-driven surfboard-type vessel”.

Meanwhile, in Venice

Venice Grand Canal Surferssurfers stir up the Grand Canal

On an international side note, while many people would welcome a motorized water toy that zips by in relative silence, there are always others that can make themselves annoying with whatever they are given.

Recently two Australians in Venice were arrested for riding their electric surfboards along the city’s Grand Canal, zipping at speed past gondolas, vaporettas, centuries old palaces, historic bridges… and surprised tourists.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted a video of the surfers, calling them "two overbearing idiots making a mockery of the city" and offered a free dinner to anyone able to identify them. A few hours later the culprits were nabbed and fined, had their boards confiscated and were expelled from the city immediately.

VIDEO of Sea-doo Rise:



Jeff ButlerJeff Butler is based in Toronto and is the Editor/Publisher of plugboats.com, the international website covering everything electric boats and boating. He is also President of the Electric Boat Association of Canada and is busy preparing to bring electric motor boat racing and exhibitions to Toronto Harbour in 2023 for the first Toronto Solar Boat Races.