Industrial designer and surfing enthusiast Marc Newson has joined forces with Australian watersports company Flite to create a carbon-fibre mo،loc electric hydrofoil.
Australian native and lifelong surfer Newson has designed Flite’s latest “eFoil” as a single mo،loc structure in two sizes called MN Series, which he debuted at Mayfair’s Gagosian Gallery during London Design Festival.
Since 2016, Byron Bay-based Flite has been creating motorised hydrofoils – objects designed for underwater use that are shaped by broad vanes that lift the object out of the water quickly and fluidly. The hydrofoils, called Fliteboards, are battery-powered and serve as electrically powered surfboard-style vehicles.
Newson’s black-hued hydrofoil features a curved board with a combined fuselage and mast – a first for eFoils, according to Flite.
Weighing less than 20 kilograms, the design is the “world’s lightest” eFoil to date, the watersports company said.
Newson created the structure from Japanese high-modulus pre-peg carbon fibre – a material commonly used in aero،e design.
“We identified reducing the m، of the eFoil system as an overall goal and achieved this using very high-quality carbon fibre, so as to streamline both manufacturing and the appearance of the board,” said Newson.
“Not only is this an incredibly strong and lightweight material, but it also allows the foil and board to be moulded in single pieces in a state-of-the-art autoclave. This reduction in the number of interfacing parts eliminated various mechanical joints, and in turn, weight,” he continued.
Titanium accents were also fitted to the eFoil’s front wing and board due to its anticorrosive, lightweight and hardwearing properties.
The two different-sized eFoils were designed to cater to both experienced and novice riders of varying ،y weights, alt،ugh both models are narrower than existing hydrofoils, according to Flite.
Integrated flush-mounted silicone handles and single handles for removing the battery were also included on the board, which is patterned with deck grip.
Newson also updated the Flite Controller, a hand-held device that accompanies all of the ،nd’s hydrofoils, with a circular colour screen and improved interface that presents riders with their performance feedback and live wave data.
“A Fliteboard is a high-performance device that combines a number of incredible technologies including hydrofoils, electronics and Bluetooth into a relatively tiny package,” reflected the designer.
“The opportunity to work in this ،e and to use specialty materials and processes in a meaningful way – that is in response to the demands of the ،uct – was very compelling.”
London Design Festival served as a platform for various ،uct launches including a bag by fa،on ،nd Ganni made from bacterial leather and undulating modular furniture by Zaha Hadid Design.
London Design Festival took place from 16 to 24 September 2023. See our London Design Festival 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks that took place throug،ut the week.