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Origins of Flite

Flite exists to make the world’s best premium eFoils; whilst catalysing a shift to cleaner and quieter waterways.

Birth of an idea

Fliteboard founder David Trewern grew up surfing and windsurfing from an early age. At a kitefoil event without wind in early 2016, an idea struck to add an electric motor to his foiling kiteboard.

“I became captivated by this vision in my mind of a self-propelled, electric-powered flying surfboard.”

The kitchen became a workshop, and the 3D printer went into overdrive. Dozens of prototypes later, and Fliteboard flew for the first time.

“Within the first few seconds, I knew this was something magical. The feeling of freedom was like nothing else. This would revolutionise water-sports.”

“I’ve been inspired for decades by entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Henry Ford, and designers like Dieter Rams, Marc Newson and Jony Ive. This was my chance to bring something amazing to the world.”

Awards and accolades

Fliteboard has been highly awarded by the world’s most credible design organisations, such as Red Dot (Germany), German Design Award (Germany), Industrial Designers Society of America – Silver Award (USA), Good Design – Gold Award (Australia).

Fliteboard was also named the Australian Innovation of the Year by Australia By Design, made the Robb Report Best of the Best list for 2020, and was named the world’s best eFoil (2019 and 2020) by Jetsurfing Nation.

Fliteboard also won ‘Most Innovative New Product’ at the Australian Marine Industry Export Awards.

Global Team

While Fliteboard started as a family affair, David went on to assemble a global team of experts, including product and electronics engineers in Melbourne, Hydrodynamicists in California, composites experts in Thailand, gearbox experts in Germany. With passion and teamwork, an award-winning product was born, now enjoyed by thousands of customers in 80 countries around the world.

Today the Flite team consists of over 40 permanent staff across four offices spanning Byron Bay and Melbourne (Australia), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Nyack, New York (USA).

Fliteboard family have also grown to include a passionate network of Authorised Resellers and Fliteschools.

Fliteboard sustainability.

Ensuring our Blue Planet remains that way.

Able to carry a 90kg human at over 20kph using less than 750 watts of electric power with no emissions or wake, Fliteboard is perhaps the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly powered marine vehicle.

Fliteboard is quiet above the water and has an underwater acoustic profile significantly less impactful than even the smallest petrol marine motor. Fliteboard ushers in new technologies that, when scaled, have potential to create a future of quiet and clean ocean enjoyment and transport.

Once you have experienced quiet electric hydrofoil flight over water, it becomes immediately clear how out of date the technologies are that we currently use for recreational boating. Waterways should be pristine environments. Flite is developing technology now, for a future without the noise and smells created by burning fossil fuels.

and development

Fliteboard research and development occurs at the intersection of electric vehicle technology, carbon composite and hydrofoil design and technology.

Every Fliteboard comprises hundreds of parts, many of them custom developed.

The Flite team includes Product design engineers, Naval Architects, Mechanical, Electronics and Software engineers.

The majority of our development happens in our factory in Byron Bay, Australia, in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, where we test our creations almost daily. We also collaborate with experts in specialised fields in the USA, Germany, Thailand and China, in our quest to create the perfect ride.

A board that rides as an extension of your reflexes, that glides harmoniously with nature and is part engineering and part work of art while being a product that is as easy to use as it is fun to own.

The history of eFoils

Fliteboard was an original idea developed by our Founder David Trewern in 2016. Like many new things, similar ideas developed concurrently in different parts of the world. And from further research, we now know that there is quite a story to the first origins of the eFoil.


In a 2008 Master’s program in Naval Architecture at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, their team had a task to create a new type of aquatic vehicle. The requirements were that this vehicle had to be silent, electric, not create wake and be able to carry one person at a speed of 15 knots. The first electric hydrofoil board was created by Professor Jacob Kuttenkeuler and a group of 15 students taking part in a project called EVOLO. Their concept was a weight-shift controlled board that was ridden in the kneeling position.


After working on it for two semesters, they came up with the first electric hydrofoil, which was successfully demonstrated in the spring of 2009.


A number of similar concepts began developing independently of each other. Electric motors and batteries had developed to the point that the propulsion system could be light enough and powerful enough to be attached to the wing itself, under the water, and provide enough speed to lift the board. Some of the people with the concept were already in the watersport business. Others were just surfers or kiteboarders who had dreams of finding freedom and not being reliant on wind/waves to enjoy the water.
Kai Concepts was the first to show a working prototype of a stand-up eFoil in August 2016. ‘Jetfoiler’ was created by Don Montague and his team, also the developers of the kiteboat. Don coined the term eFoil on his website at the time: “a watercraft equipped with hydrofoils that uses an electric motor or motors for propulsion.”


In January 2017, Liftfoils in Puerto Rico released a teaser video of their prototype. In October 2017, Fliteboard launched their website showcasing some innovative technology such as a purpose-designed unibody fuselage (combining the motor and foil into one unit to improve stability and efficiency), a Flitebox with innovate heat-sink cooling system and custom wings specifically designed for eFoiling, as well as a reduction gearbox featuring 20 virtual gears and cruise control.


In May 2018, Lift came to market with their version of the eFoil, which they began shipping later. Fliteboard began shipping their boards in June 2018. Nowadays, there are many companies manufacturing eFoils, but so far, only a few have proved that their product is robust and reliable enough to withstand the harsh marine environment. eFoiling continues to advance.


In April 2020, Flite App was launched. This allowed Fliteboard users to measure performance statistics such as distance, speed, roll, pitch, power and battery statistics, as well as replay and share their ride using GPS Flite Track. Fliteboards goal is to help accelerate the shift towards more environmentally friendly powered marine craft and will continue to innovate and push the boundaries in this regard.


Fliteboard released the Series 2 Fliteboard. Series 2 introduced a new electronics and connection concept, the world’s smallest eFoil (The Fliteboard Ultra). New purpose-designed eFoil wings were also launched, including the first dihedral eFoil wings, the Flow series. Fliteboard also introduced True Glide, a free-spinning propeller with one way bearing for powered off wave rides.

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