This cool tech just helped land the world’s first electric hydrofoil surfboard backflip [Video]

When Awake pro-rider Flo Garbaccio set foot on his electric hydrofoil board in Miami earlier this month, he was intent on landing the world’s first eFoil backflip. To do so, it would take more than his countless hours of surfing experience – it would take some seriously innovative technology too.

The feat took place while the team behind the Swedish electric surfboard company Awake was filming a series of extreme athlete videos on their VINGA S eFoil.

That board features the company’s hydrofoil technology that combines efficient surfing with extreme nimbleness for stunts.

Awake recently launched a new hydrofoil wing known as the FLUID 1000. It’s a high-aspect foil wing with extra-low drag that allows for precise take-off at high speed. The dihedral shape is said to naturally smooth out the landing by reducing the impact area. The wing was specifically designed “by and for expert riders to carve, ride at high speeds, and jump.”

That new wing complemented the extra stiff aluminum mast on the Awake VINGA S, which allows for more precise foil control. And just behind the wing is mounted the Awake linear jet system, which the company says makes it “the most efficient personal watercraft jet ever made,” and which Awake tells us is by far the most powerful on the market.

Awake offers multiple battery sizes for varying run times, and Flo opted for the smallest one, which helped improve the board’s swing effect.

“The swing effect is the motion created by any added weight on the board that is 70 cm above the surface,” Flo explained to me by email. “The more weight you add up there, the less reactive to the rider’s movement the board becomes.”

Flo made use of each of those specific advancements in the VINGA S to land the world’s first eFoil backflip.

Check it out in the video below.

Flo made it look easy as he rode out the landing, though it was surely anything but:

“I took slightly too much speed before the jump, so I was late sending the rotation, so I tried to spin fast. When I felt the board passing over my head with lots of motion, I kept my body fully compressed until I could see the landing point.”

The expansion of eFoil sporting events aligns with Awake’s vision for their high tech boards. I caught up with the team last spring in Stockholm to test out several of their electric surfboards, where Flo personally taught me how to eFoil. At the time, company representatives explained how they were trying to position their products as more than just “rich people’s playthings.” Their goal was to expand the growing athletic community surrounding personal electric watercraft.

Considering that Awake’s cofounder Philip Werner also holds the title of the world’s first electric surfboard (non-hydrofoil) backflip, it seems like electric water sports are firmly part of the company’s DNA now.

Personally, I don’t think I’ll be getting upside down on one of these boards any time soon. Though I was impressed with how easy it was to learn to surf Awake’s boards, which you can see in my Stockholm testing video below. Just don’t laugh at my wipeouts!

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