Electric Foil Surfers Terrorize Los Angeles Lineup (Clip)

There’s no question about it.

E-foils, or electric hydrofoil surfboards, are controversial.

Traditional surfers scoff, perhaps even out of a bit of jealousy, as e-foilers soar outside the lineup, throttle in hand, no waves necessary. And their presence is only increasing, it seems. Will a war ensue between the two factions, surfers and e-foilers?

Maybe not a war, per se, but the tensions are rising.

Take, for example, a recent clip from Los Angeles surf filmmaker Brad Jacobson, which shows a handful of e-foilers cruising around just outside a crowded lineup of surfers.

“How do you feel,” Jacobson asks, “about electric powered foils just outside the lineup?”

Related: Surfer Lands First-Ever Foil 540 Rodeo Flip, Kelly Slater Stirs Controversy (Video)

He added: “Fun new technology or a menace?”

From a surfing standpoint, there are obvious dangers in having, what are essentially, motorized machetes flying through the water. And to make matters worse, but not to generalize too hard here, a lot of e-foilers aren’t the most experienced on surf craft.

In fact, there’s been moves to ban foil surfboards (not just electric ones) at certain surf spots, like Seal Beach Jetty in Orange County. Regarding the situation there, folks even created a petition. And here’s what they had to say:

Related: Orange County Surfers Petition to Ban Hydrofoils

“When I see a foil board(er), I feel sick to my stomach. I feel super uncomfortable when a foil board comes close to me or any other vulnerable surfer. I would hate to have to deal with a foil slicing me open; a fatal accident due to lack of skill/control.”

As for the question posed in Jacobson’s post above, here’s a few of the respondents:

“It ruins the vibe and feelings of being at peace waiting on your wave.. the annoyance level is mosquito in your eye while being in nature.”

“I don’t think they should be anywhere near a lineup. They don’t need to be since their electric powered they can go anyplace else. Plenty of ocean out there….”

“Rollerblading of the sea.”


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