Watersport pioneer Flite has partnered with designer Marc Newson to create a next-gen Fliteboard for riding the waves. Gemma Harris reports
Both hailing from Australia, the visionary designer Marc Newson and watersports company Flite have partnered up to unveil the “world’s ultimate eFoil”. Bridging the gap between innovation and design, the new board is now available to pre-order.
Newson, a keen surfer and existing user of Fliteboards, is a designer renowned for iconic designs for leading companies such as Qantas, Ferarri and Louis Vitton and like many of his creations, this Newson-designed Fliteboard will be a limited release with only 999 boards. Each will cost £14,345.
“Fliteboard is leading innovation in the eFoil space. They do fantastic R&D, and their manufacturing is brilliantly executed. I was introduced to the founder, David Trewern, who knew of me and reached out with a view to working together, to which I responded positively. I had a pre-existing interest in the company as I have been using a Fliteboard for the last three years, and this meant I had a degree of knowledge as a user of the product,” says Newson.
Harnessing Flite’s expertise with the brand’s previous premium boards and advanced hydrofoil technology, this partnership has replaced the Ultra L as the world’s lightest performance eFoil at under 20kg, including a Flitecell Nano battery pack. The battery pack has a single handle for easy removal and flush-mounted silicon handles.
Comparable by Newson as the “formula 1 version of the eFoil”, the project was technically driven with its design purpose for higher performance using refined materials and its combined fuselage and mast design – a first in the eFoil’s market. The board’s aesthetics, such as the unique rail shapes and Voronoi pattern deck grip, result from the technical requirements (pictured below is the Flite series two edition).A culmination of three years in the making, the inspiration for construction was taken from the aerospace field and the high-performance world of motorsport for lightweight products that withstand extreme forces. The selected materials include the Japanese high modules pre-preg carbon fibre to create the lightest, strongest, most responsive ride. Bolstered by combining Fliteboard’s patented fuselage body with the MN eFoil mast together as one piece.
A strong and elegant conical wing attachment has also been included, made from pre-preg carbon and titanium, inspired by motorsport aerodynamics to reduce drag.
Flite’s CEO and product architect David Trewern, says: “Collaborating with Marc was a dream from my early 20s at design school. What could be more inspirational for a designer than collaborating with Marc Newson on what must be one of the world’s most exciting product categories. Like the original Fliteboard, this project has been driven by passion.”
The board comes in two sizes: the MN60 for lighter and experienced riders and the MN86 for a sporty performance ideal for novice and heavier riders. Both boards are narrower for more dynamic performance, and the hydrodynamic qualities have improved with fewer parts.
The premium carbon eFoil mast is available as MN Wave or MN Dual Drive. MN Wave is made slimmer for lower drag, suiting advanced riders who like to fly over the swell. MN Dual Drive comes standard with Flite Jet and Flite Propeller, which can be swapped to suit rider preferences in only a few seconds using Flite’s unique Dual Drive system.
Newson also redesigned the user-friendly hand-held Flite Controller – an extension of your hand – the intuitive and detailed feedback on a large circular colour screen display allows the rider to have precise control over experience for effortless manoeuvrability and real-time wave data.