E-Foil Nation: Crab Island Adventure

OBJECTIVE

Determine whether a Lyft eFoil board can make it to Crab Island and back (to Okaloosa Island).

OUTCOME

Almost, but not quite (see map for detailed trip log).

OBSERVATIONS

  • Depending on the boat traffic, this route can be VERY choppy. I’m talking like 3’ high waves. Some of these waves were so big, that even if I was able to reduce height and barely foil over them, the foil still came out of the water on the other side of the wave.

  • The amount of boat traffic in this area makes it challenging to get up to speed, in addition to standing on the board. For much of the trip, I was foiling on my knees because the waves/wake was so great that there wasn’t enough time to get fully standing before running into a wave that would be enough to knock me off.

  • The PWC in this area like to make A LOT of wake, both at Crab Island, and in the run from Okaloosa Island over to Crab Island.

  • The amount of boat traffic at Crab Island is annoying. Not only do you have a ton of boats, there’s also the charter/tourist boats there. Boats are coming from every direction, channel markers be dammed.

  • The sandbar of Crab Island makes it difficult to judge exactly how deep the water you are in is because of the weeds/grass at the bottom. Simply looking to stay in darker colored areas is not enough to avoid grounding the foil.

  • The southerly winds make it a much more pleasant ride back (until your batteries die), as it just make it easier for the board to fly and avoid chop.

  • After “Low Battery Mode” the board goes into “Very Low Battery Mode.” This Very Low Battery Mode felt like it was actually able to travel some distance still, I was surprised.

  • Though the battery didn’t make the whole trip, it was pretty easy to wade back on the sandbar.

  • The Destin city park could be another closer launch point, but it’s just soooo wavy over there by that area with the waves reverberating off of the shore and walls over there that it wouldn’t be much fun, and it also doesn’t provide enough distance to travel to make it an interesting adventure.

  • People at Crab Island were impressed with the board. I head one boat that was said “Woah what is that?!"

FINAL REMARKS

This was rough. Perhaps it was the amount of boat traffic and the wakes they were generating at the time I went, but it was very difficult to get standing, let alone foiling. Even when able get get foiling, it was difficult to deal with steep waves. I traveled most of the trip on my knees. I would recommend this trip only for more advanced foilers, and even then those with larger/more stable wings available, which should also maybe help with the battery life.

I don’t think most would like this trip. Even more advanced riders may not like this trip just because of the amount of boat traffic and the PWCs. Crab Island sounds cool, but actually feels kind of “meh” once you’re there.

Crab Island eFoil

MAP REMARKS

  • My eFoil controller showed about 55% battery life at about the time I was turning around/heading back westward.