Ready for the the ride of a lifetime? RibRide, the North Wales boat tour company, is hoping its new eFoil facility will make waves in the UK tourism industry and transform the area around the Menai Strait into an international adventure destination. We asked Tom Ashwell, director at FoilRide, to tell us more about what eFoiling around the serene Menai Strait has to offer.
For those who’ve never heard of an eFoil, how would you describe it?
An eFoil is a surfboard with an electric motor that flies above a hydrofoil wing. The motor is near silent and can be charged with power from a renewable source. It’s a great way to interact with the beauty of our environment without imposing upon it.
How does the eFoil work?
The eFoil is a mix of all the sports we love; surfing, kite foiling, flying and deep powder snowboarding. A powerful electric motor is mounted on a wing beneath a high-performance surfboard. The foil and wings combine to allow riders of all abilities to fly above any large body of water.
How did you discover the eFoil?
We are keen kite foilers in our spare time and have been keeping an eye on the emerging technological advances in mounting a foil under a board with an electric motor. New advances in rechargeable battery technology has allowed prototypes to become commercially available. We found a supplier with a great product and so we wanted to become a training school.
Is it hard to use the eFoil?
Here’s the big secret: you can be a one-lesson hero! eFoiling can be learned in a couple of hours by anyone with a token amount of balance and coordination, so long as they are swimmers aged 16 years old and up. First, you lay down flat then rise up into a kneeling position. From kneeling, you get up smoothly into a 'surfer' pose – this is where the opportunities to ride and explore really open up. Along the way, you might fall off or get quite wet, but that’s okay; we give you a buoyancy aid and a suitable wetsuit before you start.
Soon you will be flying over water, which is the most amazing experience!"
Where can people ride your eFoil, and what might they see?
We’re based in North Wales, surrounded by an awesome seascape with amazing marine wildlife to see. Our lessons take place the beautifully sheltered waters of the Menai Strait, a perfect location to give you the best eFoiling experience as you fly above the surface of the water.
When can people try the eFoil and how much does it cost?
We will be running lessons from April 2020. First Flight is a 3-hour course taking you from zero to hero (three students, one eFoil each, one instructor, £200pp). Art of Flight is a 3-hour experience aimed at those intending on buying an eFoil (one student, one instructor riding alongside, £495pp).
You can find out more on the RibRide website.
Explore Anglesey’s beaches for yourself
Benllech is one of the most popular beaches on Anglesey. This Blue Flag beach has miles of golden sand and clear blue waters. People love bathing on the flat beach before having a paddle or trying SUP in the waters. It is accessible to those with wheelchairs or pushchairs and is very family friendly.
Porth Swtan (Church Bay) Beach
For a more rural hideaway, visit Porth Swtan (Church Bay), an unspoilt sand and pebble beach. Accessed via a steep footpath from Porth Swtan / Church Bay village, it feels hidden away from the crowds. Clamber along the rock pools, go swimming, fish or surf to make the most of the natural beauty.
If you’re after a wide beach with plenty of opportunities for activity, try Porth Dafarch, a sandy cove between Trearddur Bay and Holyhead. It’s a cycle-friendly beach with a slipway ramp and is popular with canoeists, SUPers and divers as well as families.