At about 6 am on a Saturday, I received a call from Gina Bradley, a real estate agent at Saunders & Associates who also owns Paddle Diva in Springs.
“Yes, Gina, what’s up?”
“LET’S GO E-FOILING TODAY!”
As I struggled to open my eyes, I quickly learned that Gina and her husband Scott had acquired E-Foils and were selling them through Paddle Diva. I didn’t know what an E-Foil was, and I had no concrete plans for the day. Gina, whose personality is as vibrant as a double espresso, wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Okay, count me in.”
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I was sure I would be terrible at it, not enjoy it, be in a bad mood all day, and embarrass myself. E-foiling was a relatively new sport; I had heard that Mark Zuckerberg liked it, but my knowledge didn’t extend much beyond that. When I arrived at Long Beach with Brendan Connolly, a fellow dad and another real estate agent at Saunders & Associates who was always excited about Hamptons adventures, I started to feel anticipation. Scott Bradley was there with his nephew Greg. Scott was basically what you would imagine Thor to be like in middle age. He was a big wave surfer, lifeguard, fireman, water sports enthusiast, and looked like he could snap you in two with just a squeeze of his fist. He was also the nicest guy in the world.
I quickly learned that an E-Foil is a $20,000 electric fun machine. Essentially, it’s an electric motor-powered surfboard that lifts out of the water when you pick up speed, allowing you to ride on top of the water. It feels like flying once you get the hang of it. The powerful motor can propel you up to 35 miles per hour and is controlled by a trigger/joystick that you carry in your hand, connected via Bluetooth.
I guess we really are in the future now. It was a blend of Star Trek and the Beach Boys.
The E-Foil is manufactured by a company called Lift, which is apparently the best in the business. Scott handed me a helmet, instantly making me feel like a Roman Gladiator, and we got into the water. I was immediately drawn to the sport.
Getting on the board and gliding on your belly is an absolute joy. The entire device feels like your personal dolphin that you can surf on. It’s incredibly intuitive and responsive, and the power is sensational. After a lot of guidance, Scott had me cruising along the water like I was riding a surfboard in about 30 minutes. The whole experience feels similar to wakeboarding, except it’s like endless wakeboarding because you have complete control over your direction and speed. It’s also silent, so when you lift out of the water, you get a sensation akin to surfing. However, e-foiling is much easier to pick up and get the basics down, enabling smoother progression at your own pace.
“THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!”
I felt like a kid, grinning from ear to ear the entire time. Brandon, who was getting the hang of the device, started to float a bit above the water as Scott effortlessly glided by. Your focus is entirely on the experience; you’re not thinking about anything else. Who would have thought that this would be so much fun?
The downside of E-foiling is that it isn’t cheap. Buying one costs $20K, making it a true luxury. However, Gina offers private sessions with customers of Paddle Diva for around $400 for a few hours. It’s absolutely worth the entry price for the unique and thrilling experience. You can check out my Instagram @davidrattiner for a video of the experience, and you can contact Gina Bradley at Paddle Diva or on Instagram @paddlediva.